How Will the “Foreclosure Era” Affect Public Perception of Lawyers, the Judiciary, and the Rule of Law?

Here’s an excerpt from an article by Chip Parker, Florida bankruptcy attorney,

Could we just put an * by our Foreclosure Era?

In foreclosure cases, lawyers who swore to uphold the United States Constitution and to never misrepresent facts and evidence to our trial courts lie with regularity and purpose.  There is no question that most lawyers handling foreclosure cases on behalf of mortgage servicers have routinely misrepresent critical facts to judges and have presented fraudulent documents in the process of extracting a citizen from his home.  I have personally seen dozens of examples of this, and I have heard of hundreds more.  The Florida Bar has never disciplined one foreclosure mill lawyer for manufacturing and submitting knowingly fraudulent evidence, but The Bar DID investigate me and other defense lawyers for talking about it to the press.

And there is also no question that judges, whether they be retired senior judges or duly elected officials, routinely ignore fundamental rule of law in foreclosure cases.  Our Courts have set up an alternate reality in foreclosure cases, focusing on homeowners missed payments rather than restoring confidence that mortgage servicers and banks will be held to the same standard as every other plaintiff who brings a lawsuit.  I have personally seen dozens of examples of this, and I have heard of hundreds more.  For instance, Senior Judge Sandra Taylor was admonished for conducting illegal communications with the bank’s lawyers outside the presence of the defendant, but in the end, Judge Taylor was never disciplined.

We all know its there.  The 5 largest banks admitted to this fraud when they signed off on their $25B sweetheart deal with the Attorneys General from throughout the USA.  Plus, there are only pockets of resistance at the appellate court level, where some appellate judges are reversing only the most obvious examples of trial court misunderstanding of basic law.

All in all, the truth does not matter because we are all but cattle to the banking industry.  Just look at Jamie Dimon’s testimony before the Senate Banking Committee.  The panel is comprised of the biggest beneficiaries of Dimon’s campaign contributions, and it shows.  These senators were practically apologizing for “our government’s role” in JPMorgan’s estimated $7 Billion loss in the risky hedge funds market.  “We’re sorry, Mr. Dimon.  Shame on us.”

According to the media wonks, we’re all apparently tired of hearing about it.  Two years ago, CBS News interviewed me about a foreclosure case, and the executive producer told me off camera, “The Country has foreclosure fatigue.”  TWO YEARS AGO!!

Heck, I get it.  I know I have foreclosure fatigue.  I’m ready to put the foreclosure crisis behind me and move on to our next national undoing:  student loans!  Sadly, foreclosure fatigue does not translate into foreclosure prevention or foreclosure cure.

We cannot bury this crisis in the litter box of history until we recognize how foreclosures have changed the way most Americans look at our judges, our political leaders and our banking system – all of whom have justifiably lost respect from the rest of us.

I am not speaking of individuals as much as I am speaking of institutions.  As there were those ball players with integrity who refused to cheat just because “everyone is doing it,” there are those rare judges and politicians who insist the law is greater than this manufactured foreclosure crisis.  But they must fight harder against an unfair system, lest they be branded with the same scarlet letter.

The response to the Foreclosure Era we are seeing emerge from our elected leaders, our courts and the media is a page right out of Steroid Baseball.  There is a subtle shift changing the vocabulary used to describe the illegal conduct that has shaken the foundation of our judicial system.  More and more, we see words like “fraud” being replaced with “error” and “mistake.


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