A great, long and fairly non-committal article on the profound crisis called fraudclosuregate appears in the new edition of the Florida Bar News…I think the Bar Journal article takes the same tone expressed by nearly every party in a position of power, which is to say, it’s sort of a shoulder shrug, head tilted sideways and vacant expression of,
“so what are we ‘sposed to do?”
Apparently, punishing systemic wrongdoing is not part of the discussion. Oh well, a few highlights from the article:
” If you know what you’re looking for, you can find the fraud on the face of the document. It’s systemic,” said April Charney, a Jacksonville Area Legal Aid attorney and acknowledged expert on foreclosure defense. ” It’s like paperwork HIV; everyone has the same virus because it was so systemic.”
Michael Redman, a founding member of 4closurefraud.com, a citizen group based in Palm Beach County that helps homeowners fight foreclosures, said there’s no difficulty finding defective paperwork. ” The real question is what is the percentage that’s not affected,” Redman said. ” I would say it’s in the high 90 percentile that all of it was affected up to early this year.” Despite claims by major banks that they have overhauled their foreclosure paperwork preparation, ” I’d say it’s still questionable,” he added.
There has been no formal study of foreclosures filed in Florida to determine the extent of the paperwork problems, but the Attorney General’s Office has undertaken several investigations of law firms and private companies that prepare foreclosure documents. Jennifer Krell Davis, press secretary for Attorney General Pam Bondi, said 11 investigations have been started, and one of those, against a law firm, has been settled.