Another Foreclosure Firm Bites the Dust, Held in Contempt, Others Follow

COMBO Title and Securitization Search, Report, Documents, Analysis & Commentary COMBO Title and Securitization Search, Report, Documents, Analysis & Commentary


Reports are pouring in that layoffs in the foreclosure mills are pandemic. With the finding by a U.S. Trustee in BKR court that LPS with engaged in a systematic pattern of fraud and forgeries, thus explaining the dockets on which multiple “banks” represented that that they had the original notes and were entitled to enforce them (and they DID have what appeared to be original notes), lawyers in those firms are running for cover and the ones who can’t find other employment are getting pink slips anyway.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have ordered all ties be cut with Stern’s law firm and now the Katz firm, with Shapiro and Fishman not far behind.

Lawyers are reporting in judicial states that cases set for trial in the next few days are being dismissed with acknowledgment from the other side that they “cannot prevail on the merits.” They are dismissing at trial in an effort to avoid the imposition of attorney fees. Aggressive attorneys should be able to apply various statutes and theories to hold the lawyers and their clients in contempt or at least recover the cost of legal representation — not to speak of the homeowner who has just received the keys to the door of his own house, upon which he  can now file a quiet title action.

Lawyer held in contempt over ‘fraud’ in foreclosure filing
By Kimberly Miller and Christine Stapleton

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Updated: 4:36 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011

Posted: 10:29 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11, 2011

A day after federal mortgage giant Fannie Mae fired the prominent law firm of Ben-Ezra & Katz, a Miami judge found the firm’s founding partner, Marc Ben-Ezra, in contempt of court for filing “sham” foreclosure documents and “wasting the court’s time.”

On Thursday, Fannie Mae cited document “execution issues” as the reason it terminated the law firm.

Ben-Ezra & Katz becomes the second south Florida law firm making a mass exodus from the foreclosure business.

The Plantation law firm of David J. Stern began dumping thousands of its Fannie Mae cases late last year after evidence of robo-signing and other faulty documents became known.

“It’s a huge can of worms that is being opened up because of changes in law firms,” said James Bonfiglio, a Boynton Beach attorney who represents homeowners. “This is the way it’s going to go and it’s going to be a huge mess for the next couple of years.”

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Maxine Cohen Lando expressed her displeasure Friday in a case that involved a property in Homestead with a $265,134 foreclosure judgment issued in July.

Lando said the so-called original note and original mortgage were filed months after the bank said those documents were lost.

“That in itself is a fraud upon the court,” Lando wrote in an order to show cause as to why she should not hold Ben-Ezra & Katz attorneys in contempt.

But, she added, the action “pales in comparison” to the fact that the mortgage and note are to a different property in Lehigh Acres, and that the documents are improperly signed and notarized. Lando said her verbal contempt finding on Friday would be followed by a written order.

Although Marc Ben-Ezra, 44, was not the direct attorney handling the case, the homeowner’s attorney Maria Mussari said the judge ordered the owner or head of the firm to appear. Ben-Ezra has no disciplinary history with the Florida Bar . ⌦

The judge dismissed the foreclosure case and banned the lender from refiling it.

In a statement late Thursday, the law firm acknowledged it had found “technical paperwork issues,” but added that “there is no issue of whether the information in the affected files is correct. No homeowner has been hurt because of this.”

The firm said it was correcting the issues. “Fannie Mae did not give us the chance to execute that plan,” the statement said.

Fannie Mae set a deadline of Tuesday for servicers to find new firms to handle the Ben-Ezra & Katz cases. But finding replacement lawyers has proven to be frustrating. Statewide, Ben-Ezra & Katz has handled at least 18,000 cases, according to Legalprise, a West Palm Beach data analysis firm.

After Fannie Mae cut ties with the Plantation-based firm of David J. Stern, the firm withdrew from thousands of cases. Today, its replacements often come to court complaining that Stern’s office has not yet turned over files. Some of Stern’s cases remain lawyer-less. No one knows who represents the lender.

“Nobody shows up!” said Tom Ice, a Royal Palm Beach attorney whose firm has begun asking judges to dismiss lawyer-less cases. Last week Circuit Judge John Hoy dismissed one of them. Ice is waiting to see if any lawyer will refile the case.

“It’s absolute pandemonium,” Ice said.


17 Responses

  1. Enclave Debacle,

    Friedman & MacFadyen has been in the news for the past few years as they are being investigated by the State Attorney General’s office. The ruling which came down for the Court of Appeals had to do with the submission of fraudulent documents/ fraudulent signatures by firms including Friedman.

    Go the Maryland Land Records and search every county for documents filed by them. The signatures are not those of the alleged attorneys who signed them and this has been going on for years. Additionally, the signatures on the affidavits were fraudulent. Check those as well. The notaries signatures were also fraudulent. You need to obtain their valid signatures, four of them got decommissioned or lost their commission.

    The Substitute Trustee documents are often fraudulent. There is a lot more but you have to do some work with your own documents. Who was the original trustee when you signed your loan documents? Check all the documents that have been filed in your case..

  2. Debbie I will take anything you have on F&M with great appreciation!

    F&M openly lied in their pleadings. They lied to the judge. They dishonored the judges demand for a chain of title. They DID NOT INCLUDE the current owner of the security interest Fannie Mae. They had full knowledge of Fannie Mae’s investor/ownership because…gee whiz they could see it on MERS!

  3. Debbie…this case has a counterfeit note 5 copies submitted by F&M have NO NOTARY SEAL but they illustrate a blank endorsement. 2 other notes, one obtained from the servicer by a produce the note letter HAS A NOTARY SEAL and no endorsement in blank: a note received recently by the defunct Original Lender’s counsel HAS a NOTARY SEAL and does NOT illustrate an endorsement.

    2 notes given 8 months apart from 2 different entities have a NOTARY SEAL. All the notes filled by F&M DO NOT have a NOTARY SEAL.

    The servicer’s assignment was from Duval County and one of the Assistant Secretary’s of MERS signature was identical to one on a Bethany Hood signed Affidavit case. Someone signing for the Assistant Secretary was NOT the Assistant Secretary. The other Assistant Secretary’s signature was not recognizable and did NOT match any letter characters of his name. In fact if you were to look at the signature carefully you can make out…F u a hl…I am NOT KIDDING!

    I found an LPS contract with the servicer. I am hoping to find an LPS contract with F&M.

  4. Enclave Debacle,
    What information do you need? Where are you located?

  5. Debbie…Can we please share info? I am working on an F&M case now. I need to tie them in with LPS.

  6. Deena & Never Give Up,

    I am going after Friedman & MacFadyen and someone else I know is going after Sameul White. Friedman & MacFadyen have convoluted Maryland’s land records by filing thousands of fraudulent documents of which I have proof. Care to share or hear more?

  7. Has anybody had any dealings with Squire Sanders and Dempsey law firm? Foreclosure lawyers for the bank.

  8. They are starting to get it

  9. Does anyone have undisputible thruth that Cynthis Riley is a robo-signer????

    If so, would you PLEASE email me. I was the victim of a fraudulent document signed by Cynthia Riley and used against me in an ACT 120 hearing (we lost).

  10. The Law is irrefutable and makes no distinction between big and small, rich and poor, bankster or not, at leas it was designed to work that way, in the arena of justice the game can only be played one way, BY THE RULES. While many are NOT, some judges across the nation are starting to understand the ever complicated securitization scheme, and the law it’s being percolated at a much slower pace through it’s actual origin: our sacred and awesome constitution!! may God punish all the perpetrators of the biggest wound ever on America’s heart. Long Live our awesome America!!!!

  11. Yes!!

  12. Deena – don’t forget Samuel White. Maryland is unfriendly to say the least.

  13. For all the cases that go the way of the homeowner, twenty cases go against the homeowner. I believe that some of the judges are protecting their own–lawyers in foreclosure mills committing fraud on the court.

  14. I am sure my case falls right into this category. I just hope the State of Virginia would be more inclined toward real justice and not the travesty of a system we currently have where the banks with their corrupt lawyers lobby the legislature into submission that border in sodomy.

  15. Now it’s time for Maryland foreclosure mills: Bierman, Geesing, Ward & Wood, Friedman & MacFadyen and Shapiro & Burson to get their just desserts! They are doing the same things ALL DAY LONG!!!

    Seems as though since Maryland is a non-judicial state – it’s anything goes. If you happen to make it into court, and if the judges even ask if you were in default at any point in your case – YOU’RE DONE!! It doesn’t matter about all the fraud that has been committed against you. They just want to hear the “D” word and case closed.

    I have countless different signatures and fabricated documents for all 3 mills. I think it’s their time in the spotlight!

  16. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Teri Sherwood, Financial Wellness. Financial Wellness said: COMBO Title and Securitization Search, Report, Documents, Analysis & Commentary IT’S TRUE: THE WHOLE THING WAS… […]

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