The New York Times recently wrote about a Buffalo, New York, law firm that holds an annual Halloween party where its employees dress up and work in their costumes.
Amazingly, pictures allegedly from last year’s party submitted anonymously to the newspaper show the lack of compassion on behalf of the lawyers that represent banks and lending institutions in foreclosure cases. In one picture, two women “dressed” as homeless people with one holding a handmade sign mocking homeowners whose houses were taken away.
If this indeed true, these examples make it clear that some lawyers hired to work for big banks apparently don’t care about homeowners stuck in foreclosure. We are hopeful we do not see this cavalier attitude in a Miami foreclosure or other South Florida foreclosure situation.
As Miami foreclosure defense lawyers know, there are banking institutions that appear not to care whether a homeowner will keep his or her home or go homeless after a foreclosure.
Banks have found it more profitable to proceed with foreclosure, spend money to put the house up for auction, take the amount they get at auction and attempt to go after homeowners for a deficiency judgment — the difference between the auction price and the original loan.
Deficiency judgments can put homeowners in an even more difficult spot. That makes it even more important that they consider challenging the banks on the authenticity of their loan documents and whether they can prove who owns the note on the house after it has been sold time and time again.
The article goes on to report on the contents of the photos provided to the newspaper, including a mock homeless camp of foreclosure victims, a mock “estate” of the law firm’s victories in foreclosure cases, and other shots at homeowners who are struggling with foreclosure.
The newspaper reports that the law firm is under investigation by the New York attorney general and has recently agreed to pay $2 million to resolve a Department of Justice investigation into “misleading pleadings” and other wrongs.
Don’t think this is the type of thing happens only in New York. There are big law firms right here in Florida that are unwilling to work with homeowners and in some instances treat them poorly. This is why homeowners fighting foreclosure in Miami must act aggressively. Rather than sitting back and trying to deal with the bank on their own, they must take a more forthcoming approach.
Banks and the lawyers they hire to represent them have in the past made up documents that didn’t exist. This is immoral and unlawful and yet it has happened. Law firms are being investigated by state and federal authorities for this very type of offense.
Homeowners deserve to have every right upheld in a foreclosure proceeding. They shouldn’t be forced out of their home unless the banks are able to prove with 100 percent certainty who owns the house, what the total amount owed is and who actually owns the note on the loan.
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:
Miami Real Estate Market Won’t Be Recovering From Foreclosure Any Time Soon: October 20, 2011
Occupy Movement Forces Banks’ Hand and Helps Homeowner Get Loan Modification in Miami: October 18, 2011
What the Costumes Reveal, by Joe Nocera, The New York Times