Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum has issued subpoenas to three South Florida foreclosure law firms seeking detailed financial, client and employee records.
McCollum’s economic crimes division is investigating the Law Offices of David J. Stern of Plantation, the Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson of Fort Lauderdale and Shapiro & Fishman of Boca Raton and Tampa for possible unfair and deceptive actions in handling foreclosure cases.
Florida attorneys including foreclosure defense attorney and legal blogger Roy Oppenheim questioned the timing of the investigation, suggesting it was politically motivated by McCollum, a Republican candidate for governor. In a Mason-Dixon poll taken only a week ago, McCollum trailed by 6 points – 31 percent to 37 percent.
“Why didn’t he do this two years ago?” Oppenheim asked. “He knows the allegations have been out there. He knows complaints have been made. I think the timing is a little off. I’m thrilled he’s doing this, but I would have preferred he do this one-and-a-half years ago. Many people who didn’t have attorneys didn’t have the support of his office.”
Oppenheim also wishes McCollum would extend his investigation to lenders and mortgage holders for filing faulty foreclosures.
“He’s investigating the law firms, but he should be investigating the banks,” Oppenheim said. “He should also be looking into banks trespassing onto peoples’ properties. The law firms are the scapegoats. I see them as pawns.”
Check out the entire Daily Business Review article in the Oppenheim Law Newsroom