Washington Post – Judges Revisiting Foreclosure Cases May Aid Homeowners but Clog Market

Judges revisiting foreclosure cases may aid homeowners but clog market

Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, October 4, 2010; 10:59 PM

On Florida’s west coast, where the housing bust has flooded courts with foreclosure filings, the chief judge of the 6th Judicial Circuit has little sympathy for lenders who have routinely submitted flawed and possibly fraudulent foreclosure cases.

J. Thomas McGrady, whose jurisdiction includes two hard-hit counties with more than 1 million people in the Tampa area, said Monday that foreclosures based on improper paperwork should be tossed out.

Judges “are going to have to vacate that judgment and start over again,” he said.

Across the country, judges facing pressure from homeowners and their attorneys are beginning to reexamine old cases and dismiss pending ones. The trend could lead to overturned evictions, and it could stall foreclosure cases for years and scare away buyers of millions of seized properties clogging the real estate market.

“We’ve never been inundated to this extent with this number of cases alleging fraudulent paperwork,” said Peter D. Blanc, chief judge of the 15th Judicial Circuit Court, in West Palm Beach. “We’re in new territory, and we’re struggling to determine what the proper solution is.”

Judges nationwide have broad latitude in deciding whether to accept new paperwork and whether to charge the lenders with fraud for submitting problematic documents in the first place.

Even before three of the nation’s largest lenders – Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase and Ally Financial – announced moratoriums on foreclosures in the 23 states that require a court order to evict a borrower from a home, some judges were beginning to push back against banks with sloppy or fraudulent filings.

The lenders have acknowledged that a handful of employees signing off on hundreds of thousands of files may not have read them, but they have insisted that the problem amounts to a technical issue that can be fixed easily by replacing old documents with new ones. They say that the facts proving that borrowers missed their payments are sound and that the procedural errors might delay foreclosures but won’t change the outcome.

As the situation in Florida shows, it’s unlikely to wind up so simple.

Armies of consumer attorneys and homeowners are seizing on the paperwork issues to try to protect individual homes from foreclosure and bring into question the legitimacy of the millions of foreclosures undertaken since the housing crisis began in 2007.

The recent moratoriums have made life easier for people such as Michael Gaier, a Philadelphia lawyer who has taken on 130 clients hoping to fight their foreclosures.

Before, he said, judges churning through foreclosure cases tended “to roll their eyes, because they’ve heard every story in the book,” he said. But now, “I don’t have to convince them on my own. I don’t have to start from scratch,” he said, because the moratoriums show that the banks “know that something is wrong.”

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Comments
One Response to “Washington Post – Judges Revisiting Foreclosure Cases May Aid Homeowners but Clog Market”
  1. Herbert Lubitz says:

    An open letter to all the Judges that are hearing all the foreclosure cases.
    I am fighting foreclosure my self, and have been defrauded by the greed that is infested into the system that nobody wants to fix. This would not have happened if the courts would listen to the people and not the invisible warehouse of fraudulent paperwork that is circulated in the Real Estate industry. IT DOES EXIST and all you Judges are afraid of the bad repercussions that would follow if you were to find in the favor of the homeowners, who spent the last of their resources in acquiring a home. I myself have spent my last $8000 on the closing costs alone, which I think is too high for a $51,000 home. I was told that I was paying 10% down, but instead was paying for my signature being forged, Not receiving any disclosures on or after closing, not getting the three day period to look over the documents that I did not get to see until three years later, almost too late to file my rescission with the lenders, that claim they are not the holders of the Note, and a servicer trying to foreclose on my home after getting a remodifaction and losing $7000 of my equity for, and still fighting this foreclosure that should have been investigated when I was denied my rescission rights. I am not a dead beat, and I was not intending to get a home for free, but this is how I am treated for investigating my own mortgage by research I have done myself because, all the lawyers don’t know how to fight for my rights because this has been accepted for years, as the mentality of all these lenders and brokers is, screw all you can, because the courts wont investigate their fraud. And now they are starting to see the light, because of all the foreclosures of 2007 on, has brought all the fraud out into the open. But they are still trying to cover up their tracks by saying the borrowers are in default, but in reality the borrowers just got fed up with being scammed, and stopped making payments like I did. I have no respect for any Judge that refuses to look into the allegations of fraud against the courts, the county’s court houses by accepting MERS as an entity that can just come in with forged documents to take homes from honest people. And all the people who are being scammed by these offshore criminals that they sent our mortgages and Notes to, so they could sell the same Note several times and the original borrower is the only one who can be proven rightful owner, because they signed a document while the lenders left it blank. And how they try to take over the court system with manipulation and conniving and the only one that can be beaten in court because they are the only one who signed on the contracts. How the hell can any contract be legal if only one person is listed on the document? where is there a legal standing to a contract when there are only one on the contract? Where are your priorities, to the honest citizens? or to the lowlife scum that has infiltrated the United States of America, to defraud the government, States, it’s people, and still have standing as having any power to destroy this Country that has become great by everyone working together. The Justice system has to be rebuilt back to before the Banks owned the people, now we are slaves to enemy Nations by the very same scams that are being used to destroy this country, by sending our contracts overseas, to the same terrorists that are controlling the US citizens by getting their property and families by the debt they concocted to enslave us till we are conquered. Now our children are enslaved by the illegal debt brought on by the illegal representation of the Obama administration, it’s smoke screen programs that were not intended to help the homeowner stay in their homes, but to make it seem like the government want to help.
    Do you Judge, want to help this Nation get back on it’s feet? or do you just want to stop the Banks from going under, which should have happened 75 years ago. This country was great until scam artists in Wall Street invented ways to print up money from thin air. Think about it. How did this money appear to lend to me, so I could buy a home? They printed up money from my signature, not from Gold or other commodities, but from sheer nothing but a keystroke on some computer in some clearinghouse. All the mortgages were not payed with any lender’s own material ownership, but from bonds printed converted from my own signature, and now has been signed over to some offshore straw-man, that was not even aware of any contract, but only that they were buying my signature only. Who do they think I am? some dumb jackass from some small village in Tibet? I am an American and will fight for my Gog given rights as long as I can breath. You worry about the fate of the economy? Well I don’t think it can get any better by selling the American people out of their homes, and don’t think for one minuet that the citizens are going to take it much longer without another civil war on your hands, as you better be on the right side when it all blows up in your face. The people are starting to see the man behind the curtain, and the fraud being committed against us, by our own government, and judicial system that the banking industry has moulded into their hands. Remember History repeats itself, and back in the days of real Justice, they hung horse theives right where they stood, and what goes around, comes around.

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