Archive for March, 2013
I just had a hearing where a judge who is new to the foreclosure bench (having just transferred in January, 2013) was surprised to see my firm’s objection to a foreclosure plaintiff’s ex parte motion to substitute party plaintiff. The judge wasn’t critical, but sincerely wanted to understand the basis of our position, apparently not having seen this argument previously.
Really? Has the foreclosure defense industry rolled over on plaintiffs’ ex parte motions to substitute party plaintiff? Is nobody opposing these motions? How can a judge who sincerely cares and wants to follow the law not have heard any homeowners or their counsel argue this issue previously? After all, there are many reasons to object to ex parte orders substituting party plaintiffs in foreclosure cases.
Take these arguments. Steal them. Use them in your foreclosure cases. I don’t want to be the only one making these arguments – I want the judges before whom I appear to be familiar with these arguments because homeowners throughout Florida raise them.
Like most arguments in foreclosure cases, I don’t expect these arguments to work every time or with every judge. But I truly believe there are legitimate reasons to object to ex parte motions to substitute party plaintiff, and I’d love to see more consumers arguing such.
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There’s a lot of ugliness in foreclosure-world nowadays, particularly in Florida. The legislature is considering proposed bills (including one named SB1666 – the mark of the beast) designed to help banks accelerate foreclosure cases. There are rocket dockets. One-minute hearings. Trials scheduled in mass. Widespread complaints about lack of due process. Homeowners who show up at hearings and aren’t permitted to speak. Fortunately, not everything is dark and gloomy. Through it all, the court systems in Pinellas County and Hillsborough County continue to shine a light in all the darkness, exemplifying how foreclosure cases should be handled.
Often, when I say things like this, people assume I’m doing so because the judges in those counties have ruled in my favor. That’s not it. Don’t get me wrong – it’s nice to win, of course. But this isn’t about winning and losing. It’s about being given a fair shake. It’s about the judges taking the time to listen to the arguments and read the case law presented … not being pushed through as if you’re on an assembly line. It’s about everyone realizing each case is no less important – and no less deserving of court attention – simply because it’s a foreclosure case. It’s about the integrity of the judiciary being upheld regardless of the pressure being exerted by outside forces. (Yes, I’m talking about you there, legislature.)
By way of example, this past Tuesday, I had two hearings scheduled at 11am in Hillsborough. I lost both hearings. While that was disappointing, I had nothing to complain about. After all, the judge was very thorough and deliberate, reading all of my case law and listening attentively to both sides. In fact, those two hearings lasted a full hour! Knowing that the judge was fair, listened closely, read all the case law, and tried to follow the law … that’s all anyone can ask in any case. In fact, the next day I showed up before that same judge and won. That’s how it works … you win some, you lose some … but regardless of the outcome, when you leave that courthouse, you want to know you were treated fairly. That’s all anyone can ask, on either side.
One interesting note about the repeated fairness exhibited by the courts in Pinellas and Hillsborough is the vastly different ways they go about it. In Pinellas, most of my hearings are before sitting, elected, circuit court judges. In Tampa, all foreclosure hearings are before senior judges, who rotate (such that you often don’t know which judge you’ll have until the week of the hearing). Most hearings in Hillsborough are on a mass-motion calendar, whereas most in Pinellas are special-set. Despite these vastly different set-ups, both counties manage to function in a fair and efficient manner. If I go to court with a loser argument, I’m going to lose, as I should. If I go to Court with a winner argument, I’m going to win, as I should. If it’s a gray area, as many legal arguments are, I may win or I may lose, but I’ll know I got a fair shake.
So thank you, Hillsborough and Pinellas. You’re wonderful examples of how the process can work. You’re a light in the darkness, and we all appreciate it. I hope everyone is watching, as, if they’re not, they should be.
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The foreclosure world is abuzz this week on the heels of Friday’s decision from Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal in Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co. v. Prevratil, where the Second District ruled that Deutsche Bank could satisfy its obligation to verify the foreclosure complaint under Fla.R.Civ.P. 1.110(b) by having its servicer and attorney-in-fact, Select Portfolio Services, sign the verification. While some (plaintiffs’ attorneys) would argue this decision clarifies the question of who can verify a foreclosure complaint, I think the decision poses more questions than it answers.
For instance, the Second District explains at length that SPS was authorized to verify for Deutsche Bank because a written Power of Attorney from Deutsche Bank, which POA was filed in the case, authorized such. For me, that just begs the question – can an attorney-in-fact verify for the Plaintiff under Rule 1.110(b) only when the power of attorney is filed? The Prevratil decision does not answer that question. Likewise, the Second District does not explain whether a servicer could verify outside the confines of an attorney-in-fact relationship. Suffice it to say that until these questions are answered on the appellate court level, the arguments will continue in lower courts throughout Florida.
These issues aside, what really struck me about the Prevratil decision was one sentence:
If Deutsche Bank filed the Amended Complaint as directed by the trial court, it likely would obtain a foreclosure judgment.
Think about that sentence for a minute. And look at the opinion. Do you notice how that statement is unsupported by any legal citations or facts? Yes, incredibly, the Second District has concluded a foreclosure plaintiff is “likely” to prevail merely by filing a lawsuit. No factual explanation. No legal citations. Just “likely” to win.
With all due respect, can you imagine this type of statement in any other context? How about a criminal case … can you imagine a criminal court ever saying a defendant on trial for murder is “likely” to be convicted merely because he/she was charged? Or that a personal injury plaintiff is “likely” to win at trial merely because he/she filed suit?
Under Florida law, one never assumes one side or the other is going to win. To illustrate, in the context of obtaining a temporary injunction, Florida courts have long required some type of evidence – certainly something more than the filing of a complaint – to support a conclusion that one is “likely” to prevail. See City of Jacksonville v. Naegele Outdoor Advertising Co., 634 So. 2d 750 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994) (temporary injunction reversed where plaintiff did not prove she was likely to prevail).
I firmly believe the legal standard in this regard should not differ simply because this was a foreclosure case. In fact, in my view, that’s a big part of the problem in foreclosure-world … to many people merely assume the plaintiffs are going to win merely because they’ve filed suit.
As a defense attorney, I find the assertion that a plaintiff is “likely” to win merely because it filed suit offensive.
You might think “ahhh, what’s the big deal. It’s just one sentence in a long opinion.”
True, but it’s a very significant sentence. After all, to grant certiorari (the relief granted in this case), the Second District had to conclude plaintiff was “likely” to win. You see, when a lower court issues an order in a case but the case is not yet over (an interlocutory order), that order is typically not appealable until the conclusion of the lawsuit. It doesn’t matter how wrong the order might be – you can’t appeal until the case is over. That might sound odd, but that’s a long-established appellate rule in Florida, designed to eliminate piecemeal appeals. Here, that’s precisely what the lower court did – issue an order adverse to a bank, but the case was still pending. It was an interlocutory order, generally not subject to appeal until the case was over.
There are exceptions to that rule, but they are very limited. Very rarely can anyone appeal an order while the case is still pending, particularly on a motion to dismiss. One such exception is certiorari, but that’s an incredibly high standard. It requires one to establish the order causes “irreparable injury” that is “unlikely to be remedied” by appealing at the end of the case. As an appellate attorney, I assure you that certiorari upon an interlocutory order is extremely rare. In other words, the Second District had to go out of its way to grant the bank certioari relief – flying in the face of long-established precedent which precludes an appeal at this stage of the case. To put it in layman’s terms, it’s as if the court concluded “the bank is “likely” to prevail, so it won’t have a chance to appeal at the end of a case, so we need to grant relief now, as otherwise there won’t be an occasion to rule on this issue.”
With respect to the judges who authored this opinion, I very much disagree with that conclusion. But rather than just disagreeing in silence, I decided to try to do something about it.
To be clear, this was/is not my case. I’m not counsel, and I was not involved. That said, I couldn’t just sit back and not try to do something. Hence, I filed this Motion to Appear as an Amicus and Motion for Rehearing. In doing so, I showed the Second District the actual statistics, from Florida Supreme Court, of all foreclosure cases in Florida from July through October, 2012. While the Second District asserted a plaintiff is “likely” to obtain a foreclosure judgment, I pointed to the fact that 38,349 foreclosure judgments were entered in this time period – but 30,130 cases were dismissed. I noted that there were nearly as many dismissals as judgments entered in the Sixth Judicial Circuit (the circuit from which this appeal emanated). And I explained how those figures included all cases – not just contested cases, as was this case. Undoubtedly, the likelihood of dismissal in a contested case is much higher, as there is a greater chance of a bank winning when the homeowner is not putting up any defenses. I then recounted my own experiences, where I explained that I’ve had many more cases dismissed than I’ve had judgments entered. On these facts, how can anyone conclude a bank is “likely” to win merely by filing suit? If there is a basis for that conclusion, then ok – tell me what it is. As things now stand, I just don’t see it.
I don’t know if the Second District will do anything about the motion I filed. I wasn’t involved in that case, and there’s a fair chance they’ll just deny the motion without explanation. That said, I just couldn’t sit back and allow a ruling to be made that a foreclosure plaintiff was “likely” to prevail merely by filing suit. With all due respect, that just isn’t so.
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I was chatting with a colleague on the phone the other day as I was driving my kids (ages, 9, 8, and 7) to school. We were chatting about HB87, a proposed piece of legislation in Florida that would accelerate the foreclosure process and eradicate the rights of homeowners.
When I hung up, I found myself trying to explain the situation to my kids. It wasn’t easy, but I could do it … from a defense perspective, anyway.
When people buy a house, they usually borrow money from a bank. If they can’t pay the bank back (because they lost their job, for example), the bank will try to foreclose and take their house back. Daddy helps those people try to keep their house in court. But some of the bankers are trying to pass a law that would make it easier to take people’s homes away. Daddy is trying to stop that.
As our conversation ended, I wondered how the bankers, legislators and others who support HB87 would try to explain it to their kids. Can they? How, exactly, would that conversation go?
When people buy a house, they usually borrow money from a bank. If they can’t pay the bank back (because they lost their job, for example), the bank will try and foreclose and take the house back. Daddy helps those banks try to foreclose faster and take the homes sooner. And daddy is trying to help pass a law, called HB87, to make it easier to take people’s homes away.
Look, I get that I’m biased here. But I really wonder how anyone on the banks’ side of this would try to explain this to their children. My point?
If you can’t explain what you’re doing to a child, what you’re doing probably isn’t right.
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Over the past 4-5 years, I’ve devoted my entire professional career – countless hours, thousands of cases, hundreds of dismissals and settlements, and untold blood, sweat, and tears – to representing homeowners facing foreclosure. And I’m not alone. Many other defense lawyers and consumer advocates have made similar contributions to the foreclosure defense industry. Yet, somehow, we have no say on the future of the industry or the adjudication of foreclosure cases in Florida. No input. Nope. Nada. Zilch.
The future of foreclosure defense is at the mercy of a handful of legislators. Sadly, many of these legislators have no idea how foreclosure cases are adjudicated. They’ve never seen a rocket docket. They’ve never watched a foreclosure trial. They’ve never spoken to a homeowner in foreclosure. They’ve never watched a bank refuse to prosecute a foreclosure case for years on end, only going to trial after a judge forces the issue.
Worse yet, some of these legislators have direct, financial ties to the banking industry. If they’re not an officer, director, or shareholder of a bank, they invariably recieve campaign contributions from the big banks.
Are you scared yet? You should be. But that doesn’t mean the situation is hopeless. It’s up to you – yes, YOU – to help your local legislator understand what foreclosure-world is really like. Maybe, just maybe, if the legislators know what foreclosure-world is really like, they’ll realize there is no need to pass a bill like HB87 or SB1666.
Here are a few of the things I wish these legislators realized:
1. Homeowners can’t get modifications because banks would rather foreclose. Between private mortgage insurance and the government insuring mortgages, banks often get paid in full (including all default interest, late charges, fees and costs) by foreclosing. Once you realize the bank gets paid in full by foreclosing, do you really wonder why you can’t get a loan modification?
Call me crazy, but if you’re going to pass legislation, isn’t this the dynamic you should be looking to change?
2. What happens to all of these properties (we’re talking tens of thousands of properties) after foreclosure? You think they get sold to families who want to own a home? Pffft. You think those properties get bought by the middle class Americans that got foreclosed? Hehehehehe. After foreclosing, the banks transfer title to Fannie Mae – yes, government-run Fannie Mae, operating off of your and my tax dollars – and Fannie then sells these properties in bulk for pennies on the dollar. But these sales aren’t available for just anyone. Nope, you have to be an uber-wealthy investor with at least $10 million in demonstrable assets. Yes, someone like Bill Clinton.
Yes, by all means. Let’s pass a new law to speed up foreclosures. We have to set up more bulk sales so society’s elite – those with an eight-figure net worth – can buy hundreds more foreclosed houses in bulk for 15 cents on the dollar.
3. In five years of defending foreclosures – thousands of cases – do you know how many times a bank pushed a case to trial against me? I don’t have the exact number, but I could count them on two hands. Yes, putting aside the cases where a judge decided to set trial because the case was languishing for years on end, there have been fewer than 10 times a bank has pushed a case to trial against me.
Does that sound like a system where new laws are necessary? Or could it be that the banks are unwilling or unable to prove their cases? Once you realize it’s the latter – and that banks are unwilling/unable to prove their entitlement to foreclose – why on earth would anyone pass a new law allowing foreclosure to go faster?
The banks can’t prove their cases honestly, so, by all means, let’s change the laws to make it easier for them. God knows the banks haven’t had enough bailouts.
4. Florida’s appellate courts have already bent over backwards to help the banking industry. If a bank gets caught red-handed committing fraud on the court, no biggie – just dismiss the case without prejudice, sweep the fraud under the rug, and re-file. Sound crazy? That’s the Florida Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Pino. And that follows a long line of other decisions which helped ensure the banking industry’s fraudulent practices would never see the light of day in Florida’s courtrooms.
With senior judges, rocket dockets, and all of these appellate decisions, how much more can Florida cater to the banks? Ahhhh, yes. Let’s pass new laws, too!
5. Homeowners are not deadbeats. I can’t begin to describe how many of my clients have paid their mortgages, yet fallen prey to the dual-track system, banks which told homeowners not to pay under the auspices of a modification, banks which jacked up homeowners’ insurance rates to induce defaults, and banks which simply refused to accept payments.
Yes, legislators – let’s foreclose on these homeowners faster!
I could go on and on, but I find myself getting more and more pissed off. So let’s end it here with this message …
Florida’s legislators have no idea how the foreclosure process works. I gave a few examples, but there are dozens more. Nonetheless, these are the men and women voting on the future of the foreclosure defense industry in Florida. Let’s make sure they don’t remain in the dark. Call your local legislators. Share your experiences in court. Tell them how the process works. If you don’t, then no matter how bad you think things may have been up to this point, they might just get worse.
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When I think about what’s happening in our country, I’m reminded of Jack Nicholson’s famous line in A Few Good Men.
“You Want the Truth? You Can’t Handle the Truth.”
Here’s the truth … the U.S. Government and Criminal Organizations, i.e. Banks, are Conspiring to Seize Private Property. In fact, they’ve been doing it for years. Yes, the U.S. Government and Criminal Organizations are Conspiring to Seize Private Property. I’ve blogged about that before on this website (explaining how Fannie Mae is the Wizard Behind the Curtain, orchestrating the foreclosure of thousands of properties and selling those properties in bulk to the socio-economically elite, including Bill Clinton), and I know it to be true.
Yet, somehow, I fear you think I’m a nutjob for saying so. “Stopa’s fallen off his rocker.” “Stopa needs to take his meds.”
You know what? I don’t care if you think I’m crazy. Helping everyone understand the truth is just too important.
The true facts are set forth below are true, courtesy of my friend Matt Weidner, from whom I have unabashedly taken this content. (Well, all except the part about judges not caring – I generally disagree with that, and I refuse to accept that my efforts in our courts don’t matter.)
Can you handle the truth? Or will you just dismiss these thoughts simply because nobody in the mainstream media is willing to talk about them?
First, let’s start with a little history lesson. Remember way back to 2008 when the banks, Wall Street and the various gambling enterprises and hedge funds that rule the world’s money supply brought the entire world economy into the brink of a total economic collapse? Well, consider what we’ve learned as a result of the many autopsies of the collapse that have occurred since then. It is now completely documented, and beyond any dispute, that The Collapse was caused by out of control central and private bankers who either acted recklessly or with specific intent calculated to bring down the then existing world financial order. And what was the world, and especially the US government’s response to this orchestrated collapse? In the words of Timothy Geithner, the US government engaged in a direct and specific campaign to “Foam the Runway” for the banks, which, in plain English means the United States government shoveled trillions of dollars in taxpayer money directly into the very banks and institutions that caused the collapse. As recounted in damming specificity in Neil Barofsk’s book, Bailout, the central bankers and US government officials collaborated behind the scenes and outside the scrutiny of anyone looking out for the general public’s interest to ensure that the trillions of dollars that was to be provided to the bank carried with it one important condition:
That the money be handed to the banks directly with absolutely no conditions or restrictions of any kind.
The central bankers, principally through their mouthpieces installed within the federal governments Henry Paulson and Timothy Geithner, argued that any accounting requirements, any restrictions, any regulation whatsoever over the trillions of dollars provided to them would be unfair and unworkable. And so, incredibly, the banks and Wall Street casinos received trillions of dollars, with no strings attached, to gamble away with all over again. Presidents Bush and Obama signed off on this, while every member of Congress and Senator, slathered with bankster bailout campaign bribes and contributions are owned by the very banksters that were given the money. Goldman Sachs is quite pleased with how seamlessly and without objection their entire operation has been funded….their return on their investment scheme is quite fantastic, thank you very much.
Now, right about the time the banks started receiving their massive infusions of taxpayer dollars, the state and federal governments realized that the very banks that were receiving this cash had in fact been engaging in a massive and systematic scheme to bilk the federal government out of billions of dollars in a massive fraudulent insurance claim scam. The revelations of this scam, which features the banks forging and fabricating millions of documents and creating entire divisions that are dedicated to carrying out the scam, is detailed in the 49 State Attorney General Consent Judgments and the Office of Inspector General Audit Reports. What these documents reveal is that the robosigning that everyone’s heard about weren’t the biggest part of the crime…they were merely the means to the real profitable part of the crime spree which was to submit billions of dollars in False Claims on government-insured loans.
As described in striking detail within the OIG Audit Reports, when officials from the Department of Treasury tried to investigate the on-going crime spree that was costing taxpayers billions of dollars, tried to investigate the crimes, the banks brought in teams of lawyers and simply refused to cooperate with the investigations. Apparently no one in America has actually read these audit reports but they are quite incredible in the detail with which they describe this arrogant stonewalling. Could you imagine a US taxpayer, when faced with an investigation of tax evasion and fraud simply telling the IRS agent, “I’m not going to participate in your investigation!” while at the very same time his wife is sitting right in front of them continuing to engage in the tax evasion and fraud that brought the investigators there in the first place? And yet this is precisely what happened. What’s most astonishing about this, again, is that you will not find a single word of this described in any mainstream press. And yet every single detail of this incredible scam is contained in several quite easy to read reports. Such is the sad state of mainstream reporting in America today. No one has bothered to read these reports. No one.
Now, the banks didn’t get away with this massive crime spree entirely Scott free. First one, then all attorneys general, from every state in the union began investigating. One attorney general, Tom Miller from Iowa was famously quoted, “Someone’s going to go to jail for all this.” And then, the very moment those words left his mouth, hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions came rolling in from the banks and institutions that were, nominally at least, the target of his threat. And then guess what? Nobody went to jail. Miller, and presumably every other, attorney general, collected millions of dollars in campaign contributions from the criminal cabals that were (again, nominally at least) the targets of their investigations. Can you guess what happened to their investigations into these free wheeling crime syndicates? Well, keep reading.
Fast forward to 2012. Attorneys general from all 49 states emerged from behind closed doors where they had all been meeting, in secret, with the bankers that engaged in a massive crime spree, the result of which was billions of taxpayer dollars stolen from the people and put into the coffers of the banks, and into the personal accounts of the executives that engineered the crime sprees. The alleged investigators stood there with the alleged targets of their investigations, all wearing the same gray suits and stern looks on their faces and announced a settlement of these claims where each of the banks admitted the details of their crime spree then agreed to use accounting tricks and fiscal sleight of hand to make some amends for their wrongdoing. They were all laughing at the American taxpayers who had been duped out of trillions of dollars and they knew the taxpayers were going to continue being duped by the absurd settlement they were announcing.
Oh, the banks did agree to pay some actual cash from their own accounts to compensate the attorneys general for all their time and trouble, but the majority of the fines they agreed to pay as part of their punishment would come in the form stealing money from the institutional sources who invested with the criminal cabals. Immediately after they inked their sweetheart settlement agreement, they put the settlement agreements themselves up on a website, along with a whole series of press releases and summaries. Then they engaged in a public relations Blitz Krieg. And again, none of the mainstream press bothered to read any of these agreements and they certainly didn’t report on any of this. Why bother to read the actual agreements when the propaganda apparatchik went ahead and produced ready to print news stories, complete with graphics and bullet points? The propaganda machine was and remains so slick, it’s so carefully canned and packaged that it’s just impossible for the mainstream press to scratch beneath the surface and even challenge the alleged facts, much less provide any critical analysis of the far more troubling aspects of the implications of this astonishing violation of the public trust.
In the months since the settlement was inked, the fantastically effective propaganda ministers continue to spoon feed propaganda to elected government officials, and the mainstream press continues to gobble down and regurgitate the bullet points and press releases that are spoon fed to them. This ongoing reporting coming in the form of quarterly progress updates….complete with nifty charts and graphs. In the recently released One Year Anniversary Report, Florida’s Republican Attorney General brazenly proclaims that:
Floridians Receive More than $8.3 Billion in Relief!
This of course is utter nonsense, when the vast majority of the “relief” is short sales of the properties and forgiveness of debts that could never be collected anyway. But why should the mainstream press allow such pesky things like critical analysis get in the way of a juicy headline…..one that is picked up by the wire services and reported over and over and over again.
But what is one of the very real and tangible aspects of the settlement that….surprise….not a single press organization has written about? Well, in the State of Florida, as a direct result of the settlement, the banks…you know, those criminal organizations that made billions by fabricating documents and submitting false insurance claims to the federal government? Well, part of the fines they agreed to pay have been provided to the state’s court system so that they can more quickly complete the foreclosures that remain lodged in courtrooms across the state.
Yes the very same foreclosures that are infected with the forged and fabricated documents that the banks admitted to creating in the Consent Judgments are being flushed out of the system with the entry of Final Judgments of Foreclosure that rip families out of their homes with ruthless efficiency and turn those homes back over to the banks that admitted they were engaging in crimes to try and take them back improperly. Some punishment. That’ll surely teach them.
And in case this point is not clear, let me provide another analogy:
What if the drug cartels settled with the attorney general, paid a fine and that fine was used to fund special drug courts with special staff and special judges were hired. And then what if immediately thereafter, the tens of thousands of drug cases pending across the state were just getting dropped, their attorneys assisted with getting those cases dropped by a court system that was only too willing to take a very biased and activist role in “resolving” those cases?
And this incredible circumstance is indeed what is occurring, right now, in courtrooms all across the State of Florida. The banks are being rewarded for engaging in a vast criminal conspiracy, the reward coming in the form of their very own court system, manned by retired, “senior” judges who are not subjected to the will of voters like all other Florida judges, pursuant to the Florida Constitution. It’s a brilliantly concocted scheme which is frankly a direct extension and continuation of the criminal enterprise operated by the banks…..their very own courtrooms with one minute scheduled for “trials” that make senior and veterans and disabled people and everyday Americans into the street. And yes, the “evidence” presented against them is forged and fabricated, fraudulent documents.
But judges will hear none of this. Those good attorneys who dare to represent Americans in these vast starchambers, mockeries of a failed American justice system face formal and informal persecutions and threats and lawsuits and personal and professional attacks by judges and the apparatus that is installed to carry out this campaign with brutal efficiency. Modern day firing lines…..with quotas. Those who interfere or object are executed.
Miami-Dade started rocket foreclosure trials (one minute for uncontested cases and five minutes for contested cases) several months ago. They have now begun in Palm Beach County and will soon start in Broward. I’m sure other counties will soon fall in line.
This is a ruthless and efficient process to clear the docket of foreclosure cases, most grievously, funded by Florida’s take of the 49 State Attorney General foreclosure fraud settlement.
I went to observe on Tuesday. About seventy trials were dispensed, all ending with a judgment and a sale date, in about an hour. Several families were there, begging for justice. Several foreclosure defense attorneys were there, and informed by the judge (retired due to aging out of judgeship per FL constitutional age limit and now back in the foreclosure senior judge employment program – my term), that they had to speed it up. BoA robowitness could not answer any basic questions, had never processed a payment, had never supervised payment processing, and had only a rudimentary working knowledge of anything beyond what the printout from the servicer showed was owed. Usually, this sort of fact witness would be disqualified but the judge overruled any attempt to have his testimony thrown out.
One case in particular was a 2007 American Brokers Conduit – Fannie Mae mortgage, serviced first by Countywide (the AS4000 system record debacle) and then by BAC Home Loans and finally by BOA. The senior homeowners, one a disabled vet, were paying the fixed rate mortgage payment of $1,855 on time and in full each month for a year when Countrywide force placed a $10,000 hazard insurance policy on the home despite the fact that they had their own policy. They then jacked up the rate to $2,650 each month, which the homeowners paid while trying to straighten out the insurance issue. Then, in early 2009, the homeowners received a letter stating that their recent payment of $2,600 had been received and processed but that their payment was now $4,500 and all future payments that were less than that amount would be refused.
The judge didn’t want to hear about any of this, cut off the foreclosure defense attorney and told him to go out of the courtroom, call his clients and tell them that the judge is going to grant the foreclosure.
Oh, and one final point just in case the facts in this story do not cause enough outrage. The end product of a foreclosure case is supposed to be a public foreclosure sale where the “bad” homeowner is thrown out of the home so that “good” independent third party investors and entrepreneurs can buy the home at a discount, sell it and get some more deserving homeowner in there. But this is not happening. The real party that owns the majority of mortgages is not Bank of America, Wells Fargo or whatever servicer happens to be collecting the payments. No, the real party is often Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or one of the other Government Sponsored Enterprises. These “enterprises” are manipulating the sales so that they can take back thousands of homes at the time, then sell those homes in ten thousand chunks to pre-selected and hand-picked institutional investors, including one that is reportedly linked to the Chinese government in the case of the East West Bank Fannie Mae Bulk purchase. And even when a property does make it to the full “public” sale, increasingly the purchasers are not local parties, they are hedge funds who are purchasing the homes using the same failed math that the United States into this housing mess in the first place. Their purchase and carrying numbers simply do not add up, meaning they are hedging the risks and skimming the profit….the great Wall Street roulette wheel continues to spin!
Never before in the history of mankind have a people so blindly and without resistance surrendered to an invasion and seizure of their lands. Never before have an entire nation of people sat by so passive, so immobile, so mute while they and their children and grandchildren have been invaded, attacked and sold into bondage. Oh sure, Holland and France surrendered in mere days to Hitler’s invading army, but there were at least pockets of resistance, a few brave men and women had the courage to fight. Not so in Amerika 2013. We all just sit on the sidelines and watch as our nation is invaded, invaded by the marauding criminal enterprises, those joint operations…partnerships between entirely corrupt state and federal governments, the Wall Street money changers and the world wide banking cabals. They’re all operating with ruthless efficiency to quite easily seize more and more of the very dirt and land upon which this nation is built. Quietly and surgically throwing more and more of our people off their land and into the streets, and they’re doing it with no resistance at all. A bloodless revolution fueled by financial crimes and executed by a judicial system acting in concert with the criminal vast criminal enterprises that rule the globe.
God Help Us All.
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