Fri Jan 28, 2011 7:04pm EST
* Allegations Deutsche Bank filed false documents
* Inquiry could affect foreclosures across United States
* Testimony demanded from Deutsche Bank officials
By Scot J. Paltrow
NEW YORK, Jan 28 (Reuters) – A branch of the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating whether Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) filed false documents and attempted to mislead a bankruptcy judge in a foreclosure action.
Although the investigation involves the case of only one homeowner in Connecticut, a court document filed on Jan. 26 by the United States Trustee’s Office said it wants to elicit information about Deutsche Bank’s practices in general in foreclosure cases.
The inquiry involves Deutsche Bank National Trust Co, the Deutsche Bank unit that acts as trustee for thousands of trusts that invested in mortgage-backed securities. The U.S. Trustees’ Office is a division of the Department of Justice responsible for overseeing administration of bankruptcy cases.
In recent months, the office has stepped up efforts around the United States to block banks and law firms from using false or fabricated documents in home foreclosure actions. The effort follows disclosures in October 2010 of large-scale “robo-signing”, the mass signing of foreclosure affidavits containing “facts” that had never been checked, and wide production of false mortgage assignments.
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