Archive for May 4th, 2012

Foreclosure Fraud … by lawyers?

Those damn zealots at and, they’re always screaming about fraud in foreclosure cases.  We all know the cries of fraud are overblown, something asserted by deadbeat homeowners as an excuse to not pay their mortgages … right?

I’m going to have to exercise some restraint on this one and save the commentary.  Instead, take a look at this document and compare it to this document.  Notice any differences?  You won’t at first – the distinction is subtle.  Before I point out the difference, a little background.

I’ve been defending this foreclosure lawsuit for some time, and the plaintiff chose to voluntarily dismiss it, entitling me to seek prevailing party attorneys’ fees.  Under Rule 1.525, that motion has to be filed within 30 days of the dismissal.  This document was served upon my office, and it reflects the case was dismissed on January 17, 2012.  As a result, I did a motion for fees on February 16, 2012 – within 30 days.  (Usually I don’t wait until the last day, but that’s what happened here.)

A hearing on this motion is scheduled for Monday, and plaintiff’s counsel just called my office, arguing the motion should be denied because the dismissal was done on January 13, 2012 (so the February 16, 2012 motion was beyond 30 days).  I took another look at this document, the one served upon me, and it seemed clear to me that she was blowing smoke.

Then I decided to check the Official Records to see what was filed there.  To my surprise, what did I find?  This document appears to be the same as what was provided to me, but it reflects the case was dismissed on January 13, 2012.

Look at the Certificate of Service.  Notice the handwritten “3″ on the version filed with the Court?  And how that “3″ isn’t on the version sent to me?  In my view, these lawyers gave me a document dated the 17th, yet filed a document dated the 13th, then tried to use the fact that they sent me a different document as an excuse for arguing the motion for fees wasn’t timely served.

Again, I’ll save the commentary for those zealots at and  They sure are nuts, eh?

Mark Stopa

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