The Florida Supreme Court has agreed to rule on a case out of Greenacres where allegedly fraudulent bank documents were used in support of a foreclosure, The Palm Beach Post reports.
This case could have major implications on the cases of foreclosures in Miami and statewide. The use of robo-signing, fraudulent documents and other unlawful practices by banks has led to the biggest real estate collapse in decades. House values have plummeted, causing people’s mortgages to be underwater and leading to a foreclosure crisis.
Our Miami foreclosure defense lawyers recognize that the Supreme Court taking up this case could have a major impact on all foreclosure cases throughout the state. The Justices agreed that the case highlights the “mortgage foreclosure crisis throughout the state.”
While the case in question has already been settled, four of the seven justices agreed that they should look at the legal question that was posed, saying that it is bigger than this one case and could impact all others. At issue is whether a bank can still be held accountable for using robo-signed and fraudulent documents if officials decide to dismiss the foreclosure case after it has been challenged.
In this case, the bank filed to foreclose on a man’s house in 2008, alleging that it owned the mortgage via assignment from another lender. After the man’s foreclosure defense attorney challenged the backdated assignment, the bank voluntarily dropped the case and settled with the homeowner.
The man appealed, asking that the dismissal be reversed and while lower courts sided with the bank on that issue, an appeals court asked the Supreme Court to take a look. The appeals court decided that the issue is “a question of great public importance as many, many mortgage foreclosures appear tainted with suspect documents.”
The Office of State Courts Administrator reported that from July 1, 2010 to July 1, 2011, more than 104,000 foreclosure cases were dismissed. Many of these cases were likely dismissed because banks didn’t have the proper documentation, couldn’t prove who owned the note or used fraudulent documents to try to prove the facts.
This is big news for homeowners trapped in foreclosure because if the state’s high court rules in favor of the homeowner, that means that other homeowners throughout the state may be in a better position to fight back against banks who have tried to steal their homes via bad documents.
It has been reported that bank officials in some situations literally cut and pasted figures and signatures onto documents they used in support of foreclosures in Miami and elsewhere when they didn’t have the facts to prove their case. They violated homeowners’ rights in many cases simply because they couldn’t handle the glut of foreclosures that hit the court system so rapidly.
Instead of handling cases legally and upholding homeowners’ rights, banks took the low road and used slimy tactics in order to try to take away people’s homes. Even in cases where homeowners tried to work with them through loan modification programs or a short sale, banks would go behind their backs and attempt to foreclose.
Homeowners statewide — whether in foreclosure right now or not — should be thankful that the justices will look at this case. Our Miami foreclosure defense lawyers hope that the court holds banks accountable and doesn’t let them off the hook and allow them to ruin people’s lives without due process or a shred of honesty and decency.
If you’re battling foreclosure in Miami or the surrounding areas, contact Jacobs Keeley for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991.
More Blog Entries:
Banks May Still Be Getting Away With Crimes in Miami Foreclosure Cases: December 2, 2011
Not Just Miami Residents, But Military Also Hurt By Illegal Bank Foreclosures: November 29, 2011
Florida Supreme Court will rule on Palm Beach County foreclosure case involving allegedly fraudulent bank documents, by Kimberly Miller, The Palm Beach Post