In return for signing a thousand foreclosure documents every day, Cheryl Salmons’ bosses “would routinely pay her personal mortgage, a car payment, her electric bills and her cell phone bill,” plus buy her jewelry and “a new BMW sport utility vehicle every year,” according to a deposition released Thursday by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum.
The details of Salmons’ compensation provide a window into the lucrative world of foreclosure law. They were released by McCollum, who has joined prosecutors and regulators in all 50 states to conduct a joint investigation into alleged Robo-signers like Salmons.
As an employee of David J. Stern, a Florida attorney who handled hundreds of thousands of foreclosures for federally-backed mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, Salmons was required by law to check every foreclosure filing to make sure it was legitimate.
Instead, Salmons deputized paralegals to sign her name for her, according to the deposition. That allowed her to move more quickly through the stacks of foreclosures “because most of the time she was very tired, exhausted from signing her name numerous times per day,” said Kelly Scott, a former assistant at Stern’ s firm.
McCollum’s office is investigating whether Stern and attorney Marshall C. Watson presented fabricated foreclosure documents in court to win judgments evicting homeowners from their houses.