Tag Archives: HSBC Bank NA v Buset

BRUCE JACOBS CATCHES FLAK FROM FLORIDA’S THIRD DCA!

(BREAKING NEWS – OP-ED) —

The statistics are unlike anything I personally have ever seen as a consultant to attorneys on matters of foreclosure, chain of title and the system of things … BUT Miami-Dade foreclosure defense attorney Bruce Jacobs has put himself in the firing line by causing the Third DCA into an apparent retaliation by issuing Jacobs a Show Cause Order as to why he should not be sanctioned for violating not only Florida Appellate Rules of Procedure but Florida Bar Rules as well.  I’ve personally met and talked with Bruce Jacobs, a former Miami-Dade State’s Attorney, a devout follower of Judaism.  There are those in the foreclosure world who think little of him for various reasons, while others think he’s too busy to handle their cases, while yet others believe he is a true fighter for “the little guy”.

Miami’s Daily Business Review (via law.com) just broke a story yesterday (October 4, 2018) of the potential sanction news against Jacobs. After doing a little digging, I found the subject per curium ruling that put Jacobs in the crosshairs of some very pissed off judges.  It all stems from their reversal of the famous HSBC v. Buset case, where Jacobs represented the Busets.  After the 3rd DCA’s reversal, I asked Bruce about their opinion in Buset and he told me succinctly that “This is war! This ain’t over yet!”

In a State where homeowners have had more opportunity to figure out “the system of things” as to how foreclosure courts behave, the statistics you’re about to read, which were contained in a filing with the Florida Supreme Court in the cited case, includes statistical evidence of how Florida’s Third DCA is apparently biased and prejudiced against delinquent homeowners:

Alexander v Bayview Loan Svcg LLC, 3D16-2228 (filed April 20, 2018)

Knowing what I know about phony assignments, I proffer an idea here that squarely puts “the system of things” into motion.  By reading this “Opinion” issued by the Third District Court of Appeals in Florida, see if you can make out the frustration not only felt by Bruce Jacobs but by virtually ALL homeowners who’ve ever been in front of any judge in the Third DCA:

Aquasol Condominium Assn Inc v HSBC Bank USA NA et al, 3D17-0352 (Sep 26, 2018)

Again, Jacobs has locked horns with a nemesis that has a propensity to lie in the manufacture of assignments.  In a case in Hillsborough County, Florida, HSBC’s “document manufacturing” came under serious scrutiny and the recorded document was ordered cancelled and expunged from the Clerk of the Circuit Court’s official records in that county.  The case involving that apparent suspect document is still ongoing and if “the system of things” is allowed to play itself out, one particular foreclosure mill law firm and five of its attorneys could be facing the same consequences as Jacobs is now.  It is problematic that most homeowners let their frustrations get in the way of common sense, but the latest “Opinion” seriously appears to put Jacobs in a very tenuous position, since he’s called out the Third DCA for what he believes they apparently are … biased and prejudiced against homeowners … enough to ignore obvious frauds on their own court systems!

However, it should also be made clear here (IMHO) that “the system of things” as I have described in the 10-part series, “Gutting the Underbelly of the Beast” was not implemented in Buset … was clearly not implemented in Alexander … and was definitely NOT implemented in Aquasol, predicated on what didn’t happen in Buset.  That may be tough for some to get their head around; however, when you see the quotes that Bruce Jacobs included in his brief to the Third DCA, which made them recoil, it’s clear the Opinion they issued was really a Show Cause Order that the media is now going to make a 3-ring circus out of, especially in light of what happened to Pinellas County foreclosure defense attorney Mark Stopa.  It’s obvious that Florida does not like aggressive foreclosure defense attorneys, whose first duty is to “the Court”.   With the advent of a Florida judge testifying (at Stopa’s hearing) that Florida foreclosure court judges are incentivized to clear their dockets and receiving bonus cash rewards for doing so, it is very clear that our courts have allowed their own political agendas to taint “Lady Justice”.

I’ve always said it’s about the assignments.  It’s always about the assignments.  This is why C&E actions are so vitally important:

(1)  They dissect the false and misrepresentative information contained within the assignments that are being relied upon by bank’s counsel in foreclosure proceedings.  This involves deposing robosigners.  HSBC has robosigners.  They defaulted when challenged in a C&E as to what authority they had to execute the document.

(2) They bring to light certain statutory violations. Florida has a civil component to its criminal component in F.C.C. § 817.535, which some attorneys rarely use and if they use it, apparently don’t go far enough in using it. They “drop the ball” by NOT doing a C&E on the document called into question.  This is no different than a pro se homeowner going into court and waving a document around and calling it a fraudulent document.  Same results. The Court says, “Prove it!” … and you have no proof!  So piss off!

(3) They bring to light certain ethical violations. Imagine you’re a foreclosure mill lawyer who’s relying on the false and misrepresentative information contained within an Assignment of Mortgage (or even an Assignment of Deed of Trust, for those of you in non-judicial states that have sought to litigate a matter to stop a foreclosure), and you (a.) failed to exercise due diligence in vetting your evidence; (b.) were purposefully involved in the creation of the fraudulent document; and (c.) new or should have known that the information you proffered to the Court would result in a statutory violation.  There are individual Bar Rules in every State that call out this type of behavior.  These Rules fall under the section labeled “Misconduct”.  On occasion, State Bar Associations and Courts across America have to deal with such matters; however, foreclosure cases are particularly egregious in nature because the ethical violations appear to arise out of statutory violations being promulgated on the Court.

(4) They require a determination as to their validity of the document in question.  In the Hillsborough County matter, HSBC had every opportunity to respond, yet didn’t.  When you look at the C&E’s allegations there, HSBC employees could have been facing felony UPL charges.  Duh!  It’s no wonder they didn’t show up.  The good ‘ol boy network on occasion does “circle the wagons” to protect its own practitioners.  I gotta give ’em credit for their somewhat misplaced allegiance.  They pick and choose who they want to prosecute.  Obviously, the several HSBC employees aren’t in jail, so they’ll keep manufacturing phony documents (like every other mortgage loan servicer has done since they were told not to in 2012).

(5) They require a definitive action by the Court.  When presented with the facts, the judge in the Hillsborough County matter cancelled the document and ordered it expunged from the real property records.  That expungement was not detected by the foreclosure mill law firm.  That expungement created further triable issues of fact.  That expungement, in of itself, created a statutory violation.  That expungement further convoluted the chain of title, impairing that property’s vendibility.

(6) They are the “backbone” of any quiet title action.  Once eliminated, assignments and other documents set the basis for the complaint or counterclaim sounding in quiet title because the “obstacle” that the bank has to contend with is an illicit document, shown to be fraudulent, or in the alternative, proven to be fraudulent, with expert witness trial testimony from an attorney to back it up in subsequent cases.  This posits a very serious scenario for the foreclosure mill law firm.  It posits an even more of an issue for any judge hearing the subsequent quiet title action, because the same unclean hands that created and/or relied on the phony document that was cancelled and expunged through the C&E have now come home to roost.

As long as the homeowners are in a position to control the outcome of their cases, the C&E may become a vital tool to measurably determine the success or failure of their destinies.  Sadly, as vigorous of a defense that any foreclosure defense attorney could throw at the other side, especially in this matter, the C&E wasn’t part of it.  Without a basis in finality, how then can “the system of things” work to impose sanctions on the real violators and unseat judges for agreeing with them?

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GUTTING THE UNDERBELLY OF THE BEAST – PART 7

(OP-ED, first posted: September 18, 2018) —

The writer of this post is a paralegal and consultant to attorneys on matters involving chain of title, foreclosures and document manufacturing.  The opinions expressed herein are that of the writer’s only and do not constitute legal or financial advice.  Any use of the theories or ideas suggested in this post is entirely at your discretion and will probably result in disaster without the proper legal help.

This is one of those sections which describes HOW “the system of things” is supposed to work.  We all know that it doesn’t always work the way it’s supposed to.  As a matter of fact, we know that in most instances, especially involving the prosecution of foreclosures, it hardly works the way it’s supposed to, especially if judges have “an agenda” or are “incentivized” to act in the best interests of the banks.  We simply can’t have the banks collapse now, can we?  It is this kind of fallacy that has screwed up our entire chains of title, as well as our legal system, with bad legislation and bad case law.

What I focus on in this segment is past cases that reflect the way things are supposed to work versus when they don’t.

“UNCLEAN HANDS” VERSUS “FRAUD ON THE COURT”

This is a slippery slope for not only foreclose mill attorneys but also the courts that hear their complaints.  The Appellate Courts of course can only rule on matters of error in the cases presented to them.  They cannot hear the entire case re-litigated again; in fact, they won’t stand for it.  Appellate Courts in Florida for example, especially the 3rd and 4th District Courts of Appeal, are famous for issuing “PCAs”, which basically means they are declining to hear the case and that the lower courts ruling stands as adjudicated.  This is one of the reasons why I bring this subject matter up now, which is due to the inept behavior of some judges in the lower courts to “clear their dockets” in the interest of justice, when in fact, many of these judges are “seniors”, already drawing a pension, that have nothing to lose by kicking you to the curb.  This is a serious false assumption on their part (the senior judges).  I don’t care whether these judges are drawing a pension or not … they are not protected by sovereign immunity (and neither is the county that they are acting as an employee of, within the course and scope of ruling on foreclosure cases), when they step “outside of the box” and appear as an accessory to something more sinister.  Sovereign immunity does not necessarily go away if an error is made.  However, if the court gets notice of statutory and ethical violations and does nothing to stop it, sovereign immunity goes away and liability for some sort of “wrong” kicks in.  Yet, no one is addressing this part of “the system of things” when in fact, it should rightfully be addressed and properly dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.

For the purposes of arguendo here, I focus on the state courts as well as the bankruptcy courts, because this is not something that can really apply to the extent that one would think in the federal court system because the federal judges are appointed for life.  One attorney in Hawaii, Gary Victor Dubin, has likened being in federal court to committing suicide.  I find no solace in federal court, given the dismal number of foreclosure cases successfully defended while bankrupting the debtors (borrowers of mortgage loans) who all came into the federal system seeking to “delay the inevitable”.  Only an egregious act by the bank would warrant sanctions and there is no singular case that I can reflect on in a U.S. District Court wherein the judge superbly did “the right thing” the first time, without having to be reprimanded for his abusive rulings by the Appellate Court.  Besides, federal courts do not like pro se litigants, as we discussed earlier.  So why are you thinking federal court?   While the FDCPA and FCRA take up a lot of the consumer-oriented litigation, it is safe to assume that these are mostly initiated in class-action form.

STATE COURT ACTIONS

JPMorgan Chase Bank NA v Pocopanni et al, 4th Jud Cir Ct No 16-2008CA-3989

In the foregoing case, the Hon. Jean Johnson did the right thing by calling the bank attorney’s behavior what it was … fraud on the court by Chase and Shapiro & Fishman.

US Bank NA v Harpster, Pasco Co Cir Ct No 51-2007-CA-6684 (Mar 25, 2010)

US Bank’s lawyers could not stand up to the scrutiny of an Affidavit submitted by the bonding company for Terry Rice, the employee who was notarizing documents within the David J. Stern law firm without having a valid commission by the Floria Secretary of State.  The documents he notarized would come back to haunt him years later in another case in Pinellas County, Florida.

M&T Bank v Lisa D. Smith, St. Johns County, FL No CA09-0418

This case was submitted by Attorney Lynn Szymoniak in her review of dozens of cases where fraud on the court was met by Circuit Judge J. Michael Traynor’s Order of an evidentiary hearing with overtones of sanctions for not one, but three separate violations of behavior by the then-Marshall C. Watson law firm.  The outcome is shown below:

M & T Bank v Smith_Order (Jun 10, 2010)

This is significant because Judge Traynor quoted Rule 4-3.3(a)(1) of the Rules Regulating the Florida Bar … “a lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal or fail to correct a false statement of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer.”  (Dismissed with prejudice!)

OneWest Bank FSB v Drayton, 2010 NY Slip Op 20429, Sup Ct Kings County (Oct 21, 2010)

The late judge Arthur Schack had seen enough banking malarkey to last him a lifetime, calling out robosigner Erica A. Johnson-Seck and demanding an affidavit under oath of her employment history for the past three years and why a conflict of interest doesn’t exit in this case involving being a signer for MERS, a VP of IndyMac Bank and a VP of OneWest Bank, all in one felled swoop, warning the bank’s counsel that: “… the new standard Court affirmation form states that “[t]he wrongful filing and prosecution of foreclosure proceedings which are discovered to suffer from these defects may be cause for disciplinary and other sanctions upon participating counsel.”

BANKRUPTCY COURT ACTIONS

Sadly, homeowners are put between a rock and a hard place when it comes to phony assignments.  Rather than believe the state court would entertain motions for fraud, which most homeowner litigants come running into court screaming, they think that filing bankruptcy will stop their foreclosure.  One thing is for certain, whether the homeowner wins or not, bankruptcy court judges especially do NOT like to be lied to or have facts that are fraudulent or misleading proffered into evidence, as you shall see below in three different cases.

In re Taylor_US Bkpt Ct E.D. Penn No 07-15385-DWS (Apr 15, 2009)

This Pennsylvania bankruptcy case revealed that Fidelity (LPS) had (at that time) 39 of the 50 major banking institutions’ business in formulating documents for bringing foreclosures against homeowners (and just when you thought title companies only handled closings).  Further, the Udren Law Firm got whacked for sanctions under Rule 9011 for attempting to “hide behind” LPS’s NewTrak computer system in processing HSBC’s proof of claim.  While this is a rather lengthy opinion, the conclusion is clear!

In Re Tarantola, US Bkpt Ct D. Ariz No 4-09-bk-09703 (Jul 29, 2010)

If anything can be more blatant, Judge Eileen Hollowell is not one to f**k with.  In one of several Memorandum Decisions, this case really “takes the cake” in the “movant filed its motion without evidentiary support of its claims, attempted to create such evidentiary support after the fact, and only disclosed its “real” evidence on the day of the final evidentiary hearing.” (Relief from stay DENIED!)  My understanding is that the court was packed with attorneys who got to witness Deutsche Bank’s counsel literally attempt to backpedal when cornered.  The judge had the goods on them (and their lawyers)!   I’m surprised that “the system of things” didn’t go further than it did and take them out of practice permanently.  Sadly, McCarthy-Holthus (or some form of them) still exists; however, Brice, Vander Linden * Wernick, PC dissolved right after they became aware of their repeated “mentions” for illicit behavior in the Williamson County Real Property Records Audit in January of 2013.  None of these attorneys were ever brought up on charges before their respective state bars and their E & O insurance policies still apparently exist.  In my book, Judge Hollowell was being too kind.

In re Wilson_Show Cause Order, US Bkpt Ct E.D. La. No 11862 (Apr 4, 2012)

IN RE WILSON_LOUISIANA BK13_MOTION FOR SANCTIONS

Again, in the foregoing case, Fidelity and the Boles Law Firm got waylaid by Judge Elizabeth Magner, who tagged Wells Fargo Bank with a $1.3-million sanction (because the loss of money is the only thing that seems to get a bank’s attention).  This case also illustrates how the major title companies are no friend of the homeowner.  Title companies have to answer to state authorities (State Insurance Commissioners) too!  Do you see where “the system of things” is going with this?

I realize I’m giving you a lot of reading to do in the foregoing scenarios … but I’m trying to illustrate how “the system of things” is supposed to work when the bank, through its attorneys, rely on phony documents that are manufactured to create standing to steal a home.

FORECLOSURE DEFENSE ATTORNEYS ARE SCARED OF THE JUDGE!  BOO!  (… and the attorney shits his shorts!) 

I wrote in the 40-page piece (in which the expert witness attorney concurred) that foreclosure defense attorneys face a real dilemma.  Like many foreclosure mill attorneys, they all have student loan debt into the tens, maybe even hundreds of thousands of dollars.  They got a 4-year degree in addition to 3+ years of law school, had to study and then sit for the state bar exam and face moral turpitude scrutiny in order to get a license to practice law from the state (what the state giveth, the state can taketh away)!

It’s no wonder they’re all scared.  They don’t want to face sanctions.  They want to be a friend to everybody, including the other side’s lawyers that are trying to steal their clients’ homes.  No attorney has the set of cajones to stand up to these shysters unless they have a snoot-full of evidence that can conclusively prove that the other side has come to court with unclean hands.  Which brings me to the HSBC v. Buset case:

HSBC Bank USA NA v Buset_Final Order Granting Mtn for Involuntary Dismis…

HSBC Bank USA NA et al v Buset et al, 3D16-1383 (Feb 7, 2018)

Sadly, Florida’s 3rd DCA reversed Judge Butchko’s ruling, to which Buset’s attorney, Bruce Jacobs told me, “This is war!”  (in other words, “this ain’t over yet”).

Part of the problem might be that the expert witness in this case was NOT an attorney with the capability of reporting the fraudulent and misrepresentative assignments to the Florida Bar.  Attacking an appellate court is virtually unheard of … that is, until we find out who cuts their paychecks and who bonds them.  Every judge is supposed to be bonded, even the senior “fossils” brought out of mothballs that have no problem throwing homeowners out of their homes because they can, without retribution (or so they think).  If the judge commits an illegal act, not only can he be removed from the bench, the county he serves as a judicial officer in can be held liable in certain cases!

We are not asking the homeowner’s attorney to stand up and be counted (challenging the other side’s credibility, screaming “fraud on the court”, etc.).  We let the expert witness attorney do that.  The bank’s lawyer has every opportunity to recant his testimony in both his pleadings and in his oral statements.  If he refuses to do so, then he can pay the price.  We just want the homeowner’s attorney to get the expert witness attorney on the stand and ask him a series of questions.  In other words, we just want the attorney for the homeowner to do his job!

In previous posts of this nature, we talked about the insurance factor.  The direct frauds promulgated by these law firms could have resulted in attacks against their E & O policies, but didn’t.  Any judge who didn’t do the right thing in running a proper tribunal could have faced a judicial review board and lost his bond because it would have been “attacked” and challenged as well.  If a law firm doesn’t get payment for legal fees when its lawyers face the music before their respective bar disciplinary panels, then they have to come up with that money out of their own pockets, which while not being a benefit to the homeowner, it is a bitter detriment to the lawyer, who now has to think about how he’s going to pay off that big student loan debt he’s got in addition to $10-$20K in legal fees incurred as the result of his disciplinary proceeding!

The judge who can’t “do the right thing” represents the county government’s judicial process and has the privilege of sovereign immunity, UNLESS he condones felony behavior in his court.  Then his sovereign immunity can not only be at risk, the county’s general treasury may be raided to pay for the damage he caused!  How’s THAT for justice!

But wait, there’s more … stay tuned!

 

 

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