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My sense of anger at consumers who are just sitting on the sidelines and turning homes over to banks has reached a boiling point.  Just this week alone I’ve had to sit in courtrooms silently, trying desperately to restrain myself when I want to stand up and scream


But the homeowner did absolutely nothing to protect themselves. Many didn’t file anything when they were served….years and years ago.  Some filed pro se pleadings that do not protect them.  Others hired attorneys…and perhaps those attorneys did not do the best job.


And this failure, this unforgivable failure is the worst thing by far that is happening in courtrooms today.  This failure is especially damming in an area like the Tampa Bay area where the entire judicial system…especially in Pinellas County is working desperately hard to make sure that Due Process and rights of all individuals are respected.  I take great exception to any consumer who takes pot shots or who lodges criticism at the judges or court officials who are, by and large, fulfilling their sacred responsibility to ensure justice is done.  In my experience…and in the experience of the good consumer justice lawyers who work in this system, we know that rights are respected and consumers are protected.

And that’s what makes me angry.  I’m angry because I know that if a consumer merely took the time, put forth the effort to hire a good foreclosure defense attorney, they would, in all likelihood, come away with very real respect for the judges, the lawyers and the court system that exists to protect them.

The lawyers that practice good consumer defense serve not just our clients, but our communities. We serve not just clients, but the courts and we show consumers those highest aspirational values that all lawyers who respect the Oath of Admission to the Florida Bar.

I honor that code, but more than that, I’m going to go one step further here. I hear the complaints that consumers do not have the ability to pay for competent legal counsel and so I’m going to respond to this problem.  For at least until the end of the 2013,

My office is going to take on the representation of one family in Pinellas County for free. No Charge. No Cost.


The fine print is I will give this to a family that truly has no ability to pay and it will be limited to my standard retainer agreement, but otherwise, I am offering the same foreclosure defense that I offer to all clients to a family that does not have the ability to pay.

Share this post and email me directly if you feel you qualify,


  • neidermeyer says:

    They’re burned out and broke , dead broke … and they KNOW the courts will be on the side of the banks … I’ve been fighting and doing well but even I am TIRED… I want the courts to actually listen and decide on the merits. 99% of these cases would be abandoned by the plaintiff with even a “fill in the blank” “cookbook” defense based onrfuting the docs and evidence presented ,, but the courts aren’t listening and these people you’re so mad at haven’t got a few thousand to (in their mind) throw away.

  • john dalen says:

    Any good lawyers you could recommend in South Carolina? Doing my best as Pro Se for 2 years now, but they keep changing the judge and I have to explain the issues to them because they never heard of mers or pooling and sevicing.

  • Mark Bowen says:

    “fulfilling their sacred responsibility to ensure justice is done.” With the existence of Fla.Stat. 702.01 in its current form, amended 1987, your comment cannot be the truth; depending on your definition of “justice”. In the age of securitization, this statute is a relic at best, and an unconstitutional one at that. “All mortgages shall be foreclosed equity”? In a combined court of law and chancery, with public and economic policies of the courts that undeniably favor corporatism? Justice is a thing of the past.



    • WILLIAM LEWIS says:


  • H M says:

    Speaking out of experience as a pro se litigant for years, I may not know everything that an attorney knows, but I know how to file motions, I know how to respond, and I know how to disprove the Plaintiff’s view with hard facts that are black and white. Truth be told, it doesn’t matter…they are going to take it…no guarantees that an attorney is going to make it better. I’ve witnessed many a hundred losing in all the UMC’s I’ve attended the past 6 years. It’s still worth fighting, but I’ve kept filing complaint after complaint with the AG’s office about what I have witnessed down at the Court house, not only with Judges, but the employees of the judicial court system that block and manipulate to make sure you get in front of the wrong Judge. It’s all a big giant game, more like a circus…a three ring circus…with the Banks winning and controlling it all. If the homeowners had the funds to pay the attorneys, then they more than likely wouldn’t be in a foreclosure and could pay mortgage/homeowner’s fees, etc.
    It would be helpful as a suggestion, to take on more pro bono cases, whereby if you win or countersue for illegal actvities, that you negotiate your fees back in at the end along with a percentage…I think if you truly want to help home owners, this would be the way to go about it. But, you yourself, know down deep inside…there’s no guarantee that you will win either. So, having said that, all your fury can’t be put on the homeowners.

  • H M says:

    Why Pinnellas? Take ours. Palm Beach County. We have just received final summary judgment and I have to respond immediately. Plan to do it over my Thanksgiving holiday. But, seriously, I am a fan of your website. Always have been from beginning. I even contacted your office 2 weeks ago, but never received a response. So, I am asking you to take mine. How about it?

  • Geneva parker says:

    Maybe Matt you need to talk to homeowners like me who were told by Mr. Harrington to get a real estate law attorney… Not a foreclosure defense attorney, and maybe you should take note that we did EVERYTHING we could to find a foreclosure attorney in our town. There AREN’T any! Our first group of attorneys did NOTHING and wound up committing malpractice and costing us $1500 just to fix their mistake along with $8500. The last attorney cost us $15-20k and lost in summary judgement!!!! He said judges here in TX vote for banks and this one did! It took him 3 weeks to decide. Our attorney thinks he didn’t even know what quiet the title means! It offends me that you would speak so hatefully of us homeowners as a group. We also had a horrible experience with Mr.Garfield’s goons. I find your statements VERY offensive.

  • Geneva Parker says:

    THE REST OF THE STORY… We found a friend to buy our home, asked for a payoff quote, Freddie Mac’s attorney asked for proof of funds and when we asked which way to prove, they ignored us and DROVE US TO SUMMARY JUDGMENT. It’s not our fault they lied.

  • cindy says:

    amily of 7 with one income, choices: pay for housing; pay for complex litigation attorney; or file pro se while searching and hope that there is an attorney out there pro bono – my effort was 5 years in hostile Fed and State courts to no avail – here in Chicago prob 10/10 cases lose, or just delayed/scammed into modding loans wrought with lender fraud – rights and justice are for the rich

  • Gabrielle says:

    Lawyers that get it are few and far between. I hired 3 already for each of the properties I have in foreclosure. One lawyer was the best against HOA’s and I am up against a crooked association that works like a foreclosure mill in Hawaii. My lawyer surprisingly left town for an extended trip right after he took my case. Another lawyer in his office was assigned to it. He was too gentle and didn’t understand the mortgage crisis and needless to say I lost a prelim injunction hearing in a non judicial case. The harm by the HOA included them refusing to let me cure, they locked me out and took my property without ever serving me or conducting an actual sale. Then gave me the keys back a couple days later when I threatened them with a title 42. Then they lied to me about keeping one set of my keys. I still lost the prelim injunction because my lawyer focused too much on the money issues and the FDCPA rather than focusing on the harm caused by their criminal trespass and taking of my property. I told my attorney that maybe we should focus on the violations of the strict non judicial statutes, but he didn’t buy it and We lost the ability to stop the sale. Then the lawyer sent me a bill for 20k the same afternoon that I found out we lost. He knew I had $5000 to stop this sale and the case looked like a slam dunk for a qualified lawyer …. But he didn’t get it right and … sadly, we lost the chance to get all attorney fees paid and to win damages for their non judicial violations.

    It forced me into a BK chap 13. In BK, my new attorney filed all my mortgages as secured debt, against my suggestion to file as unsecured debt and let them challenge it. He said I owe somebody …. Well, I’m not so sure I do anymore. He won’t do any adversary proceedings for me without an investment from me so I will most likely be trying those adversary proceedings on my own. I’m nervous to see how that will pan out. The 3rd lawyer I hired was for a case that the property is owned in an LLC. All he had to do was speak my opposition since I have a good case and all the evidence to prove that they are not the real creditor. And the bank admitted that they kept the note and that MERS had the mortgage. My lawyer did not ever speak my opposition. We had 3 hearings and each one all he did was get an extension, and then the last hearing he really blew it. I thought we were finally on the same page but he got confused in court and withdrew the motion to dismiss for some strange reason. It was completely opposite our game plan. I realized right then that I can’t do much worse as a pro se litigant than these lawyers did for me.

    So I’ve been studying law for the last 3 years to be able to stand up strong against the enemy.
    The moral of this story is, thank you Matt for giving us all this great info because some of us don’t have a choice anymore. The cases are taking longer and the money is tapped out already. I’m grateful for attorneys like yourself, and Neil Garfield, and Jeff Barnes who do share and educate us with strategies and best practices. Please don’t stop because it is helping pro se litigants find the courage to stand up and fight. We may not do it all correctly, if at all, but we are standing up to the challenge, and that is important. I’m in it to win it. The other alternative would be to lose my properties that I worked my whole life for, and that is just not an option. I can’t just sit back … I know too much. The fact that I get sick to my stomach reading some of these cases from hell, well that’s enough to keep me fighting the good fight.

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