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Bondi says court ruling puts foreclosure fraud investigations in jeopardy

Bondi says court ruling puts foreclosure fraud investigations in jeopardy


As if she didn’t know this…hmm

Miami Herald-

An appeals court has denied Attorney General Pam Bondi‘s request to allow the state Supreme Court to review a ruling she says limits her ability to fight foreclosure fraud. Because of this decision, seven pending cases are now threatened, Bondi said Thursday.

In December, the state’s 4th District Court of Appeals ruled that Bondi does not have the authority to investigate a law firm for alleged fraud under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act because attorneys’ work on behalf of lenders did not constitute trade or commerce. She asked the court to certify that its decision in the  Law Offices of David Stern, P.A. v. State of Florida case passes upon a question of great public importance so that she could appeal to the Supreme Court.

[MIAMI HERALD]

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Attorney General Pam Bondi Asks Fourth District Court of Appeal to Certify Important Foreclosure Investigation Case for Florida Supreme Court Review

Attorney General Pam Bondi Asks Fourth District Court of Appeal to Certify Important Foreclosure Investigation Case for Florida Supreme Court Review


NOTE: Below in her request appears a reference to a link @ #4 Nevada v. LPS, but where is her lawsuit against LPS??

Attorney General Pam Bondi today filed a motion asking the Fourth District Court of Appeal to certify that its recent decision in Law Offices of David Stern, P.A. v. State of Florida passes upon a question of great public importance. In Stern, the Fourth DCA held that the Attorney General’s Office lacked authority under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (“FDUPTA”) to subpoena records of the Stern firm as part of an investigation into possible misconduct in the firm’s handling of foreclosure cases.

Applicable court rules require certification from the Fourth DCA before this office may appeal the Stern decision to the Florida Supreme Court. The Attorney General’s motion asks the Fourth DCA to certify that its decision in Stern passes upon the following question of great public importance: whether the creation of invalid assignments of mortgages by a law firm and subsequent use of such documents by the firm in foreclosure litigation on behalf of the purported assignee is an unfair and deceptive trade practice which may be the subject of an investigation by the Office of the Attorney General.

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source:  http://www.myfloridalegal.com

[ipaper docId=76789463 access_key=key-2dd5psfp0y694n3qwlkh height=600 width=600 /]

 

 

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FL 4DCA Says FL AG lacked authority under FDUTPA to issue the subpoena, Reversed

FL 4DCA Says FL AG lacked authority under FDUTPA to issue the subpoena, Reversed


DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA
FOURTH DISTRICT

July Term 2011

LAW OFFICE OF DAVID J. STERN, P.A.,
Appellant,

v.

STATE OF FLORIDA, DEPARTMENT OF LEGAL AFFAIRS,
Appellee.

No. 4D10-4708

[December 14, 2011]

 [ipaper docId=75682304 access_key=key-1ddqsno5cz2v49d8a02s height=600 width=600 /]

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Law Offices of David J. Stern Files a Notice of Appeal with 4th DCA of Florida Against AG Subpoena

Law Offices of David J. Stern Files a Notice of Appeal with 4th DCA of Florida Against AG Subpoena


LAW OFFICES OF DAVID J. STERN, P.A.
vs.
THE STATE OF FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF LEGAL AFFAIRS,

NOTICE OF APPEAL

NOTICE IS GIVEN that Petitioner/Appellant LAW OFFICES OF DAVID J. STERN, P.A. appeals to the Fourth Court of Appeal the Order on Petitioner’s Amended Petition to Quash the Investigative Subpoena Duces Tectum Issued by Florida’s Attorney General

Continue below…

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*BREAKING* Florida judge denies Law Office of David J. Stern motion to quash subpoena

*BREAKING* Florida judge denies Law Office of David J. Stern motion to quash subpoena


This is a major victory for Florida residents.

Florida Judge Eileen O’Connor denied Law Office of David J. Stern motion to quash a subpoena from Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum in connection with the AG’s investigation into several of the state’s foreclosure firms.

Will add more to this as it comes in.

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David-J-Stern-AG-Subpoena

[ipaper docId=35680209 access_key=key-16l1kpbcmkkh7zujuh5k height=600 width=600 /]

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Posted in foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., STOP FORECLOSURE FRAUDComments (3)

DRAFTING MOTIONS FOR RELIEF FROM STAY IN CHAPTER 13 CASES

DRAFTING MOTIONS FOR RELIEF FROM STAY IN CHAPTER 13 CASES


ANTICIPATING DEBTOR’S CHALLENGES AND WITHSTANDING LITIGATION

Via: Brian Davies

GREAT LOOK AT THE BANKS WAY OF TRYING TO GET AROUND THE BANKRUPTCY. HERE IS THE WAY THEY LOOK AT THE ASSIGNMENTS AND TRANSFERS. NOTE THE POOLING AND SERVICING AGREEMENTS ARE IMPORTANT. IT ALSO SCREWS THEM WHEN THEY TRY TO TRANSFER AFTER THE CLOSE OF THE TRUST.

[ipaper docId=36801375 access_key=key-1gd8wpuuku9gainunkxb height=600 width=600 /]

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Posted in bankruptcy, brian w. davies, chain in title, deed of trust, discovery, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosures, mortgage, note, securitization, servicers, trustee, TrustsComments (1)

FORECLOSURE EX PARTE REVERSED…Not Appropriate

FORECLOSURE EX PARTE REVERSED…Not Appropriate


DeSILVA v. FIRST COMMUNITY BANK OF AMERICA

JOHN R. DeSILVA, Appellant,
v.
FIRST COMMUNITY BANK OF AMERICA, a Federal Stock Savings Bank, Appellee.

Case No. 2D10-307.

District Court of Appeal of Florida, Second District.

Opinion filed August 4, 2010.

Matthew J. Meyer and Marc Matthews of Ansa Assuncao, LLP, Tampa, for Appellant.

Karen E. Maller of Powell Carney Maller Ramsay & Grove, P.A., St. Petersburg, for Appellee.

VILLANTI, Judge.

John R. DeSilva appeals the trial court’s nonfinal order appointing, without notice or a hearing, a receiver for certain real estate involved in a foreclosure action. He argues the trial court erred by not providing notice and an opportunity to be heard before entry of the order when First Community Bank of America failed to establish that immediate appointment of a receiver without notice or a hearing was necessary. We agree and, therefore, reverse and remand with directions.

This case arose in the context of a mortgage foreclosure of a single-family, nonhomestead residence located in St. Pete Beach. The Bank filed a verified complaint for foreclosure, along with an unverified motion to appoint a receiver on an expedited basis. These documents were served on DeSilva’s attorney on December 29, 2009. Count IV of the complaint sought appointment of a receiver, alleging that: (1) DeSilva “[did] not have the financial capability of maintaining the property which is in a residential community and requires maintenance and upkeep”; (2) his “inability to maintain the property will result in the possibility of complaints from the neighboring residential homeowners as well as code violations from the City and County for failure to maintain the property”; (3) DeSilva had been approached by individuals interested in purchasing the property and the Bank wanted a receiver to take over any sales negotiations and execute any documents necessary to complete the sale of the property; and (4) expedited appointment of a receiver was necessary “to see that the property is protected from waste which includes both the maintenance issues, as well as the capability of selling the property at what is deemed to be a reasonable financial arrangement with interested buyers.”

The Bank’s unverified motion for expedited appointment of a receiver made similar allegations: (1) the Bank wanted a receiver appointed to deal with unidentified potential buyers who were hesitant to buy the property because of the pending foreclosure action; (2) a receiver was necessary to oversee the property’s maintenance, to avoid complaints from neighbors, and to avoid possible code violations; and (3) the loan documents provided for appointment of a receiver in the event of default. While the motion generally asserted that appointment of a receiver is appropriate when the value of the property is insufficient to cover the debt at issue, neither the Bank’s motion nor its complaint affirmatively asserted that the actual value of the property was insufficient to cover the debt, and the record before us otherwise contains no evidence that this was the case. Without notice or hearing on the motion, on January 11, 2010, the circuit court entered an order appointing a receiver. Here, this was error.

The notice provisions of Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.610 clearly apply to an application for receivership. See Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.620(a) (“The provisions of rule 1.610 as to notice shall apply to applications for the appointment of receivers.”); Phillips v. Greene, 994 So. 2d 371, 372 (Fla. 3d DCA 2008) (reversing ex parte receivership order which did not comply with rule 1.610). Ordinarily, a hearing is required before appointment of a receiver. Edenfield v. Crisp, 186 So. 2d 545, 548 (Fla. 2d DCA 1966); Phillips, 994 So. 2d at 373. Pursuant to rule 1.610, a receiver can be appointed without notice or a hearing if: (1) “it appears from the specific facts shown by affidavit or verified pleading that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the movant before the adverse party can be heard in opposition”; (2) “the movant’s attorney certifies in writing any efforts that have been made to give notice and the reasons why notice should not be required”; and (3) the trial court’s order “define[s] the injury, state[s] findings by the court why the injury may be irreparable, and give[s] the reasons why the order was granted without notice if notice was not given.” See Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.610(a)(1)-(2) (emphasis added); Phillips, 994 So. 2d at 373. None of these elements were established by the pleadings in this case.

First, we note that the loan documents do contain a provision for appointment of a receiver as a matter of right and without notice if the Bank instituted foreclosure proceedings. While mortgage agreements often contain provisions whereby the borrower in a mortgage contract consents to the appointment of a receiver in the event of default, the appointment of a receiver is still, by case law, not a matter of right even when the mortgage documents provide for such appointment. See Carolina Portland Cement Co. v. Baumgartner, 128 So. 241, 249 (Fla. 1930) (“[T]he mere fact that the mortgage pledges the rents and profits, and consents in advance to the appointment of a receiver upon default or breach of conditions, does not mean that upon such a showing alone a court of equity should appoint a receiver as a matter of course.”); Seasons P’ship I v. Kraus-Anderson, Inc., 700 So. 2d 60, 61 (Fla. 2d DCA 1997) (stating that appointment of a receiver is not a matter of right even if the mortgage so provides). Therefore, while the parties’ agreement to the appointment of a receiver is considered in determining whether to grant an ex parte receivership, it alone is not dispositive and the provisions of rule 1.610 are not thereby bypassed.

“The appointment of a receiver . . . should be approached with caution and circumspection.” Edenfield, 186 So. 2d at 548. The party seeking appointment of a receiver without a hearing must, as a condition precedent, establish an urgent need for dispensing with notice and a hearing. See Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.610(a)(1)(A); Dixie Music Co. v. Pike, 185 So. 441, 447 (Fla. 1938) (“The appointment of a receiver without notice should not be made except upon . . . showing that the injury will be done if an immediate remedy is not afforded. This power should be exercised only in cases of the greatest emergency, demanding the immediate interference of the court for the prevention or [sic] irreparable injury[.]”) (internal citation omitted)).

The requesting party must set forth, in sworn form and with sufficient particularity, specific facts and circumstances reflecting that delay in appointing the receiver will result in irreparable injury to the property, or that giving notice itself will precipitate such injury to the property. See Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.610(a)(1)(A); Dixie Music Co., 185 So. at 446 (“To justify granting an injunction ex parte, without notice, the allegations of the sworn bill or the accompanying affidavit must state facts showing how and why the giving of notice will accelerate or precipitate the injury[.]”); Martorano v. Spicola, 148 So. 585, 586 (Fla. 1933) (“[N]o order for the appointment of a receiver shall be granted without such notice, unless it is manifest . . . from the sworn allegations of the bill, or affidavit . . . that the injury apprehended will be done if the immediate remedy of a receivership is not afforded.”).

Thus, a receivership might be appropriate without notice and a hearing if the property is at immediate risk of being diverted, dissipated, destroyed, allowed to deteriorate, or wasted. See Cassara v. Wofford, 28 So. 2d 904, 905 (Fla. 1947) (quashing ex parte receivership because it was not apparent that giving notice of intent to appoint receiver would result in immediate injury); Dixie Music Co., 185 So. at 447 (approving ex parte receivership where defendant could leave the state with the property); Martorano, 148 So. 2d at 586 (reversing ex parte receivership order based solely on mortgage language allowing appointment of a receiver without notice); Carolina Portland Cement Co., 128 So. at 244 (“Land cannot run away, and buildings may be kept insured. Hence there is generally good reason for denying a receiver of mere real estate unless waste is being committed, or there be insolvency of the mortgagor and inadequacy of the property as security.”); Edenfield, 186 So. 2d at 549 (affirming receivership based on allegations that property and assets had been diverted); Polycoat Corp. v. City Nat’l Bank of Miami, 327 So. 2d 126, 127 (Fla. 4th DCA 1976) (reversing ex parte receivership because there were no “extreme circumstances of irreparable damage”).

Based on the principles outlined above, an ex parte receivership was not appropriate in this case. The Bank did not establish that an ex parte receivership was necessary to avoid immediate irreparable harm to the mortgaged property, or that giving notice and holding a hearing would accelerate or precipitate any injury. It simply asserted, in conclusory fashion, that DeSilva did not have the financial capability to maintain the property and that he might violate city and county codes and might get complaints from neighbors. At most, the verified complaint merely asserted many truisms common to foreclosure actions rooted on nonpayment: that the mortgagor who was in default may not pay maintenance and upkeep the property. This was insufficient to obtain an ex parte receivership. Even where a hearing has been held before appointment of a receiver, courts have rejected conclusory allegations of waste and destruction of property. See, e.g., Atco Constr. & Dev. Corp. v. Beneficial Sav. Bank, F.S.B., 523 So. 2d 747 (Fla. 5th DCA 1988) (reversing appointment of a receiver where witness testified that she did not know the condition of the property and there was no showing of waste); see generally ANJ Future Invs., Inc. v. Alter, 756 So. 2d 153, 154 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000) (reversing appointment of receiver because party seeking receivership did not show that mortgagor was wasting the property or subjecting it to serious risk of loss). Therefore, something more than a generic possibility of injury must be shown before an ex parte receiver is appointed.

We also reject the Bank’s argument that it needed an ex parte receiver-ship to assist in the sale of the property. A receiver is typically appointed in foreclosure proceedings to preserve the status quo, preserve the property, and collect and apply rents and profits to the payment of the mortgage. See Orlando Hyatt Assocs., Ltd. v. F.D.I.C., 629 So. 2d 975, 977 (Fla. 5th DCA 1993). Appointing a receiver ex parte to negotiate the sale of a single-family home before the foreclosure action is finalized is somewhat unorthodox because “`a mortgage merely creates a lien against the land with the title and right of possession remaining with the mortgagor/owner. Thus, in order to protect a borrower’s due process rights, the courts have determined that a mortgagee can acquire possession upon default only through judicial foreclosure[.]'” Id. (quoting In re Aloma Square, Inc., 85 B.R. 623, 625 (Bankr. M.D. Fla. 1988)); see also Carolina Portland Cement Co., 128 So. at 249 (“[T]he mortgagor’s possession must be respected until foreclosure and sale, unless meanwhile the equitable rights of the mortgagee require the interposition of a court of equity to protect the security by way of injunction or receivership.”). In this case, there were no exigent allegations warranting a receiver to sell the property before the foreclosure action was final.

The Bank also argues that an ex parte receivership was appropriate because the mortgage documents contained an assignment of rents provision which provided for appointment of a receiver in that context. However, the Bank’s motion for expedited appointment of a receiver did not raise the assignment of rents provision as a basis for appointing a receiver; it relied on the need to maintain the property and negotiate its sale. Furthermore, while count III of the verified complaint sought assignment of rents, the Bank did not present a verified allegation that any rents were actually being collected on the property and that any such rents were being dissipated, and the record before us contains no such evidence. See Carolina Portland Cement Co., 128 So. at 249 (“Where the rents . . . are expressly made a part of the security, and the mortgagor is receiving them but refusing to apply them to the mortgage debt, which he is allowing to go in default . . . a court of equity should appoint a receiver unless the mortgagor makes it clear that the real property covered by the mortgage will sell for enough to pay the debt and charges due the mortgagee and thus affords ample and entirely adequate security.”); Atco Constr. & Dev. Corp., 523 So. 2d at 750 (reversing receivership where there was no evidence that there was a tenant on the premises or that any rents were being collected). In fact, a letter in the record from the Bank’s attorneys to DeSilva on November 23, 2009, suggests that the Bank did not know if DeSilva was receiving any rents from the property. Therefore, the assignment of rents provision did not warrant an ex parte receivership. See generally Seasons P’ship I, 700 So. 2d at 62 (reversing receivership based on assignment of rents clause when there was no evidence that the mortgagor was wasting the property and there were other methods to protect the mortgagee’s interests).[ 1 ]

Finally, rule 1.610 requires the trial court’s ex parte order to define the injury, state why the injury may be irreparable, and give reasons for appointing a receiver ex parte. Fla. R. Civ. P. 1.610(a)(2). In addition to the pleading deficiencies described above, the trial court’s order here did not comply with the rule’s requirements because it contained no factual findings whatsoever. This was also error.

In conclusion, something more than the presence in the mortgage of a receivership clause must be demonstrated in order to allow an ex parte receiver; to wit, demonstration of an urgent need. In this case, the trial court abused its discretion by entering a receivership order without notice and a hearing when an urgent need was not demonstrated. The court also erred by not entering an appropriate order. Therefore, we must reverse and remand with directions to vacate the ex parte receivership. On remand, if the Bank so wishes, it must be afforded an opportunity to establish the need for a receiver at a properly noticed evidentiary hearing.

Reversed and remanded with directions.

ALTENBERND and LaROSE, JJ., Concur.

NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED.

1. Section 697.07, Florida Statutes (2009), provides a simple method to enforce rent assignment clauses. See Seasons P’ship I, 700 So. 2d at 62.

This copy provided by Leagle, Inc.

Ex Parte (Latin for one party) means just that. The rest of the proceeding is for one party, the bank. They no longer have to notify you about anything involved in the case. The next time you will hear from them is right before they sell your home at auction. Then it is usually too late to do anything.

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Posted in ex parte, foreclosure, foreclosures, mortgageComments (1)


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