The stain the “foreclosure crisis” has left upon the whole of the judicial system will take a very long time to wash off……but the stain will not ever leave completely. One of the very worst elements that has been introduced into the whole of the judicial system is systematic fraud and forgery…that have been not just ignored, but supported by the judicial system.
There have been two recent cases out of Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals that address, somewhat indirectly, issues related to fraud. The first is the case I took to trial, PennyMac v. Sanbria.The facts in that case are just profoundly disturbing…and very personal to me. We went to trial. The plaintiff introduced into evidence an “original” promissory note that was obviously forged. Our expert testified that it was obvious to the plain eye that someone crudely traced over my client’s signature. The banks position? Incredibly, their position was, “just ignore the obvious fraud and forgery.” And the trial judge rewarded their fraud and forgery with a Final Judgment. Here’s the whole transcript. trialtranscript
Evidencing a pattern here, is another decision that was just released out of the 2nd DCA, Strominger v. Bank of New York is yet another case of document forgery and fraud that results in a written opinion by the appellate court. In this opinion, the appellate court notes:
At a February 2015 trial, the Bank of New York relied on two documents to
prove it had standing. The first document was an assignment that the trial court
previously determined was fraudulent and “not entitled to introduction in evidence for
It is most incredible that a determination would be made about a document being fraudulent and yet the bank still has the arrogance to proceed forward trying to use that document in pursuit of their case….but that is what courts have conditioned bank lawyers is permissible conduct. I’m convinced that the problem of forged and fraudulent documents used in pursuit of foreclosure cases is far more significant than any of “them” care to confront.
Take one of the other fraud cases that I’ve got currently pending before Florida’s Second District Court of Appeals, Patel v. Chase Home Finance in this particular case, we (once again) are confronted with very real issues of what can only be described as very significant document irregularities….you see, the name of the company that appeared on the loan documents never should have been there…and the signature that appeared on the endorsement just should not have been there.
I took the deposition of the alleged signer and owner of the company who was furious that his personal name and his company’s name was being used without his authorization. You would think that would matter…wouldn’t you?
And you would think that when that same witness appeared in court and was incredulous and furious that his name and his company’s name was being used improperly. But again, you would be wrong….because the appellate court ignored all that and instead granted the bank a foreclosure judgment. Chase bank had no good explanation, but they didn’t need one. So here is one excerpt from the appellate brief we’ve filed:
Prior to trial, the Homeowner moved for summary judgment alleging that E-Loans did not authorize any endorsements on the promissory note. This motion was supported by an affidavit from Gregory Fierce (“Mr. Fierce”) who identified himself as the owner and principal officer of E-Loans. Mr. Fierce averred that E-Loans was not a party to any of the servicing documents, had in fact never serviced a loan, and also did not authorize any endorsements to be placed on the note.
Still no word on how the appeals court will deal with the serious issues in this case…..but let’s hope they’ve discovered a pattern that the appellate court won’t let go of. One thing I know for certain is the implications for the larger interests of the judicial system, and for our society as a whole, are far larger and more profound than dealing only with foreclosure cases and issues.