It appears that “Robosigning” is not just a matter of affidavits and witness signatures. Now it comes out that perhaps Pennsylvania processed thousands of foreclosures where the person who signed and prosecuted the foreclosures may not have been an attorney!
But Loughren is suing because all three named partners of GMM, Joseph Goldbeck, Gary McCafferty and Michael McKeever, have admitted under oath — during depositions last September and in a separate case in December 2009 — that no attorney ever read the filings. The partners made clear that the practice has gone on for the past several years.
The past several years?
Not only does this call into question whether these foreclosures are legal (and might be void) it also implicates criminal statutes – 42 Pa. Cons. Stat 2524 for openers, which states:
(a) General rule.–Except as provided in subsection (b), any person, including, but not limited to, a paralegal or legal assistant, who within this Commonwealth shall practice law, or who shall hold himself out to the public as being entitled to practice law, or use or advertise the title of lawyer, attorney at law, attorney and counselor at law, counselor, or the equivalent in any language, in such a manner as to convey the impression that he is a practitioner of the law of any jurisdiction, without being an attorney at law or a corporation complying with 15 Pa.C.S. Ch. 29 (relating to professional corporations), commits a misdemeanor of the third degree upon a first violation. A second or subsequent violation of this subsection constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree.
Misdemeanors are so much fun. But that’s not the real problem. No, the Statute goes on to say…
A violation of subsection (a) is also a violation of the act of December 17, 1968 (P.L.1224, No.387), known as the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.
And there we got real trouble, because in addition to civil penalties and recompense (which could easily result in the voiding of these cases!) there is also a treble-damage provision:
(a) Any person who purchases or leases goods or services primarily for personal, family or household purposes and thereby suffers any ascertainable loss of money or property, real or personal, as a result of the use or employment by any person of a method, act or practice declared unlawful by section 3 of this act [§ 201-3], may bring a private action, to recover actual damages or one hundred dollars ($100), whichever is greater. The court may, in its discretion, award up to three times the actual damages sustained, but not less than one hundred dollars($100), and may provide such additional relief as it deems necessary or proper. The court may award to the plaintiff, in addition to other relief provided in this section, costs and reasonable attorney fees.
If I’m reading this correctly, if a PA home was lost to Fraudclosure due to the filing of a non-attorney and resold, and the fraudclosure is voided, the subsequent purchaser of that home who loses it as a consequence of the void action can sue for three times the amount of the purchase.
This ought to be fun.
Oh, and again – where are these?