An Open Letter to Pam Bondi

Florida Attorney General Pam BondiFlorida Attorney General Pam Bondi is now asking for the public’s input on what she should do with the $300 million the state will be receiving directly from the national mortgage settlement.

She is openly soliciting your suggestions through her website from now until May 14th. As a foreclosure defense attorney and one of the people on the front lines of the housing crisis, I have more than a few ideas.

So Pam, please consider this my open letter to you and your office.

First and foremost, here is what you should NOT do with the money. Don’t throw it at principal reduction. It will have virtually no impact on Florida’s communities, it would be like throwing the money into quicksand.

So far, Florida’s efforts to offer financial relief to homeowners have just fallen flat.

Florida’s Hardest Hit program just hasn’t worked, and even recent changes to the program’s requirements will not help it reach enough people.

Move The Banks Out of Your Cities

What you need to do Ms. Bondi, is use the money to make systemic changes to Florida’s housing market.

First, give the money to your towns and cities to clear out Florida’s foreclosure blight. Blight caused by the abundance of abandoned homes the banks own, but refuse to take care of.

I’ve long told my readers that banks are bad neighbors, and the Sun-Sentinel now has the numbers that make my case.

Ms. Bondi, despite what your boss says, banks are the problem and you need to get them out of your cities and towns. Give your local governments the ammo to do it.

Your local cities are already going after the banks to try to force them to maintain their homes, as any property owner SHOULD do, but liens and fines mean nothing to these “Too Big To Fail” banks.

So give the money to local Florida municipalities so they can condemn and demolish these eyesores. Then let the cities buy these properties from the banks at their ‘true value’ and auction them off. Let new homes be built.

This will stabilize Florida’s neighborhoods and the real estate market, and in the end reduce suburban blight.

Take Back Your Property Records

Next, support your local clerks by giving them some of the money to support their investigations into MERS. Banks have violated the rules of real estate ownership with this fraudulent record keeping system and thankfully a few clerks, both in Florida and across the country have taken action by filing lawsuits against MERS.

This is the type of action you need to be encouraging and funding. MERS has destroyed our recordation system and turned what once was one of America’s strongest selling points and turned it into a laughing stock.

Our ability to control property ownership records used to be protected by our government, but over the last few years records have been bastardized and suddenly we’re more concerned with protecting banks ownership interests instead of the rights of regular citizens.

The banks have lost control over their own mortgages and it’s time to give your clerks the ability to seize control of these records back from the banks.

Give All Your Constituents Access to Legal Counsel

Lastly, it’s important that anyone have the access to good legal advice when defending their home. Not everyone can afford to hire a foreclosure defense attorney, and when homeowners go without representation, the banks trample all over them.

There are not-for-profit legal counsels offering help to homeowners, but many are understaffed or undertrained. Pam you could help fund these centers with the foreclosure settlement money,

If needed, use the money to offer specialized training to their staffs, so they can offer the same legal advice I offer to my clients.

Homeowners need help in undoing the wholesale violation of their property and constitutional rights, rights which are the bedrock of this nation. They need these rights restored.

Finally if you have any funds left bring an anti-trust action yourself, on the grounds that the banks are too big, anti-competitive and have harmed the state.

From The Trenches,

Roy Oppenheim

Foreclosure Defense Attorney And Legal Commentator Roy Oppenheim


Tags: banking, bondi, consumer fraud, defense attorneys, directly, federal reserve system, Florida, Florida Attorney General, foreclosure, MERS, million, mortgage, mortgages, national mortgage, open letter, pam, Pam Bondi, real property law, settlement

10 responses to “An Open Letter to Pam Bondi”

  1. Dave says:

    I usually agree with most but not all of your posts.

    The first thing Pam Bondi should do is reduce principal to those the banks took advantage of.
    I had an 806 fico score when I purchased my 6th home. Paid off 5 during my life time.
     No one told me that the banks were artificially running up the prices of homes. My home is worth 40% of what I paid for it.
    BOA at one point said they would sell the home to anybody for today’s market value. Everyone that is except me! Is that nuts or what?
    BOA has ruined my credit.
    I am still here fighting. 6 years now.
    Why won’t BOA sell it to me for today’s value?

    • Divinemisso521 says:

      Dave, I agree you with 110%. I don’t get why they are willing to sell your home for what is now worth to someone else and not the homeowner? If the big banks got bailouts, why not the 99% that got screwed over. I also had a high FICO score before all of this and now my credit is a mess. When is the little guy’s bailout coming? I have lived in my home for over 20 years and they are telling me that I have to give up my home so that someone else can benefit from my hardship. WHY????

    • It’s not that I don’t like principal reduction for homeowners, but using this 300 million payment for it won’t have a lasting impact on the housing market overall. Principal reduction is being addressed through other parts of the settlement (Remember Florida is receiving 8.4 billion overall, mostly in so-called credits which will be applied to loan mods and short sales). But that alone won’t fix the market. 300 mill in principal reduction won’t help enough people. Fixing neighborhoods and taking back property records will. 

  2. Ren says:

    You’ve again come to our aid but will Bundi listen or will she follow the politics of the day and become a puppet for the politics of the day. We should go even further. As a short sale Realtor, before it was fashonable for a Realtor to sell a short sale, I say we use the money to assist those who were hurt by the Robo Signing scandle. Those who short sold their homes. Let’s restore their credit and help those who can afford to Buy again by providing them with the down payments and restoration of credit in order to get them back as home owners. The current discriminatory practice of the the Bank’s making these people wait two years before they allow them to Borrower again is unfair and unjust. Doing this will provide the economic stimulation we need in Florida.

    • Will Palm Bondi actually listen? Overall I give her credit for somethings she did at last minute when it came to the settlement, but there were many questionable choices she made that made it seem she was letting banks slide. Ultimately we’ll have to see if this is a PR stunt or if she is really listening to us!

  3. Divinemisso521 says:

    Why is principal reduction bad? I have owned my home for 20 years and now due to circumstances out of my control, why should I lose my home and someone else gain from my loss? Why not help me try to keep my home? I don’t get it. Frustrated in Miami.

  4. […] how to best spend its money. Hopefully Rick Scott won’t be tempted by his $300 million windfall, as so many other governors apparently […]

  5. 300,000,000.00 is 3000 homes at 100,000.00 each,  6000 homes at 50,000.00 each,  12,000 homes at 25,000.00 each,  24,000 homes at 12,500.00 each,  48,000 homes at 6250.00 each… Anybody see how small a number 300m really is? Just put it in the general fund. Or buy Chinese oil stocks with it. Maybe we can get some kind of return off their oil rigs that will soon be visible from OUR coast… 

  6. Mr. says:

    Dave, conflict of interest, rule. Create different entity. Offer to buy, if, when refused, sue, collect, move on.