It’s 5 a.m., and I haven’t been able to sleep. Today, I will be a panelist at the Jacksonville Bankruptcy Bar Association Annual Seminar, and my topic is mortgage litigation in bankruptcy court.
The problem is that I don’t like litigating mortgage issues in bankruptcy court. The reason is that, while these issues are fine for a bankruptcy judge to hear, the real damage being done to Middle Class America is happening in state courts. I feel my job as an advocate for the Middle Class requires me to educate my state court judges so that I might help stop foreclosures for homeowners who never meet me.
The mortgage foreclosure process is like a runaway freight train. Foreclosure mills (law firms) are filing almost 10,000 new foreclosures every day in this country, and they are usually relying on fraud and deceit to quickly remove homeowners from their homes.
Currently, I am defending hundreds of actively litigated foreclosure cases in state courts throughout Florida, and my goal is not just to stop these foreclosures. My goal is to open the eyes of my judges to the deceptions taking place right under their noses in every single foreclosure case.
Quite frankly, most judges are not very receptive to my message. I’m like the private eye who has to inform someone that her husband has been unfaithful. Judges don’t want to hear they’ve been duped for so many years.
It is too easy for a plaintiff, whom often lacks the legal ability to foreclose, to get a judgment ordering the sale of a home. The reason is that 99% of all foreclosures are never fought by the homeowner, and lawyers can’t help if they are never asked to help.
At a minimum, every single foreclosure in this country should be denied unless the plaintiff can prove that, at the time the lawsuit was commenced, the plaintiff had the right to foreclose. This is called “standing.” It is legally insufficient to acquire standing AFTER the lawsuit has begun, but that is exactly what happens in the vast majority of foreclosures.
For further discussion, see my explanation on standing in a recent article on Bankruptcy Law Network.