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Foreclosure Defense Florida

Bernard Was A Large And Frankly Intimidating Black Man…

I met him Tuesday night as I was walking down the shoulder of the Veteran’s Expressway. I was headed home after a very bad day when my my car broke down.   I had one of those days in foreclosure court which reminded me acutely of something I’ve said so many times over the years as a consumer justice attorney, fighting against the institutions and our own government:

Serving those who are in foreclosure is a humbling experience.   It starts to give me some tiny bit of insight into what it feels like to be a minority in this country.


I’ve heard minority groups for years explain what it’s like to be disadvantaged, to have prejudice work against you.   No matter how hard you work, no matter how much superior your preparation or presentation, you start out with your legs hobbled, with two strikes against you, with an unfair disadvantage.


It’s like that in foreclosure court sometimes.   Sometimes you walk into court, knowing full well that your argument is correct, that all of the facts and the law are on your side. Knowing full well, that I should win.


But even when all this is true, there are times when the personification of our nation’s court system just cannot grant my motion or provide the relief I seek.   Yes, Mr. Weidner, we agree on your facts.   Yes, Mr. Weidner I agree with your presentation of the law.


No, Mr. Weidner, I’m not going to grant your motion.


Please the court, your honor.   Would you please explain to me why?


Your motion is denied, leave my courtroom.

I was frankly completely distracted yesterday because I had precisely one of those mornings in court.   I was obsessed with the inequity and the unfairness and the consequences for our nation’s legal system knowing that this is a very real reality.

I was obsessed with this as I stood there on the side of the road.   And as I sat there, thousands of cars passed me by, a white guy with a broken down luxury car, in a suit.   None of the other drivers stopped to help me, but Bernard did, this tough looking guy in a white work van.   When we stopped I tried to flip him a twenty, but he refused, “I don’t want your money man, I just wanted to give you a hand.”     It was a very short drive, not long enough for me to find out a thing about Bernard, but as he sped away I wondered, “Would I have stopped to help him out if the roles were reversed?” My answer, unfortunately was no.

I regret that I didn’t learn anything about Bernard, but he helped me to tale a hard look at race and prejudice and preconceived notions of who people are. I’m so grateful Bernard stopped. Not just because he gave me a ride, but because he gave me a chance to reconsider my own prejudices.   Government and institutions all around have failed us and the reality is guys like me dressed in suits have done far more damage to this nation than any other class of individuals.   I’ll carefully consider this reality next time I see that someone in our community is in need.

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