Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Maryland Foreclosure Mill, Six Attorneys Tagged With Federal Robosigner Suit Seeking Class Action Status reports:
  • A federal class action claims that thousands of Maryland homeowners lost their homes because of the illegal robo-signing operation of the Shapiro & Burson law firm, with offices in Baltimore, Md., and Fairfax, Va., and six of its attorneys.(1) The suit also charges the firm charged excessive fees.
  • The suit notes that the State's Attorney in Prince George's County, Md., has opened a criminal inquiry into the firm's practices and has received statements from a former employee who said he was told to sign thousands of affidavits without seeing any evidence that the statements in the affidavits were true.
  • The plaintiffs, Charles Smalley and Pamela Ball, lost their homes in foreclosure actions involving the Shapiro & Burson firm, even though the firm allegedly did not have possession of the documents necessary to justify the actions.


  • Jose Portillo, an employee of the law firm, signed the affidavits that resulted in the foreclosure and Ball's subsequent eviction. Portillo later exposed practices he said he was forced to undertake and described "an elaborate robo-signing operation whereby each Defendant financially benefitted from fees and commission in carrying out foreclosures tainted by fraud," the suit alleges.
  • Portillo also stated that he witnessed attorneys forging other attorneys' signatures to foreclosure documents.


  • The lawsuit is filed on behalf of all Maryland residents whose residential property was foreclosed by Sharpiro & Burson during the last four years. It estimates there are at least 250 members of the class and "potentially thousands," based on Portillo's statements. It seeks an award of triple damages for each class member.

For more, see Law Firm's Robo-Signers Defrauded Thousands, Class Action Charges (Suit says Virginia law firm illegally foreclosed on "potentially thousands" of Maryland homes).

For the lawsuit, see Smalley, et al. v. Shapiro and Burson, LLC.

(1) The individual attorneys named as defendants in this alleged robosigner racket are:

  • John S. Burson, William M. Savage, Gregory N. Britto, Jason Murphy, Kristine D. Brown, and Erik W. Yoder.