One mortgage mess culprit: Signature mills

Inside the job of a robo-signer
When the foreclosure crisis began, document mills began to spring up to replace legal paperwork the banks were missing. Scott Pelley speaks with Chris Pendley, a former robo-signer at a mill called "Docs," who describes what his job was like.

Five of the nation's largest lenders reached a $25 billion settlement with the federal government Thursday over fraudulent and abusive lending practices leading up to the financial crisis.

One of those abusive practices was the use of "auto-pens" and signature mills, where workers signed thousands of documents each day paving the way for bank foreclosures. Drawing a small hourly wage, those workers were signing documents as high-level bank executives. Dozens, perhaps hundreds -- including men -- signed off as "Linda Green."

Mortgage paperwork mess: Next housing shock?
Full "60 Minutes" segment

"60 Minutes" investigated these signature mills last year and the "CBS Evening News" took a look back Thursday:

  • Scott Pelley
    Scott Pelley

    Correspondent, "60 Minutes"