“Robo-signing” has become a popular term in the ongoing foreclosure crises, especially in light of the investigation launched by Florida’s Attorney General is undertaking at many of the State’s foreclosure mills. Often, documents at these firms were being notarized with missing signatures and with the wrong dates.
Plenty of mortgage assignments have surfaced which indicate that these documents have been fraudulently notarized. A mortgage assignment is a document which helps prove a lender has the right to repossess a property. This documentation is of the utmost importance because many mortgages were securitized, sold, and transferred many times over before the recent mortgage crisis. Without this document, a lender will have to spend more money and time proving that it is the legitimate owner of a mortgage.
If you feel as though you have been victimized by fraud, don’t despair. Our lawyers will carefully evaluate the facts and legal issues in your case. If we believe that you are a fraud victim, we will aggressively represent you in your case while fighting for your rights and seeking justice in the legal system. If you are a victim of fraud, we will use our legal experience to stand up for your rights. We want to help you keep your home.
One of the foreclosure mills which is currently being investigated is the Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A. Stern claims that the errors in these documents are isolated incidents and simply mistakes.
The Herald-Tribune, however, took a look at some of these documents which are public record in Sarasota and Manatee Counties. Their investigation seems to indicate that these alleged errors were purposeful and conducted in a systematic fashion.
Here is some of what they have found:
(1) At least 60 homeowners have lost property based on improper mortgage assignments;
(2) 1 in 10 mortgage assignments filed by Stern’s office in Sarasota County have mistakes that violate state law, and
(3) 1 in 3 have either legal violations or other irregularities which call into question their authenticity.
Despite these widespread examples of fraudulent documents, Courts have been slow to stop or reverse foreclosures based on questionable documents. Although this is mostly attributed to the fact that judges must maintain neutrality and allow borrowers to defend themselves, some judges have taken a stand. For instance, two judges out of Marion and Pasco Counties have dismissed cases where Stern’s firm misdated mortgage assignments. One of the judges called the filing a “fraud intentionally perpetrated upon the court” and said the lender could never try to foreclose on the homeowner again.
Unfortunately, we may be dealing with these fraudulent documents for years to come. A healthy real estate market depends on the legal transfer of property. Accordingly, there could be many title issues and someone who bought a home from a bank that used questionable paperwork might have trouble selling the property. Some experts “expect a flood of legal challenges based on inaccurate documents.” This could lead to previous homeowners suing to get their homes back.
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We have been successful in defending many foreclosure cases when given an opportunity to develop a plan to properly defend the foreclosure.
If you are on the brink of foreclosure, need a real estate attorney, or just need to assess your legal rights, please contact our office today.
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