First let’s start out with some excerpts from the Florida Times Union that just happened to come out this morning while I was putting this post together…
Summonses are being misplaced or forged by servers; critics say sloppiness and fraud leading to sudden spike.
The foreclosure case against Patrick Jeffs was thrown out of court when a Jacksonville judge ruled that the summons to inform him of the lawsuit was counterfeit.
Mark Browne was in Iraq when a process server tried to give his mother in New Mexico a summons to inform him that his house in Jacksonville was being foreclosed on. She didn’t accept it, but the server signed a document that said she did. A judge threw that out, too.
Nancy Rush sold her Jacksonville condo in March, walking away poorer after the short sale and was getting on with her life when her phone rang with unlikely news: She was in foreclosure. A week after she unloaded the unit at Kendall Town in Arlington, a Jacksonville judge ordered the home sold at auction to settle a $190,000 mortgage debt, even though Rush had never received a summons saying she was being sued. “I didn’t even know there was a court date,” Rush said. “It scared the crap out of me.”
In Jeffs’ case, Circuit Judge Frederick Tygart ruled that there were two important problems with the affidavit of service that said papers were served on Oct. 16, 2007:
– The summons was allegedly served to Jeffs’ mother, Jeanne Jeffs, at 10:09 a.m., but the lawsuit wasn’t filed until that afternoon. “That means the summons served on Mr. Jeffs was not a summons issued by any Florida court,” Tygart wrote, “and, therefore, must have been counterfeited.”
– The affidavit was signed by the process server, LaTarshag Armstrong, who lives in Jacksonville, but notarized by Ruby Lee French, who lives in Tampa, “which means that Ms. Armstrong was not present when her signature was notarized.”
He had been paying more than $600 a month to Chase Home Finance for two years, along with a $4,800 origination fee, hoping for a loan modification. It wasn’t until the modification was denied that he realized that none of that money had gone toward his mortgage and that he owed more than $30,000 in back payments and penalties.
The number of “affidavits of lost summons,” the court document that must be filed in such a case, has skyrocketed in recent years.
From 2000 to 2006, a total of 1,031 such affidavits were filed with the Duval County Clerk of Court. In 2008 and 2009, more than 2,000 were filed each year, according to the clerk’s office.
Don Taylor, who’s been in the process serving business for 32 years, was surprised at the numbers.
“That’s mind-boggling to think that’s going on,” he said.
You can see the article in full here…
Well that lines up with our report we ran on Lost Summonses now doesn’t it…
Super Sewer Service – I Feel Bad For ALL the People Who Lost Their Homes and Were (obviously) NOT Served
Posted by Foreclosure Fraud on October 3, 2010 ·
“No Person ought to be taken imprisoned or disseised of his freehold, or be exiled or deprived of his Privileges, Franchises, Life, Liberty or Property but by due process of Law.” ~ Proper service of process initially establishes personal jurisdiction of the court over the person served. If the defendant ignores further pleadings or fails … Read more
My friends over at Ice Legal have been working hard on this project to show that their clients were not properly served.
Here are some examples of what they have come up with…
Is nothing sacred?
G&Z process server- Liz Mills
Here are some signatures of another G&Z server, Tenby Peklo:
This is from his personal mortgage in the public records:
Subject: Provest Process Server Gerrick Moore ID #1133
Signature on publicly recorded security instrument:
Returns of Service:
And all this was just a small sample of Ice Legals clients…
How bad is it?
Well, according to Matt Weidner, IT’S GOING TO MAKE THE ROBOSIGNER CONTROVERSY SEEM SMALL!
THERE IS SO MUCH BAD SERVICE OF PROCESS FLOATING ACROSS THIS STATE THAT IT’S GOING TO MAKE THE ROBOSIGNER CONTROVERSY SEEM SMALL
What is bad service? Not actually serving the defendant in the case, but lying to the court and saying the person was served. You see, a process server must file with the court an Affidavit of Service, an original document where he swears to the court, “On February 1, 2o10 at 4:10 pm, I personally served Matthew Weidner with a copy of the lawsuit and summons at his home at 1229 Central, St. Petersburg 33705. Weidner was 5 feet 2 inches tall, black and weighed about 200 pounds.” The problem is Matthew Weidner is white, 6 foot 1, weighs 165 and on February 1, 2010 at 4:10 pm he was on a flight bound for California….that service could never have happened so the process server lied. The big, big, big problem with service such as this example is…..
JUDGMENTS BASED ON FRAUDULENT SERVICE ARE VOID
Let that sink in and think about it. VOID. Not Voidable, but VOID AB INITIO or invalid from the outset. How many tens of thousands of titles to real property across this country are affected by this problem? Impossible to say at this point in time, but anecdotally, I see far too many cases of flawed service than we should ever permit. Elderly people, illiterate people, minorities that couldn’t avoid service or leave their homes even if they wanted to. And yet, the numbers of Affidavits of Diligent Search and Inquiry and Constructive Service in foreclosure cases is HUGE. No one was supervising the process servers. The lowly process server who got paid the same $25 if he was serving (or not serving) a foreclosure complaint on a $50,000 mortgage or a $5,000,000 mortgage. And now the fate of our entire title insurance industry and in fact our entire economy rests on the truth and veracity of the Affidavits of Service of Process that have been filed by these unregulated, unsupervised process servers.
Florida Statutes 48.021
(4)Any special process server shall be disinterested in any process he or she serves; and if the special process server willfully and knowingly executes a false return of service or otherwise violates the oath of office, he or she shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided for in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, and shall be permanently barred from serving process in Florida.
C’mon law enforcement. START DOING YOUR JOB!
All that have committed these horrendous crimes must come forward now. Do it before they come after you and maybe, just maybe you can work out a deal. You are just the small fish. Help the authorities take down your feeders…
You know who you are…