Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals Will Hear Oral Arguments in the Hassell v. American Home Mortgage Servicing Case….
On November 13, 2012, Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in a most interesting and extraordinary case.
All the superstars that have faded from memory a bit over the last several months will be returning to our collective conscience for renewed consideration…..
A Linda Greene Assignment of Mortgage will be front and center. The plaintiff filed the assignment, then when I objected, filed discovery, tried to talk about it at trial, they screamed wildly that it didn’t matter at all….didn’t mean a thing….how dare I even speak of it! What an outrage!
Well, maybe the Linda Greene Assignment matters after all.
Next, this case might be referred to as American Home Mortgage Servicing and the Curious case of the Danielle Sterling “endorsement”…but there’s more of that…..
The moment defense counsel knew an AHMSI representative would be deposed and could testify at trial, he sought out information in preparation for deposition and to impeach this witness at trial.
- On or about January 28, 2011, this preparation led counsel find an affidavit filed in another case by DANIELLE STERLING (hereinafter “Sterling”), the individual who purportedly signed the endorsement in this case. It should be noted that this Affidavit was only executed on January 12, 2012, but that AHMSI had been aware of the allegations contained within the Affidavit for many months in advance of its execution. Accordingly, AHMSI would have been aware of the facts contained therein and would have been required to disclose said facts to Defendants in this case. See Sterling’s Affidavit is attached hereto as Exhibit “5”.
- Just so that the record, and this motion are clear, the following are the two alleged endorsements of Danielle Steele that are at issue first in this case and then in the affidavit filed and marked as Exhibit “5”:
- The point to be made clear from this visual depiction of the exhibits filed in this case is the similarity in both the endorsements at issue. It should further be noted that one of the problems with the Riggs case cited below is the exact nature of the mark or signature used in the Riggs endorsement was not clearly framed before the trial or appellate courts, an important fact that will be discussed below. See Footnote 6, infra, for a further discussion regarding the questionable endorsement in Riggs.
- This affidavit becomes extremely important in this case because under Riggs (to be discussed in detail below) and the applicable section of the U.C.C., Defendants are required to produce some evidence that an endorsement is either forged or unauthorized to shift the burden to prove authenticity to Plaintiff. Defendants have clearly done this through the filing of the Sterling affidavit.
- In this affidavit Sterling admits that while she did endorse certain notes on behalf of American Home Mortgage, the parent company of AMERICAN BROKER’S CONDUIT (hereinafter “American Broker’s), the original lender at issue here, from time to time, her employment with ended in 2007 once American Broker’s parent filed bankruptcy. See ¶11 of Sterling Affidavit.
- This is extremely important because the note filed by Plaintiff bears an execution date which is mere days before the bankruptcy filing of the payee on the note. The simple issue thus presented is, “Was the note at issue in this case properly endorsed by Sterling in the mere days between when it was received by American Broker’s and when American Home filed bankruptcy?”
- Even more startling has been Steele’s reaction to the discovery of her affidavit by Defendants.
- More exactly, after discovering the affidavit last week, Defendants’ counsel had extensive conversations with Steele’s attorney, Mr. Hamlim O’Kelley, III. While Mr. O’Kelley was quite helpful and communicative at first, he cut off all communication when he read that websites had caught wind of Steele’s endorsement problems and that Defendants were in possession of the Steele Affidavit that he helped create on behalf of his client.
- Finally, both Plaintiff and its alleged predecessor-in-interest AHMSI have consistently evaded answering Defendants questions regarding who Sterling was, whether Sterling had the authority to endorse the note, and the date when the actual endorsement occurred.
Additionally, Defendants’ deposition of Plaintiff’s corporate representative produced the following exchange between the corporate representative and Defendants’ counsel:
Be sure to check out the rest here…