Party Over for Banks! Homeowners Get Their Day in Court, Says Roy Oppenheim
Hiring “Burger King kids” who barely knew what a mortgage was! This best describes the profile of a robo-signer according to a recent New York Times foreclosure article. But the tides are changing; instead of plowing through 70 foreclosure cases a day, judges are down to a mere 25 cases each day. Now maybe that the foreclosure monkey business is slowing down, supervisors will perhaps have the energy to sign their own names on the documents they send to the judges.
One example is Cheryl Samons, the supervisor at the law offices of David J. Stern in Plantation who “would give certain paralegals rights to sign her name, because most of the time she was very tired, exhausted from signing her name numerous times per day,” said a Stern employee in a deposition that the Florida attorney general released Monday.
Foreclosure La La Land
The shoddy foreclosure procedures, and the subsequent suspensions, have frozen cases in court. The moratorium “means these cases will be sitting there in la la land,” a judge told the Wall Street Journal.
But foreclosure la la land only means homeowners get the attention they deserve when they are represented by competent counsel. Otherwise, “the cases still seem to be moving forward,” according to Oppenheim’s observations as related to Bloomberg News when he attended court earlier this week.
“Appellate courts in Florida are now requiring judges to listen to all defenses and give homeowners their day in court. This is a drastic change from what has been occurring until now: appellate courts in Florida routinely, without an opinion, kept affirming the lower court’s unconstitutional behavior,” said legal blogger and Florida foreclosure defense attorney Roy Oppenheim.
The playing field is now leveling as the banks are literally on the ropes being pummeled by 50 state Attorneys General, the U.S. Justice Dept., banking regulators, the SEC, IRS and outraged homeowners.
Banks Ignored Signs of Trouble, Partied on!
According to a recent New York Times article, 4.2 million loans are now in or near foreclosure. An estimated 3.5 million homes will be lost by the end of 2012, on top of 6.2 million already lost. Yet the Administration’s main anti-foreclosure effort has modified fewer than 500,000 loans in about 18 months.
Judges and investigators need to be unflinching in their inquiries into the paperwork debacle and must hold the banks fully accountable. What we’ve already learned is chilling — and suggests that bankers have learned little since the 2008 implosion and taxpayer bailout.
Major banks — including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Ally Bank, which is owned by GMAC — had suspended foreclosures after admitting they had submitted tens of thousands of affidavits to the courts, attesting to facts about the defaulted loans that had not been verified by the bank employees signing the documents.
Pick your side! Oppenheim Law picks the homeowner every time.