June 1, 2016

A homeowner in the UK who owns a property in Florida has prevailed on an appeal of the trial court’s order which vacated a final judgment of foreclosure which had been entered against the homeowner. The homeowner is represented by Jeff Barnes, Esq. of W. J. Barnes, P.A., who obtained the Order from the trial court vacating the judgment and who successfully defended the appeal.

The plaintiff claimed that it had obtained service of the foreclosure Complaint as to the Florida property by “serving” a tenant of a separate property in the UK owned by the homeowner. Mr. Barnes filed a Motion to Vacate the judgment, supported by affidavits of the homeowner and the tenant, as to the alleged “service”, which service was only of certain post-judgment papers (and not the foreclosure Complaint or summons).

The lower court proceedings and the appeal involved questions of both fact and law related to the Hague Convention rules as to service of process upon foreign nationals. The lower court agreed with Mr. Barnes’ position that the alleged service did not comply with the principles and rules established by Article 15 of the Hague Convention, and thus did not satisfy constitutional due process. The court of appeals agreed, affirming the Order vacating the Final Judgment per curiam (unanimously).

Jeff Barnes, Esq.,


May 31, 2016

Foreclosure Defense Seminars is proud to release its website and information as of today. The website,, contains information as to topics and content of the seminars, anticipated cities of presentation, background on the speakers (both keynote and guest), and contact information. We have already had several inquiries as a result of the informal announcement last week.

Arrangements are currently being made to firm up cities for specific dates. As of today, FDS is in the process of adding a seminar in mid-September to the San Francisco Bay area in addition to the Florida cities already being planned.

Jeff Barnes, Esq.,


May 21, 2016

Jeff Barnes, Esq. of W.J. Barnes, P.A. and securitization/residential mortgage lending expert Richard Kahn have taken the next step toward the initiation of their Foreclosure Defense Seminar series by establishing a website and developing a seminar programs. The seminars are open to attorneys, paralegals, and homeowners, and feature discounts for early registration. The website address will be announced shortly.

The California Court of Appeals for the 4th Appellate District has issued an opinion which permits a homeowner to sue for wrongful foreclosure when the foreclosure is instituted by a non-party and where the assignment is defective. The case is styled Sciarratta v. U.S. Bank National Association, etc., No. D069439 (22 page opinion issued May 18, 2016), which reversed the trial court’s sustaining of the Defendants’ demurrer (CA equivalent to a motion to dismiss) without leave to amend the Complaint. The homeowner is represented by Stephen F. Lopez, Esq. Dan Gyurec, foreclosure litigation paralegal for the Lopez Firm, is a long-time member of FDN and has attended several of Mr. Barnes’ prior foreclosure defense seminars, and brought this opinion to our attention.

The Court found that “the void assignment is the proximate cause of actual injury and that is all that is required to be alleged to satisfy the element of prejudice or harm in a wrongful foreclosure cause of action.” Citing the recent Yvanova decision from the California Supreme Court, the Sciarratta court stated: “Banks are neither private attorneys general nor bounty hunters, armed with a roving commission to seek out defaulting homeowners and take away their homes in satisfaction of some other bank’s deed of trust.” That statement sums up what we have been arguing for years across over 35 states at both the trial and appellate levels and in state and Federal courts. FINALLY, it has been confirmed by two California appellate courts.

The entity claiming to enforce the debt was Deutsche Bank, but the sale was held by Bank of America, which claimed to have inherited the rights to the loan via an assignment from JPMorgan Chase on a Wa-Mu originated loan. There was evidence that Chase had previously assigned the Note and Deed of Trust to Deutsche Bank, yet there were subsequent assignments to BOA by JPM including an alleged “Corrective” assignment.

This case highlights the fraudulent conduct of JPMorgan Chase in attempting to make two assignments of the Note and DOT to two different entities over different periods of time. It also illustrates the fraudulent conduct of BOA in attempting to foreclose on a Note and DOT which BOA should have known had been previously assigned to Deutsche Bank. Incredibly, BOA took the position that the recording of an assignment to Deutsche Bank “does not actually transfer an interest in property; it merely serves as notice that a transfer occurred.” Fortunately, this nonsensical and absurd argument went nowhere but being rejected by the appellate court.

The Defendants also took the position that the later “Corrective Assignment” demonstrated that the beneficial interest had been transferred to BOA, and that Chase had made “procedural errors” on the documents which were later allegedly to have been corrected. These ridiculous arguments were also rejected. The Court held that: “Defendants cannot hijack Sciarratta’s first amended complaint, delete allegations not to their liking, insert other contrary allegations such as this one about a mere “procedural error”, and contend the resulting pleading they have cobbled together fails to state a cause of action.” Thus, the appellate court made it very clear that banks cannot re-write a homeowner’s case and then take the position that no claim is stated. Bravo to the California 4th Appellate District for giving BOA and JPMorgan Chase a good and hard public spanking which is more than deserved and long overdue.

The Court further held that the foreclosure, which is the identified harm, can be traced directly to the foreclosing entity’s exercise of authority purportedly delegated by the assignment. The court stated that there are strong public policy reasons for this approach, as otherwise, anyone could foreclose on a homeowner because someone has the right to foreclose, and since lenders can avoid the court system entirely through the nonjudicial process, there would be no court oversight whatsoever.

Hats off to Mr. Lopez for his efforts in obtaining this decision, and kudos to the California 4th Appellate District for seeing through the mindless and spurious “arguments” of the banksters. A copy of this incredibly rich opinion is available upon e-mail request.

Jeff Barnes, Esq.,


May 17, 2016

Jeff Barnes, Esq. of W. J. Barnes, P.A. and Richard Kahn are in the process of putting together all-day foreclosure defense seminars which will carry CLE credits for attorneys who attend. The seminars will be open to anyone and will include written materials from both Mr. Barnes and Mr. Kahn.

Topics to be covered include initial case analysis, identification of issues, the role of MERS, securitization issues, discovery, defense of dispositive motions (e.g. Motions to Dismiss and Motions for Summary Judgment); rescission, and issues in mediation and settlement.

Mr. Kahn is the former National Product Manager for Merrill Lynch’s mortgage-backed securities division on Wall Street, and has written and lectured extensively on securitization matters. He has been qualified as an expert in mortgage foreclosure cases in numerous states and also many counties in Florida. Mr. Barnes’ credentials are listed on the “About Us” link on this website.

The seminars will be held on Fridays beginning at 9:00 a.m. and concluding at 5:00 p.m., and are currently planned to be held in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville, Florida. Future seminars, which will also involve bankruptcy issues, are being planned for Denver, Colorado; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington.

More details and registration materials will be forthcoming shortly.

Jeff Barnes, Esq.,


May 16, 2016

We received the following accolade last Friday night, which was directed to Mr. Barnes:“I want you to know that not bringing you into this fight is like someone knowingly committing suicide rather than standing up and fight. I am not ready to hang myself.”  We sincerely appreciate that commendation, which came to us unsolicited.

That being said, there has been some recent confusion as to what the FDN network attorneys do, including Mr. Barnes’ Firm. We are litigators: our mission statement and goal is to challenge the “banks” and servicers on as many fronts as possible at both the trial and appellate levels in both state and Federal courts, and to do whatever we can to accomplish the client’s realistic goals and objectives within the bounds of the law while continuing to explore new theories of defense (and, in certain instances, recovery of damages).

We do not “do” loan mods, short sales, or bankruptcies, although such options may come up during the course of litigation (e.g. in the context of a mediation or if a bankruptcy filing is deemed necessary under certain circumstances, in which case we know of bankruptcy attorneys who we work with and can refer). The reason why we are publishing this is that we have had many inquiries lately along the lines of “we want to retain your Firm to do a loan mod”, or “we want your Firm to help us with a short sale”, or “I am in bankruptcy and need your help”. Although we do sometimes become involved with, for example, defense of proofs of claim or opposing motions for relief from stay within a bankruptcy involving foreclosure issues, or defending foreclosure proceedings outside of the bankruptcy court if stay relief is granted, the core bankruptcy should be handled by an attorney who is an experienced bankruptcy practitioner who regularly handles proceedings under Chapter 7, 11, and 13 of the Bankruptcy Code.

There are many qualified and experienced practitioners who do specialize in the loan modification process and other “loss mitigation” options (such as short sales). Although we may be called upon, during the course of litigation, to assist with such endeavors, we do not solicit or seek to have potential clients retain our Firm for such endeavors.

We hope this clarifies what our network does for homeowners, and we will continue to assist homeowners.

Jeff Barnes, Esq.,


May 4, 2016

On Monday, May 2, 2016, a Lee County (Ft. Myers) Florida Circuit Judge denied a Motion to Dismiss filed by Bank of America and MERS which sought to dismiss a homeowner’s pre-emptive action for Declaratory Relief, Equitable Estoppel, Unjust Enrichment, Violations of Florida lending statutes, and violations of the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Jeff Barnes, Esq. represents the homeowner and argued the matter in court on Monday.

The Complaint seeks relief based on the findings in the Nash and Dimant decisions which voided mortgage loans involving the non-existent America’s Wholesale Lender. Both cases found that AWL was never incorporated as represented in the loan documents and thus the loans were unenforceable. The Nash Court ordered the return of all monies paid by the homeowners on the alleged loan. Both Courts held that the homeowners were the prevailing parties for purposes of seeking their attorneys’ fees against the foreclosing parties.

Separately, a Miami-Dade County, Florida Circuit Judge has issued an incredible, 17-page decision in the matter of HSBC Bank, N.A. as Trustee etc. v. Buset, Miami-Dade County, Florida Case No. 12-38811-CA-01. The Court’s Order, which granted the homeowners’ motion for involuntary dismissal and ordered HSBC to show cause why it should not be sanctioned, was issued last week (on April 26, 2016), and finally debunks several myths and misconceptions which have been perpetrated upon the courts by “bank” and servicer attorneys for years.

We thank several of our dedicated followers for sending this decision to us. The Court’s findings are meticulous and hold, among other things, that:

(a)  prior servicer records were not admissible;

(b)  the undated endorsement failed to comply with the PSA;

(c)  the chain of interim endorsements required by the PSA were missing and thus any alleged transfer of the loan was defective;

(d)  the MERS assignment was void as it was executed years after the original lender (Fremont) filed for bankruptcy; and, perhaps most importantly,

(e)  the Note is not a negotiable instrument (citing numerous facts within the mortgage to demonstrate this, in addition to missing facts in the Note).

This decision is groundbreaking, and along with the Nash and Dimant decisions, show that Florida is the national leader in not only analyzing the real issues in foreclosure cases, but also exposing many of the myths which have been perpetrated upon the courts by the “banks” and “servicers” for years.

Bravo to Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Beatrice Butchko for taking the time and effort to issue this decision on issues which we have been arguing for years, but which Judge Butchko finally found to be true. A copy of the decision is available by e-mail request to us.

Jeff Barnes, Esq.,