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“I felt like I was being treated like scum before, like a nobody. No one wanted to listen to me at their office.”
PORT ST. LUCIE — About 10 p.m. the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Cathy Hammers abruptly was woken up by a continuous loud banging on the front door of her Virginia home.
With two kids in college and a third touring the country in a rock band, she thought law enforcement was at her door with bad news of a possible car accident involving a family member.
Instead, Hammers was served foreclosure papers by Texas-based Nationstar Mortgage and the Fort Lauderdale law firm of Marshall Watson on a Port St. Lucie home Hammers and her parents sold in 1994 — a property she hasn’t owned or seen in 15 years.
“He was ringing the door bell, banging real hard on the door … the dogs were going crazy,” Hammer said. “When I asked him who he was. He asked me if I was Cathy and told me I was being served foreclosure papers. He said he was a process server with ASAP Legal Services and then just took off.”
According to court documents filed in St. Lucie County, a quit claim deed and satisfaction of mortgage were filed by Hammers and her parents on the home at 2291 S.W. Susset Lane in 1994.
Treasure Coast legal experts say Hammers’ case could be one of the most unusual to occur within the 19th Judicial Circuit, which encompasses Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee counties.
“When I talked to Marshall Watson, Sonya in their litigation department, and asked why I was being served foreclosure papers on a mortgage I did not sign, on a property I haven’t lived in for almost 20 years, she got snippety with me and asked if I had an attorney. Why would I need an attorney when they’ve made the mistake?” Hammers said.
Marshall Watson is one of four practices under investigation by the Florida attorney general for questionable foreclosure paperwork. Attorneys Ida Moghimi-Kian and Ingrid Fadil, who are listed on Marshall Watson’s foreclosure documents, did not return calls.
Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers began its investigation and contacted the Florida Attorney General’s Office early Tuesday, but staff declined to comment on the state’s active investigation into Marshall Watson and Hammers’ specific situation.
“Our office is inquiring into the situation and will be contacting the company to discuss this issue directly,” said Sandi Copes, spokeswoman for the Florida Attorney General’s Office, late Tuesday afternoon.
By Thursday, Hammers said Marshall Watson had completely changed their tune.
“They apologized profusely and said they would prepare the documents for me to sign … and that they were going to file a motion with the courts to remove my name from the foreclosure completely,” an ecstatic Hammers said. “I don’t know who called who or what was said, but their treatment of this completely changed. I felt like I was being treated like scum before, like a nobody. No one wanted to listen to me at their office.”
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