By MICHAEL SASSO | The Tampa Tribune
Published: April 30, 2010
TAMPA – The Florida Attorney General’s Office is investigating a Tampa-based foreclosure law firm that has become one of the state’s largest foreclosure mills.
On the agency’s Web site, the attorney general showed it has an “active public consumer-related investigation” into Florida Default Law Group. The agency notes that it is a civil investigation, rather than a criminal one, and the fact that is has an investigation isn’t proof of any violation of law.
Without going into much detail, the attorney general’s Web site says Florida Default Law Group, “Appears to be fabricating and/or presenting false and misleading documents in foreclosure cases.
“These documents have been presented in court before judges as actual assignments of mortgages and have later been shown to be legally inadequate and/or insufficient. Presenting faulty bank paperwork due to the mortgage crisis and thousands of foreclosures per month.”
Attempts to reach the Attorney General’s Office and Michael Echevarria, the head of Florida Default Law Group, were unsuccessful Thursday.
Based in a business park just off the Veteran’s Expressway, Florida Default Law Group files hundreds of foreclosure lawsuits alone in Hillsborough County on behalf of banks and mortgage servicing companies. The Tribune profiled Florida Default Law Group in January.
According to the Tribune’s review of 1,994 circuit court records, the firm filed initial legal documents for 323 foreclosure lawsuits in October. That was second only to the Law Offices of David J. Stern, a Broward County-based foreclosure firm that filed 352 foreclosure cases in October.
Florida Default Law Group operates in numerous counties in Florida, but it’s not clear how many lawsuits it files outside of Hillsborough County.
Reporter Michael Sasso can be reached at (813) 259-7865.