Monday, April 18, 2011

Foreclosure Case Heads To Supreme Court

A South Florida homeowner will have his foreclosure case reviewed by the Florida Supreme Court. Claiming that fraudulent documents were submitted to the court by a law firm handling the foreclosure for The Bank of New York Mellon.

In a case whose outcome could reshape state law the 4th District Court of Appeals has asked the states high court to decide it as a matter of "great public importance". The Supreme Court agreed on Friday April 15th 2011 issuing an order to hear the case.

Roman Pino vs. The Bank of New York Mellon could result in widescale changes to foreclosure cases where there is evidence of fraud in the way that documents have been handled by lenders, servicers and the law firms that represent them. The Appeal Court wrote that in it's request to the high court that "many, many mortgage foreclosures appear tainted with suspect documents".

If the court decides in favor of the homeowner, a resident of Palm Beach County the ruling could affect thousands of foreclosures where there appears to be or there are allegations of fraud and document falsification. This case is being closely watched because The Bank of New York Mellon was represented by a law firm in South Florida that was forced to close last month while under pressure from allegations of fraud, robo signing and false documentation. This firm is one of eight "foreclosure mills" in the state that are under investigation by the State Attorney Generals office for using fraudulent documents. They had handled one in every five foreclosure cases in the state until Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as some lenders, recently decided to
distance themselves from them and stopped giving them business.

The attorney for the homeowner alleged, in this case that his client was the victim of document fraud and that the bank voluntarily dropped the foreclosure case only to refile with another set of documents. He is seeking sanctions againt the lender on behalf of the homeowner claiming that by dismissing the original case they had cut off his fraud claims as well. The Supreme Court should decide if a trial judge should have allowed the homeowners attorney to move forward with fraud allegations before dismissing the case.
George E. Sinacori
GES Real Estate LLC

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