It has come to my attention that the Florida Attorney General’s office just announced they are conducting investigations into the state’s three biggest foreclosure law firms for allegations of deceptive and unfair actions.
These firms, which at times are called “foreclosure mills,” are the Tampa-based Shapiro & Fishman, Fort Lauderdale Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson and the Law Offices of David J. Stern, based in Plantation.
A lawsuit seeking class action status was filed by a Fort Lauderdale attorney against Stern just last month. The lawsuit is claiming this firm generated fraudulent mortgage assignments, basically falsifying foreclosure documents when they were pursuing foreclosures.
FYI: an assignment is held by the entity that has the right to receive mortgage payments.
The law of offices of David J. Sterne according to the lawsuit filed up to a whopping 7,000 foreclosure cases in Florida every month last year, presumably with fabricated foreclosure documents . As if that wasn’t bad enough, the lawsuit also alleges this firm pursued foreclosures for lenders that didn’t even own the debt on the homes.
According to records, Miami based attorney, Jeffrey Tew is representing the Stern law offices. According to Tew, Stern and his company have done nothing wrong
“This foreclosure crisis was not created by David Stern, but it is so huge and a lot of people are in very bad shape, so some of the finger-pointing goes to him,” attorney Tew said.
Mr Tew went on to say that portions of the lawsuit that claim Stern conspired to confuse ownership of homes is “fantastical”/fantasy.
Attorney General Bill McCollum’s office released a press release and it says due to the fact that many mortgages have been bought and sold by financial institutions numerous times, some vital foreclosure documents/paperwork involved in the process to obtain foreclosure judgments is oftentimes missing.
“On numerous occasions, allegedly fabricated documents have been presented to the courts in foreclosure actions to obtain final judgments against homeowners,” the press release states. “Thousands of final judgments of foreclosure against Florida homeowners may have been the result of the allegedly improper actions of the law firms under investigation.”
In June a judge, Circuit Court Judge Michael Traynor, dismissed a case because he said in his opinion the court “has been misled by the plaintiff from the beginning” and that documents “have changed as needed to benefit the plaintiff.”
Don’t let this happen to you! Get expert help to look over your loan and foreclosure docs.
Don’t think for a moment that these types of fraudulent activities are only going on with just three law firms in Florida. This type of activity is happening all over the county, just apparently on a much larger scale with these companies because of the larger amount of foreclosures they handle.
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