Matt Taibbi reports from his front row seat at a foreclosure court trial docket

November 11, 2010 | By | 3 Replies More

Matt Taibbi’s newest article should be required reading for anyone who wants to support the desires of banks to expeditiously foreclose on home loans. Taibbi showed up at a Florida foreclosure docket to give an insider’s view. You will be amazed at the conduct of the judge (it is described toward the end of Taibbi’s article). Here’s the link: Courts Helping Banks Screw Over Homeowners: Retired judges are rushing through complex cases to speed foreclosures in Florida.

Here’s an excerpt:

At worst, these ordinary homeowners were stupid or uninformed — while the banks that lent them the money are guilty of committing a baldfaced crime on a grand scale. These banks robbed investors and conned homeowners, blew themselves up chasing the fraud, then begged the taxpayers to bail them out. And bail them out we did: We ponied up billions to help Wells Fargo buy Wachovia, paid Bank of America to buy Merrill Lynch, and watched as the Fed opened up special facilities to buy up the assets in defective mortgage trusts at inflated prices. And after all that effort by the state to buy back these phony assets so the thieves could all stay in business and keep their bonuses, what did the banks do? They put their foot on the foreclosure gas pedal and stepped up the effort to kick people out of their homes as fast as possible, before the world caught on to how these loans were made in the first place.

. . .

When you meet people who are losing their homes in this foreclosure crisis, they almost all have the same look of deep shame and anguish. Nowhere else on the planet is it such a crime to be down on your luck, even if you were put there by some of the world’s richest banks, which continue to rake in record profits purely because they got a big fat handout from the government. That’s why one banker CEO after another keeps going on TV to explain that despite their own deceptive loans and fraudulent paperwork, the real problem is these deadbeat homeowners who won’t pay their fucking bills. And that’s why most people in this country are so ready to buy that explanation. Because in America, it’s far more shameful to owe money than it is to steal it.

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Category: Court Decisions, Fraud, Law, Social justice

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. gregory says:

    “FRAUD IN THE COURT” and “NO DUE PROCESS IN CALIFORNIA”

    My Civil Case regarding Wrongful Foreclosure went Judicial in California.

    The Judges turned a “Blind Eye” to the Back-Dated, Forged, Non- Acknowledged Fraudulent Foreclosure Documents and EMBEZZLEMENT Scheme, removed the LIS PENDEN, allowing GOLDMAN SACHS to FORECLOSE ON MY PROPERTY.

    GOLDMAN SACHS does not own my property, but their name is all over the Insurance documents.

    To all Foreclosure Victims:

    If you are in need of Affirmative Defenses to combat these thieves and injustice, feel free to visit my blog at http://www.bushnellcomplaint.blogspot.com.

    And Click on this link to view my current Unlawful Detainer:
    https://fdaaccount.box.net/shared/nuym44jzj0

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    Here's another front row seat to one of the dirtiest games in town: Foreclosure. This article, called "Home Wreckers," was written by Andy Kroll and published by Mother Jones. http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/07/david-j-s

    When they kick you out of your house, they sometimes pile on fake extra debt.

    Consider the case of Holly and Rory Hewitt, who for years faithfully made monthly payments on their modest one-story house on what was once an orange grove in Loxahatchee, Florida. In October 2007 their lender, Countrywide, erroneously informed the couple that they were in default. The Hewitts, who had the money, immediately called and asked how much they owed so that they might get things straightened out. Soon after, a reinstatement letter arrived on the letterhead of Countrywide's legal counsel—the Law Offices of David J. Stern.

    The $18,500 bill was larded with charges—property inspection, title, and late fees that seemed exorbitant even in an industry renowned for arbitrary fees, plus monthly loan payments that weren't yet due. In addition, Stern charged the Hewitts for serving legal papers not just on Rory and Holly, but on a nonexistent spouse for each. In all, the couple was being gouged for thousands of dollars. The Hewitts took their story to a local legal aid organization, which passed the case to a private attorney. It would eventually become the core of another class-action suit—one of two pending cases alleging that Stern had dumped junk fees on some 3,500 homeowners who were trying to escape default.

    Stern's attorney insists publicly that the fees were reasonable and legal. But the lawsuits claim that Stern's firm often tripled the standard title fee, charged for serving papers on fictitious people, and demanded payments and fees that homeowners plainly didn't owe—violating Florida laws against predatory debt collecting and deceptive trade practices.

  3. Erich Vieth says:

    Here's another front row seat to one of the dirtiest games in town: Foreclosure. This article, called "Home Wreckers," was written by Andy Kroll and published by Mother Jones. http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/07/david-j-s

    When they kick you out of your house, they sometimes pile on fake extra debt.

    Consider the case of Holly and Rory Hewitt, who for years faithfully made monthly payments on their modest one-story house on what was once an orange grove in Loxahatchee, Florida. In October 2007 their lender, Countrywide, erroneously informed the couple that they were in default. The Hewitts, who had the money, immediately called and asked how much they owed so that they might get things straightened out. Soon after, a reinstatement letter arrived on the letterhead of Countrywide's legal counsel—the Law Offices of David J. Stern.

    The $18,500 bill was larded with charges—property inspection, title, and late fees that seemed exorbitant even in an industry renowned for arbitrary fees, plus monthly loan payments that weren't yet due. In addition, Stern charged the Hewitts for serving legal papers not just on Rory and Holly, but on a nonexistent spouse for each. In all, the couple was being gouged for thousands of dollars. The Hewitts took their story to a local legal aid organization, which passed the case to a private attorney. It would eventually become the core of another class-action suit—one of two pending cases alleging that Stern had dumped junk fees on some 3,500 homeowners who were trying to escape default.

    Stern's attorney insists publicly that the fees were reasonable and legal. But the lawsuits claim that Stern's firm often tripled the standard title fee, charged for serving papers on fictitious people, and demanded payments and fees that homeowners plainly didn't owe—violating Florida laws against predatory debt collecting and deceptive trade practices.

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