If you haven’t already heard, there is a monumental case that was heard Thursday morning in the Florida Supreme Court, and every single homeowner should be paying close attention to this case.
To watch a replay of the oral arguments, please click here.
The case is Roman Pino vs. Bank of New York. It involves all the customary fraud I have seen in countless cases.
Missing documents, fraudulent assignments, fraudulents notaries, and forged documents, and a bank once again trying to shuffle it’s dirty deeds under the rug like loose dirt.
When Bank of New York first tried to foreclose on Pino, a regular working guy from Greenacres who fell behind on his mortgage when his business dried up, there was no assignment of mortgage.
So Bank Of New York’s lawyers tried to re-file with a new assignment, one which was fraudulently backdated (AKA robosigned).
The bank’s original lawyers, by the way, were from David J. Stern’s office. You know their story.
When our good friend and colleague Tom Ice, Pino’s lawyer, challenged the documents, Bank of New York suddenly decided they didn’t want to foreclosure anymore, dropped their lawsuit and scurried back into their hole.
End of the story??
Not even close. Ice continued to dog Bank of New York like a pitbull, because he, believe it or not, also thinks the banks need to actually be held accountable! (Remarkable I know.)
He tried to have the voluntary dismissal overturned, so that Bank of New York could face sanctions for the forged documents they tried to use to swindle Roman Pino and the court.
Like countless others banks, Bank of New York got their hand caught in the cookie jar. But now they are trying to remove their hand before it slams on them.
While the lower courts have sided with the bank and refused to overturn the dismissal, the 4th District Court of Appeal has asked the Supreme Court to weigh in on a question of “great legal importance, which in their own words, “has the potential to impact the mortgage foreclosure crisis”, since “many, many mortgage foreclosures appear tainted with suspect documents.”
The question is whether banks can avoid punishment simply by dropping a foreclosure lawsuit.
So now you know why this case, and the legal implications it carries, has the entire banking industry shaking in their ratskin boots.
Even though Pino has already settled with Bank of New York, and ‘remarkably’ got to keep his home, the effect this decision will have will go far beyond Roman Pino.
It could finally mean justice for homeowners throughout the state of Florida.
The Mortgage Bankers Association and the Florida Bankers Association have filed a brief with the court, as have the American Land Title Association and the Florida Land Title Association.
Guess who they are backing?
All of these organizations are asking the Court to rule in Bank of New York’s favor, so they can continue the status quo.
The banks are playing a shell game, trying to get the Court to overlook the obvious frauds committed by Bank of New York, all in the name of a “potentially devastating” economic effect a judgement against Bank of New York might have.
In their brief the Bankers Associations claim that banks will write less home loans if they can’t dismiss and then re-file a foreclosure.
Is that a threat?
What they are really saying is ‘Just let us keep doing what we’ve been doing, and let’s forget all about the rules of law.”
The housing market will be just fine. This is a scare tactic on the part of the banks, so please don’t be fooled. They are just worried their con-game will come to an end.
What the Pino case is really about is the court protecting the integrity of the judicial system and protecting the constitution. It is imperative for court to rule against Bank of New York to keep its own integrity above repute.
It’s unfathomable that a bank could simply avoid punishment for a crime that would land you or me in jail just because they decided to drop their lawsuit.
Bank of New York is arguing the case should be left alone, because engaging in fraud is not reason enough to overturn the dismissal.
If the justices dismiss this case, banks will be able to walk away from their transgressions whenever they choose. It’s not only inappropriate, but outrageous.
Roman Pino vs Bank of New York goes to the heart of protecting our constitutional democracy, and it’s critical that the Florida Supreme Court reign in the illegal conduct and behavior of the banks, because as Ice wrote in his brief, the court should not “draw a line that protects wrongdoers and blesses fraud upon the court.”
If the justices side with the banks they will be encouraging continued falsehoods, their impartiality will be implicated, and a form a anarchy that will ultimately lead to total disrespect for our constitutional principles will be unleashed.
From The Trenches,