Make us your home page

Notorious robo-signers still working for Palm Harbor title company

Two employees of a Palm Harbor title company embroiled in the nation's robo-signing controversy are still signing hundreds of mortgage documents in other states.

The signatures of Bryan Bly and Crystal Moore, who work for Nationwide Title Clearing, showed up on 445 mortgage-related records with suspect signatures from October through June 30 in Guilford County, N.C.

The signatures appear on records from Mortgage Electronic Registration System, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and other lenders. Bly signed 290 documents; Moore, 155. The mortgage assignments and certificates of satisfaction transfer loans from one bank to another or certify a loan has been paid off, according to Jeff Thigpen, the Guilford County registrar of deeds.

Nationwide Title Clearing reassigned Bly and Moore after the robo-signing controversy erupted last year, said Pennsylvania-based spokesman Rick Grant. Nothing prevents them from signing new paperwork, he added. Grant stressed that the duo is not signing foreclosure documents.

"They've never been convicted of anything," Grant said.

The Florida attorney general still is investigating the fraudulent-paperwork allegations, a spokeswoman said.

Thigpen said Tuesday that a Nationwide official assured him that the firm has the proper authorization for Bly and Moore to sign the records.

The industry, however, needs to establish measures to protect the integrity of documents submitted for public records, Thigpen said in an e-mailed statement.

"Quite frankly, as a public recorder, I don't want to be a policeman nor an accessory to fraud," he said.

After the outrage in the fall, robo-signers simply shifted to another segment of the industry, said lawyer April Charney, a foreclosure expert with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. She wants company executives held criminally responsible for allowing the practice of mass-signing documents.

Charney compared robo-signers to fire ants.

"You shoot them with Roundup in the hole, and they just pick up and set up shop somewhere else," she said. "This is a never-ending, unfortunate situation. It's fraud."

Bly and Moore made headlines in the fall after admitting, in a video deposition, that they signed hundreds of mortgage documents without ever reading them.

In one deposition, Moore was asked if she ever read any of the documents she signed. She replied, "No.'' Asked how much time she spent with each document, she said, "a few seconds.'' When Bly was asked in the deposition what a mortgage assignment is, he replied: "I'm really not sure."

County officials in at least three states say they have received thousands of mortgage documents with questionable signatures in the past eight months. Lenders say they are working with regulators to fix the problem but cannot explain why the practice, which led to a nationwide halt of home foreclosures, has continued.

The 14 biggest U.S. banks reached a settlement with federal regulators in April in which they promised to clean up their mistakes and pay restitution to home­owners who had been wrongly foreclosed upon. The full amount of the settlement has not been determined. It will not involve independent mortgage processing firms, the companies that some banks use to handle and file paperwork for mortgages.

Information from the Times wires was used in this report. Mark Puente can be reached at or (727) 893-8459. Follow him on Twitter at

Notorious robo-signers still working for Palm Harbor title company 07/19/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 20, 2011 6:51am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. ReliaQuest's benevolent hackers try to make companies more secure


    TAMPA — Their goal is to get in. Past a security desk, through a firewall, into a system they shouldn't have access to. Sometimes they'll look like a regular person in the lobby who innocently forgot their access badge. Most times they won't be seen at all, remotely and quietly prodding a company's systems from a …

    Angelo Castellano of Tampa works at his desk at ReliaQuest | | [CHARLIE KAIJO, Times]
  2. Despite soaring home prices, Tampa Bay still an affordable market

    Real Estate

    Times Staff Writer

    Finally, some good news for Tampa Bay home buyers. Despite rising prices, the bay area remains relatively affordable compared to many other parts of the country.

    Despite rising prices, the bay area remains relatively affordable compared to many other parts of the country. [Associated Press file photo]
  3. National economy off to a luckluster start this year


    WASHINGTON — The U.S. economy got off to a lackluster start during the first three months of 2017, though it enjoyed more momentum than earlier estimates indicated.

    he U.S. economy got off to a lackluster start during the first three months of 2017, though it enjoyed more momentum than earlier estimates indicated.
[Associated Press file photo]
  4. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum


    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  5. Heights Public Market to host two Tampa Bay food trucks


    TAMPA — The Heights Public Market announced the first two food trucks for its "rotating stall," which will feature new restaurants every four months. Surf and Turf and Empamamas will be rolled out first.

    Heights Public Market is opening this summer inside the Tampa Armature Works building.
[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]