‘Foreclosure mill’ law firms smaller, less dominant after scandal
TAMPA — As foreclosures hit unheard-of levels in recent years, a handful of Florida law firms that operated as foreclosure factories reaped millions in fees.
One Tampa-based giant, Florida Default Law Group, had more than 1,000 lawyers, non-lawyer paralegals and support staff processing legal papers as cheaply and efficiently as possible.
However, some of those same law firms later were at the center of a national scandal in 2010 involving allegations of backdated and “robo-signed” documents and overall sloppy work. The Florida Attorney General investigated Florida Default Law Group, but dropped the case without finding fault.
Two years later, lawyers and judges say the worst abuses have stopped, and some of the mega-firms that dominated Florida foreclosure law have broken up or shrunk. In Tampa, Florida Default has changed its name to Ronald R. Wolfe and Associates, changed ownership and is now a smaller operation.