Archive for November 24th, 2010

The Ethics of Foreclosure Defense

I’ve been stewing about this article, wherein a retired judge questions whether foreclosure defense is “unethical,” for a few days now.  I think that assertion is totally absurd, but I see no need for a lengthy retort.  Instead, I’ll sum it up like this…

The justice system in the United States allows murderers to go free (in certain circumstances) when evidence is obtained pursuant to an illegal search.  The Defendant could have murdered someone – and everyone in the courtroom, including the judge, knows it – yet he walks free because of a violation of his constitutional rights. 

Let’s pause and think about the lawyer who files the motion to suppress the evidence based on the illegal search.  Is he acting unethically?  Personally, I could never file that motion.  However, I suspect every judge sitting on the bench would agree the answer is “no” – filing that motion is the defense lawyer’s job. 

With that in mind, how could anyone say that defending a foreclosure case is “unethical.”  I’m not putting murderers back on the streets – I’m helping homeowners who’ve been screwed over by the banking industry.  If vile criminals can exercise their right to counsel, then certainly homeowners can as well. 

I suppose I can see how the ”lack of standing” defense that foreclosure defense lawyers routinely assert in foreclosure lawsuits is similar to the motions to suppress filed by criminal lawyers, as one could argue that the defendant was “guilty” in both instances and “got away with it” on a technical violation.  The difference, though, is that if I win a foreclosure case based on a standing defense, a murderer doesn’t get to roam free – instead, a bank that’s screwed over homeowners for many years gets a dose of its own medicine.

Mark Stopa

Posted in Main | No Comments »