Foreclosure Mills, Bank Fraud and the Housing Market — 2011's Top Headlines Pt. 2

Continuing our list here’s Pt. 2 of our Top 10 stories for 2011 —

As 2011 got underway we were presented with a fascinating yet disturbing report by the Florida Association of Court Clerks called “Unfair, Deceptive and Unconscionable Acts in Foreclosure Cases”. It brought these horrible practices into the harsh light of day.

“What we got from this is the state has had the opportunity to see where the laws have been broken,’ Palm Beach County Clerk and Comptroller Sharon Bock said at the time, “and frankly, it is in large part thanks to the work of the defense attorneys.

We cited April Charney from the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid and Peter Ticktin and many others wonderful attorneys who have taken bank officers’ depositions, challenged judges rulings and fought the good fight for the Florida homeowner.

#4 — Cracked! Humpty Dumpty, Chase and GMC, the Bank Fraud Foreclosure Crisis Continues to Fall!

Somewhere along the line, the overly ambitious bankers on Wall Street had the “great idea” of slicing and dicing the interest of the Promissory Note and literally severing it from your Mortgage. Why? Convenience,expediency, and, arguably, greed. And much like Humpty Dumpty after his great fall, the banks couldn’t bring the mortgages and their corresponding Notes all back together again. The banks were accused of fraud and perjury trying to do just that.

# 3 — Housing Market Poll: When Will Florida Recover?

If Americans are right, 2012 will finally be the magic year for the housing market. Over 2,000 adults were polled by Trulia and RealtyTrac , and the majority, 22 percent, said most Americans think the housing market will fully recover in the new year. A mere 10 percent thought a recovery would happen this year, while nearly a quarter of those surveyed predicted a bumpy road until 2015 and beyond.

However the South Florida Law Blog is more pessimistic, believing it will be at least 2016 before Florida’s housing market fully recovers, but a new study shows many Americans are far more optimistic. Although foreclosures have slowed in Florida, we believe they may kick back into high gear.

#2 — Deficiency Judgments Haunting Return, Jason Lives Once Again

This was yet another blog where we spoke about our deficiency judgments. While most large banks were too preoccupied with foreclosures to pursue deficiency judgments, the Sun-Sentinelreported on the fear that when banks catch up in the next several years, they will aggressively go after these judgements.If this happens, expect the main targets to be strategic defaulters, people who can afford their mortgages but defaulted because they are so underwater that it didn’t make any sense to pay. Not every strategic defaulter has to worry though. A deficiency judgment can only be entered in foreclosure cases, not short sales, unless the bank decides to file an action and litigate in court.

Miami-Dade County Judge Maxine Cohen Lando went on the record to dress down a foreclosure mill in such a fashion that it brought chills to any lawyer. The court questioned what kind of supervision is going on at the foreclosure mills and whether the named partners were in any manner setting up the proper systems to ensure that quality work was being produced.

“You are walking in here totally unprepared, except to make a bunch of flimsy excuses,” she told the banks lawyers. We finally saw a judge take the entire foreclosure production process to task; a judge who is no longer afraid to tell the truth and do her job.

Honorable Mention — Early Holiday Presents from the 4th DCA

This story was too recent to rank high on our list, but it was too important not to mention. Homeowners got a nice early present from the 4th District Court of Appeals this season, who thanks to some stinging decisions, realized that the banks must have the proper authority before they proceed in the foreclosure process. For years we’ve been saying that the banks have systematically been cutting corners in the foreclosure defense process by not having the requisite power to bring their cases. They’ve been denying the due process of those in the foreclosure process by allowing banks the banks to proceed. That process was unfair and unconstitutional, and the courts have now come to the conclusion that we did long ago.

So there you go. We here at Oppenheim Law have been proud to serve you, the homeowner, and look forward to continuing to fight the good fight in the upcoming year. Happy New Year and we’ll see you in 2012!

Tags: 2011, bank fraud, banking, Florida, foreclosure, foreclosures, fraud, housing market, law blog, law review, mortgage, Oppenheim Law, property, Real Estate, Roy Oppenheim, short sale, South Florida, South Florida Law Blog, strategic default, top 10

One response to “Foreclosure Mills, Bank Fraud and the Housing Market — 2011's Top Headlines Pt. 2”

  1. SFJD says:

    2011 has definitely been an interesting, eventful year.