Audit Notes: Credit Due, MoJo Impact, Audit on the Radio

In June, when I announced that Dean Starkman’s “Power Problem” article had snagged a National Press Club award, I neglected to mention that it was the Arthur Rowse Award for Press Criticism.

We appreciate folks who support quality journalism, through prizes and in any other way, and are sorry about the omission. And so, a belated thank you to Mr. Rowse and the NPC.

— That excellent Mother Jones investigation on the foreclosure mills is getting some quick results. Andy Kroll follows up with a report that Florida attorney general has opened an investigation into three of the biggest such firms in the state and is issuing subpoenas.

The probes, led by the AG’s Economic Crimes Division, are examining whether “improper documentation may have been created and filed with Florida courts to speed up foreclosure processes, potentially without the knowledge or consent of the homeowners involved,” according to a press release.

This is from the AG’s press release:

Because many mortgages have been bought and sold by different institutions multiple times, key paperwork involved in the process to obtain foreclosure judgments is often missing. On numerous occasions, allegedly fabricated documents have been presented to the courts in foreclosure actions to obtain final judgments against homeowners. Thousands of final judgments of foreclosure against Florida homeowners may have been the result of the allegedly improper actions of the law firms under investigation.

— Finally, I was on KPFK’s Deadline L.A. program on Friday talking about the business of journalism with Barbara Osborn, Howard Blume, and guest Mark Lachter of LA Observed.

You can listen to it here and download the podcast here.

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.