Foreclosure lawyers’ misdeeds ignored in Florida?
Despite complaints, ethics breaches slip past discipline system
Florida courthouses are rife with evidence of errors and fabrications made by attorneys handling foreclosure cases, and yet so far no lawyers have been disciplined.
With pressure mounting to police its own members, the Florida Bar established a special category of complaints listed as “foreclosure fraud.”
But in 20 complaints investigated in that category, the Bar has not found cause to discipline anyone — even lawyers who admitted to breaking ethical rules.
Some observers say that early track record of ignoring misdeeds by its members raises questions about whether the system of self-policing for lawyers can handle the depth of wrongdoing in the foreclosure crisis.
The complaints have been filed by judges, lawyers, homeowners and the Florida Bar itself, and reflect the issues seen in courtrooms almost daily for the past two years, including forged signatures and backdated documents used to improperly seize homes in foreclosures.