Wrongful Foreclosure - Florida Foreclosure Mill Fraud and Robo-signers
Lawyers for lenders like Bank of America, GMAC (now Ally Financial), and JP Morgan Chase filed tens of thousands of foreclosure lawsuits against homeowners in Miami, South Florida and beyond.
These lenders employed huge foreclosure mills in Florida like the law offices of David J. Stern, Marshall Watson, and Shapiro & Fishman, to push through foreclosures in record time. Their focus was not on helping homeowners.
They pushed so hard they started cheating. Banks took peoples homes using teams of "robo-signers" who admit signing 10,000 sworn affidavits a month which were not true. The FBI, the Florida Attorney General, and the Florida Bar have opened investigations into the law firms of David J. Stern, Marshall Watson, and Shapiro & Fishman. More evidence is expected to show they processed tens of thousands of foreclosures using false, fraudulent affidavits.
If you lost your home:
There will be many claims to assert if these Banks, mortgage servicers and law firms defrauded the Court to take away your property. You may find evidence to sue for:
- "Civil theft" which awards treble (3x) damages and attorneys fees.
- "Ejectment" and a "Quiet title action" which allows you to demand your property back from the lender or present owner.
- Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices
These claims may give you leverage to negotiate for the Bank to:
- pay you money damages to give up your claim to the property
- waive its deficiency judgment rights
- delete the trade line for your account from your credit report
- give you back your home
If you are still in your home:
Under Florida law, foreclosure is an "equitable" proceeding. The Court may not allow the Bank to foreclose if the borrower establishes that lender had "unclean hands" before, during, or after giving the mortgage.
Your attorney has the right to:
- Investigate who actually owns the promissory note
- Demand internal paperwork from the Bank
- Question Bank officers, employees and paralegals under oath
Lenders know this means the foreclosure takes longer and costs more. It also means the Banks could lose the foreclosure. A bank that fears going to trial may more willing to agree to:
- a loan modification with a principal balance reduction
- accept a payoff for less than what is owed on the mortgage
- waive the right to a deficiency judgment
- pay the homeowner money damages and attorney's fees