Pasco County | FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA

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Bank of America admits error in foreclosure case

Bank of America admits error in foreclosure case


Kudos to St. Pete Times for getting this story out!

NEW PORT RICHEY — It looks like Sharon and James Bullington might be able to stay in their home — for now at least.

The retired couple faced foreclosure after paying a January mortgage payment one week early in December to Bank of America. The following month, the bank rejected their payment because it was made electronically without a signature.

[ST. PETE TIMES]

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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Pasco, Florida couple fear losing home to foreclosure for paying mortgage too early

Pasco, Florida couple fear losing home to foreclosure for paying mortgage too early


St. Pete Times-

Seventy-year-old Sharon Bullington may lose her home because she paid her mortgage a week early.

That may not make much sense to the thousands of homeowners who are behind on their mortgages in Florida. But it seems it does to Bank of America, which has filed to foreclose on Bullington and her husband, James, 78, who is terminally ill.

“It’s like death to me,” Sharon Bullington said, her voice quivering on the phone Friday. “My husband is bedridden. It’s almost more than I can bear.”

[ST. PETE TIMES]

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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Judge wants answers to foreclosure document fees

Judge wants answers to foreclosure document fees


Published: November 18, 2010 Updated: 07:41 am

DADE CITY – Pasco County Circuit Judge Susan Gardner decided to take a closer look at her foreclosure cases after law firms were accused recently of overbilling and forging documents.

She doesn’t like what she’s finding – a mountain of fees to serve notice of foreclosure lawsuits to homeowners and to people who don’t exist.

“Routinely, routinely, I’m seeing charges of $1,600, $1,800, $1,000, $800, any of those are ridiculous, and there had better be a good reason for it,” Gardner said, noting that these fees should typically be $45 to a couple hundred bucks.

The judge chose 12 random files and said she found 11 of them had what she says appear to be inflated charges to serve homeowners with lawsuits. Some of the lawyers who submitted affidavits to the court saying the fees are “reasonable” often sign their names and bar numbers in an illegible scribble, court records show.

“I used to think this was just sloppy work, but I truly have begun to wonder if it’s not concealment,” Gardner said.

The files in question involve two of the law firms that are currently under investigation by the Florida Attorney General’s Office for submitting fabricated or misleading documents in foreclosure cases.

Gardner plastered files with adhesive notes detailing her concerns and drew unhappy faces on beside fees. She issued orders this week requiring five lawyers from the firms to appear in court early next month and explain the fees and signatures. If they fail to show up, they could be arrested.

“I don’t want to throw anybody in jail, but I’m getting really angry, and I’m not going to tolerate it anymore,” Gardner said. “I want some answers. This stuff isn’t getting through on my watch.”

© 2010-17 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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Judge Bashes Bank in Foreclosure Case: The Wall Street Journal

Judge Bashes Bank in Foreclosure Case: The Wall Street Journal


Now you know when the Law Offices of David J. Stern reaches the Wall Street Journal, we certainly are getting our point A C R O S S! Thank You AMIR!

LAW APRIL 16, 2010, 11:20 P.M. ET

Judge Bashes Bank in Foreclosure Case

By AMIR EFRATI

A Florida state-court judge, in a rare ruling, said a major national bank perpetrated a “fraud” in a foreclosure lawsuit, raising questions about how banks are attempting to claim homes from borrowers in default.

The ruling, made last month in Pasco County, Fla., comes amid increased scrutiny of foreclosures by the prosecutors and judges in regions hurt by the recession. Judges have said in hearings they are increasingly concerned that banks are attempting to seize properties they don’t own.

Case Documents

Cases handled by the Law Offices of David Stern

The Florida case began in December 2007 when U.S. Bank N.A. sued a homeowner, Ernest E. Harpster, after he defaulted on a $190,000 loan he received in January of that year.

The Law Offices of David J. Stern, which represented the bank, prepared a document called an assignment of mortgage” showing that the bank received ownership of the mortgage in December 2007. The document was dated December 2007.

But after investigating the matter, Circuit Court Judge Lynn Tepper ruled that the document couldn’t have been prepared until 2008. Thus, she ruled, the bank couldn’t prove it owned the mortgage at the time the suit was filed.

The document filed by the plaintiff, Judge Tepper wrote last month, “did not exist at the time of the filing of this action…was subsequently created and…fraudulently backdated, in a purposeful, intentional effort to mislead.” She dismissed the case.

Forrest McSurdy, a lawyer at the David Stern firm that handled the U.S. Bank case, said the mistake was due to “carelessness.” The mortgage document was initially prepared and signed in 2007 but wasn’t notarized until months later, he said. After discovering similar problems in other foreclosure cases, he said, the firm voluntarily withdrew the suits and later re-filed them using appropriate documents.

“Judges get in a whirl about technicalities because the courts are overwhelmed,” he said. “The merits of the cases are the same: people aren’t paying their mortgages.”

Steve Dale, a spokesman for U.S. Bank, said the company played a passive role in the matter because it represents investors who own a mortgage-securities trust that includes the Harpster loan. He said a division of Wells Fargo & Co., which collected payments from Mr. Harpster, initiated the foreclosure on behalf of the investors.

Wells Fargo said in a statement it “does not condone, accept, nor instruct counsel to take actions such as those taken in this case.” The company said it was “troubled” by the “conclusions the Court found as to the actions of this foreclosure attorney. We will review these circumstances closely and take appropriate action as necessary.”

Since the housing crisis began several years ago, judges across the U.S. have found that documents submitted by banks to support foreclosure claims were wrong. Mistakes by banks and their representatives have also led to an ongoing federal criminal probe in Florida.

Some of the problems stem from the difficulty banks face in proving they own the loans, thanks to the complexity of the mortgage market.

The Florida ruling against U.S. Bank was also a critique of law firms that handle foreclosure cases on behalf of banks, dubbed “foreclosure mills.”

Lawyers operating foreclosure mills often are paid based on the volume of cases they complete. Some receive $1,000 per case, court records show. Firms compete for business in part based on how quickly they can foreclose. The David Stern firm had about 900 employees as of last year, court records show.

“The pure volume of foreclosures has a tendency perhaps to encourage sloppiness, boilerplate paperwork or a lack of thoroughness” by attorneys for banks, said Judge Tepper of Florida, in an interview. The deluge of foreclosures makes the process “fraught with potential for fraud,” she said.

At an unrelated hearing in a separate matter last week, Anthony Rondolino, a state-court judge in St. Petersburg, Fla., said that an affidavit submitted by the David Stern law firm on behalf of GMAC Mortgage LLC in a foreclosure case wasn’t necessarily sufficient to establish that GMAC was the owner of the mortgage.

“I don’t have any confidence that any of the documents the Court’s receiving on these mass foreclosures are valid,” the judge said at the hearing.

A spokesman for GMAC declined to comment and a lawyer at the David Stern firm declined to comment.

Write to Amir Efrati at amir.efrati@wsj.com

Related Articles

U.S. Probes Foreclosure-Data Provider
4/3/2010

Two Different Plaintiffs Claim to Own Same Mortgage
11/14/2008

Some Judges Stiffen Foreclosure Standards
7/26/2008

The Court House: How One Family Fought Foreclosure
11/28/2007

Judges Tackle “Foreclosure Mills”
11/30/2007

Wells Fargo Is Sanctioned For Role in Mortgage Woes
4/30/2008

Judge reversed his own ruling that had granted summary judgment to GMAC Mortgage (DAVID J. STERN)

GMAC v Visicaro Case No 07013084CI: florida judge reverses himself: applies basic rules of evidence and overturns his own order granting motion for summary judgment

OVERRULED!!! Florida Judge Reverses His own Summary Judgment Order!

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Posted in concealment, conspiracy, CONTROL FRAUD, corruption, djsp enterprises, foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, foreclosures, forensic mortgage investigation audit, Law Offices Of David J. Stern P.A., MERS, us bankComments (2)


GARY DUBIN LAW OFFICES FORECLOSURE DEFENSE HAWAII and CALIFORNIA
Kenneth Eric Trent, www.ForeclosureDestroyer.com

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