Foreclosure FRAUD?: Tell it to the Attorney General Bill McCollum 5/8 MIAMI

PICKET…anyone??

Posted by Harriet Brackey on April 30, 2010 10:46 AM SunSentinel

If you want to speak to Florida’s Attorney General about foreclosure or loan modifications or mortgage fraud, here’s your chance.4823741.thl.jpg

Saturday, May 8, in Miami, Attorney General Bill McCollum will be on hand for a Mortgage Fraud Community Forum. He’s hosting the event with Florida’s Interagency Mortgage Task Force.

The session is on “The Housing Crisis, Who to Trust and Where to Turn.”

It’s open to the public and free, but reservations are required. Call 877-385-1621.
It will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus, Chapman Conference Center, 300 N.E. Second Ave.

The AG’s office says you can get help on how to face foreclosure, housing scams, mortgage fraud, loan modifications and finding legal assistance.

Certified housing counselors, volunteer lawyers, as well as representatives of Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo/Wachovia and SunTrust will be on hand.

Also attending will be representatives of:
Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Office of Financial Regulation, Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Florida Bar, Dade County Bar Legal Aid Society, Cuban American Bar and the Collins Center Foreclosure Mediation Program.

For more information, go to www.myfloridalegal.com/mortgagefraud.

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Attorney general investigating Tampa foreclosure firm: TBO.com

Florida Default Law Group, a huge foreclosure law firm has angered judges with its practices.
Florida Default Law Group, a huge foreclosure law firm has angered judges with its practices.

By MICHAEL SASSO | The Tampa Tribune

Published: April 30, 2010

TAMPA – The Florida Attorney General’s Office is investigating a Tampa-based foreclosure law firm that has become one of the state’s largest foreclosure mills.

On the agency’s Web site, the attorney general showed it has an “active public consumer-related investigation” into Florida Default Law Group. The agency notes that it is a civil investigation, rather than a criminal one, and the fact that is has an investigation isn’t proof of any violation of law.

Without going into much detail, the attorney general’s Web site says Florida Default Law Group, “Appears to be fabricating and/or presenting false and misleading documents in foreclosure cases.

“These documents have been presented in court before judges as actual assignments of mortgages and have later been shown to be legally inadequate and/or insufficient. Presenting faulty bank paperwork due to the mortgage crisis and thousands of foreclosures per month.”

Attempts to reach the Attorney General’s Office and Michael Echevarria, the head of Florida Default Law Group, were unsuccessful Thursday.

Based in a business park just off the Veteran’s Expressway, Florida Default Law Group files hundreds of foreclosure lawsuits alone in Hillsborough County on behalf of banks and mortgage servicing companies. The Tribune profiled Florida Default Law Group in January.

According to the Tribune’s review of 1,994 circuit court records, the firm filed initial legal documents for 323 foreclosure lawsuits in October. That was second only to the Law Offices of David J. Stern, a Broward County-based foreclosure firm that filed 352 foreclosure cases in October.

Florida Default Law Group operates in numerous counties in Florida, but it’s not clear how many lawsuits it files outside of Hillsborough County.

Reporter Michael Sasso can be reached at (813) 259-7865.

!BAM! Foreclosure Lawyers Face New Heat In Florida: Wall Street Journal AMIR EFRATI

Again…AMIR…SETS IT OFF!!

April 29, 2010, 12:46 PM ET

By Amir Efrati The Wall Street Journal

Foreclosure DrThese are precarious times for lawyers in the business of filing foreclosure cases for banks. This is particularly true in one of the epicenters of the foreclosure crisis, Florida.

As we’ve noted before, the feds in Jacksonville recently started a criminal investigation of a company that is a top provider of the documentation used by banks in the foreclosure process. And a state-court judge ruled that a bank submitted a “fraudulent” document in support of its foreclosure case. That document was prepared by a local law firm.

For more Law Blog background on the foreclosure mess in our nation’s courts, this post will help.

The news today: the Florida Attorney General’s office said it has launched a civil investigation of Florida Default Law Group, based in Tampa, which is one of the largest so-called foreclosure-mill law firms in the state.

According to the AG’s website, it’s looking at whether the firm is “fabricating and/or presenting false and misleading documents in foreclosure cases.” It added: “These documents have been presented in court before judges as actual assignments of mortgages and have later been shown to be legally inadequate and/or insufficient.”

The issue: judges are increasingly running into situations in which banks are claiming ownership of properties they actually don’t own. Some of them end up chewing out the lawyers representing the banks.

The AG’s office said Florida Default Law Group appears to work closely with Lender Processing Services — the company we referenced earlier that is being investigated by the Justice Department.

LPS processes and sometimes produces documents needed by banks to prove they own the mortgages. LPS often works with local lawyers who litigate the foreclosure cases in court. Sometimes those same law firms produce documents that are required to prove ownership.

We’ve reached out to Florida Default Law Group and LPS and will let you know if we hear back.

*BREAKING NEWS* Economic Crimes Division in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida *INVESTIGATING* FLORIDA DEFAULT LAW GROUP “FORECLOSURE MILL” & LENDER PROCESSING SERVICES “DOCx, LLC”

UPDATE: Cannot confirm YET but others might be as well! Stay Tuned!

FDLG, LPS’ DocX is being investigated…lets see who’s next!

If you have evidence of Fraud make sure you contact them.

Active Public Consumer-Related Investigation

The case file cited below relates to a civil — not a criminal — investigation. The existence of an investigation does not constitute proof of any violation of law.
Case Number: L10-3-1095
Subject of investigation: Florida Default Law Group, PL
Subject’s address: 9119 Corporate Lake Drive, Suite 300, Tampa, Florida 33634
Subject’s business: Law Firm, Foreclosures
Allegation or issue being investigated:
Appears to be fabricating and/or presenting false and misleading documents in foreclosure cases. These documents have been presented in court before judges as actual assignments of mortgages and have later been shown to be legally inadequate and/or insufficient. Presenting faulty bank paperwork due to the mortgage crisis and thousands of foreclosures per month. This firm is one of the largest foreclosure firms in the State. This firm appears to be one of Docx, LLC a/k/a Lender Processing Services’ clients, who this office is also investigating.
AG unit handling case: Economic Crimes Division in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
View contact information for Ft. Lauderdale.
Related Stories:

MISSION: VOID Lender Processing Services “Assignments” (LPS)

REO FRAUD: “I told you…I was trouble, You know that I’m (title) No GOOD!”

All over the US there is mass title defects that have been created to our homes…we are being evicted and titles to our stolen homes are being fabricated by means of Forgery/FRAUD! If these homes have been stolen from us…we have the right to claim them back! Let the unsuspecting homeowner who buys your home that it was fraudulently taken from you! What happens when your car is stolen and reclaimed? It goes back to it’s owner!

Stop by, say hello to the new owner of your stolen home and welcome them to the bogus neighborhood! Oh make sure to show some hospitality and bring them a gift…Umm your Foreclosure Mill Docs!

 

 

Judge Bashes Bank in Foreclosure Case: The Wall Street Journal

Now you know when the Law Offices of David J. Stern reaches the Wall Street Journal, we certainly are getting our point A C R O S S! Thank You AMIR!

LAW APRIL 16, 2010, 11:20 P.M. ET

Judge Bashes Bank in Foreclosure Case

By AMIR EFRATI

A Florida state-court judge, in a rare ruling, said a major national bank perpetrated a “fraud” in a foreclosure lawsuit, raising questions about how banks are attempting to claim homes from borrowers in default.

The ruling, made last month in Pasco County, Fla., comes amid increased scrutiny of foreclosures by the prosecutors and judges in regions hurt by the recession. Judges have said in hearings they are increasingly concerned that banks are attempting to seize properties they don’t own.

Case Documents

Cases handled by the Law Offices of David Stern

The Florida case began in December 2007 when U.S. Bank N.A. sued a homeowner, Ernest E. Harpster, after he defaulted on a $190,000 loan he received in January of that year.

The Law Offices of David J. Stern, which represented the bank, prepared a document called an assignment of mortgage” showing that the bank received ownership of the mortgage in December 2007. The document was dated December 2007.

But after investigating the matter, Circuit Court Judge Lynn Tepper ruled that the document couldn’t have been prepared until 2008. Thus, she ruled, the bank couldn’t prove it owned the mortgage at the time the suit was filed.

The document filed by the plaintiff, Judge Tepper wrote last month, “did not exist at the time of the filing of this action…was subsequently created and…fraudulently backdated, in a purposeful, intentional effort to mislead.” She dismissed the case.

Forrest McSurdy, a lawyer at the David Stern firm that handled the U.S. Bank case, said the mistake was due to “carelessness.” The mortgage document was initially prepared and signed in 2007 but wasn’t notarized until months later, he said. After discovering similar problems in other foreclosure cases, he said, the firm voluntarily withdrew the suits and later re-filed them using appropriate documents.

“Judges get in a whirl about technicalities because the courts are overwhelmed,” he said. “The merits of the cases are the same: people aren’t paying their mortgages.”

Steve Dale, a spokesman for U.S. Bank, said the company played a passive role in the matter because it represents investors who own a mortgage-securities trust that includes the Harpster loan. He said a division of Wells Fargo & Co., which collected payments from Mr. Harpster, initiated the foreclosure on behalf of the investors.

Wells Fargo said in a statement it “does not condone, accept, nor instruct counsel to take actions such as those taken in this case.” The company said it was “troubled” by the “conclusions the Court found as to the actions of this foreclosure attorney. We will review these circumstances closely and take appropriate action as necessary.”

Since the housing crisis began several years ago, judges across the U.S. have found that documents submitted by banks to support foreclosure claims were wrong. Mistakes by banks and their representatives have also led to an ongoing federal criminal probe in Florida.

Some of the problems stem from the difficulty banks face in proving they own the loans, thanks to the complexity of the mortgage market.

The Florida ruling against U.S. Bank was also a critique of law firms that handle foreclosure cases on behalf of banks, dubbed “foreclosure mills.”

Lawyers operating foreclosure mills often are paid based on the volume of cases they complete. Some receive $1,000 per case, court records show. Firms compete for business in part based on how quickly they can foreclose. The David Stern firm had about 900 employees as of last year, court records show.

“The pure volume of foreclosures has a tendency perhaps to encourage sloppiness, boilerplate paperwork or a lack of thoroughness” by attorneys for banks, said Judge Tepper of Florida, in an interview. The deluge of foreclosures makes the process “fraught with potential for fraud,” she said.

At an unrelated hearing in a separate matter last week, Anthony Rondolino, a state-court judge in St. Petersburg, Fla., said that an affidavit submitted by the David Stern law firm on behalf of GMAC Mortgage LLC in a foreclosure case wasn’t necessarily sufficient to establish that GMAC was the owner of the mortgage.

“I don’t have any confidence that any of the documents the Court’s receiving on these mass foreclosures are valid,” the judge said at the hearing.

A spokesman for GMAC declined to comment and a lawyer at the David Stern firm declined to comment.

Write to Amir Efrati at amir.efrati@wsj.com

Related Articles

U.S. Probes Foreclosure-Data Provider
4/3/2010

Two Different Plaintiffs Claim to Own Same Mortgage
11/14/2008

Some Judges Stiffen Foreclosure Standards
7/26/2008

The Court House: How One Family Fought Foreclosure
11/28/2007

Judges Tackle “Foreclosure Mills”
11/30/2007

Wells Fargo Is Sanctioned For Role in Mortgage Woes
4/30/2008

Judge reversed his own ruling that had granted summary judgment to GMAC Mortgage (DAVID J. STERN)

GMAC v Visicaro Case No 07013084CI: florida judge reverses himself: applies basic rules of evidence and overturns his own order granting motion for summary judgment

OVERRULED!!! Florida Judge Reverses His own Summary Judgment Order!

OVERRULED!!! Florida Judge Reverses His own Summary Judgment Order!

Lets See if the END IS NEAR for these FRAUD MILLS!

THIS WAS MY CASE!!! SAME FRAUD MILL!!! SAME AS EVERYONE!!!

From 4closureFraud

Another Great Contribution by Matthew Weidner.

Search this blog and you will see that for months now I’ve been arguing that the “evidence” submitted by Plaintiffs in foreclosure cases does not even come close to meeting the legal and evidentiary requirements for courts to grant summary judgment.

After performing extensive legal research to confirm this hunch, I have drafted and filed detailed memoranda, supported by all available case law, that stands for the proposition that the practices used by virtually every foreclosure mill in the state do not provide the evidentiary basis for a court to grant summary judgment.

So why are courts across this state continuing to grant summary judgment?  There really is NO LEGAL BASIS TO SUPPORT THE GRANTING OF SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN THE VAST MAJORITY OF FORECLOSURE CASES CURRENTLY FILED IN COURTS ACROSS THIS STATE.

I attach here the most fantastic transcript of a hearing I’ve heard in a long time.  This transcript shows a couple things:

First, the judges in the Sixth Circuit of Florida really, really get it.

Second, this particular judge goes far and above to do his job and deliver real, hard, honest legal work.

Third, as I mentioned above…the current processes and procedures used by the foreclosure mills do not provide courts the evidentiary or legal basis required to grant summary judgment.

But now the big question that comes to mind….now that this judge gets it…and now that my memos and others like my friend and fellow Foreclosure Fighter Mike Wasylik are starting to leak out there…

What happens to all the hundreds of thousands of homes that have been foreclose on by improper evidence?

Some excerpts from the begging of the transcript… Be sure to read it in its entirety. It is an absolute must read…

Gmac Mortgage LLC

v

Debbie Visicaro, et al.

April 7, 2010

THE COURT: Okay, we are here today in GMAC v Visicaro. This is a motion for rehearing the previously drafted motion for summary judgement…

MR. WASYLIK: I am here for Defendants… We have submitted a fairly detailed brief…

THE COURT: What’s the Plaintiff’s position regarding the motion…

MR FRAISER: I object… You’ve considered all the evidence before when you entered the summary judgment back in January 2010. The opposing party then could not support their position on any genuine material facts. Right now, Your Honor, there are no convincing exigent, you know, circumstances being offered up at the time.

THE COURT: Did you not read the motion? It sounds liker you’re making a very generalized argument, and this is an, as I viewed it, extremely targeted motion which basically elaborates on the assertions that were raised at the time of the motion for summary judgment.

As I recall that, counsel appeared on behalf of his clients, I think it was by phone and made arguments that the Court really gave short shrift to it, did not review the case…

Since that time, the Court delved further into it

I’ve had several events which have occurred in cases which cause the Court to have great concern about the validity of fillings in our mortgage foreclosure cases, and that precipitated my reevaluation of the evidentiary considerations.

I’ll give you an example of that. I have one case that was called up for summary judgment hearing, and I thought it was going to be the typical granted situation, and then a lawyer showed up for the defendant homeowner.

I was beginning to recite to the lawyer what I had typically recited, that there was no affidavit in opposition. And the lawyer said, “Well, I thought you might want to see this,” and handed me some documents which were from another file in our circuit, and it turned out, it was the same note and mortgage that was in a separate and independent file.

There was a different plaintiff pursuing a foreclosure proceeding on the same note and mortgage as the one that was being proceeded on. Both of the cases contained allegations in the original complaints that the separate plaintiffs were owners and holders of the note. Both of them had gone so far to have affidavits filed in support of a summary judgment whereby an individual represented to the court in the affidavit that the separate plaintiffs had possessed the note and had lost the note while it was in their possession.

Interestedly, both affidavits, although they were different plaintiffs, purported the same facts and they were executed by the same individual in alleged capacity as a director of two separate corporations, one of which was ultimately found to me to be an assignee of the original note…

So that really increased my interest in this subject matter, because

I really honestly don’t have any confidence that any of the documents the Courts are receiving on these mass foreclosures are valid…

So I’ve said enough…

Honorable
Anthony Rondolino

Be sure to read the transcript in its entirety below…

Judge reversed his own ruling that had granted summary judgment to GMAC Mortgage (DAVID J. STERN)