Archive | February, 2012

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Joins Legislative Leaders to Unveil California Homeowner Bill of Rights

29 Feb

From: Charles Cox [mailto:charles@bayliving.com]
Sent: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 2:43 PM
To: Charles Cox
Subject: FW: Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Joins Legislative Leaders to Unveil California Homeowner Bill of Rights

Isn’t there ANYONE that can educate these people before they draft this junk! They have no idea what a “CREDITOR” is and continue to cater to the whims of servicers! Speaking of “servicers”…a $25 fee to record a notice of default? Now THAT’S punitive!!!! [NOT!!!] AND since when was the statute of limitations for Fraud reduced from 4 to 1 years requiring an extension; let me see…new legislation giving 90 days’ notice before commencing eviction proceedings (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean) when there’s already Federal legislation doing what they’re purporting to legislate; $10k CIVIL penalty for robosiging…I guess forgery and recording fraud (both felonies) aren’t worthy of prosecuting (and the fines involved) so they’ll make it a simple civil penalty now?…on and on…ignorance…massive, abject ignorance!!! Never ceases to amaze…

C

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Foreclosure process is ‘utterly broken’

20 Feb

Foreclosure process is ‘utterly broken’

February 19th, 2012, 1:00 am ·  · posted by

ARCHIVE

 

 

A recent study of San Francisco home foreclosures found widespread irregularities in almost all the home seizures scrutinized. The report, commissioned by San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting, was prepared by Aequitas Compliance Solutions Inc. of Newport Beach.

Company partner Lou Pizante conducted the study. He explained its findings …

Us: What did your report show?

Lou: We reviewed about 16% of all foreclosure sales that occurred in San Francisco from 2009 through 2011. The audit shows that 99% of the sampled foreclosures contain at least one irregularity and 84% appear to contain one or more clear violations of law.

Us: What were the key problems identified in your report?

Lou: We looked at six general subject areas, including assignments (which relate to chain of title), notices of default and trustee sale and suspicious activity (like robo-signing). The report, which you can download from the Aequitas website, explains these things in laymen terms. Within each subject area, we looked at a variety of issues.

Two-thirds of the loans had four or more exceptions and more three-quarters of the loans had violations across three or more of the six subject areas. In other words, this was not a case of most of the loans having one irregularity. Most of the loans had many irregularities across different stages of the foreclosure process.

We also compared the MERS database to public records. MERS was created by the mortgage industry as, essentially, an alternative to the public land records system. It is an electronic registry for tracking ownership interests and servicing of mortgage loans. We found that in 58% of the cases the beneficial owner of loan as entered on the trustee’s deed upon sale conflicted with the owner of the loan according to the MERS database.

Us: Weren’t most of these homeowners likely to lose their homes to foreclosure anyway? Why does this matter?

 

From the San Francisco study/Click to enlarge

Lou: That’s a very good point. Many of these homeowners simply overextended themselves and the resulting foreclosure sales were inevitable. So, what’s there to really care about?

What’s at issue here is compliance with California’s laws relating to non-judicial foreclosure. These are statutory requirements that, in many respects, are rather technical.  Why, then, should inadvertent violations provide windfall remedies to reckless borrowers?

First, its important to understand foreclosure in California. Lenders in California rely almost exclusively on the non-judicial foreclosure process, also called statutory foreclosure. This is an expedited process where homes are sold without court approval. Therefore, there is frequently little, if any oversight. Because of this, courts have generally required strict compliance with statutory requirements affording borrower’s due process.

Now, there is plenty of public evidence showing that not all distressed borrowers are reckless deadbeats. We know that some borrowers did not receive fair and accurate disclosures, as required by federal law, explaining the payment and other material terms of their mortgage. Furthermore, the report reveals that a lot of lender’s foreclosing on homeowners don’t appear to own the underlying loans. The fact that homeowners borrowed something, on some terms, from someone should not be enough to rob them of their due process right.

To say most of these borrowers are deadbeats and can be denied their due process rights seems pretty lousy to me. It’s like saying that there might be a falsely accused guy on death row, but—hey—he probably killed someone.

But look, the purpose of this report is not to indict the mortgage industry or bailout borrowers. What’s at stake here is more than merely fairness and homeowner’s due process. Foreclosures impact not only homeowners but also entire communities, housing markets and mortgage-backed securities holders like pension plans. The integrity of California’s record title system is also at stake because the validity of title for subsequent purchasers is dependent on those that precede it.

So addressing this problem is critical to the recovery of the housing market and national economy, and that’s something that everyone has an interest in no matter their political leanings.

Us: Are these problems confined to San Francisco, or do you think the same problems are occurred throughout California?

Lou: The study focused exclusively on San Francisco. However, we are now working with other counties in California requesting similar studies.

My understanding is that lender and servicers practices are essentially the same in San Francisco as elsewhere in the state. And, of course, the same laws apply. So, we’d except to see similar irregularities in other counties, including those hit harder by foreclosures.

Us: How widespread do you think the foreclosure irregularities are in Orange County?

Lou: I cannot speculate as to whether the problems are the same or different. The foreclosing parties are generally the same cast of players and the laws the same, so you’d expect a strong correlation.

Us: What led to such a high rate of irregularities and illegalities in foreclosures?

Lou: It goes back to the origination boom, which was fueled by low interest rates and lubricated by an insatiable securitization market. Lenders’ operational infrastructure couldn’t keep pace with record fundings, and so you had lots of missing and incomplete documentation.

These loans were sold and resold and ultimately packaged into securities. Along the way, the necessary paperwork documenting these loan sales fell through the cracks and, once the market turned, a lot of the sellers of these loans disappeared.

Servicing is a business of razor-thin margins, and these folks had a tough time dealing with record volumes of new and exotic products that didn’t play nice with their systems.

When the party got broken up, the servicers were left to clean up a big mess. Ultimately, all this stuff above made it infeasible to carry out large-scale foreclosures.

That’s why you hear all this stuff about forged or back-dated documents and robo-signing. There are gaps in title that need to be filled. This is also why this is such a big mess to fix. You might have bought a loan but you never got a receipt and now the seller is dead and buried. Its difficult to imagine how the industry can cost-effectively solve these problems ex post facto.

Us:  What’s the key lesson? Are the foreclosure laws antiquated?

Lou: Yeah, that’s it. If there is one lesson to take away from this report it is that, with so many homes being foreclosed and with so little oversight, California’s foreclosure process appears utterly broken.

Remember, these laws are more than 100 years old. The non-judicial foreclosure process was created long before things such as the secondary market and mortgage brokers existed. Back then, you rode your horse to meet with the banker, who you knew on a first name basis… sort of like It’s a Wonderful Life.

Surely the mortgage industry has much work to do in order to correct the weaknesses and deficiencies in its foreclosure practices. But to prevent this from happening again, change needs to come from the legislature. The mortgage industry has since seen remarkable innovation over the past few decades. Considering the extent and consequence of the issues, perhaps it is time for the legislature to be similarly innovative.

Us: How do you think the laws should be changed to catch up with the complex world of mortgage securitization?

Lou: As is often the case, it’s much easier to identify the problem than the solution. I have a lot of thought on this but, quite frankly, they require much explaining and go into some pretty arcane and mundane stuff.

Basically, ensuring clear chains of title and the integrity of California’s record title system are essential to the recovery and stabilization of the state’s housing market. So we need laws and systems in place that achieve these objectives without increasing overall costs to mortgage lenders and society generally.

Smart people will disagree on the best approach. But we should all agree that the status quo is unacceptable.

Learn more about Aequitas HERE!

Read more …

WRONGFUL FORECLOSURE IN BANKRUPTCY (most bankruptcy judges won’t hear it the send you to state court)

19 Feb

in RE: Macklin: Deutsche Must Answer Wrongful Foreclosure and Quiet Title

By Daniel Edstrom
DTC Systems, Inc.

Excerpts on Wrongful Foreclosure (changed by the Judge Sargis to Breach of Contract)

… a record has been created that someone not of record title purported to take action on a Deed of Trust prior to compliance with Civil Code 2932.5.

The court will not sanction conduct by this Defendant which puts into question the validity of the nonjudicial foreclosure process and California real property records.  Though this issue could have been simply addressed by the recording of a new notice of default months ago, the ninety days under the new notice of default allowed to run and this creditor be on the door step of conducting a nonjudicial foreclosure sale consistent with the California statutes, it has elected to continue with the existing notice of default, subsequent substitution of trustee, and sale.

The contract between the parties is the Note and Deed of Trust.

Excerpt on Quiet Title

Though not artfully done, Macklin sufficiently explains that he asserts superior title to the Property over the Trustee’s Deed through which DBNTC asserts its interest in the Property.  Given that Macklin has asserted that DBNTC cannot show that it complied with the minimal requirements for properly conducting a nonjudicial foreclosure sale, the motion to dismiss the Tenth Cause of Action is denied.

Download order here:  http://dtc-systems.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Macklin-222-Order.pdf

Download memorandum opinion and decision (part 1) here:  http://dtc-systems.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Macklin-221-Memorandum_Opinion_and_Decision_Part1.pdf

Download memorandum opinion and decision (part 2) here:  http://dtc-systems.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Macklin-221-Memorandum_Opinion_and_Decision_Part2.pdf

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The Banking Crisis Represents Systematic Destruction of “Our” Legal System

19 Feb

From: Charles Cox [mailto:charles@bayliving.com]
Sent: Saturday, February 18, 2012 6:55 AM
To: Charles Cox
Subject: The Banking Crisis Represents Systematic Destruction of "Our" Legal System

The Banking Crisis Represents The Destruction of “Our” Legal System

February 18th, 2012 | Author: Matthew D. Weidner, Esq.

From New Deal 2.0, an essay by Bruce Johnson (see below):

Banks are demonstrating that if you have enough money and influence, you’re not expected to follow the same laws as everyone else.

For several years, I have been writing that extreme economic inequality is among the most destructive forces in a society. As inequality grows, it undermines the effective functioning of the economy, the basic tenets of capitalism, and the foundations of democracy.

Unfortunately, the housing crisis and now the housing settlement increasingly look like an example of how these mechanisms work.

One of the central characteristics of highly unequal societies is that two sets of laws develop: One set for the rich and powerful and one set for everyone else. The more unequal societies become, the more easily they accept the unacceptable, and with each unrebuked violation, the powerful actors at the top of the society gain an ever greater sense of entitlement and an ever greater sense that the laws that govern everyone else don’t apply to them. As a result, their behavior becomes increasingly egregious.

I would suggest that the robo-mortgage scandal is a strong indicator that this type of unequal justice is now becoming ever more commonplace in America. Past bank abuses are typically discussed without a sense of outrage. They have, in effect, become a recognized practice of deception with no consequences. Here are three prominent examples from the past few years:

First, the robo-mortgage scandal was discovered. As powerful members of society, the banks effectively decided what laws they wanted to follow and disregarded others. The banks claimed that their violations were technical and harmed no one. Nonetheless, the activities of the banks constituted massive fraud, perjury, and conspiracy. Bank officials have testified in court that they filed as many as 10,000 false affidavits a month. These are effectively undeniable admissions of law-breaking on a massive scale.

It’s a federal crime, punishable by up of five years of imprisonment, to knowingly file a false affidavit with the court. From the perspective of the law, you are guilty of the same perjury when you falsely testify in court or when you submit a false affidavit. In most states, filing false affidavits with the court similarly constitutes a felony offense of perjury.

THE SAN FRANSICO “SMOKING GUN REPORT”

19 Feb

Audit Uncovers Extensive Flaws in Foreclosures

By
Published: February 15, 2012

An audit by San Francisco county officials of about 400 recent foreclosures there determined that almost all involved either legal violations or suspicious documentation, according to a report released Wednesday.

Annie Tritt for The New York Times

Phil Ting, the San Francisco assessor-recorder, found widespread violations or irregularities in files of properties subject to foreclosure sales.

Readers’ Comments

Readers shared their thoughts on this article.

Anecdotal evidence indicating foreclosure abuse has been plentiful since the mortgage boom turned to bust in 2008. But the detailed and comprehensive nature of the San Francisco findings suggest how pervasive foreclosure irregularities may be across the nation.

The improprieties range from the basic — a failure to warn borrowers that they were in default on their loans as required by law — to the arcane. For example, transfers of many loans in the foreclosure files were made by entities that had no right to assign them and institutions took back properties in auctions even though they had not proved ownership.

Commissioned by Phil Ting, the San Francisco assessor-recorder, the report examined files of properties subject to foreclosure sales in the county from January 2009 to November 2011. About 84 percent of the files contained what appear to be clear violations of law, it said, and fully two-thirds had at least four violations or irregularities.

Kathleen Engel, a professor at Suffolk University Law School in Boston said: “If there were any lingering doubts about whether the problems with loan documents in foreclosures were isolated, this study puts the question to rest.”

The report comes just days after the $26 billion settlement over foreclosure improprieties between five major banks and 49 state attorneys general, including California’s. Among other things, that settlement requires participating banks to reduce mortgage amounts outstanding on a wide array of loans and provide $1.5 billion in reparations for borrowers who were improperly removed from their homes.

But the precise terms of the states’ deal have not yet been disclosed. As the San Francisco analysis points out, “the settlement does not resolve most of the issues this report identifies nor immunizes lenders and servicers from a host of potential liabilities.” For example, it is a felony to knowingly file false documents with any public office in California.

In an interview late Tuesday, Mr. Ting said he would forward his findings and foreclosure files to the attorney general’s office and to local law enforcement officials. Kamala D. Harris, the California attorney general, announced a joint investigation into foreclosure abuses last December with the Nevada attorney general, Catherine Cortez Masto. The joint investigation spans both civil and criminal matters.

The depth of the problem raises questions about whether at least some foreclosures should be considered void, Mr. Ting said. “We’re not saying that every consumer should not have been foreclosed on or every lender is a bad actor, but there are significant and troubling issues,” he said.

California has been among the states hurt the most by the mortgage crisis. Because its laws, like those of 29 other states, do not require a judge to oversee foreclosures, the conduct of banks in the process is rarely scrutinized. Mr. Ting said his report was the first rigorous analysis of foreclosure improprieties in California and that it cast doubt on the validity of almost every foreclosure it examined.

“Clearly, we need to set up a process where lenders are following every part of the law,” Mr. Ting said in the interview. “It is very apparent that the system is broken from many different vantage points.”

The report, which was compiled by Aequitas Compliance Solutions, a mortgage regulatory compliance firm, did not identify specific banks involved in the irregularities. But among the legal violations uncovered in the analysis were cases where the loan servicer did not provide borrowers with a notice of default before beginning the eviction process; 8 percent of the audited foreclosures had that basic defect.

In a significant number of cases — 85 percent — documents recording the transfer of a defaulted property to a new trustee were not filed properly or on time, the report found. And in 45 percent of the foreclosures, properties were sold at auction to entities improperly claiming to be the beneficiary of the deeds of trust. In other words, the report said, “a ‘stranger’ to the deed of trust,” gained ownership of the property; as a result, the sale may be invalid, it said.

In 6 percent of cases, the same deed of trust to a property was assigned to two or more different entities, raising questions about which of them actually had the right to foreclose. Many of the foreclosures that were scrutinized showed gaps in the chain of title, the report said, indicating that written transfers from the original owner to the entity currently claiming to own the deed of trust have disappeared.

Banks involved in buying and selling foreclosed properties appear to be aware of potential problems if gaps in the chain of title cloud a subsequent buyer’s ownership of the home. Lou Pizante, a partner at Aequitas who worked on the audit, pointed to documents that banks now require buyers to sign holding the institution harmless if questions arise about the validity of the foreclosure sale.

The audit also raises serious questions about the accuracy of information recorded in the Mortgage Electronic Registry System, or MERS, which was set up in 1995 by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and major lenders. The report found that 58 percent of loans listed in the MERS database showed different owners than were reflected in other public documents like those filed with the county recorder’s office.

The report contradicted the contentions of many banks that foreclosure improprieties did little harm because the borrowers were behind on their mortgages and should have been evicted anyway. “We can deduce from the public evidence,” the report noted, “that there are indeed legitimate victims in the mortgage crisis. Whether these homeowners are systematically being deprived of legal safeguards and due process rights is an important question.”

A version of this article appeared in print on February 16, 2012, on page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Audit Uncovers Extensive Flaws in Foreclosures.

Audit Uncovers Extensive Flaws in Foreclosures (copy attached)

16 Feb

From: Charles Cox [mailto:charles@bayliving.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2012 5:59 AM
To: Charles Cox
Subject: Audit Uncovers Extensive Flaws in Foreclosures (copy attached)

Audit Uncovers Extensive Flaws in Foreclosures

By GRETCHEN MORGENSON

Published: February 15, 2012

An audit by San Francisco county officials of about 400 recent foreclosures there determined that almost all involved either legal violations or suspicious documentation, according to a report released Wednesday.

Phil Ting, the San Francisco assessor-recorder, found widespread violations or irregularities in files of properties subject to foreclosure sales.

Anecdotal evidence indicating foreclosure abuse has been plentiful since the mortgage boom turned to bust in 2008. But the detailed and comprehensive nature of the San Francisco findings suggest how pervasive foreclosure irregularities may be across the nation.

The improprieties range from the basic — a failure to warn borrowers that they were in default on their loans as required by law — to the arcane. For example, transfers of many loans in the foreclosure files were made by entities that had no right to assign them and institutions took back properties in auctions even though they had not proved ownership.

Commissioned by Phil Ting, the San Francisco assessor-recorder, the report examined files of properties subject to foreclosure sales in the county from January 2009 to November 2011. About 84 percent of the files contained what appear to be clear violations of law, it said, and fully two-thirds had at least four violations or irregularities.

Kathleen Engel, a professor at Suffolk University Law School in Boston said: “If there were any lingering doubts about whether the problems with loan documents in foreclosures were isolated, this study puts the question to rest.”

The report comes just days after the $26 billion settlement over foreclosure improprieties between five major banks and 49 state attorneys general, including California’s. Among other things, that settlement requires participating banks to reduce mortgage amounts outstanding on a wide array of loans and provide $1.5 billion in reparations for borrowers who were improperly removed from their homes.

But the precise terms of the states’ deal have not yet been disclosed. As the San Francisco analysis points out, “the settlement does not resolve most of the issues this report identifies nor immunizes lenders and servicers from a host of potential liabilities.” For example, it is a felony to knowingly file false documents with any public office in California.

In an interview late Tuesday, Mr. Ting said he would forward his findings and foreclosure files to the attorney general’s office and to local law enforcement officials. Kamala D. Harris, the California attorney general, announced a joint investigation into foreclosure abuses last December with the Nevada attorney general, Catherine Cortez Masto. The joint investigation spans both civil and criminal matters.

The depth of the problem raises questions about whether at least some foreclosures should be considered void, Mr. Ting said. “We’re not saying that every consumer should not have been foreclosed on or every lender is a bad actor, but there are significant and troubling issues,” he said.

California has been among the states hurt the most by the mortgage crisis. Because its laws, like those of 29 other states, do not require a judge to oversee foreclosures, the conduct of banks in the process is rarely scrutinized. Mr. Ting said his report was the first rigorous analysis of foreclosure improprieties in California and that it cast doubt on the validity of almost every foreclosure it examined.

“Clearly, we need to set up a process where lenders are following every part of the law,” Mr. Ting said in the interview. “It is very apparent that the system is broken from many different vantage points.”

The report, which was compiled by Aequitas Compliance Solutions, a mortgage regulatory compliance firm, did not identify specific banks involved in the irregularities. But among the legal violations uncovered in the analysis were cases where the loan servicer did not provide borrowers with a notice of default before beginning the eviction process; 8 percent of the audited foreclosures had that basic defect.

In a significant number of cases — 85 percent — documents recording the transfer of a defaulted property to a new trustee were not filed properly or on time, the report found. And in 45 percent of the foreclosures, properties were sold at auction to entities improperly claiming to be the beneficiary of the deeds of trust. In other words, the report said, “a ‘stranger’ to the deed of trust,” gained ownership of the property; as a result, the sale may be invalid, it said.

In 6 percent of cases, the same deed of trust to a property was assigned to two or more different entities, raising questions about which of them actually had the right to foreclose. Many of the foreclosures that were scrutinized showed gaps in the chain of title, the report said, indicating that written transfers from the original owner to the entity currently claiming to own the deed of trust have disappeared.

Banks involved in buying and selling foreclosed properties appear to be aware of potential problems if gaps in the chain of title cloud a subsequent buyer’s ownership of the home. Lou Pizante, a partner at Aequitas who worked on the audit, pointed to documents that banks now require buyers to sign holding the institution harmless if questions arise about the validity of the foreclosure sale.

The audit also raises serious questions about the accuracy of information recorded in the Mortgage Electronic Registry System, or MERS, which was set up in 1995 by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and major lenders. The report found that 58 percent of loans listed in the MERS database showed different owners than were reflected in other public documents like those filed with the county recorder’s office.

The report contradicted the contentions of many banks that foreclosure improprieties did little harm because the borrowers were behind on their mortgages and should have been evicted anyway. “We can deduce from the public evidence,” the report noted, “that there are indeed legitimate victims in the mortgage crisis. Whether these homeowners are systematically being deprived of legal safeguards and due process rights is an important question.”

aequitas_sf_report.pdf

Foreclosure Fraud by Robo-Signing Lawyers – Our Leaders Wish You’d Just Forget About It

16 Feb

From: Charles Cox [mailto:charles@bayliving.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 16, 2012 5:59 AM
To: Charles Cox
Subject: Foreclosure Fraud by Robo-Signing Lawyers – Our Leaders Wish You’d Just Forget About It

Foreclosure Fraud by Robo-Signing Lawyers – Our Leaders Wish You’d Just Forget About It

by Chip Parker, Jacksonville Bankruptcy Attorney

Obama Cares This Much About Homeowners

Much has been written over the last week about what President Obama calls a “landmark” foreclosure fraud settlement between 49 Attorneys General and the five largest banks. With the lone exception of the National Association of Consumer Advocates, champions for Middle Class consumers have roundly criticized the agreement as a sweetheart deal for the banks. In response, supporters of the settlement are quick to point out that it settles the “narrow” issue of “robo-signing.”

What is robo-signing? After all, it doesn’t sound as bad as “fraud and corruption.”

Robo-signing and it’s sibling, “surrogate signing,” is the systematic, intentional misrepresentation or fabrication of evidence in every court of every county in every state of the United States. It is the filing of forged documents critical to a bank’s case in nearly every foreclosure in our country. It’s bad enough that the banks are perpetrating fraud, but what’s worse is that their lawyers are knowing accomplices to the fraud.

Lawyers are commonly referred to as “Officers of the Court.” That’s because lawyers take an oath upon admission to the profession to uphold the law and the integrity of the judicial process. We are the gatekeepers of justice. When we lie to judges, the integrity of our judicial system suffers irreparable harm.

Here is but one example of the criminal conduct that is being forgiven by the AG settlement:

In Florida, only the owner of the mortgage note and mortgage can file a foreclosure against a homeowner. Usually, the plaintiff in a foreclosure case is someone other than the originator of the loan because the original note holder usually sells the loan. The document evidencing that transfer of ownership is known as the Assignment of Mortgage, which is recorded in the official records of the county where the home is located. The Assignment of Mortgage is a critical piece of evidence in a foreclosure because it establishes the plaintiff’s “standing” to foreclose.

Example of a robo-signing lawyer

Here is a screenshot of four signatures of one “Assistant Secretary” of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems as “nominee” for various mortgage originators. Clearly, all four signatures do not look alike, even though this is allegedly the signature of the same person. But this person isn’t just a person – she’s a lawyer. And she’s not just any lawyer. She’s the litigation managing attorney at The Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson, P.A., one of the largest foreclosure law firms in the State of Florida, and I spoke with her just two days ago!

The fraud being perpetrated goes like this: The plaintiff needs the Assignment of Mortgage from the originator of the loan to the plaintiff to create “standing.” So, the plaintiff’s own lawyer creates the assignment, allegedly transferring an interest in land, and signs it herself. The lawyer then actually records this fabricated document in the county official records and also files it in the actual foreclosure case.

As the litigation managing attorney for Marshall Watson, this lawyer appears regularly before judges throughout the state, and these judges rely upon her honesty in all her dealings with the court. When a lawyer lies in court, it is worse than when a non-lawyer lies because we are not just sworn to tell the truth but to uphold the integrity of the court.

But what about a chief judge who is in cahoots with this foreclosure firm? Well, one of Marshall Watson’s newer lawyers is the former Chief Judge of Broward County, Victor Tobin, who, just before joining the firm, designed Broward’s notorious “Rocket Docket” foreclosure court that radically tilts the judicial process in Marshall Watson’s favor.

Someone really should tell Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi about this lawyer. Oh wait. She already knows. Florida’s Attorney General has had an ongoing investigation of Marshall Watson for years. The investigation was started by Bondi’s predecessor, Bill McCollum, but the moment she took office, she was more focused on shutting down such investigations, starting with her firing of the bulldog attorneys assigned to foreclosure fraud. In Marshall Watson’s case, they settled for $2M, but nobody was prosecuted for any crimes.

Well, even if Attorney General Pam Bondi ignores fraud on the court, surely The Florida Bar is investigating this lawyer because The Florida Bar HAS TO take robo-signing by lawyers seriously. But the Florida Bar doesn’t investigate robo-signers. To the contrary, The Florida Bar HIRES THEM to oversee attorney ethics investigations (The Florida Bar has in the past and will probably again investigate ME for speaking the truth). I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP!

Well, at least Floridians have our elected state representatives to protect homeowner rights in the wake of this massive fraud. Don’t look now, but a new Florida House of Representatives Bill HB213 is an “expedited foreclosure” bill that actually MAKES FRAUD EASIER for the banks by accelerating the foreclosure process. This bill has already made it out of committee with a 12 – 4 passing vote. Stay tuned for more on this selling out by our elected legislators.

If you are a homeowner, who is on your side? The President of the United States? The United States Congress? Your Attorney General? Your State Legislator? Your local Bar?

It’s getting harder to tell, but the signs aren’t good.

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