if you’re reading this blog…you are one of those who made a difference!
In 2010, Florida’s economy struggled with a growing housing crisis and historically high unemployment. “¢ Locally, the tourist industry fought a rising tide of misperceptions in the wake of a catastrophic oil spill, and a failed rail transportation initiative threw business leaders back to square one. “¢ Here are 10 people who made their imprint on that fast-changing business landscape this year, not always for the better.
I want each of you to understand just how profound this recognition is and just how important it is that each of you take credit by making my own list of the Ten Most Important Forces In The Fraudclosure Battle.
1. The Clients, The Unrepresented, You Who We Are Honored To Fight For- I am most motivated by the heartfelt and very personal struggles that each of you face. I feel the pain and the agony that you who are suffering face and in the face of this continued struggle, your words, your stories, your encouragement motivate, inspire and drive this movement. Those who are suffering through unemployment, who are fighting to save their homes, those who are clinging desperately to the last thin reeds of the American Dream, there are people out there that care about you. You’ve got to stick your necks out, you’ve got to come out from the shadows, you’ve got to get more engaged in this fight. We all are strengthened when you come forward to tell your story. Let 2011 be the year when each one of you reaches out. Join together and let us all hear the chorus of your shared voices.
2. The Honorable Band of Fearless Foreclosure Fraud Fighters- Those who follow this story know there is a band of dedicated and committed attorney soldiers out there that are fighting the good fight, standing up for real, honest and profound ethical principles. These attorneys from across this great state and country are bound together by our commitment fulfill the highest ethical calling of our profession. We are the tip of the spear that is pulling our profession to the forefront of respect and admiration for the courts and the practice of law…we call on our brothers and sisters in the legal profession to join us in this fight. We’ve dusted of and re-read the Constitution of the United States of America, we’ve reconnected with those core and guiding principles, those dreams that brought us to law school in the first place. If you’ve forgotten those dreams, come join us in this fight and have your legal career re energized.
3. The Press- This battle reminds us all that we must fight every day to protect and defend our basic rights. Make no mistake, while foreclosure is a symptom, the larger disease is a broken and corrupt financial system and our entire system of government, both at the federal and state level, struggling desperately to address the evils that have been wrought upon this country. This is not an easy story to tell, and there are facts that those we are fighting do not want you to know. We are making a difference in this fight because our free press has picked up the ball and they are running with it. It’s time for us all to aggressively support and defend our free press, to support those who are working hard to tell the story and to make sure everyone you come in contact opens their minds to the larger conflict that is bubbling across this country. This story is not going away. Every page you turn, every corner you look into, the story gets more sordid and abusive. They will keep digging and God Bless them for that because only our free press can investigate and tell this whole story.
4. The Blogger/Internet Community- Our world is changing right in front of our eyes. The last civil rights battle was fought at lunch counters, on buses and in front of fire hoses and German Shepards. This civil rights battle is playing out through blogs like this one, 4ClosureFraud, Foreclosure Hamlet and all the other communities of interest that have exploded on the scene. Every time you spend a moment on these sites, every time you send a story along through your email chain, you make a difference. We no longer have to wait four years to vote, you cast your vote, you make your voice heard, you shine a light on fraud and abuse, you’re standing up to fight every time you join together with the members of this community online….you are changing this world.
5. Florida’s Office of Attorney General- It must be noted that our state’s chief attorney may come and go, but the staff that moves the office stays on, doing the good work, the serious lifting, the day to day battles for the people of the State of Florida. Long before the other 50 states jumped in, the staff and attorneys from Florida’s Attorney General’s Office were investigating the wrongdoing that was occurring. We must continue to support this office’s good efforts and the unsung heroes that are working behind the scenes to protect Floridians from the the storm that covers this state like a stalled out Category 5 hurricane. This problem will not go away and it cannot be solved by private parties or for profit lawsuits, we must give support to our new Attorney General Pam Bondi as she struggles to wrap her hands around this problem, then we must demand that her office devotes the resources necessary to clean this mess up.
6. Judges, Courts and Their Staff- I want it remembered that when this movement started, when we first traveled to Tallahassee to battle the banks and their efforts to turn Florida into a non-judicial state, I championed the cause of our elected judges, their staff and our courts. The banks and the con artists caused all this chaos then dumped this problem into the laps of our judges and their staff. Our legislature has so far failed to provide the funding necessary for them to mange the crisis. And yet they march along. There are brave, reasonable and thoughtful judges all across this state who recognized the chaos that was coming early on and warned of the dangers and there are judges today who continue to sound the alarm bells. We will be deconstructing this slow speed train wreck for years to come and there will be key judges and their opinions which will clearly define where these battle lines were drawn. I still have faith that our good judges and our courts can pull us out of this mess…I only hope they’ll be given the resources to get the job done.
7. Our Elected and Appointed “Leaders”- I hear nothing coming out of Washington, DC or our 50 state capitals that gives me any hope or confidence that they grasp the scope and magnitude of the larger crisis we are facing. It’s a real problem when “only” 25% of the homes in a state are in foreclosure. It’s a problem when unemployment is “only” 10 percent. It’s a real problem when “only” 25 of homes in America are underwater. None of those numbers are real, they numbers are far worse yet those are the percentages that are tossed around. Worse, I hear nothing out of anyone elected anywhere that gives me any hope at all that they even get the problem, much less that they have any idea how to solve the problems we all face. We cannot yet fathom or appreciate the full depth of the corruption, the fraud, the blatant thievery that has been visited upon this nation, but it will be revealed for generations to come. Make no mistake, both “parties” are equally to blame. If you cling to your naive notions of Republican and Democrat, you’re…well, naive. Wake Up America, we’re a Kleptocracy. All those folks at the top of the pyramid have conspired to rob everyone underneath them…and they don’t care what “party” you’re in…..you had money, they conspired and stole it from you…and neither of your “parties” is going to do anything about it.
8. The Wizards on Wall Street- Congratulations you barons of the new millennium, you false prophets of security and prosperity. 2010 was your 4th most profitable in 30 years. You did it with our tax dollars and through crafty schemes and tricks. You have robbed us all. You did it. You won. You were all so much smarter than the rest of us your sophisticated strategies and glossy prospectuses. And now what? What will you do now? No one has ended up in handcuffs, no one has been seriously investigated, you’ve just been rewarded with more money. (Thank you elected and appointed “leaders”) You are unapologetic. You are unrepentant. I think many of you are so pickled that you can’t even recognize the evil of your ways…..What’s your next trick?
9. My Incredible Staff, My Teammates, Friends and Family- We’re still in the third inning of this 14 inning game. We got here together and we’ve got a long, long way to go. Thank you for your dedicated support and all that you do. God only knows where this will all end up…
10. Florida’s Legal Aid Attorneys- It bears noting that the advocacy on behalf of homeowners started with April Charney and the Legal Aid lawyers who practice in offices all across this state. These folks are the unsung heroes in this battle, and they continue to fight the good fight every single day with little pay and even less recognition. Our entire country is benefiting now from the antiseptic glare of the light shining on the banks and their shady practices…and we have the corps of legal aid attorneys to thank for their pioneering work.
Please keep up your faith and keep ready to dig in and get to work…we’ve all got so many problems to address and working them out will require the concerted effort of every last one of us.