Friday Round-Up; Budget Cuts Cripple Foreclosure Docket; Whistleblower Gets $18 mil; Stern Employees Settle
Just as I had predicted (and feared) now that the Florida legislature has passed a 7% budget cut to the state’s Clerk of Courts, officials from those offices are already warning of a major slowdown at courthouses across the state.
Case filings may now take weeks instead of days. Hearings may be delayed.
For people who have foreclosure cases before the court, don’t expect a return to the ‘rocket docket’ days.
Even though the state is giving the foreclosure docket a one-time $2 million allocation to hire more judges and caseworkers specifically to handle the foreclosure backlog, it will do little to fill in the gaps caused by the budget cuts.
For example in Palm Beach County, Clerk and Comptroller Sharon Bock said she is losing $2.5 million from her budget, but getting back just 200K. She added they’re expected to lose 55 jobs in that office, but will only be able to hire an additional 4 people for foreclosure cases.
So she’ll be able to hire more judges, but the Clerks Office won’t have anyone to process the titles for all these new foreclosures the state will now try to push through!!!
One of the little tidbits that came out of the finalizing of the settlement with the Attorneys General was that one homeowner in Palm Beach Gardens getting a little more financial relief than she ever expected.
$18 million dollars to be exact .
Now Lynn Szymoniak is no average homeowner. She’s a foreclosure fighter whose own personal investigation into the banks led to many of the industry changes that are being implemented by the settlement.
When Deutsche Back tried to foreclose on her Palm Beach Gardens home in 2008, she closely inspected the documents she was served, as well as what was on file at the courthouse. She uncovered signatures that didn’t match and surprise, Deustche Bank couldn’t prove they owned the note (Where have I heard that before?)
Syzmoniak quickly discovered how many homeowners had been defrauded by the banks and filed a whistleblower law suit under the False Claims Act. The money she was awarded was because of that lawsuit.
We’re proud to call Lynn Szymoniak a friend to the firm and we couldn’t be more proud of the work she’s done. Man did the banks ever mess with the wrong homeowner!
You didn’t have to be a homeowner under threat of foreclosure to get caught up in the housing market’s collapse.
There’s been plenty of collateral damage, and wouldn’t you know, this damage lies at the feet of foreclosure mill attorney David Stern.
800 of his former employees just settled a lawsuit against him after he abruptly laid them off after he was shut down.
They were seeking $5 million in damages. They got $500,000. After taking out attorneys fees and splitting up the settlement, each employee is set to get $469.
Not even enough for one lousy mortgage payment. Just another example of Stern ripping people off.
Have a great weekend and we’ll see you in the trenches!