April 26, 2016

Four attorneys who have worked within the FDN network have formed the WestNorthWest Law Alliance to handle numerous areas of law practice in the states of Colorado, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. The members are:

Jeff Barnes, Esq.: Mr. Barnes has spent 28 years practicing in the area of civil litigation including business disputes, contract litigation, real estate litigation, limited partnership tax shelter syndication litigation, and appeals in State and Federal courts involving many issues including statutory construction and interpretation. He is licensed in Florida and Colorado, and is also a member of the United States Courts of Appeals for the Third, Sixth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits where he has prosecuted appeals. Mr. Barnes has worked closely with WNW attorneys Edward Levy, Elizabeth Lemoine, and Eric Hummel for over 6 years and continues to do so in the area of foreclosure defense and appeals.

Eric Hummel, Esq.:  Mr. Hummel is licensed in Montana and is also a substitute Judge for Whitefish, Columbia Falls, and Flathead County Justice courts. He practices civil litigation in state and Federal courts in Montana, and continues to work with Mr. Barnes in the area of foreclosure defense. Mr. Hummel was co-counsel with Mr. Barnes in their victory in the Supreme Court of Montana in the case of Pilgeram v. Greenpoint where they established that MERS is not the beneficiary in a Deed of Trust, which involved the construction of a Montana state statute as to what constitutes a “beneficiary” for purposes of the Small Tract Financing Act (Montana’s non-judicial foreclosure statute).

Elizabeth Lemoine, Esq.: Mrs. Lemoine is licensed in Oregon and Washington where she practices labor and employment law, business law, contract disputes, and civil litigation in state and Federal courts as well as working with Mr. Barnes in the area of foreclosure defense. She was co-counsel with Mr. Barnes in their victories in the Oregon Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Oregon in the case of Niday v. GMAC Mortgage which held that MERS is not the “beneficiary” of a Deed of Trust, which case also, like the Pilgeram case in Montana, involved the construction and interpretation of non-judicial foreclosure statutes.

Edward Levy, Esq.: Mr. Levy is licensed in the State of Colorado and practices Bankruptcy law at both the consumer and commercial levels. His practice involves Chapter 7, 11, and 13 proceedings and contested and adversary proceedings and appeals including those before the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel. He also practices criminal defense in the state and Federal courts in cases involving felony, misdemeanor, white collar, and financial crimes, and also practices in the areas of debtor and creditor rights. Mr. Levy has worked with Mr. Barnes representing clients who are involved with foreclosure issues including bankruptcy matters.

WNW’s mission is to provide diligent and comprehensive representation to clients in Colorado, Montana, Oregon, and Washington at the trial and appellate levels in both state and Federal courts. Inquiries may be made to [email protected] at this time. WNW will be establishing its own contact links shortly.


April 20, 2016

This morning, an Orange County (Orlando) Florida Circuit Judge denied a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by US Bank as the claimed securitization trustee. Jeff Barnes, Esq. represents the homeowners. Mr. Barnes prepared the 20-page Response and Opposition to the MSJ and argued the matter in court today.

The case is a “do-over”. The initial foreclosure case, which was filed by the Law Offices of David J. Stern, was dismissed due to the plaintiff’s failure to appear for a dispositive motion hearing. The refiled case involves issues relating to standing, the lack of compliance with Florida’s law as to allonges, inconsistent positions taken in the documents, and setoff issues as well.

There is also a potential statute of limitations issue depending on the ultimate ruling of the Supreme Court of Florida in the Beauvais case, which pits the decision of the Third District Court of Appeal against that of the Fourth DCA: the 3d held that the statute of limitations begins to run as of the date that the foreclosing party accelerates the loan balance due to a claimed default, while the 4th DCA took the position that the statute of limitations begins to run as of the date that the last payment was due on the loan and not when the balance was accelerated.

As Orlando is within the 5th DCA, neither the 3d nor the 4th DCA positions are binding on the Orlando Circuit Court, and in any event, the matter remains in the Supreme Court of Florida on “conflict certification” meaning that the Supreme Court will issue an opinion, at some point, as to what the triggering event is for statute of limitations purposes..

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com


April 18, 2016

Today, an Okaloosa County, Florida Circuit Judge denied a Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Citimortgage, Inc. which claimed entitlement to insurance proceeds issued in connection with a claim for damage to the homeowners’ property. Jeff Barnes, Esq. represents the homeowners and argued the matter this afternoon in a hearing lasting almost an hour.

The homeowners’ property was damaged by water. A claim was made to the insurer, which issued checks for repairs payable jointly to the homeowners, Bank of America (which was on the second mortgage), and Citi. BOA agreed to remove its name from the checks so that the monies could be given to contractors to effect the needed repairs. Citi refused to release its name from the checks.

Citi claims to be the downline successor to the original lender. Citi had filed a foreclosure action and maintained that it was the “Lender” under the Note and Mortgage although that issue remains disputed. The damage occurred during the course of the foreclosure case, which remains pending.

Citi claimed that there was no issue that it had the right to control the insurance proceeds. The Judge denied the motion, stating that the Motion itself, when viewed against the filings in the matter, raised issues which precluded summary judgment. The case will shortly be scheduled for trial on both the foreclosure and insurance (interpleader) cases, which have been consolidated.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com


April 13, 2016

On February 12, 2016, we posted a matter involving Marie McDonnell, who prepared an Affidavit which was used in the matter the subject of that post. Ms. McDonnell is the principal of McDonnell Analytics.

Neither W.J. Barnes, P.A. nor Jeff Barnes, Esq. have any association with either Ms. McDonnell or McDonnell Analytics of any type whatsoever (professional or otherwise), and Ms. McDonnell and McDonnell Analytics are not part of, associated with, or members of FDN.

We apologize for any misunderstanding that may have been the result of the matters in our post of February 12.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com