Foreclosure Defense Florida

Bogus Foreclosure- The Press Is Picking Up- Courts Are Next- Take Back Our Courts!

Published: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 at 1:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, February 22, 2010 at 7:30 p.m.

The way a Sarasota man almost lost his home after bogus claims by out-of-town foreclosure attorneys made a good front-page story.

It may be rare that Berta got a judge to overturn a foreclosure sale on his Sarasota homestead by asserting he was never served with foreclosure papers. As you may have read in Monday’s Herald-Tribune, the foreclosure attorney claimed Berta could not be found and therefore his house was abandoned. That despite the fact Berta is a local business owner who was easily findable.

Still, if that were an isolated glitch, I might not be doing a column. But there’s much evidence, as the Florida Bar has confirmed, that some bulk-rate foreclosure firms are seriously cutting corners. And why not?

They can usually file sloppy documents with unverified and false claims and get away with it, because most foreclosures are not contested. Usually, nobody even skims through the documents.

A recent court ruling says judges don’t need to. The checking is up to homeowners.

That has led to filings so ridiculous that I thought anti-foreclosure lawyer April Charney was kidding when she e-mailed a recent find from Lee County. It is a template, a fill-in-the-blanks foreclosure document, that foreclosure-mill lawyers filed in court as a real one, with almost nothing filled in.

But though law office employees or contractors apparently forgot, or didn’t bother, to fill in names of key parties in that foreclosure, some ironic truth was left in there, Charney says. Where there should be names of the investment company that allegedly held the mortgages or transferred it to another company, the court document lists “Bogus Assignee” and “Bad Bene” (beneficiary, it seems).

“It’s a cruel joke,” says Charney, a Legal Aid lawyer who has been teaching foreclosure seminars for area lawyers and judges. “We are finding these all over the country.”

Such flagrantly self-identifying bogus documents are only a bit more obvious and extreme than routine ones that often have equally shaky and unproven mortgage assignment claims, Charney says.

“It really is kind of pathetic,” she says, and it shows why judges should be angry, and why more struggling homeowners should get legal help.

Berta’s lawyer, Betsy Young, says she has several more clients who found out their homes were being foreclosed only because local law firms read it in legal ads, and sent word.

Those local firms, when coming to deliver eviction notices, had no trouble contacting the homeowners, right at the very homes the foreclosing attorney claimed were empty.

Tom Lyons can be contacted at tom.lyons@heraldtribune .com or (941) 361-4964.

But some aspects of William Berta’s story are not all that unusual.

One Comment

  • Luis 57 says:

    My house was recently appraised [ 4 mo.ago ] at $188K. , but Monday in a courthouse auction it was sold for $ 79K. ..a 42% discount ..Wow !!
    Today Wednesday …the gentleman who won the auction knocked on my door . He asked …me …
    what did I want to do with the house. ? He’s a brave man…he’s doesn’t know in what mood the ex owner is going to be in..?

    He in the business of flipping foreclosed properties , and has sold houses back to the foreclosed owners ..as a routine business transaction…

    He sort of offered to sell it back to me . maybe at $100K… So he would make a profit of $ 21,000. on the deal…!!!

    I am giving out all this private information , so the readers ..can learn , …and be better prepared to deal with these preying wolves circling around for more meat…. . I am learning as I go along for the ride …too.
    It could be a good deal for me too. My loan had a balance of 140,000. and if I had the money ..this guy was offering it back for …100K. ….wow I just
    saved …$40K. !! …. Free at last from my 1 st…. and ….2nd mortgage …great !!.

    It’s too good to be true..?? How the freak was my appraised home valued at $188K. .sold for $ 79K….
    something stinks here!!.
    What about a Deficiency judgment ??

    What If I could pay this guy $100K. and I saved $ 40K. ..but ..
    What if that freaking pretender banker comes after me for the deficiency judgment …??

    $ 140K mortgage debt minus the sale amount $ 79K = ….$ 61K……” deficiency balance ” ?

    It wouldn’t be such a bargain after all ….if this happened in real life .. 100K + 61K = …….
    $ 161K. ..my new home cost …….I had a 140K mortgage and with this deal I could be in a worst position.
    .I’ve read somewhere that the freaking bankster can’t under-sale ..especially ….42 % below appraisal value .
    I’ll look into this and raise hell if I can protest to the Judge ..and block the sale. Or sue them for discounting when the home had a much higher sales value…….we’ll see….I’ll inform you ..if I do…

    But the game….. ain’t over….till …it’s over…

    I need a good contingency attorney …I am preparing to sue J.P.Morgan Chase for financial and and emotional damages for provoking , and sustaining a two year foreclosure ..draining us of our Wealth ,and Health with a abusive fraudulant foreclosure…

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