A case that I wrote about some time ago is being heard by the Florida Supreme Court:
Roman Pino loan #130133456 – $162,400 – (July 2011 satisfaction – still on the books in Jan 2012 trust report in “foreclosure” status) [3764 Mil Run Court, Greenacres, FL 33463] – BoA monthly servicing fee for non-existent mortgage $50.73
This loan, it turns out, was not just being billed for “servicing” that wasn’t happening. It also was apparently a fraudclosure — a foreclosure in which fabricated documents were used by the bank involved to try to foreclose.
The bank got caught and attempted to avoid sanction for its behavior by withdrawing the complaint rather than face the music for the bogus documents, then re-file the case later.
“This was a case of an intentionally fraudulent document fabricated to use in a court proceeding,” says former U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey, author of the book Foreclosures in Florida.
If the Supreme Court rules against the banks, “a broad universe of mortgages could be rendered unenforceable,” Coffey says. “The cost to the financial industry is difficult to estimate, but it could be substantial.”
It should be substantial when you file knowingly-bogus documents in a courtroom. You should beprosecuted for perjury, lose your original case and face criminal sanction.
In this particular case the bank went further — when they got caught and then re-filed, and the respondent’s counsel pushed back they bought him off by filing a satisfaction, effectively giving him a free house, in an attempt to prevent judicial review of their conduct!
What the Florida Supreme Court is being asked to decide, in effect, is whether or not the courts have both the right and duty to protect and sanctity and integrity of the legal process, or whether big and powerful firms that sue under false pretense can effectively pervert that process with bogus documents and, if caught, simply “buy off” the individual cases where they get busted but continue to engage in the same egregious conduct, effectively stealing houses while occasionally “giving” one or two away to “pay off” the few who effectively challenge their activity.
The Florida Supreme Court should take a strong stand for the integrity of legal process, barring a plaintiff who files, through any other means than honest mistake, a voluntary dismissal. This will retain the right to dismiss a case that is defective through either honest error while sending a strong signal that intentionalabuse of legal process to try to steal homes (or anything else) will not be tolerated.