According to their website,
Rushmore Loan Management Services LLC is dedicated to providing outstanding loan servicing and customer support as part of our commitment to uphold ethical and honest business practices.
Well all that may very well be the case, they may in fact may be one of the finest servicers in the business. But that’s not what I have any real interest in. What I have a very personal and specific interest in is a certain foreclosure case that is pending….that has been pending….for several years now in Pasco County. It’s a very, very strange case…that’s getting more strange by the day.
Rushmore was the servicer and testified in a foreclosure trial that occurred more than a year ago. To say that the trial was a mess is a bit of an understatement…it was a sloggy, grind of a disaster. A “trial” held before a senior judge in a low slung narrow and dank conference room, not much more than a broom closet. From my perspective, the senior judge was not at all pleased with me for daring to raise defenses and…you know, defend my client. The file had all kinds of procedural messes that tripped up Rushmore and the judge right from the outset…to the point that the witness for Rushmore, David Winston started interjecting in the proceedings to try and help his own attorney right from from the outset. (typically even an experienced witness will not be interrupting and interjecting for his own attorney…but then, this trial was not typical…in any way.)
Here’s what I mean…from the trial transcript:
THE COURT: The, what?
12 MS. COPELAND: We — U.S. Bank were substituted
13 as counsel in this case, National Association, were
14 substituted. There is an order of substitution.
15 MR. WINSTON: Not counsel.
16 MS. COPELAND: I’m sorry. As plaintiffs in
17 this case.
18 MR. WEIDNER:
Now, one of the more interesting backstories about this file was the testimony of David Winston that he formerly was a senior vice president and associate general counsel for CitiMortgage and that he managed all of the default foreclosure litigation in the country for CitiMortgage
(much, much more on that later)
The really interesting thing about this particular case is that after the court granted Rushmore a Final Judgment of Foreclosure more than a year ago, I moved to have that judgement vacated….and Rushmore’s attorney agreed that it should be vacated. But where things get really interesting is when I start moving to take depositions of the Rushmore witnesses and attorneys because I think real wrongdoing occurred in the conduct of the trial.
The whole case really has spun wildly out of control now…and the central issue that is behind a “simple foreclosure case” that is now years and years old with more motions filed after the judgment was entered than before….are my attempts to take depositions to determine what happened prior to trial.
A judge agreed that I should be able to take these depositions….(and clearly now after all the objections of Rushmore and their attorneys any judge, trial and appellate are going to be thinking that there really must be something serious going on here…after all…why would litigants be fighting so hard to prevent depositions from being taken?)
But then…just yesterday, I got notice that a very experienced and frankly brilliant appellate attorney had filed a Notice of Appearance on behalf of Rushmore.
My question is….why?
Why bring in not just the heavy guns….but the Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier with accompanying Carrier Strike Force?
What is it that lies within these motions that is so overwhelming?
And more from the procedural mess:
THE COURT: Do you have a copy of the order?
2 MS. COPELAND: I don’t have a copy of that
3 order. It should be in the court file.
4 I do have a copy —
5 THE COURT: It’s not in the court file.
6 MS. COPELAND: Here’s a copy of the defendant’s
7 answer and affirmative defenses.
8 THE COURT: I don’t want that. I have that.
9 This case is not ready to go to trial. I don’t
10 see anything to go to trial on, frankly.
11 MS. COPELAND: Well, your Honor, the evidence
12 shows that there is an order denying the —
13 THE COURT: No, it doesn’t show it to me.
14 MS. COPELAND: Well, the docket states that
15 there’s an order denying the motion to dismiss.
16 THE COURT: The docket says it is.
17 MS. COPELAND: The docket says that there’s an
18 order denying the motion —
19 THE COURT: And do you have a copy of it?
20 MS. COPELAND: I do not have a copy.
And when we get into the trial, the judge started to really get annoyed with me…you know….doing my job
MR. WEIDNER: Objection. Hearsay and improper
8 foundation. No foundation.
9 MS. COPELAND: Your Honor —
10 THE COURT: I’m going to quit even listening to
11 your objections, Mr. Wagner, if you don’t stop
12 making superfluous ones.
14 MR. WEIDNER: Your Honor, I’ve got to make the
15 record clear.
16 THE COURT: You’re going to — I’ll accept a
17 standing, but I’m not going to let you just keep
18 interrupting —
19 MR. WEIDNER: And just for the record —
20 THE COURT: — for harassment purposes.
21 MR. WEIDNER: Your Honor, just for the record,
22 I’ve been reversed on this issue, and that’s why
23 it’s important to me.
24 THE COURT: I don’t care whether you’ve been
25 reversed or not, Mr. Weidner. Listen to me.