Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Florida Foreclosure Task Force Report Highlights Sleazy Lawyer Conduct From Both Sides Of The Bar

The following excerpt from the Florida Supreme Court Task Force On Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases gives example of some of the sleazy conduct of some attorneys in foreclosure actions:
  • [I]t is critical that these [law] firms be candid, clear, and truthful and accurate in connection with pleadings and affidavits filed with the Courts. A leading plaintiff’s lawyer and a major plaintiff’s law firm have been the subject of a public reprimand and sanctions due to untruthful filings with the courts.

  • Judges continue to see affidavits of amounts due and owing signed by law firm employees, and cost affidavits charging very high service of process fees for process serving firms owned by the law firm principals. To some extent, it is fair to be concerned whether the press of the case load is interfering with a judge’s ability to police the conduct of the firms before them in these usually uncontested, unopposed foreclosure cases.

  • There are also issues on the defense bar side of the equation. Lawyers are advertising for clients to pay them, and they will delay foreclosure. Defenses based on loan closing irregularities are being pleaded without any good faith investigation, in some cases after the statute of repose has already expired. Boilerplate motions to dismiss and discovery requests are filed without ever being set for hearing or for motions to compel.

  • Not infrequently, an answer is filed raising multiple defenses without any discovery, and the attorney then subsequently withdraws from the case due to nonpayment of fees. Nonpayment of fees would seem to be somewhat foreseeable for a defendant who is in foreclosure. Defense lawyers should litigate in good faith, defend in a timely fashion, and not manipulate the courts or the case for simple purposes of delay.

Source: Florida Supreme Court Task Force On Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases, page 21.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home