Treasure Coast residents exchange sad stories at foreclosure happy hour

By Nadia Vanderhoof

Friday, May 13, 2011

Several Treasure Coast residents scribbled the name “Linda Green” in black permanent marker on their temporary name tags at a recent happy hour gathering in West Palm Beach.

That name and others have become synonymous with the nationwide foreclosure robo-signing crisis that’s rocked the foundation of several major banks and mortgage lending institutions. Several foreclosure law firms and lenders have been accused of improperly preparing and filing foreclosure documents by allegedly bulk-signing names of bank employees on court documents, questioning the validity of past foreclosures and cases that are still in active litigation.

It’s one of the bonds shared by the half dozen Treasure Coast residents and 30 others from South Florida who meet monthly at what they call the Foreclosure Hamlet Happy Hour.

Almost all attendees claim their foreclosure documents were robo-signed.

“The banks created this fabricated propaganda that framed us like deadbeats. Irresponsible Americans that scammed the banks out of trillions of dollars by signing on loans we knew we couldn’t pay, ” said West Palm Beach activist and founder Lisa Epstein.

She and Michael Redman, founder of started the group that plans to expand north and hopes to organize a Treasure Coast meeting soon.

Jensen Beach resident John Wind regularly attends the happy hour meetings.

His foreclosure was prepared by the Florida Default Law Group on behalf of his lender Wells Fargo.

“(The Florida Default Law Group and Wells Fargo) are demanding $560,000 on a home that’s worth $225,000,” Wind said.

Wind said Hamlet members share their outrage and disbelief over their foreclosure situations at the meetings.

“I am not the only one this is happening to,” said Wind. “This problem is so large. It’s not only a Florida thing. This is happening everywhere in America.”

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