ACLU – Foreclosure “Robo-signers” Under Scrutiny | Foreclosure Fraud Fighters Under Attack

ACLU Appeals Gag Order on Homeowner’s Attorney

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 9, 2010

CONTACT: (786) 363-2737 or media@aclufl.org

SARASOTA, Fla. – The ACLU of Florida, on behalf of attorney Christopher Forrest and The Forrest Law Firm, today asked Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal to reverse an injunction directing Forrest and the Forrest Law Firm to remove video depositions of mortgage “robo-signers” from YouTube, and barring Forrest and others from distributing or disseminating the depositions.

The gag order placed on Forrest came just days after Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Canady ordered all foreclosure courts to be completely transparent and allow proceedings to be accessible. Justice Canady’s statement was released after the ACLU sent a letter demanding more transparency in Florida’s “Foreclosure Courts.” The letter was co-signed by the Florida Association of Broadcasters, the Florida Society of News Editors, the Florida Press Association, the Florida Times-Union newspaper and the First Amendment Foundation.

“Putting the videotaped depositions of “robo-signers” on YouTube gives the world an opportunity to see how the practices of banks and title companies are affecting homeowners facing serious financial problems,” said Howard Simon, ACLU of Florida Executive Director. “This is a public service that shouldn’t be subject to a court-imposed gag order.”

Mr. Forrest represents homeowners Peter and Barbara Morlon in a foreclosure proceeding in Sarasota. To discover the facts of the foreclosure process, Mr. Forrest, with the court’s permission, took video depositions of three employees of National Title Company (NTC) who have, by many accounts, functioned as “robo-signers” of foreclosure documents.

The term “robo-signing” refers to the practice of mortgage loan servicers filing affidavits with a court in a foreclosure case without confirming their accuracy. Many of these employees “spend their day signing one affidavit after another, raising questions about whether they could possibly attest to knowing the facts claimed in each document.” (See Martin, All 50 States Start Inquiry into Foreclosures, N.Y. Times, Oct. 13, 2010, available at http://goo.gl/L5dVC)

After the depositions concluded, Mr. Forrest uploaded them to YouTube and shared them with other attorneys defending homeowners facing foreclosure to provide them with vital information about practices that have been reported to be endemic in the foreclosure industry.

NTC obtained a temporary injunction, without the presence of Forrest or his clients that ordered Forrest to remove the videotaped depositions from YouTube. The injunction directed Forrest, the Forrest Law Firm, and anyone acting with Forrest to refrain from further publication of the videotaped depositions on the Internet and requiring him to remove them from YouTube.

The brief filed today by the ACLU of Florida seeks to overturn that gag order and restore Mr. Forrest’s right to freely distribute legally obtained information about “robo-signing” and the foreclosure process.

“This order is a prior restraint on free speech and the publication of sworn testimony that was lawfully obtained and involves a matter of significant public concern, in Florida and nationally,” stated ACLU cooperating attorney Andrea Mogensen. “According to a recent report by a Congressional Oversight Panel, the process of robo-signing and other irregularities in the foreclosure process may call into question as many as 33 million mortgages nationwide.”

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4closureFraud.org

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ACLU Robo-Signer Appeal – Forrest v Deutsch Bank

Comments
9 Responses to “ACLU – Foreclosure “Robo-signers” Under Scrutiny | Foreclosure Fraud Fighters Under Attack”
  1. Steve says:

    They are still up on DinSFLA’s YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/DinSFLA#g/u

    See the 9 videos titled: VIDEO DEPOSITION OF NATIONWIDE

  2. Carrie Bekker says:

    If somebody has the links to this depos, please send them to me @ rebecca1568@gmail. I know a place where they can be posted, other than youtube or my website, which will allow public access to this valuable information. I’m so sick of the censorship in this country — hell, man whatever happened to free speech? I don’t see anybody in authority in this country upholding the US Constitution or the Bill of Rights, so it’s up to us. Let’s get to work! If we don’t do it, who will? It certainly won’t be the state of federal courts, I can tell you that.

  3. Marla says:

    What struck me the most when I saw the depos was how little the three of them knew about the mortgage industry or even what they were doing. If I remember right, Bly and Moore had worked for NTC for a long time. My impression of them was they were not the brightest of the bright. Maybe that is why they were hired. NTC probably knew these people would not ask questions or simply do as they were told and keep their mouths shut. With a signature they had the power to help kick people out in the street, did they know that this is what they were doing? I read that Bly went on a morning show to try explain himself. My guess damage control.

    I also read that the three of them have been getting death threats and comments were made about their personal appearance. Making death threats is low and should not be tolerated by anyone.

    Sorry NTC the damage is done. Lots of people have already seen those depos and may have already made their own copies. Wonder if NTC has educated their people about the work they are doing since the depos came out.

    • Marla says:

      These guys are idiots and they showed that in their depos. What they really need is to suffer, suffer, suffer and that would in my opinion going to jail for fraud. Frankly, I don’t even think these guys know what fraud is. How stupid can you be when you have an answer of “I look for my name and then I sign.” They had no idea what they were doing and they were to stupid to ask questions. They just wanted a paycheck. Believe me, housemanrob, I understand where you are coming from. My house was illegally taken from me and I think of all sorts of ways to get even. There are worse things in life than death. And that in my opinion is to suffer, suffer, suffer. The last two years of my life has been hell and I will not rest until there is justice for all of us.

      • housemanrob says:

        Marla, I am not even in foreclosure yet!! The point is that American people,,,,mainstreet….are being financially raped…..let me repeat that……FINANCIALLY RAPED…. by REAL GANGSTERS AND THUGS that hide behind veils like Harvard and Yale degrees, but ain’t no better than Tony Soprano’s crew and associates! They are destroying the futures of our own kids! So exactly…….WHAT DO THEY DESERVE!!

      • RAMONA says:

        AMEN MARLA

  4. CathyG says:

    Is there anything to stop me or any other public spirited citizen from copying the depositions and loading them back up into YouTube under our own names? There are millions of people following this issue around the country so there are millions of people who are not in any way associated with Mr. Forrest who could sponsor the videos, it seems to me.

    What does NTC really hope to accomplish with this other than making themselves look even more like horse’s asses than they already do?

    • John R. says:

      My question exactly… and just where is an active link to these depos?

    • pparke500 says:

      No, you are not a party to the order. Go ahead and post. I am also glad to see the ACLU defending the right of free speech, which as I understand is what it was founded for, instead of spending its time trying to force some town to remove its creche.

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