Foreclosure Court: The Erosion of the Judiciary

Kangaroo Court

Foreclosure Court: The Erosion of the Judiciary

by Mark Stopa

I’m a big believer in the justice system.  In fact, that’s part of why I became a lawyer.  I believe in every litigant’s right to obtain a fair hearing and trial before a neutral judge and/or impartial jury.  It sounds cliché, but that’s what I do – help people navigate the judicial system in their time of need.

In recent months, though, the judiciary in many parts of Florida (not all, but many) has turned into something I don’t recognize.  The change has been so sudden and so extreme that it’s altering the face of the judiciary and hindering that which I hold so dear – the right to fair hearings and due process.  Yes, what I consider the “core” of a fully-functioning judicial system is eroding.

If you’re a Florida lawyer but you don’t handle foreclosure cases, you likely have no idea what I’m talking about.  After all, outside of foreclosure-world, Florida’s courts are operating like normal, business as usual.  Sure, the down economy has brought some minor changes, but all in all, our courts are functioning in a normal way.

Foreclosure cases, though, are a totally different animal.

I was chatting with a colleague the other day, an attorney who doesn’t handle foreclosure lawsuits, and he was shocked as I described the things I see in foreclosure court on a daily basis.  This is a seasoned attorney who was SHOCKED at what I see every day.  That made me realize … I’m not doing a good enough job of explaining the travesties I see every day in foreclosure-world.

It’s a tough line to toe, frankly.  Bar rules prohibit me from disparaging any particular judge, so it’s sometimes difficult to explain what’s happening in foreclosure court without crossing that line.  In this blog, though, I’m going to toe that line.  Don’t misunderstand – I’m not criticizing anyone in particular.  Rather, my critique – and that’s what I see this as, a constructive critique, coupled with a hope that everyone will realize just how flawed our system has become – is aimed at the entire institution.  My concerns aren’t with any particular judge or any one ruling – they lie with the entire judicial system, the way the entire judiciary is operating right now, at least as it pertains to foreclosure cases.

I know what you’re thinking.  I’m just a self-interested, foreclosure defense attorney who’s trying to delay foreclosures and let people live for free.  I’m upset because the courts are making that more difficult.  Right?

Before you blow off my concerns in that manner, you tell me.  Are my concerns legitimate?  Is this how a judicial system should operate?  You tell me …

Read the rest here...


10 Responses to “Foreclosure Court: The Erosion of the Judiciary”
  1. George Newman says:

    I would like to hear from any persons who have lost their homes to a foreclosure mill, and where -in the judge accepted robo documents, in both El Cajon and San Diego courts.

  2. George Newman says:

    I am in San Diego and I can name you a dozen judges who side with the foreclosure mills when they do not even HAVE A SINGLE SOLITARY LEGAL DOCUMENT WHICH GIVES THE MILL ANY RIGHTS TO THE PROPERTY WHATEVER. NOT AN ASSIGNMENT OF THE TRUST DEED. NOT THE ORIGINAL NOTE. NOT EVEN A COPY. All these mills produce is what any person can get for free from the county recorder. Robo-signing or robo-notarizing means nothing to these judges. I don’t even think they know what they are doing, or really understand what robo-signing is, nor do they care. They just want the case off of their desk, who cares who gets hurt by these fraudulent mills? The judges sure don’t care.

  3. Donna says:

    I look at all this, read it all and believe in what is said. But for us, we lost everything because the COURTS wouldn’t even give us a hearing to allow us to even present our evidence! It just closed our case 4 times, no reasons, not even notification. I found out because I kept checking on our Motions (many of which were never even entered!) We had an uncontested Rule 105 (quiet Title action) against HSBC who’s name never appeared on anything associated with our property. Nothing in county records or anywhere else and the Lender on Record when they foreclosed was bankrupt and their trustee even wrote a letter to the court telling it to grant it!

    HSBC filed to have the Lis Pendens removed and rushed a court date. we filed a response but are out of the country living with family because we had no place to live in the US. They stole all our money and completely wrecked our family (resulting in a possible divorce and two children in and out of mental hospitals for breakdowns). The court blew off our response and told us we had to be present (at a cost of over $10,000 in airfare and expenses for both of us to attend from Africa) even though they allowed many other cases to do it via telephone. Not us though.

    AND THE COURT IN COLORADO ALLOWED IT ALL. We never got our day in court. Ever. So you think we are bitter about what is happening there us a total understatement. I have to believe that HSBC will get their’s in the end…just too late for us to benefit.

  4. I was given a foreclosure summons 4 years ago. I hired an attorney that went to jail. The new attorney that took over the business then withdrew from my case and filed a lien on my house. I am still in “Limbo” awaiting my time b4 a judge.
    Nah, Our judicial system is fine 😉
    Gotta love those trustworthy bankers.

  5. ldynps says:

    I’ll tell you Mark….The Banks Are Stealing Homes and the COURTS are Allowing Them To Do It!….the Judges in Florida district courts know that the documents the banks attorney’s are filing are forged, they just don’t care! Their own retirement investments are in mortgage backed securities!! There is not justice in the foreclosure courts! The Courts provide a court reporter for most civil cases, including “drunk driving”, however, there is NO court reporters provided by the foreclosure courts, and that is intentional! There is NO JURY in foreclosure cases?? HELLO!! I just wonder how many homes will it take to get homeowners mad enough to file a case against the Courts and Judges holding them accountable for this ongoing criminal activity….I think that’s against the law isn’t it?

    What’s it going to take? Millions of us are fighting…few are winning??

    • j Alonzo says:

      Good Point. Court Reporters are about 100 bucks. Dont go to trial with out one.
      This puts the judge on notice that he or she is being recorded and an appeal is pending if the show love for the Banksters.

    • Ann Shakti says:

      We need to stand together and use public pressure and direct action to save our homes. A few of us from Florida attended the Southeast Housing Justice Academy and are starting an Occupy Our Homes Florida group with a convention in Orlando the end of January. Please contact us at

  6. Jack Lee says:

    Not just foreclosure court, this stuff has been happening for years in Family Court. No due process, forcing people to testify against themselves or go to jail (I choose jail, 8 days for contempt is what I served before they gave up and released me. 3 more hearings and I finally paid $1,000 to get rid of them.). It is an abomination. Years ago, a contempt hearing you had an attorney a normal hearing. Now, you have an entire room filled with people, all in contempt, trying to defend themselves against what a computer files claims. There is no witness against you, but the outcome is predetermined. This is justice? No, this is the state trying to steal every last nickel from your pocket because they created a debt they are now the collector on. Involuntary servitude at it’s finest.

  7. Lifeiswonderful says:

    it’s not just Florida. it’s everywhere, especially so in nonjudicial states. but what difference does it make? everyone knows you have to be rich to make the legal system work. the country is bought and paid for by corporate interests and everyone involved works to preserve the status quo.

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