Special Thanks to: RICHARD WILNER NYPOST
By RICHARD WILNER
Last Updated: 4:23 AM, April 25, 2010
Posted: 12:14 AM, April 25, 2010
GMAC Mortgage got slammed by a Florida judge this month — and that may be good news for some of the 1,234 New York homeowners hit with a foreclosure action by GMAC since the beginning of 2008.
In that case, Judge Anthony Rondolino voided a GMAC foreclosure win after he found out legal papers filed by the company with the court to steamroll its way over homeowner Debbie Visicaro were faulty. They were filed by an employee of GMAC’s law firm who had no personal knowledge of the faulty mortgage’s position.
In short, they were based entirely on hearsay.
Lawyers familiar with foreclosure actions filed by law firm mills, as was done in this case, say such instances aren’t rare.
Visicaro, like most of the New York homeowners, at first decided to fight the foreclosure action without a lawyer. She didn’t know that the law firm employee was guessing in his court papers. But Visicaro finally hired a lawyer, Michael Alex Wasylik, who pointed out the flimsy evidence to the judge who then admitted he made a mistake when he first awarded GMAC a quickie legal win.
When the GMAC lawyer couldn’t explain away the bad evidence — and could only manage a Ralph Kramden-like hamina-hamina-hamina — the judge barked: “You’re going to have to speak up. I know that when you’re getting pummeled, it’s hard to talk loudly.”
“You know what I’d really like to see?” Rondolino said. “I’d like to see in one of these cases where a defense lawyer cross-examines, takes a deposition of these people, and we can see whether they ought be charged with perjury for all these affidavits.”
The 720 homeowners still fighting active cases — of the 1,234 filed in New York over the last 28 months — should start asking questions about the affidavits submitted in their cases, lawyers said. Maybe the legal papers in their case are built on legal ground as firm as that in the Visicaro case.