Like many of you, I learned with dismay that Fannie Mae abruptly terminated its relationship with yet another Florida foreclosure mill last week. Please read the full post from HousingWire that appears here.
Fannie Mae has terminated its relationship with Florida-based foreclosure default law firm Ben-Ezra & Katz, P.A., according to a notice sent to mortgage servicers Thursday afternoon. The government-sponsored enterprise advised its mortgage servicers to move Fannie Mae matters to other law firms within its retained attorney network.
Fannie Mae said it became aware of certain document execution issues at the Ben-Ezra law firm regarding its processing of foreclosure cases on the agency’s behalf.
Hummmm, now just what were those, “certain document execution issues”? And how many tens of thousands of foreclosure cases across this formerly great State of Florida are tainted by “certain document execution issues”?
Fannie Mae said any matters concerning the agency that are being handled by Ben-Ezra must be transferred to a different law firm by Feb. 15. (Now I’m all for laying down the law, but think about the logistical aspect of transferring tens of thousands of files in FIVE, count ’em FIVE days! What in the world has gone so wrong so quickly that this is a
CATEGORY FIVE EMERGENCY! GET THOSE FILES OUT NOW!)
Fannie Mae mortgage servicers are advised to:
- refer any foreclosure matters currently held with Ben-Ezra that have not been legally enacted to another attorney firm within Fannie Mae’s Retained Attorney Network in Florida
- notify Fannie Mae on the transfer location of these cases, and
- notify the new law firm of the transfer (HEY NEW LAW FIRM THAT BIG SEMI TRUCK OUT BACK WITH ALL THOSE FILES IN IT…THOSE ARE NOW YOUR CASES…HAVE FUN!)
- immediately suspend all payments outstanding to Ben-Ezra (Now this little diddy really got my attention and it’s got me thinking about a whole lot of other tings. Think about it….what’s happening here that they’ve made this little bit of their divorce public? This is a very, very interesting statement. Please someone dig into this and explain what this means. I’m going to do a whole post on thoughts that spring from this issue, but remember Fannie and Freddie are GSEs and the money they’re wasting is ultimately the public’s money. The public has a right to know what’s happening here.)
Speaking of a right to know….please read Ben Ezra’s public statement on the divorce, found here.
These are technical paperwork issues (What exactly is a technical paperwork issue?)““ not a question of whether filing the foreclosure was appropriate. The question is whether the correct original affidavits were attached to each file. (Really, well all you’d have to do is submit a correct affidavit right? No harm, no foul, nothing any pesky defense attorney could do about that.) We created a remediation plan that we felt would have been in the best interest of Fannie Mae, the mortgage companies, the courts, and borrowers. (As a taxpayer, as an officer of the court and as an attorney who represents the borrowers whose best interests this firm is looking out for, I believe I’m very much entitled to know just exactly what this remediation plan is…please email the remediation plan to me. Thank you in advance.
When the problems of foreclosure files at other firms surfaced last fall, we hired an outside law firm to conduct an audit of our processes and procedures. (I wonder if the results of this audit, since it was prepared by lawyers, has been submitted to the Florida Bar or shared with any of the judges whose dockets are impacted by the results of that audit?)
I repeat again, and again, and again….
WE STILL DO NOT KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THE “PROBLEMS OF FORECLOSURE FILES” THAT SURFACED LAST FALL ARE. WE STILL DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE PROBLEMS WERE WITH THE ROBOSIGNING. HAS ANYONE TAKEN A SINGLE DEPOSITION, HELD A SINGLE EVIDENTIARY HEARING, GOTTEN ANY DISCOVERY ON THIS?
WHO PREPARED THE AFFIDAVITS?
WHERE WERE THE AFFIDAVITS PREPARED?
WHERE WERE THE AFFIDAVITS EXECUTED?
WHO SIGNED THE AFFIDAVITS?
HOW DID THE AFFIDAVITS TRAVEL FROM SERVICER TO LAW FIRM?
These are the kinds of questions that we are all absolutely entitled to know. Remember these fiascos are costing the Florida economy millions of dollars. Foreclosures are not stalled because of defense attorneys or problems with the court, foreclosures are stalled due to issues within the firms themselves. Because we are a foreclosure based economy and because so much of this expense is ultimately borne by taxpayers one way or the other, there is a vital public interest in understanding what has gone wrong here.