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Could Wikileaks Stall Foreclosures Even More?

By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

wikileaksWikileaks, the online “dump” for secrets of large, important organizations, is in the news again, this time for its planned “megaleak” — 5 gigabytes’ worth, to be precise — of sensitive, private data from a major bank. Site founder Julian Assange said in a recent interview with Forbes magazine that “tens or hundreds of thousands of documents” from the financial institution would be released on the Web sometime “early next year.”

There’s really no point in speculating about which bank will be targeted at this point (though, of course, many people are), but it is worth wondering if the data Wikileaks releases will shed further light on faulty foreclosure processes, such as “robo-signing.”

Here’s a notable excerpt from the interview from Assange, when he was asked about the possible outcome of the release:

[T]here’s only one similar example. It’s like the Enron emails. … When Enron collapsed, through court processes, thousands and thousands of emails came out that were internal, and it provided a window into how the whole company was managed. It was all the little decisions that supported the flagrant violations.

This will be like that. Yes, there will be some flagrant violations, unethical practices that will be revealed, but it will also be all the supporting decision-making structures and the internal executive ethos that comes out …

Do you think this “megaleak” will include information about foreclosure procedures or some aspect of mortgage finance? How would that impact your business?

Brian Summerfield

Brian Summerfield is Manager of Business Development and Outreach for NAR Commercial and Global Services. He can be reached at bsummerfield@realtors.org.

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