The tragedies in Florida’s Foreclosure courts are playing out in newspapers headlines all across the country. The headlines describe sordid bank practices and the abuses of the foreclosure mills that have been hired by the banks. Their conduct has led to moratoriums on foreclosures. The lender clients and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac have fired several foreclosure mills. Federal bankruptcy court judges and increasingly appellate court judges across this country are slamming the banks and their attorneys across the country. Congress has gotten in on the firestorm, holding hearings which elicited dramatic admissions of gross wrongdoing on the part of most of the Plaintiffs that are bulldozing their way through courtrooms and dead into the living rooms all across America.
This is a civil war raging across America. And it is a war of unprecedented inequities. A pitifully small band of committed attorneys and courageous activists—a rag tag band of Freedom Fighters–stood up and continue to stand up every day against they tyranny of the most powerful and well-funded interests in the world…..the banks, their lobbyists, and lawmakers and law enforcers at the local, state and even international levels.
For too long, our “leaders” acquiesced to the abuses of the banks, their lawyers and the jackbooted thugs they have fanned out all across this country. They might wait until they have a court order to kick down your door and throw your property onto the street. They might wait for a court order before they announce to your neighbors that the bank owns your home and you have abandoned your property so they’re taking it. The Sheriff might stand there, slapping his billy club and providing protection while the jack booted thugs continue with their ransacking and looting of your life’s possessions. This happens all across this country every single day and nothing at all happens to these banks and their criminal henchmen.
The banks might take the home of a soldier in the United States Military, sell his home while he’s serving abroad in harm’s way, throwing his wife and children into the streets. They might engage in a pattern and practice of totally ignoring the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) and refuse to provide any notice to our soldiers so that they could engage in the fight to save their home. What’s worse for that soldier, battling the bullets or battling to keep a roof over the head of his wife and children? At least the soldier has notice that the bullets are coming.
These are just a few of the problems, rattled off right off the top of my head. But back to the rag tag group of Freedom Fighters. The truly disturbing thing about all of this is the fact that all these stories are developing from the work of a tiny group of fighters. The New Jersey Supreme Court estimates that some 94% of foreclosure cases are not defended by an attorney. Consumers are beaten down, decimated, destroyed. Wrecked by an economy that has left them behind and abandoned by a country that sold its soul to the unholy criminal cartels of Wall Street, banks and big business.
As it was in the beginning it is now until the end, “our” courts, “our” judges remain our only hope. But there really is not much hope of a level playing field if the soldiers never get the chance to take the field. This sad fact is recognized in at least one state….
Citing the 1963 ruling by the Supreme Court that state courts are required by the Constitution to provide counsel in criminal cases to defendants who cannot afford their own, Judge Lippman said this was the right moment to extend that provision.
” Today it is an equally obvious truth that people in civil cases dealing with the necessities of life can’t get a fair day in court without a lawyer,” he said.