Another WSJ Smackdown! Florida Judges Bash Banks in Foreclosure Cases

Again straight from the blogosphere to the Wall Street Journal!!!

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Judge Bashes Bank in Foreclosure Case

By AMIR EFRATI

A Florida state-court judge, in a rare ruling, said a major national bank perpetrated a “fraud” in a foreclosure lawsuit, raising questions about how banks are attempting to claim homes from borrowers in default.

The ruling, made last month in Pasco County, Fla., comes amid increased scrutiny of foreclosures by the prosecutors and judges in regions hurt by the recession. Judges have said in hearings they are increasingly concerned that banks are attempting to seize properties they don’t own.

Case Documents

Cases handled by the Law Offices of David Stern

The Florida case began in December 2007 when U.S. Bank N.A. sued a homeowner, Ernest E. Harpster, after he defaulted on a $190,000 loan he received in January of that year.

The Law Offices of David J. Stern, which represented the bank, prepared a document called an “assignment of mortgage” showing that the bank received ownership of the mortgage in December 2007. The document was dated December 2007.

But after investigating the matter, Circuit Court Judge Lynn Tepper ruled that the document couldn’t have been prepared until 2008. Thus, she ruled, the bank couldn’t prove it owned the mortgage at the time the suit was filed.

The document filed by the plaintiff, Judge Tepper wrote last month, “did not exist at the time of the filing of this action…was subsequently created and…fraudulently backdated, in a purposeful, intentional effort to mislead.” She dismissed the case.

Forrest McSurdy, a lawyer at the David Stern firm that handled the U.S. Bank case, said the mistake was due to “carelessness.” (bullshit) The mortgage document was initially prepared and signed in 2007 but wasn’t notarized until months later, he said. After discovering similar problems in other foreclosure cases, he said, the firm voluntarily withdrew the suits and later re-filed them using fabricating appropriate documents.

“Judges get in a whirl about technicalities because the courts are overwhelmed,” he said. “The merits of the cases are the same: people aren’t paying their mortgages.”

Okay time out Mr. McNurdy, technicalities? You mean the technicalities that prove someone owes your client money? Let me get this straight, you think the judges get in whirl because your firm fabricates documents by the millions to overcome these technicalities?

I tell you what Mr McNurdy, if I lent someone the amounts of money your firm is collecting for its clients, I as sure as hell would be able to prove up in a NY minute that I was the proper party, wouldn’t you?

The reason the house of cards is collapsing around you fraudsters is because the parties foreclosing in almost EVERY case do not nor did not ever own the loan. You know it, I know it, and now it is coming out more everyday. Hell, Mr. McNurdy, one of your “Sister Foreclosure Mills” came out and said you crooks nor your clients even know what’s going on with the note or mortgage in their comments to the Supreme Court of Florida regarding verification of complaints

TRANSLATION OF SHAPIRO FISHMAN’S Motion for rehearing: “Your Honors, all we know, “after diligent review and inquiry into the matter”, is that someone, at some point, owed something to someone else.”

Amazing.

Oh, and additionally for that matter: “Your Honors, we also know, that the proceeds to the foreclosure sale will go to someone, that at some point had a right, maybe, to receive the windfall profits, probably, we think.

So, my question to you is, after all the bank failures, bail outs, insurance payouts, notes pledged in multiple pools, reports of massive fraud perpetrated by the largest firms on Wall Street with the result of millions and millions of foreclosures across the country, isn’t it a fair and reasonable request to get a full accounting of your loan, identify if there was fraud in the inducement, and verify the identity of the party that is entitled to repayment?

20 million homeowners did not gather around the kitchen table one night and decide to take down the entire global economy. This was a meticulously calculated Ponzi Scheme that resulted in the greatest transfer of wealth the world has ever seen…

You see, most of us want to pay, we want our equity, our loan to value levels, restored to what they were before these fraudsters ran their scheme, and lastly we just want to make sure our payments are going to the correct party.

Is that too much to ask?

Sorry for the rant… Back to the WSJ article…

Steve Dale, a spokesman for U.S. Bank, said the company played a passive role in the matter because it represents investors who own a mortgage-securities trust that includes the Harpster loan. He said a division of Wells Fargo & Co., which collected payments from Mr. Harpster, initiated the foreclosure on behalf of the investors.

Wells Fargo said in a statement it “does not condone, accept, nor instruct counsel to take actions such as those taken in this case.” The company said it was “troubled” by the “conclusions the Court found as to the actions of this foreclosure attorney. We will review these circumstances closely and take appropriate action as necessary.”

Since the housing crisis began several years ago, judges across the U.S. have found that documents submitted by banks to support foreclosure claims were wrong. Mistakes by banks and their representatives have also led to an ongoing federal criminal probe in Florida. (LPS)

Some of the problems stem from the difficulty banks face in proving they own the loans, thanks to the complexity of the mortgage market.

The Florida ruling against U.S. Bank was also a critique of law firms that handle foreclosure cases on behalf of banks, dubbed “foreclosure mills.”

Lawyers operating foreclosure mills often are paid based on the volume of cases they complete. Some receive $1,000 per case, court records show. Firms compete for business in part based on how quickly they can foreclose. The David Stern firm had about 900 employees as of last year, court records show.

“The pure volume of foreclosures has a tendency perhaps to encourage sloppiness, boilerplate paperwork or a lack of thoroughness” by attorneys for banks, said Judge Tepper of Florida, in an interview. The deluge of foreclosures makes the process “fraught with potential for fraud,” she said.

At an unrelated hearing in a separate matter last week, Anthony Rondolino, a state-court judge in St. Petersburg, Fla., said that an affidavit submitted by the David Stern law firm on behalf of GMAC Mortgage LLC in a foreclosure case wasn’t necessarily sufficient to establish that GMAC was the owner of the mortgage.

“I don’t have any confidence that any of the documents the Court’s receiving on these mass foreclosures are valid,” the judge said at the hearing.

A spokesman for GMAC declined to comment and a lawyer at the David Stern firm declined to comment.

Write to Amir Efrati at amir.efrati@wsj.com

Thank you Amir…

4closureFraud

Comments
8 Responses to “Another WSJ Smackdown! Florida Judges Bash Banks in Foreclosure Cases”
  1. Ray Shelton says:

    Ray Shelton May 19, 2014 at 7:49 pm
    If you are being foreclosed on By US Bank and or SN Servicing ( Please No Other banks or services please) Please check the signatures on your deed in your county clerks office, if you are sure that forgery or falsification of your documents has taken place then call me ASAP we are going after anyone who has wrong us by forgery and or uttering forgery under the RICO ACT. This is happening now 2014 Please join us. call 352 274 8467 Ray Shelton
    #1. Did A Serious Crime of forgery and Uttering forgery take place by US Bank and their attorneys against you ?
    #2. The OCCs Cease and desist order signed by US Bank and its Board of directors specifically says that US Bank and its third parties ( Servicer’s and attorneys) will stop this kind of criminal activity immediately and make restitution, but they have only escalated their activities of illegally taking homes in Florida via Forgery and falsifying documents etc.:

    MEDIA STORY LINE. A Well known highly respected Florida Notary and his wife who witness the signing of a deed and mortgage have come forward and signed a statement sworn under oath that the signatures on a deed and mortgage were originally signed in Royal Blue. They even went to the Marion County Clerk of the Court and had another notary witness the fact that they viewed the recorded deed and mortgage that was submitted by US Bank and then witnessed that the documents were not sign in Royal Blue. But in fact were signed in Black. It is clear by any reasonable person or most important by Law Enforcement and our Judges, that after US Bank claimed a lost note status for a couple of years, they had no choice but to forge the deed and note in order to have standing in court.
    The Shelton family is being illegally foreclosed on by US Bank who has already paid out multi million dollar fines, but no one has gone to jail. Who is actually committing these crimes? Was it DocX or LPS or is it their attorneys? This needs to be discovered and prosecuted by the Feds because it is a very serious issue that is costing the American public billions of dollars in loses. It apparently doesn’t matter to US bank that the homeowner is right or wrong because no normal family can stand up to the money that is used to win by attrition against a homeowner. Who will protect the public and stop the destruction of hundred of thousands of families lives all across this nation?
    This is also very wrong because Us Bank and their attorneys may be undermining the integrity of our entire Justice system and the American way of life as it is known today. Will it end up that it is ok to forge our most treasured document without any prosecution by our government? This is becoming a crime wave that is unparalleled in history and America must stop it. Have Multiple interstate crimes been committed multiple times By US Bank and their attorneys ? Should these issues be considered within the Rico Crimes Laws. US Bank has not stopped their behavior, are the fines way to low and they just don’t care because the numbers prove that they can still make huge profits by continuing on the same path? Where is Law Enforcement? Where is Eric Holder? Where is OBAMA???
    The Shelton Family didn’t discover the facts about the forgeries until they had already lost in every court even the appeals court. Now that they found out and have proof of forgery shouldn’t all the other ruling be null and void? The Shelton’s are filing a Civil Criminal Lawsuit against the attorneys Andrew Braaksma and Paul McKenna and another Civil Rico law suite against US Bank and SN servicing.
    The Shelton’s have filed a bar complaint with the Florida bar against Andrew Braaksma out of Miami and his partner Paul Mckenna for Uttering Forgery and other reasons to be announced. They have also filed a complaint with the FBI and with the Florida Attorney General. They will soon ask the Office of State wide prosecution to take the case. There will also be some press conferences set up to expose the Miami Attorneys and US Bank. Shouldn’t this case be moved up to the Federal courts and demand relief and for the prosecution of the Miami Attorneys and US Bank? To join us please call 352 274 8467 Ray Shelton

  2. I get the feeling the tide is turning. One judge after the next is slowly becoming aware of the fact that lack of documentation has led to mass fabrication of spurious documentation.The next point to drill home is to distinguish the debt from the singular and exceptional remedy of foreclosure. Foreclosure is a special remedy granted to the mortgagee and the mortgagee’s successors in interest. It is not a remedy conferred willy nilly upon any miscellaneous general creditor. Those lenders who fail to maintain the necessary documentation to prove orderly succession to the interest of the original mortgagee lose the right to foreclose as a remedy. The debt remaining is a totally separate matter.

  3. PJ says:

    comments posted over at the WSJ by all are excellent, especially the closing statement made by 4CF in your post. This is an economic systemic problem effecting everyone, neighborhoods,small business owners and future generations.

    This is exactly why there needs to be a MORATORIUM now on all foreclosures. Let the parties involved sort out their obligations with each other, and not allow slim bag gonifs like Shapiro and Stearn rob people of their homes, money and right to protection under law.

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