Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Nationwide Title drops libel suit against lawyer

A Tampa Bay company at the center of the nation's "robo-signing" controversy has dropped its lawsuit against a St. Petersburg attorney who claimed it improperly or illegally prepared foreclosure documents.

Nationwide Title Clearing dismissed the case Tuesday, a few days after Matthew Weidner apologized on his popular blog and deleted comments that the Palm Harbor company had called false and libelous.

Nationwide Title does not prepare foreclosure documents. Many banks, however, have authorized Nationwide employees to sign for them on assignments of mortgage, which are key in determining who has the legal right to foreclose.

"I regret and retract any statement that implies that NTC has falsified any documents or that NTC is involved in foreclosures," Weidner wrote on his blog. "I apologize to NTC and its employees for any harm caused by my posts."

Without adding any comment of its own, Nationwide Title posted Weidner's entire apology and retraction on its own blog, ntcpeople.blogspot.com.

Barbara Petersen, president of the Florida First Amendment Foundation, said proceeding with a lawsuit would have enabled Weidner and his legal team to request documents from Nationwide Title.

"I'd think they'd be very worried about discovery because basically it would open up all of their records," she said of the company.

Nationwide Title drew national attention in November when another attorney, Christopher Forrest of Sarasota, posted on YouTube videotaped depositions of three Nationwide employees describing the assembly-line process in which they sign hundreds of documents at a time, usually without reading them.

A judge ordered Forrest to remove the videos, taken as part of a foreclosure case, but other people have reposted them.

Critics say "robo-signing" has made a mockery of the legal system, and several major lenders temporarily halted foreclosures this fall because of concerns over errors and fraud in documents.

Nationwide Title drops libel suit against lawyer 01/19/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 10:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Across Tampa Bay, local commercial banks and credit unions appear healthy

    Banking

    In another sign of economic vitality, Florida's home-grown banking industry demonstrated strong bench strength in the latest quarterly analysis by Bauer Financial. The vast majority of commercial banks with headquarters in Florida received five "stars" from Bauer, which is the highest ranking of health on its 0-to-5 …

    Several years ago, First Home Bank in Seminole faced regulators breathing down its neck for inaedquate controls and financial weakness. Under CEO 
Anthony N. Leo, the bank has rebounded. It received a top-rated "5" star rating from Bauer Financial in the latest quarter. Most area banks are doing better these days. [SCOTT KEELER      |     TIMES]
  2. Two linemen lose their wedding rings in Tampa Bay. So far one has been found and returned.

    Human Interest

    Two linemen who spent days restoring power in the Tampa Bay area had the same unfortunate mishap: They lost their wedding rings.

    Facebook helped Michael White find the wedding ring he lost while helping restore power in Tampa Bay.
  3. Need is now for new mental health center at Bay Pines, veterans say

    Veterans

    ST. PETERSBURG — Veteran Ellsworth "Tony" Williams says the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System's new mental health center will help fill an immediate need.

    The new mental health center at the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System stands four stories tall and was built at a cost of $92 million. It will centralize services that before were scattered. [HOWARD ALTMAN   |   Staff]
  4. GOP health bill all but dead; McCain again deals the blow

    National

    WASHINGTON — Sen. John McCain declared his opposition Friday to the GOP's last-ditch effort to repeal and replace "Obamacare," dealing a likely death blow to the legislation and, perhaps, to the Republican Party's years of vows to kill the program.

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington in July.  McCain says he won't vote for the Republican bill repealing the Obama health care law. His statement likely deals a fatal blow to the last-gasp GOP measure in a Senate showdown expected next week. [Associated Press]
  5. Yankees executive Jessica Steinbrenner seeks restraining order against ex-husband

    Civil

    TAMPA — Jessica Steinbrenner, a top executive with the New York Yankees and a daughter of the team's late owner George Steinbrenner, is seeking a restraining order against her ex-husband.

    New York Yankees excutive Jessica Steinbrenner, with her then-husband Felix Lopez Jr. in this 2008 photo, filed for a restraining order against Lopez in Hillsborough County last week. 
[Times files]