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GMAC LLC vs. LAW OFFICES OF DAVID J. STERN Battle it out in Federal Court

GMAC LLC vs. LAW OFFICES OF DAVID J. STERN Battle it out in Federal Court


Mortgage Fraud

GMAC Mortgage, LLC
Law Offices of David J. Stern

Action Date: August 12, 2011
Location: FT. Lauderdale, FL

GMAC Mortgage, LLC filed counterclaims in a federal court lawsuit brought against GMAC by its former lawyers, The Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A. (“Stern”). The case, No. 11-CV-61526, was filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida, where Stern’s offices were located.

GMAC accuses Stern of gross legal malpractice, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, violating Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practice Act and Misrepresentation/Suppression. GMAC seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

GMAC alleges that Stern:

1. caused or permitted Stern employees to execute, witness and/or notarize assignments of mortgage that were back-dated;

2. caused or permitted Stern’s employees to witness and/or notarize assignments of mortgages, affidavits of indebtedness and/or other affidavits on a daily basis prior to and without actually witnessing execution of the document by the person whose signature was to be witnessed and/or notarized;

3. caused or permitted Stern’s employees to prepare and execute affidavits of indebtedness for submission to the foreclosure court that failed to follow appropriate professional practices and procedures;

4. caused or permitted Stern’s employees to sign the name of another person on various foreclosure-related documents without any indication of that fact on the documents;

5. charged GMAC substantial fees and costs for legal services that Stern knew or should have known fell below the minimum standard of professional care owed by Stern to GMAC; and

6. committed acts or omissions that have subjected GMAC to claims, losses and liabilities of third-parties.

Essentially, GMAC claims that Stern’s malpractice carrier should be held responsible for all of the allegedly fraudulent acts of Stern’s office manager, Cheryl Samons, and other Stern employees who signed mortgage assignments and affidavits to push through foreclosures at record-breaking speed.

On July 27, 2011, Stern filed its Answer to these GMAC claims including the following:

“ 9. GMACM’s claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the doctrine of unclean hands because of GMACM’s: breach of contract; failure to retain replacement counsel in a timely manner; signing inaccurate affidavits; affidavits that were not properly notarized; not confirming whether loan and mortgage documents were properly endorsed; assigned or in possession of the appropriate party; and other misconduct identified in the Consent Order entered on April 13, 2011 by Order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the FDIC, and because, to the extent DJSPA committed legal malpractice, which is expressly denied, any such malpractice was the result of GMACM’s own actions and/or instructions.”

Homeowners and investors are lost in this battle of the giants. Tens of thousands of Florida homeowners lost their foreclosure cases because of the fraudulent documents produced by GMAC.

These documents most certainly came from Stern, but they also came from GMAC’s own employees, including master-signer Jeffrey Stephan, and employees in many other major foreclosure mills used by GMAC. The Stern defense that “Everybody was doing it” is unfortunately true.

An important question for homeowners and investors is whether GMAC has instructed its new lawyers to advise the Courts and homeowners of these findings.

Malpractice insurance carriers throughout the country could not imagine a more ominous case. Copies of the Counterclaim and Answer are available in the Pleadings section of Fraud Digest.


© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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FL 4th DCA Rules AG Can’t Investigate Foreclosure Firm Under FDUTPA

FL 4th DCA Rules AG Can’t Investigate Foreclosure Firm Under FDUTPA


DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA
FOURTH DISTRICT
January Term 2011
STATE OF FLORIDA,
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL,
Appellant,
v.
SHAPIRO & FISHMAN, LLP,
Appellee.
No. 4D10-4526
[April 27, 2011]

Excerpt:

At oral argument, the Attorney General conceded it had decided to proceed exclusively under this one particular statutory provision. It could have proceeded under another statutory provision, such as a criminal investigative subpoena if other relevant criteria were satisfied, which would not require the subpoena to qualify as connected to “trade or commerce” under FDUTPA. This was exclusively the choice of the state.

[ipaper docId=54108488 access_key=key-1gytr5bp80e9o2n0nxfa height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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Judge OK’s class-action status for homeowner lawsuit against Florida law firm

Judge OK’s class-action status for homeowner lawsuit against Florida law firm


By Christine Stapleton Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 9:17 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010
Posted: 6:06 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010

As many as 2,000 homeowners suing the law firm of self-proclaimed foreclosure king David J. Stern over excessive attorney fees and costs won a major victory today when an appeals court blessed the group’s class-action status.

“We are very excited,” said Louis M. Silber, the West Palm Beach attorney who filed the case in January 2007 — the first class-action lawsuit filed against Stern and his Plantation-based law firm stemming from foreclosure fraud accusations.

In a four-page opinion, the 4th District Court of Appeal upheld the findings of Circuit Judge Thomas H. Barkdull,, who decided the complaints and circumstances of the homeowners were so similar that they would best be handled in a class-action lawsuit.

Members of the class are homeowners who received letters from Stern’s firm between Jan. 18, 2003 and Feb. 19 2009 offering to reinstate their loans with Wells Fargo by paying reinstatement charges.

Among the excessive reinstatement fees and costs described in the lawsuit:

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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FL APPEALS 4th DCA “FINDS NO ABUSE, AFFIRMS TRIAL COURT DECISION IN CLASS CERTIFICATION”: DAVID J. STERN V. BANNER, WELLS FARGO

FL APPEALS 4th DCA “FINDS NO ABUSE, AFFIRMS TRIAL COURT DECISION IN CLASS CERTIFICATION”: DAVID J. STERN V. BANNER, WELLS FARGO


DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA
FOURTH DISTRICT

July Term 2010

LAW OFFICES OF DAVID J. STERN, P.A. and DAVID J. STERN,
individually,
Appellants,

v.

LOREN BANNER and WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.,
Appellees.

CASE No. 4D09-3928

[ December 29, 2010 ]

Excerpt:

Using that standard, we find no abuse of discretion in the trial court’s decision to certify the class in this case and
affirm the certification order.

[ipaper docId=46037982 access_key=key-2jvtqr51dbwmtnu8smi7 height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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