March 17, 2011

FDN attorney Jeff Barnes, Esq. has scored five separate victories in five separate foreclosure defense cases in a span of less than 48 hours. On the afternoon of Monday, March 14, 2011, the Ft. Myers, Florida Circuit Court granted his Motions to Compel securitization, trust, standing, chain of title, real party in interest, setoff, and other discovery in four separate cases, which were filed by Citimortgage, Deutsche Bank, Fifth Third Mortgage, and Bank of New York by the David Stern, Marshall Watson, and Goldfarb law Firms. Entitlement to attorneys’ fees was granted in the Citimortgage, Deutsche Bank, and Fifth Third Mortgage cases. Each of the four cases involved “objections” to the borrower’s discovery which objections were filed months after the discovery request was filed, in one case the objections being filed 14 months after the discovery was originally served.

On the morning of March 16, 2011 in a separate case filed by Citibank as trustee for a securitized mortgage loan trust in Palm Beach County, the Court struck the motion for summary judgment filed by Shapiro & Fishman from the calendar. S&F filed the motion after engaging in a series of acts designed to thwart the borrower’s discovery attempts. S&F originally filed a Motion on behalf of Citibank for “additional time to formulate its responses” to the discovery requests, and then objected to 49 of the 50 categories of the discovery request. Mr. Barnes set a hearing on the objections and personally appeared, but when he left the courtroom briefly, the attorney for S&F wrongfully told the Court that Mr. Barnes “failed to appear”, resulting in an Order denying the Motion. Mr. Barnes alerted the Court to the actions of the S&F attorney, and the Court granted rehearing and reversed the prior Order. Mr. Barnes attempted to resolve the objections with S&F, but S&F’s response was only the forwarding of a “loan mod” package. When the borrower rejected the proposed loan mod, S&F filed and noticed a hearing on a Motion for Summary Judgment and refused to reschedule that hearing pending a ruling on the discovery objections per the Motion requesting the Court to do so which had been filed months earlier.

The Palm Beach Circuit Judge struck S&F’s summary judgment from the calendar and prohibited it being rescheduled until the discovery objections are resolved, which is being scheduled for a specially set hearing. This same discovery has already been compelled by courts in Oregon, New Jersey, and Florida on Motions filed by Mr. Barnes.

Last week, Mr. Barnes took depositions in Tuscon in an Arizona case which revealed a pattern of a “lender” not only luring unsuspecting borrowers into predatory loans which the lender knew the borrowers could not afford to service (but which the branch manager of the lender told them over and over again that they could), and in one instance, required a borrower to take out a $380,000.00 equity line on her home which had no mortgage on it to provide “additional security” for a construction loan after the borrower had already been lured into entering into a land acquisition loan with no conditions. It was only after the acquisition loan was entered into that the lender thereafter imposed the requirement of the equity line as a condition of the construction loan, the entirety of the equity line going right to the lender.

The borrower was thereafter foreclosed on both her home (on the equity line which was to be repaid from the sale of the new home) and the new property as well after the lender refused to release the remaining two percent (2%) of the construction loan to the general contractor so that the new home could be completed, a CO issued, and the property sold when the market was still active and commanding good prices. The lender’s purported excuse for not releasing the last 2% of the construction loan was “invoice issues” with the GC, which obviously could have been resolved after the completion of construction between the GC and the lender so that the home could be completed and sold. In another case, the lender’s “recommended” GC walked off the job after using all of the proceeds of the construction loan but only completing less than 65% of construction.

Next week, Mr. Barnes will be continuing with filing Motions in foreclosure cases in Colorado, Iowa, and Minnesota, and then traveling to New Jersey for court hearings in other foreclosure cases after which he will be attending court hearings in Hawaii before returning to Florida for more court hearings, including hearings requesting the imposition of attorneys’ fees against foreclosing Plaintiffs including JPMorgan Chase.

Mr. Barnes has also been recently approached by the WaMu Support Group for assistance in cases involving JPMorgan Chase.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide