Archive for December 13th, 2011

When the Punishment Doesn’t Fit the Crime

Suppose I put on a ski mask, brought my gun into a Wells Fargo, and robbed the bank of $100,000.  Then suppose, despite my best efforts to get away with it, I got caught.  Do you think the state attorney would decline criminal prosecution and resolve the dispute by letting me pay back $10,000 of the $100,000? 

That’s a pretty absurd question, I realize.  So why do crooked bankers keep getting punishments that don’t fit their crimes? 

This is a good illustration of why so many people are so upset.  If I can’t rob a bank of $100,000 and call it “even” by returning $10,000, then why do the bankers get to “settle” via such terms?

Mark Stopa

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Admitted Perjury … How Pervasive is the Problem?

I’ve seen the banks admit to some really outlandish things, but this one might take the cake.  In a recent Petition for Writ of Certiorari in Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal, U.S. Bank argues:

Compliance with the trial court’s Order would require Petitioner to perjure itself.

That admission, by itself, is bad enough and, candidly, needs no further discussion.  Instead, let’s put the admission into perspective.  In the Petition, U.S. Bank argued it could not verify its foreclosure complaint under oath, as required by The Florida Supreme Court via Fla.R.Civ.P. 1.110, because doing so ”would require U.S. Bank to attest to information to which it has insufficient knowledge.” 

Think about that for a minute.  A huge bank in a foreclosure case is admitting it cannot verify its Complaint under oath, as required by Florida law, because it lacks sufficient knowledge to do so.  The bank is so confident in this inability it admits it would face perjury if it did so. 

Now answer me this – in how many cases have the banks verified foreclosure complaints, under oath, in this exact same situation, i.e. despite “insufficient knowledge” to do so?  Remember, the requirement to verify a complaint exists in every single residential foreclosure case in the state of Florida.  See Fla.R.Civ.P. 1.110.  As a matter of routine, banks verify foreclosure complaints in virtually every foreclosure lawsuit. 

So if banks verify Complaints in every single (residential foreclosure) case, yet lack “sufficient knowledge” to do so in these cases, are the banks guilty if perjury in each such case (thousands of cases throughout Florida)?  Instead of answering that question, I’ll defer to the words of the bank’s own lawyer, who opined:

Compliance with the trial court’s Order would require Petitioner to perjure itself.


Mark Stopa

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