With Banks Under Fire, Some Expect a Settlement: NYTimes.com

From left, Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times; Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News; Ramin Talaie for The New York Times

From left, Andrew Cuomo, the New York attorney general; Robert Khuzami, of the S.E.C.; and Preet Bharara, of the United States attorney’s office. The agencies are investigating Wall Street.

By NELSON D. SCHWARTZ and ERIC DASH

Published: May 13, 2010

It is starting to feel as if everyone on Wall Street is under investigation by someone for something.

News on Thursday that New York State prosecutors are examining whether eight banks hoodwinked credit ratings agencies opened yet another front in what is fast becoming the legal battle of a decade for the big names of finance.

Not since the conflicts at the center of Wall Street stock research were laid bare a decade ago, eventually resulting in a $1.4 billion industrywide settlement, have so many investigations swirled across the financial landscape.

Nearly two years after Washington rescued big banks with billions of taxpayer dollars, half a dozen government agencies are still trying, with mixed success, to peel back the layers of the collapse to determine who, if anyone, broke the rules.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, the Justice Department, the United States attorney’s office and more are examining how banks created, rated, sold and traded mortgage securities that turned out to be some of the worst investments ever devised.

Virtually all of the investigations, criminal as well as civil, are in their early stages, and investigators concede that their job is daunting. The S.E.C. has been examining major banks’ mortgage operations since last summer, but so far, it has filed a civil fraud claim against just one big player: Goldman Sachs. Goldman has vowed to fight.

But legal experts are already starting to handicap potential outcomes, not only for Goldman but for the broader industry as well. Many suggest that Wall Street banks may seek a global settlement akin to the 2002 agreement related to stock research. Indeed, Wall Street executives are already discussing among themselves what the broad contours of such a settlement might look like.

“I would be stunned if any of these cases go to trial,” said Frank Partnoy, a professor of law at the University of San Diego. “I think Wall Street needs to put this scandal behind it as quickly as possible and move on.”

As part of the 2002 settlement, 10 banks paid $1.4 billion total and pledged to change the way their analysts and investment bankers interacted to prevent conflicts of interest. This time, the price of any settlement would probably be higher and also come with a series of structural reforms.

David Boies, chairman of the law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner, represented the government in its case against Microsoft and is now part of a federal challenge to California’s same-sex marriage ban. He said a settlement by banks might be painful but would ultimately be something Wall Street could live with. “The settlement may be bad for everyone, but not disastrous for anyone,” he said.

A settlement also would let the S.E.C. declare victory without having to bring a series of complex cases. The public, however, might never learn what really went wrong.

“The government doesn’t have the personnel to simultaneously prosecute several investment banks,” said John C. Coffee, a Columbia Law School professor.

The latest salvo came on Thursday from Andrew M. Cuomo, the New York attorney general. His office began an investigation into whether banks misled major ratings agencies to inflate the grades of subprime-linked investments.

Many Americans are probably already wondering why this has taken so long. The answer is that these cases are tricky, like the investments at the center of them.

But regulators also concede that they were reluctant to pursue banks aggressively until the financial industry stabilized. The S.E.C., for one, is now eager to prove that it is on its game after failing to spot the global Ponzi scheme orchestrated by Bernard L. Madoff, or head off the Wall Street excesses that nearly sank the entire economy.

The stakes are high for both sides. At a minimum, the failure to secure a civil verdict, or at least a mammoth settlement, would be another humiliation for regulators.

Wall Street wants to put this season of scandal behind it. That is particularly so given the debate over new financial regulations that is under way on Capitol Hill. The steady flow of new allegations could strengthen calls for tougher rules.

Even worse would be a criminal charge, which could put a firm out of business even if that firm were ultimately found not guilty, as was the case with the accounting giant Arthur Andersen after the fraud at Enron.

“No firm in the financial services field has the stomach for a criminal trial,” Mr. Coffee said.

Bankers have been reluctant until now to take their case to the public. But that is changing as Wall Street chieftains like Lloyd C. Blankfein of Goldman take to the airwaves and New York politicians warn that the city’s economy will be endangered by the attack on some of the city’s biggest employers and taxpayers.

“In New York, Wall Street is Main Street,” Gov. David A. Paterson has said. “You don’t hear anybody in New England complaining about clam chowder.”

There are broader political consequences as well. At the top, there is President Obama, who was backed by much of Wall Street in 2008. Many of those supporters now privately say they are disillusioned and frustrated by his attacks on their industry, which remains a vital source of campaign contributions for both parties.

Closer to home, the man who hopes to succeed Mr. Paterson, Mr. Cuomo, is painting himself as the new sheriff of Wall Street. Another attorney general, Eliot Spitzer, rode a series of Wall Street investigations to the governor’s mansion in 2006.

But ultimately, it is what Wall Street does best — making money — that is already on trial in the court of public opinion.

Put simply, the allegations against Wall Street were prompted by evidence that the firms may have devised and sold securities to investors without telling them they were simultaneously betting against them.

Wall Street firms typically play both sides of trades, whether to help buyers and sellers of everything from simple stocks to complicated derivatives complete their transactions, or to make proprietary bets on whether they would rise or fall.

These activities form half of the four-legged stool on which Wall Street’s profits and revenue rest, the others being advising on mergers and acquisitions and helping companies issue stocks, bonds and other securities.

“This case is a huge deal. It has the potential to be the mother of all Wall Street investigations,” said Mr. Partnoy of the University of San Diego. “The worry is that the government will go after dealings that Wall Street thought were insulated from review.”

Even some Wall Street executives concede that all the scrutiny makes proprietary trading a bit dubious. “The 20 guys in the room with the shades drawn are toast,” one senior executive of a major bank said.

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Florida Foreclosure Fraud Protection Law Enacted – Foreclosures / Mortgage Loan Modification

Florida Foreclosure Fraud Protection Law Enacted.

The Attorney General clarified that this new law will not apply to the Attorney / Client relationship or the way attorneys are paid when they are hired to help distressed homeowners. This law brings much needed protection to those consumers / homeowners who have been taken advantage of by Mortgage Loan Modification Companies – many of which are scams…Effective October 1st, 2008

501.1377 Violations involving homeowners during the course of residential foreclosure proceedings.

(1) LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND INTENT.–The Legislature finds that homeowners who are in default on their mortgages, in foreclosure, or at risk of losing their homes due to nonpayment of taxes may be vulnerable to fraud, deception, and unfair dealings with foreclosure-rescue consultants or equity purchasers. The intent of this section is to provide a homeowner with information necessary to make an informed decision regarding the sale or transfer of his or her home to an equity purchaser. It is the further intent of this section to require that foreclosure-related rescue services agreements be expressed in writing in order to safeguard homeowners against deceit and financial hardship; to ensure, foster, and encourage fair dealing in the sale and purchase of homes in foreclosure or default; to prohibit representations that tend to mislead; to prohibit or restrict unfair contract terms; to provide a cooling-off period for homeowners who enter into contracts for services related to saving their homes from foreclosure or preserving their rights to possession of their homes; to afford homeowners a reasonable and meaningful opportunity to rescind sales to equity purchasers; and to preserve and protect home equity for the homeowners of this state.

(2) DEFINITIONS.–As used in this section, the term:

(a) “Equity purchaser” means any person who acquires a legal, equitable, or beneficial ownership interest in any residential real property as a result of a foreclosure-rescue transaction. The term does not apply to a person who acquires the legal, equitable, or beneficial interest in such property:

1. By a certificate of title from a foreclosure sale conducted under chapter 45;

2. At a sale of property authorized by statute;

3. By order or judgment of any court;

4. From a spouse, parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, or sibling of the person or the person’s spouse; or

5. As a deed in lieu of foreclosure, a workout agreement, a bankruptcy plan, or any other agreement between a foreclosing lender and a homeowner.

(b) “Foreclosure-rescue consultant” means a person who directly or indirectly makes a solicitation, representation, or offer to a homeowner to provide or perform, in return for payment of money or other valuable consideration, foreclosure-related rescue services. The term does not apply to:

1. A person excluded under s. 501.212.

2. A person acting under the express authority or written approval of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development or other department or agency of the United States or this state to provide foreclosure-related rescue services.

3. A charitable, not-for-profit agency or organization, as determined by the United States Internal Revenue Service under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, which offers counseling or advice to an owner of residential real property in foreclosure or loan default if the agency or organization does not contract for foreclosure-related rescue services with a for-profit lender or person facilitating or engaging in foreclosure-rescue transactions.

4. A person who holds or is owed an obligation secured by a lien on any residential real property in foreclosure if the person performs foreclosure-related rescue services in connection with this obligation or lien and the obligation or lien was not the result of or part of a proposed foreclosure reconveyance or foreclosure-rescue transaction.

5. A financial institution as defined in s. 655.005 and any parent or subsidiary of the financial institution or of the parent or subsidiary.

6. A licensed mortgage broker, mortgage lender, or correspondent mortgage lender that provides mortgage counseling or advice regarding residential real property in foreclosure, which counseling or advice is within the scope of services set forth in chapter 494 and is provided without payment of money or other consideration other than a mortgage brokerage fee as defined in s. 494.001.

(c) “Foreclosure-related rescue services” means any good or service related to, or promising assistance in connection with:

1. Stopping, avoiding, or delaying foreclosure proceedings concerning residential real property; or

2. Curing or otherwise addressing a default or failure to timely pay with respect to a residential mortgage loan obligation.

(d) “Foreclosure-rescue transaction” means a transaction:

1. By which residential real property in foreclosure is conveyed to an equity purchaser and the homeowner maintains a legal or equitable interest in the residential real property conveyed, including, without limitation, a lease option interest, an option to acquire the property, an interest as beneficiary or trustee to a land trust, or other interest in the property conveyed; and

2. That is designed or intended by the parties to stop, avoid, or delay foreclosure proceedings against a homeowner’s residential real property.

(e) “Homeowner” means any record title owner of residential real property that is the subject of foreclosure proceedings.

(f) “Residential real property” means real property consisting of one-family to four-family dwelling units, one of which is occupied by the owner as his or her principal place of residence.

(g) “Residential real property in foreclosure” means residential real property against which there is an outstanding notice of the pendency of foreclosure proceedings recorded pursuant to s. 48.23.

(3) PROHIBITED ACTS.–In the course of offering or providing foreclosure-related rescue services, a foreclosure-rescue consultant may not:

(a) Engage in or initiate foreclosure-related rescue services without first executing a written agreement with the homeowner for foreclosure-related rescue services; or

(b) Solicit, charge, receive, or attempt to collect or secure payment, directly or indirectly, for foreclosure-related rescue services before completing or performing all services contained in the agreement for foreclosure-related rescue services.

(4) FORECLOSURE-RELATED RESCUE SERVICES; WRITTEN AGREEMENT.–

(a) The written agreement for foreclosure-related rescue services must be printed in at least 12-point uppercase type and signed by both parties. The agreement must include the name and address of the person providing foreclosure-related rescue services, the exact nature and specific detail of each service to be provided, the total amount and terms of charges to be paid by the homeowner for the services, and the date of the agreement. The date of the agreement may not be earlier than the date the homeowner signed the agreement. The foreclosure-rescue consultant must give the homeowner a copy of the agreement to review not less than 1 business day before the homeowner is to sign the agreement.

(b) The homeowner has the right to cancel the written agreement without any penalty or obligation if the homeowner cancels the agreement within 3 business days after signing the written agreement. The right to cancel may not be waived by the homeowner or limited in any manner by the foreclosure-rescue consultant. If the homeowner cancels the agreement, any payments that have been given to the foreclosure-rescue consultant must be returned to the homeowner within 10 business days after receipt of the notice of cancellation.

(c) An agreement for foreclosure-related rescue services must contain, immediately above the signature line, a statement in at least 12-point uppercase type that substantially complies with the following:

HOMEOWNER’S RIGHT OF CANCELLATION

YOU MAY CANCEL THIS AGREEMENT FOR FORECLOSURE-RELATED RESCUE SERVICES WITHOUT ANY PENALTY OR OBLIGATION WITHIN 3 BUSINESS DAYS FOLLOWING THE DATE THIS AGREEMENT IS SIGNED BY YOU.

THE FORECLOSURE-RESCUE CONSULTANT IS PROHIBITED BY LAW FROM ACCEPTING ANY MONEY, PROPERTY, OR OTHER FORM OF PAYMENT FROM YOU UNTIL ALL PROMISED SERVICES ARE COMPLETE. IF FOR ANY REASON YOU HAVE PAID THE CONSULTANT BEFORE CANCELLATION, YOUR PAYMENT MUST BE RETURNED TO YOU NO LATER THAN 10 BUSINESS DAYS AFTER THE CONSULTANT RECEIVES YOUR CANCELLATION NOTICE.

TO CANCEL THIS AGREEMENT, A SIGNED AND DATED COPY OF A STATEMENT THAT YOU ARE CANCELING THE AGREEMENT SHOULD BE MAILED (POSTMARKED) OR DELIVERED TO (NAME) AT (ADDRESS) NO LATER THAN MIDNIGHT OF (DATE) .

IMPORTANT: IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU CONTACT YOUR LENDER OR MORTGAGE SERVICER BEFORE SIGNING THIS AGREEMENT. YOUR LENDER OR MORTGAGE SERVICER MAY BE WILLING TO NEGOTIATE A PAYMENT PLAN OR A RESTRUCTURING WITH YOU FREE OF CHARGE.

(d) The inclusion of the statement does not prohibit the foreclosure-rescue consultant from giving the homeowner more time in which to cancel the agreement than is set forth in the statement, provided all other requirements of this subsection are met.

(e) The foreclosure-rescue consultant must give the homeowner a copy of the signed agreement within 3 hours after the homeowner signs the agreement.

(5) FORECLOSURE-RESCUE TRANSACTIONS; WRITTEN AGREEMENT.–

(a) 1. A foreclosure-rescue transaction must include a written agreement prepared in at least 12-point uppercase type that is completed, signed, and dated by the homeowner and the equity purchaser before executing any instrument from the homeowner to the equity purchaser quitclaiming, assigning, transferring, conveying, or encumbering an interest in the residential real property in foreclosure. The equity purchaser must give the homeowner a copy of the completed agreement within 3 hours after the homeowner signs the agreement. The agreement must contain the entire understanding of the parties and must include:

a. The name, business address, and telephone number of the equity purchaser.

b. The street address and full legal description of the property.

c. Clear and conspicuous disclosure of any financial or legal obligations of the homeowner that will be assumed by the equity purchaser.

d. The total consideration to be paid by the equity purchaser in connection with or incident to the acquisition of the property by the equity purchaser.

e. The terms of payment or other consideration, including, but not limited to, any services that the equity purchaser represents will be performed for the homeowner before or after the sale.

f. The date and time when possession of the property is to be transferred to the equity purchaser.

2. A foreclosure-rescue transaction agreement must contain, above the signature line, a statement in at least 12-point uppercase type that substantially complies with the following:

I UNDERSTAND THAT UNDER THIS AGREEMENT I AM SELLING MY HOME TO THE OTHER UNDERSIGNED PARTY.

3. A foreclosure-rescue transaction agreement must state the specifications of any option or right to repurchase the residential real property in foreclosure, including the specific amounts of any escrow payments or deposit, down payment, purchase price, closing costs, commissions, or other fees or costs.

4. A foreclosure-rescue transaction agreement must comply with all applicable provisions of 15 U.S.C. ss. 1600 et seq. and related regulations.

(b) The homeowner may cancel the foreclosure-rescue transaction agreement without penalty if the homeowner notifies the equity purchaser of such cancellation no later than 5 p.m. on the 3rd business day after signing the written agreement. Any moneys paid by the equity purchaser to the homeowner or by the homeowner to the equity purchaser must be returned at cancellation. The right to cancel does not limit or otherwise affect the homeowner’s right to cancel the transaction under any other law. The right to cancel may not be waived by the homeowner or limited in any way by the equity purchaser. The equity purchaser must give the homeowner, at the time the written agreement is signed, a notice of the homeowner’s right to cancel the foreclosure-rescue transaction as set forth in this subsection. The notice, which must be set forth on a separate cover sheet to the written agreement that contains no other written or pictorial material, must be in at least 12-point uppercase type, double-spaced, and read as follows:

NOTICE TO THE HOMEOWNER/SELLER

PLEASE READ THIS FORM COMPLETELY AND CAREFULLY. IT CONTAINS VALUABLE INFORMATION REGARDING CANCELLATION RIGHTS.

BY THIS CONTRACT, YOU ARE AGREEING TO SELL YOUR HOME. YOU MAY CANCEL THIS TRANSACTION AT ANY TIME BEFORE 5:00 P.M. OF THE THIRD BUSINESS DAY FOLLOWING RECEIPT OF THIS NOTICE.

THIS CANCELLATION RIGHT MAY NOT BE WAIVED IN ANY MANNER BY YOU OR BY THE PURCHASER.

ANY MONEY PAID DIRECTLY TO YOU BY THE PURCHASER MUST BE RETURNED TO THE PURCHASER AT CANCELLATION. ANY MONEY PAID BY YOU TO THE PURCHASER MUST BE RETURNED TO YOU AT CANCELLATION.

TO CANCEL, SIGN THIS FORM AND RETURN IT TO THE PURCHASER BY 5:00 P.M. ON (DATE) AT (ADDRESS) . IT IS BEST TO MAIL IT BY CERTIFIED MAIL OR OVERNIGHT DELIVERY, RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED, AND TO KEEP A PHOTOCOPY OF THE SIGNED FORM AND YOUR POST OFFICE RECEIPT.

I (we) hereby cancel this transaction.

Seller’s Signature

Printed Name of Seller

Seller’s Signature

Printed Name of Seller

Date

(c) In any foreclosure-rescue transaction in which the homeowner is provided the right to repurchase the residential real property, the homeowner has a 30-day right to cure any default of the terms of the contract with the equity purchaser, and this right to cure may be exercised on up to three separate occasions. The homeowner’s right to cure must be included in any written agreement required by this subsection.

(d) In any foreclosure-rescue transaction, before or at the time of conveyance, the equity purchaser must fully assume or discharge any lien in foreclosure as well as any prior liens that will not be extinguished by the foreclosure.

(e) If the homeowner has the right to repurchase the residential real property, the equity purchaser must verify and be able to demonstrate that the homeowner has or will have a reasonable ability to make the required payments to exercise the option to repurchase under the written agreement. For purposes of this subsection, there is a rebuttable presumption that the homeowner has a reasonable ability to make the payments required to repurchase the property if the homeowner’s monthly payments for primary housing expenses and regular monthly principal and interest payments on other personal debt do not exceed 60 percent of the homeowner’s monthly gross income.

(f) If the homeowner has the right to repurchase the residential real property, the price the homeowner pays may not be unconscionable, unfair, or commercially unreasonable. A rebuttable presumption, solely between the equity purchaser and the homeowner, arises that the foreclosure-rescue transaction was unconscionable if the homeowner’s repurchase price is greater than 17 percent per annum more than the total amount paid by the equity purchaser to acquire, improve, maintain, and hold the property. Unless the repurchase agreement or a memorandum of the repurchase agreement is recorded in accordance with s. 695.01, the presumption arising under this subsection shall not apply against creditors or subsequent purchasers for a valuable consideration and without notice.

(6) REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTION.– Any foreclosure-rescue transaction involving a lease option or other repurchase agreement creates a rebuttable presumption, solely between the equity purchaser and the homeowner, that the transaction is a loan transaction and the conveyance from the homeowner to the equity purchaser is a mortgage under s. 697.01. Unless the lease option or other repurchase agreement, or a memorandum of the lease option or other repurchase agreement, is recorded in accordance with s. 695.01, the presumption created under this subsection shall not apply against creditors or subsequent purchasers for a valuable consideration and without notice.

(7) VIOLATIONS. – A person who violates any provision of this section commits an unfair and deceptive trade practice as defined in part II of this chapter. Violators are subject to the penalties and remedies provided in part II of this chapter, including a monetary penalty not to exceed $15,000 per violation.

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.

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)

******BREAKING NEWS******Scandalous – Substantiated Allegations of Foreclosure Fraud That Implicates the Florida Attorney General’s Office (Erin Cullaro) and The Florida Default Law Group (FDLG)

SPREAD THIS LIKE WILDFIRE! This cannot continue!

Via 4ClosureFraud…

Pay attention all!

We have been sitting on this information for some time now due to ongoing investigations but since the cat is out of the bag here we go…

Over at  Matt Weidner’s Blog

He reports on the transcript and motion from a hearing held in a Volusia County Courtroom from Ice Legal.

Bombshell- Substantiated Allegations of Foreclosure/Affidavit Fraud That Implicates the Florida Attorney General’s Office

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the attorneys at Ice Legal may be the most aggressive and hard charging Foreclosure Fraud Fighters in Florida.  When this whole system comes crashing down and when judges and the Florida Supreme Court put an end to the systemic abuses of the court process being perpetrated by the foreclosure mills, the attorneys at Ice Legal will rightly take their fair share of the credit.

Attached here is a must read Motion along with a copy of a transcript from a hearing held in a Volusia County Courtroom.  The Motion lays out a very disturbing set of allegations…

This is a foreclosure action filed by WELLS FARGO BANK, NA (the “BANK”). The BANK is represented by Florida Default Law Group, P.L. (“FDLG”). On behalf of the BANK in this case, and on behalf of other clients in other cases, FDLG filed affidavits to establish that the attorneys’ fees it was allegedly paid were reasonable. The affidavits purport to have been executed by Lisa Cullaro, the appointed expert on attorneys’ fees. The notary who allegedly administered the expert’s oath and vouched for her signature was Erin Cullaro, a former employee of FDLG and now an Assistant Attorney General in the Economic Crimes Division of the Office of the Attorney General.

Not only was Erin just a former employee, she was one of the lead counsel for Michael Echeverria, the owner of FDLG (Florida Default Law Group)

Just recently their website http://www.echevarria.com/AttorneyProfiles.htm went “offline” but Google cashed version is here…

I also archived it here…4CLOSUREFraud for the PROOF!

 

Compare the signatures:

Continue to 4closurefraud for the rest …

Below is a FDLG letterhead from 2003 with Erin Cullaro listed.