From: Holland, Peter
Subject: [Lawclinic] Important Victory in GMAC Foreclosure Robo-Perjury
Date: Friday, January 14, 2011, 5:12 PM
I just wanted to share an important victory our Consumer
Protection Clinic won today. Using the affidavit of Mr. Stephan, a GMAC
employee who testified in deposition in an unrelated case that he signed up to
10,000 (yes, ten thousand) affidavits per month without personal knowledge of
their contents, and did not appear in front of the notary who “witnessed”
his signature, the University of Maryland Consumer Protection Clinic partnered
with Civil Justice, Inc. and filed a defensive class action. That is, we
took an existing foreclosure case, and filed a motion to dismiss on a
class-wide basis any foreclosure which relied on the Robo-Perjury Affidavits.
We met some resistance, including all kinds of arguments
that the case was not suitable for class action.
Today we appeared in court and entered a consent motion to
dismiss, based on the representation in open court by GMAC’s lawyer that:
1. GMAC is dismissing without prejudice every single Maryland
foreclosure which relies on the Stephan affidavit, where the sale has not already
2. If and when they refile the foreclosures, they will not
pass to the consumers any of the costs incurred in these bogus foreclosures;
3. Any new refilled foreclosure will be subject to
Maryland’s new foreclosure rules requiring notices, mandatory foreclosure
mediation, and other protections.
GMAC’s lawyer had told us prior to this hearing that
there are about 10,000 affected homeowners.
I think that this litigation strategy could be used in other
states by other law school consumer clinics, because Mr. Stephan’s
affidavits were filed all over the country.
Peter A. Holland
Visiting Law School Assistant
Consumer Protection Clinic
University of Maryland School of Law
For more on this see…
In a major ruling Friday, a coalition of nonprofit defense lawyers and consumer protection advocates in Maryland successfully got over 10,000 foreclosure cases managed by GMAC Mortgage tossed out, because affidavits in the cases were signed by Jeffrey Stephan, the infamous GMAC “robo-signer” who attested to the authenticity of foreclosure documents without any knowledge about them, as well as signing other false statements.
The University of Maryland Consumer Protection Clinic and Civil Justice, Inc., a nonprofit, filed the class action lawsuit, arguing that any case using Jeffrey Stephan as a signer was illegitimate and must be dismissed. In court Friday, GMAC agreed to dismiss every case in Maryland relying on a Stephan affidavit. They can refile foreclosure actions on the close to 10,000 homes, but only at their own expense, and subject to new Maryland regulations which require mandatory mediation between borrower and lender before moving to foreclosure. Civil Justice and the Consumer Protection Clinic also want any cases with affidavits from Xee Moua of Wells Fargo, who has also admitted to robo-signing, thrown out, but that case has not yet been settled.
Continue reading here…
I wonder if this is going to apply to all the other Robo-signers…
One other note, this is more than just GMAC cases, Stephan has signed affidavits for many other “Banks” as well…
Background info from last November…
Attorneys ask courts to toss out foreclosure cases
Motions focus on ‘robo-signers’ with GMAC, Wells Fargo