“My conclusion is that it’s pretty clear—from what she’s saying and the document that she attaches—that they’ve been doing what I’ve been saying they were doing all along: telling clients want to say. These are listed out for the attorneys to ask the witness, and the answers that the witness needs to give are right there. I find that to be extremely telling. It’s exactly what we thought was going on. When they talk about training of the witness, they’re teaching them what to say at trial, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not.”
Ocwen Lawyer Spoon-Fed Questions and Answers to Robo-Witnesses
Excerpted from @ The DBR
Note: The article from the DBR is about a year old but we now have the documents and emails in question.
A Royal Palm Beach attorney alleges an attorney for embattled mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial Corp. improperly spoon-fed questions and answers to unqualified witnesses testifying in foreclosure cases against Florida homeowners.
Foreclosure defense attorney Thomas Ice said he’s uncovered a script that was provided to Atlanta-based Ocwen witnesses to crush homeowner defenses and allegations of robo-witnesses by financial services sector employees who have no first-hand knowledge of mortgage details.
Ice represents St. Lucie County homeowner Thomas Rolle in foreclosure litigation brought by Deutsche Bank National Trust Co.
Ocwen took over servicing the mortgage in early 2013, and the lenders initially brought in national law firm Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer to handle the litigation.
Attorneys for both sides exchanged exhibits during trial preparation, but Ice said a group of documents inadvertently emailed during the exchange exposed an in-house strategy to feed witnesses a list of prepared questions and answers.
In several documents, former Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer attorney Erin Prete outlined litigation tactics in a series of emails to colleagues addressing foreclosure defenses and strategies for debunking them. In one email thread, she provided a list of questions focused on default notices sent to homeowners to begin the foreclosure process.
Those notices have proven pesky for lenders, who have repeatedly been tripped up in court by sloppy paperwork, incorrect mailing addresses and other administrative slipups during mortgage transfers, giving homeowners handy defenses at trial.
In addition to questions on default notices, Prete provided answers and a witness preparation form, which Ice said “provides all the documents that will be exhibits at trial to the witness.”
“This is the exact opposite of the relationship that they pretend to have in the courtroom—that the witness is the records custodian who culled through the bank’s records and provided the relevant ones to the attorney,” Ice said.
Prete, who left Quintairos Prieto to join Gasdick Stanton Early in Orlando, did not respond to requests for comment by deadline. Her emails to other attorneys indicate an attempt to ensure testimony by Ocwen employees on mortgage transfers and so-called document boarding would overcome hearsay objections, Ice said.
Courts consider testimony from servicers describing mortgage transfer documents to be hearsay unless servicer employees testify to a fact-checking process to verify the information in the documents.
“I have been working with Ocwen on ensuring their witnesses have the information necessary to testify to the boarding process at Ocwen. I received confirmation today that the witnesses have been provided this information,” Prete wrote in a Nov. 26, 2013, email to several attorneys. “As a reminder, I have attached case law and sample trial questions to ask for all prior servicer business records that we may need the witness to testify to. Please feel free to use these questions or create your own based off the case law requirements. I have also attached prior emails I have sent on this topic for anyone who didn’t receive them before.”
Among the questions:
• Is this boarding process routinely followed by Ocwen? Yes.
• Do you have any reason to believe the information provided by the prior servicer is not trustworthy? No.
• Are these records made at or around the time the event occurred by a person with knowledge? Yes.
“My conclusion is that it’s pretty clear—from what she’s saying and the document that she attaches—that they’ve been doing what I’ve been saying they were doing all along: telling clients want to say,” Ice said. “These are listed out for the attorneys to ask the witness, and the answers that the witness needs to give are right there. I find that to be extremely telling. It’s exactly what we thought was going on. When they talk about training of the witness, they’re teaching them what to say at trial, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not.”
Attorneys not involved in the litigation say there’s a thin line between witness preparation and unethical coaching, especially when trying to establish the foundation for business records to be admitted into evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule.
“I do not feel it is appropriate for any attorney in any case to sit down with a client and give them a canned answer,” said Kelly Kronenberg partner Adam Barnett.”
“The act of witness preparation is leveling the playing field so that the witness can tell what he or she knows against a skilled professional who is trained to turn every careless word to his or her client’s advantage,” said Fort Lauderdale attorney Thomas Messana of Messana P.A. “Testimony is not a conversation. It is a highly stylized, precise question-and-answer format in a strange language and very unnatural setting—all very different from everyday life.”
Messana saw no unethical behavior if Prete listened to the client representative’s rendition of the facts before trial, prepared a script based on her understanding of that statement and then sent it to the witness for confirmation.
“Now if the lawyer, never having met with the client representative, prepared a script of suggested testimony, that is a big problem,” he said.
Foreclosure Judge Won’t Seal Docs in Witness-Coaching Case
PS… where can one or who can get a full copy of this article ?? without signing up with scribed… ???
What a despicable woman! If they have a real case is there any reason to rehearse a witness? I don’t think so!
But of course there is!!!! Due process means having opportunity after opportunity to get “other opinions” but more than that you can force a court to abide by the law of and rules of evidence as well as the elements needed to bring an action…
People fail to recognize that this is only one step along the way and one will always lose to see if you are making a proper record for appeal or if your really smart study 42 USC 1983 well and put it together properly and how what was done is in fact a depravation of rights… to due process, to face (which means making known) who makes the claim against you, to be held to the necessary standing requirement and show the voracity of the claim and over come the “clean hands doctrine”… and that no court can grant or reward anyone who has done anything to create and put onto the record, fraud, make false claims and so forth for which you can sue them for ten times the amount of the theft of your house… and in the search for the alleged “owner” of the alleged “Loan” which never happened and they have masterfully covered up … it is still a cover-up, deception with clear intent, witness tampering, and my favorite 18 USC 471 to 474, because that is just what they are doing “counterfeiting” and using the court as a “debt” collector completely absent unbiased due process, which it is not licensed to do… oops yet another façade…
Always go for the “void” aspect not anything that is “voidable”… their claim is void because the record fails to reveal any actual claim.
and as the writer points out, once you start asking more details and what matters, which is they have no knowledge of anything of the account except as they have been coached such as what is the process of your job, what verification process they went through to validate the accounts authenticity, and the entries thereof, what is the amount loaned and what record is there that any funds were transferred from the alleged lender? And where in the accounting is the evidence of payments made for the alleged Loan when bought by Ocwen? How did Ocwen make payment, when was the actual physical instruments delivered, who is the care taker of those documents, have you ever seen them? So you do not even really know that the alleged originals exist, do you? In fact they could have been fabricated just like these other documents and you would not know the difference would you? So then you really can not attest to anything in regards to and alleged Loan, can you. One more question, if you loaned me even ten thousand dollars, would you be able to easily document that loan, the places you got the funds from, the account they were put in, the original instruments and last question, would you want someone else fabricating documents to get paid and sell the only collateral securing your Loan?
So please tell this court and the man over there that believes he owes someone but not these persons and does not want to pay the wrong person, would you secure his payment as being the right party due and owing, or are there sufficient reason to question the claim, based upon there being no original, no proper signature, no appearance of anyone who has actually held, took transfer of the instruments and exchanged payment in full for them and the complete lack of documentation of accounts receivables but only an alleged affidavit by someone who has no first hand knowledge, which can be forged, fabricated and a witness that has been coached to state facts in such a way as to appear genuine yet lacks validity, given all that would you put up your home, your medical insurance, your wages for twenty or thirty years, or even one day and warrantee that this amount is actually due and owing and it is owed to the party without any actual link to the alleged debt?
If this were an IRS case would you swear to the IRS that this amount is due and owing and due and owing to Ocwen, and if it turns our you are wrong you will go to jail? Will you without hesitation sign your name to that or is the truth that you have been coached what to answer and the questions that will be asked and how to answer them?
When you received your instructions to read the account given to you by counsel, that is the first time you had ever actually seen anything on this alleged account, isn’t that correct? So actually this may be a completely non existent account and it is more than possible the it is in fact a complete fabrication due to the fact that there is no accounting, no proper signatures, no evidence of an actual Note or Deed of Trust existing at all and the original mystically seems to not be able to make an appearance nor does the one who allegedly has it to bear. Would you say that you would without hesitation pay this alleged claim, or require further proof and evidence of the creation and possession and entitlement to payments be required first? As a professional accountant and as just another man/woman who works hard for their money and does not want it given to the wrong person?
Would you want your bank to take funds from your account for payment to someone who showed up with an alleged copy of a check that was allegedly written to someone else by someone claiming to represent this person who has an alleged copy of and alleged check that you allegedly wrote in exchange for a loan which there is a complete lack of accounting to back that up nor has the alleged “bearer” of the “bearer instrument” bared the instrument nor do the alleged bearers agents have the instrument either? Would you want your bank to pay out to them or would you want them to require the one who claims to have the Check and to be entitled to payments under the check, show up and bear the instrument, properly transferred to him and to bring a full accounting of the alleged Loan with records of the source and payment made along with a full accounting of payments made and all that goes with it, which are completely absent here?
Do you have a bank account? Tell this court, would your bank cash a copy of a fifty dollar note, check, money order, I owe you, without the proper signatures, dates and original instrument? So if your bank would not do it for fifty why should this court do so for an alleged copy of a three hundred thousand dollar note?
How many accounts do you handle in any given day? How many entries do you make on average on any given day? what is the process for that? Do you open up the payment envelope or does someone else do it first and then it is handed to you to enter? Do you open the account file by the loan number or the social security number or by name? Do you open up an Ocwen account or ???? Do you make the payments to escrow? …. etc
hit them with a bunch of details which will reveal they have no experience in the alleged job of accounting they were testifying to have been doing all this time.. but put up to it by the attorneys.. and then ask the closer, “Would you make payment to someone who sais they have a copy of a Note .. see above… turn their witness into a witness for you and make the record that they were put up to it by the attorneys who are bound by a code of ethics and due process but chose to violate it for money… they can not show they have any entitlement to nor does the non existent alleged client have entitlement to and may even be oblivious to anyone making a claim on their behalf.
One can not sell that which one does not own nor can one lend that which they do not lawfully have to loan, nor is one entitled to payment for something they never purchased.
Gather case law and frame it right and they will have to pay you to not continue and to agree to non disclosure… oh and you will be able to file a quite title within six months, publish it and do the due and get quiet title….
What a joke, Kelly Kronenberg offices ARE ENGAGED IN THIS EXACT BEHAVIOR AS WELL – look up Erin Berger, she brought a woman to court in my case who committed perjury by stating the “plaintiff” paid my property taxes, which was false as I have been paying them and have receipts from the county, AND the Plaintiff DOES NOT EXIST (part of GMAC as well as Deutsche Bank) and yet the robo-witness works for WELLS FARGO and who produced false evidence indicating THEY were paying the taxes, again, WELLS FARGO IS NOT THE PLAINTIFF.. This robo-witness also stated WELLS FARGO “owned” the purported mortgage and note – – AGAIN WELLS FARGO IS NOT A PARTY TO THE CASE!!!!! To make matters worse,Ms. Erim M Berger made statements that she KNEW her robo-witness was not knowledgeable to testify in my case – – I HAVE TRANSCRIPT OF HER STATEMENTS IN COURT – SUCH CRIMINALS!!!!! Previously in my case, there was an admittance they KNEW the wrong plaintiff was suing but they wnted to continue forward with the case – this has been posted here on this site several years ago in the same time frame there was a case in West Palm Beach with the same admittance!!!! THEY KNOW THESE CASES ARE CRAP!!!!!!
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