Florida AG Bill McCullum Investigating Foreclosure Mills

As published in FLORIDATODAY.COM

See also comments made by Attorney Matt Weidner, a Pinellas County attorney who not only “gets it” but successfully fights it and offers help via his web site to those that cannot afford an attorney to fight for them.  A link to his site can be found in the side panel to the right. 

One last comment:  The article says the AG is also looking into the actions of another law firm (mill) and calls them “The Default Group”.  I believe they mean “The Florida Default Law Group”.  They have already been caught and cited for “illegal” actions and continue to violate the Statutes and Rules of Civil Procedure. 

Attorney General goes after foreclosure mills

Florida’s Attorney General is investigating three foreclosure mills in Florida for allegedly making false documents to file as proof of standing in mortgage cases — a charge that defense lawyers in foreclosure cases have been saying for a long time.

The AG’s Economic Crimes Division said it is investigating whether these mills — so-called because of the high volume of foreclosure cases they file in courts throughout the state — are creating and filing improper documentation to speed up foreclosure processes, apparently without the knowledge or consent of the homeowners.

“Thousands of final judgments of foreclosure against Florida homeowners may have been the result of the allegedly improper actions of the law firms under investigation,” the attorney general said in a news release.

Under investigation are the Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson, Shapiro and Fishman, and the Law Offices of David J. Stern. According to a news release, the firms have been hired by loan servicers to begin foreclosure proceedings.

The loan servicers must submit signed promissory notes to show they have a legal right to obtain a foreclosure judgment. Often, because mortgages have been bought and sold by different institutions several times as securities, the documents needed to make that proof are missing. Allegations have been made that fabricated documents have been filed to obtain final judgments against homeowners.

The AG is also investigating whether the firms created affiliate companies outside the United States where the allegedly false documents are prepared.

The AG has also been investigating The Default Law Group on similar allegations.

The U.S. Middle District of Florida also has a Jacksonville company under investigation for allegedly manufacturing false documents for law firms to file in foreclosure cases.

Defense lawyers have discovered they can use the faulty shoddy documentation to their clients’ advantage, by casting doubt on whether the lender has standing to obtain a judgment.

“The paperwork is flawed, especially the assignment of mortgage,” Tampa lawyer Matt Weidner said. “Right now these banks are getting slayed by appellate and bankruptcy judges, taking closer look at things they’re systematically filing. Some of them are questionable. Others are downright fraudulent.”

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posted by Jeff Schweers at

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