New Tactic to Silence Foreclosure Abuse Critics: Sue Them

I suppose the latest efforts taken by the members of the foreclosure industry to silence and neuter critics represent a perverse form of progress. If you go by the Ghandi timeline, “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win,” opponents of bad foreclosure practices seem to have done enough damage as to now be worth fighting.

But what is telling are the desperate-looking but nevertheless potentially effective measures being deployed to hamstring the opposition. The vanguard of this effort are foreclosure defense attorneys, many of whom are solo or small firm operators, with not hugely lucrative practices or doing pro bono work (you don’t make a lot of money defending people who have no money).

Suing someone like that, even with a suit that seems spurious, throws a wrench in their operation. It takes time to deal with litigation, and often money, plus the stress is also a considerable distraction. And of course, the hope is no doubt that this sort of risk will also deter other lawyers and critics.

The first example is a lawsuit filed by National Title against Matthew Weidner, a Florida attorney who blogs about foreclosure fraud. The suit charges him with slander and libel.

As most readers no doubt know, in the US, slander and libel are false and malicious statements that damage the reputation of the subject. Thus the most effective defense in a slander or libel case is to establish that the remarks made were accurate (note that remarks that are narrowly accurate but misleading can be deemed to be slanderous).

The cause celebre is that Weidner included a four-part YouTube video of a deposition of Crystal Moore, a robo signer at National Title, and also provided some commentary about the video in his post.

Note that Weidner had NOT posted the video on YouTube, and this deposition was not one taken as part of a suit he was involved in. A different lawyer, Christopher Forrest, had put videos of three National Title employee depositions he had taken on YouTube. National Title secured an injunction on Wednesday ordering Forrest to remove the videos, but the Crystal Moore videos still seem to be up, and Forrest said he had removed his videos but others reposted them. The ACLU filed an emergency appeal on Thursday, calling the injunction a “gag order”.

Per the St. Petersburg Times (hat tip April Charney):

In a suit filed in Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court, the company says Weidner has “deliberately and maliciously” used the term robo-signers “to vilify NTC for signing documents … when (Weidner) knew that it is entirely legally and appropriate to do so.”

The “gist” of statements on Weidner’s blog, the suit says, is that Nationwide Title is an “unethical company” that manufactures false evidence used to foreclose. The statements have permanently damaged the company’s reputation and subjected it to “public hatred, scorn and ridicule,” according to the suit, which seeks damages in excess of $15,000…

Because of the postings, Nationwide Title said, the three had to endure veiled death threats and “highly offensive” comments about their appearance.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the mental health of its employees is not the main reason National Title has taken action against Weidner.

Note that this effort to take down the videos comes as part of a broader battle in Florida over the transparency of court proceedings. Some Florida judges had taken to barring members of the public from watching foreclosure court proceedings, contrary to Florida law, which led the ACLU, some First Amendment groups, and several media outlets to write to the Florida chief justice and one of its circuit court judges. The chief justice, Charles Canaday, responded quickly and ordered judges to open their hearings to the public.

The robo-signing video depositions fall in a grey area, and it is possible that Florida courts may decide to restrict their release. However, it is separately pretty difficult to see what in the Weidner post rises to the level of defamation (I searched by name to see if he had posts on the other two National Title employee depositions, and did not find any). He clearly signals his doubts about the accuracy of Moore’s testimony as opinion (opinion, per Wikipedia, is not actionable). The simple fact is that the raw deposition material is damaging:

16:00 What good and valuable consideration did Citimortgage get for this assignment? I don’t know. Do you know what good and valuable consideration is? No

17:00 Did you read this assignment. No. Do you ever read any of the documents before you sign them? No. How much time do you spend on the assignments? A few seconds.

19:34 Did Ameriquest Mortgage give you permission to sign this document? I don’t know.

21:45 Did you verify the information in this document? No. Do you ever take steps to verify information you sign? No.

28:00 How many documents would you sign a day? About 3,000 a day. When you signed the assignment, the notary didn’t actually physically see you sign the document right? Right.

The remarkable part of the lawsuit is the claim that Weidner aimed to “to vilify NTC for signing documents … when (Weidner) knew that it is entirely legally and appropriate to do so.” As reader ella pointed out:

An affidavit is a legal document which can substitute for live witness testimony in court. All testimony in court is governed by the rules of evidence or by statute. All testimony requires that the witness swears to tell the truth, is competent and has personal knowledge of the facts they are testifying about. An affidavit is no different, in most if not all jurisdiction, the affiant swears to tell the truth by being placed under oath by the notary, the affiant states in the affidavit that they were sworn, are competent and that they have personal knowledge of the facts in the affidavit. The notary attests to the oath of the affiant and that the affiant is who they claim to be.

Note that the overwhelming majority of documents signed by these NTC employees were assignments, which arguably are not affidavits. However, any operation of this sort is likely to have signed affidavits of corrective assignments, and I have copies of lost note affidavits, one by Crystal Moore, the other by Bryan Bly. So the propriety of this operation may not be as open and shut as NTC suggests.

The problem is Weidner probably does not have the time or energy to pursue this matter, but by suing him, National Title has opened itself to discovery on the matter of legality of its robo signing operation. If I were in his position, I’d have a field day and start deposing senior executives, particularly on the details of the resolutions that gave the document execution teams the authority to sign and the rigor of the processes by which particular documents got to the robo signers, as well as the matter of employees signing affidavits, which by their nature are attestations of personal knowledge, when they clearly had none.

But even if Weidner is in no mood to take advantage of this opportunity handed to him on a platter by National Title, raising the visibility of these depositions, which are a matter of public record, hardly seems a good PR move. Recall how Goldman’s efforts to shut down backfired spectacularly.

I’ve heard of other methods to silence critics of dubious foreclosure practices. Lisa Epstein of wrote of a Washington attorney who has been particularly effective in foreclosure defense is now being threatened by a major law firm of litigation for frivolous lawsuits. If she’s won, they can hardly be deemed to be frivolous, but fighting a big firm with lots of staff has high odds of being a war of attrition.

And that is far from the only deterrent being used. Two anti-foreclosure attorneys have told me of receiving threats; one of the “you’d better watch it or you will get hurt” sort; the other repeated intimidating phone calls, including the “we know where your kids are” type. I suspect that sort of thing will become more common as this battle gets hotter.

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  1. Ina Deaver

    I have a modest proposal: there are tons (freakin’ tons) of unemployed law students and recent legal graduates. What say we assign some of these bright young bulbs to help out the foreclosure defense attorneys? Of course, charges of libel and slander for making public the doings of corporate fraudsters invites the intervention of the ACLU and other fairly seasoned parties to defend; however, there are so many hungry would-be litigators who can’t get any experience, and have passed the bar only to stand behind a giant Italian contraption at Starbucks (you gotta pay your bills). Why not encourage the legal interns to fan out and really do some good? Why isn’t there a fund to help defray costs for people willing to work for free to help fight the banks?

    In fact, large law firms often put their associates on crappy pro bono work in order to get experience: the kinds of cases that big law firms have do not go to trial very often, it is hard to get courtroom experience. In return for a year of cranking through some of this mess, and perhaps interning to defend those cranking against stupid attacks like this, those kids would have lots of real world experience in a courtroom. That’s experience that the legal world actually prizes.

    But unfortunately, Yves, there are some truly draconian state laws on unfair competition and business disparagement out there. Depending on the state, the suit could be nonfrivolous. But slander and libel? I would think that a corporate representative testifying to something under oath would render that claim just ever so slightly ridiculous.

    1. Ina Deaver

      And by the way, before any of you other lawyers bring it up, I am well aware of how snotty clients can get about you having any interest or doing any work (even the kind that the ethics rules allow) against them. And I am not kidding myself that some one of these kids will be able to work in future on BofA’s matters with impunity (at least for awhile).

      But can’t we be honest that the real money is typically in the entrepreneurial models these days, and that there are plenty of jobs that would welcome someone who had offended the corporate establishment, but developed good marketable skills in the process?

  2. attempter

    If I were in his position, I’d have a field day and start deposing senior executives, particularly on the details of the resolutions that gave the document execution teams the authority to sign and the rigor of the processes by which particular documents got to the robo signers, as well as the matter of employees signing affidavits, which by their nature are attestations of personal knowledge, when they clearly had none.

    That’s why suing like this is usually a bad idea when you’re actually guilty, and why so few crooks do it. Why would you want to subject yourself to depositions and cross-examination under oath?

    And that is far from the only deterrent being used. Two anti-foreclosure attorneys have told me of receiving threats; one of the “you’d better watch it or you will get hurt” sort; the other repeated intimidating phone calls, including the “we know where your kids are” type. I suspect that sort of thing will become more common as this battle gets hotter.

    That’s just the most obvious example of how all of this falls under the purview of RICO. But clearly the entire endeavor, the business model itself, is a criminal conspiracy.

    And SLAPP suits have always been civil rights violations as well as generalized assaults on democracy itself.

    1. scraping_by

      While it’s true a SLAPP suit is an attempt at silencing inconvenient information, it’s also true that the legal world is connected to the real world by thin and tenuous threads. “Right to petition” has a noble sound, but it’s the prosaic reality that’s important.

      Claiming that the economy will collapse if large institutions have to follow the law is the usual bottom argument in this and other financial industries. It’s very revealing. Proving what you say will halt real estate? An honest statement of risk will put an end to securities trading? An accurate payout schedule will end the mortgage industry? If honesty and equity cause economic apocalypse, that just shows who’s running the economy.

      And, speaking as an old guy, no, it hasn’t always been this way.

      In many states, it’s legal for the counterparty in a suit to contact a lawyer and offer them “legal work” (wink, wink, snicker) while the lawsuit’s going on. In my own state, as I’ve learned to my cost, the lawyer has no legal or bar obligation to warn the client he’s working for the other guy. In this case, it can be viewed as greed on the part of the house grabbers. They just don’t want to share their ill gotten but legal gains.

  3. Pattie

    Some defense lawyers are being investigated by the bar for public comments about the judiciary. The fight for homeowners will be on many fronts.

    1. Anon

      I was thinking about MERS today, and Scientology’s 1970s Operation Snow White came to mind.

      One way of looking at MERS is to see it as the orchestrated removal of formerly publicly registered information (“government document”) from the public domain, an event that has led to untold chaos in our housing sector.

      Is MERS actually illegal in and of itself, since it appears to circumvent so many of our actually existing laws?

      1. Nathanael

        MERS is illegal in and of itself, but who has standing to prove that in court?

        Possibly the local land title registries.

  4. Tom Crowl

    Actually this prompts some general thoughts on how the Internet is changing our relationship to secrecy, privacy… and each other.

    HOW the Web evolves… how WE determine its evolution is critical for the future of civilization.

    There are NO issues more important than those revolving around the development… the evolution of this new LANDSCAPE.

    And that’s vital to remember. We are constructing a landscape which then shapes everything that comes after it… and is built upon it.

    Its more akin to the air, water and sunshine than it is to the invention of the printing press.

    And it may well be the first human created artifact to assume that level of evolutionary importance.

    That’s a pretty bold statement.

    And I’m spinning with some tentative ideas here in early stages. But let’s consider the history of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for a moment.

    Let’s look at its beginnings! No, that’s not with the telegraph or telephone… not even the printing press or clay tablets…

    The first ICT was perhaps a bird call constructed out of a leaf made by a hunter to notify his mates of where the prey was…

    And the first journalism was Ooga running into camp and announcing she’d just seen the first spring sprout on a favorite berry bush.

    There was no gatekeeper, no intermediary… ICT AND journalism were BOTH strictly peer-to-peer.

    And if the message was false, misleading or dangerous… the onus certainly didn’t fall upon the air through which the information was transmitted!

    Everything changed with the move to settled agriculture and the need for structures to accommodate ‘social organisms’ larger than Dunbar’s Number (natural human community size). Both the technical limits of then available ICT as well as natural cognitive limits were actually triggers for a problematic and still continuing disconnection (and tension) between the individual’s functional social network and the social organism of which he was a part.

    I believe these were the critical social/technical factors enabling the rise of Authoritarianism and class structures.

    How Would Hunter-gatherers Run the World? (Psst… They DO!)

    On Creating Communities (Part 1)

    ICT has made a lot of progress since then… but it’s never been able to completely overcome those problems associated with the rise of Authoritarianism:

    1. Loss of proximity (physical, social, psychological) allowing the class isolation essential to its existence.

    2. Cognitive limits associated with Dunbar’s Number facilitating rationalization by all sides of the intractability and/or desirability of the situation.

    And in many cases ICT has actually assisted the Authoritarian impulse (controlled media access, propaganda, etc.)

    The progress that we’ve made in governance to date has largely been the result of technologies to address these issues… e.g. legislatures and juries to introduce horizontally structured power centers to counter-balance hierarchical structures, etc.


    It’s many ways its a direct challenge to the premise of government itself… that of empowered association for mutual benefit…

    There’s a potential in that to bypass existing structures completely and/or construct competing mechanisms for the same purposes.

    While other innovations have vastly improved our ability to communicate… this is the only one that offers the potential to re-establish this fundamental peer-to-peer empowerment and directly confronts the proximity problem (not only physical, but also social, psychological proximity).

    In my piece “On the Birth of the Global Social Organism”…

    I make the remarkably presumptuous statement:

    “Only when the gap in wealth and status approaches that level which would be considered fair within a Dunbar’s number-sized social network in daily contact… only then can we consider the possibility of a healthy, scaled social organism*.

    (*A self-recognized and internally governed economic/political grouping organized for basic survival decisions and actions.)

    Moreover, it may be that the rapid expansion of ICT and the nature of the Ultimatum Game (e.g. terrorism and complex civilizational vulnerabilities generally) makes this first assertion no longer just a nice ideal but a survival necessity.”

    It could be considered a meaningless statement with fuzzy terms like “fair” and “healthy”… but I’m ready to try and defend it…

    This very definitely does NOT suggest NO stratification as a workable goal! That doesn’t work. And frankly reward for innovation, hard work, etc… are keys to a successful civilization.

    But it does imply several things…

    1.We are moving through a period where governments are going to have to deal with some fundamental alterations to the assumptions under which they’ve so long been able to operate… or ultimately they’ll be bypassed (this isn’t a threat… its an observation.)

    2.We can count on an increasingly urgent ‘Justice Imperative’ with teeth coming from multiple, sometimes unexpected places and peoples.

    3. We must address (and empower) fundamental mechanisms of interaction between the individual and large institutions both public and private… the citizen’s role as a stakeholder becomes more urgent over time not less.

    4. We must face up to the realities of a fundamental change in the nature of privacy and the futility of (most) secrecy… both never much use to hunter-gatherers. See David Brin’s “The Transparent Society” for more on this.

    5. We MUST provide an environment and tools that encourage a CAPABLE electorate. Don’t fool yourself that current mechanisms of political marketing and the simplifications urged by party identifications are good for governance. THEY ARE NOT! They are good for Parties and candidates.Technology and the Social Sciences have provided powerful tools for ‘decision manipulation’ (lizard-brain targeted advertising). These must be exposed and countered… at least in the area of political decision. We cannot afford an electorate whose critical faculties are intentionally de-based.

    6. Some institutions need to shrink. Especially those involved with capital allocation (financial services, banking and credit creation)

    see: On Social Energy, Enterprise and Expanding the Technology of Money

    7. And finally, of course, we need the catalyzation of the Commons-dedicated Account Network. A fundamental of speech and association in a peer-to-peer landscape. (its the ‘trickle-up’ path to better governance.)

    BTW, this network has important implications for the future of journalism… its a tool for restoring that direct peer-to-peer connection between the content creator and his/her consumer… its the pragmatic and necessary path to Kevin Kelly’s “1000 True Fans”…


    These are just quick speculations which undoubtedly need editing and refinement. But no time like the present to start the process.


  5. Defamation Bastard

    “… highly offensive” comments about their appearance. ”

    Bahahhaa! That is rich.
    Birth a new site: “Foreclosure Bandits: Hot or Not?”

  6. davidgmills

    As an attorney who has filed his own lawsuit in his own name against his servicer and MERS, I can tell you personally how much work is involved in handling a single case. I am not in default and fortunately have the funds to fight the system. But it is expensive and risky. Should I loose, I might get hit with significant attorneys fees.

    And so far, I have not won yet. I lost at the trial court and lost at the court of appeals.

    I filed the case just to prove that the MERS lien is invalid and to prove that this lien is at the root of the problem of securitization. The MERS lien, which creates lien rights in a strawman instead of the actual noteholder, is a radical departure from existing law. The use of a strawman lienholder converts a public, transparent and open recording system into one that is secret and private. When the lienholder is a strawman, no property owner, no title company, no prospective purchaser, –nobody– is able to ascertain who must be paid to get a valid release of the lien. It is my view that this new secret and private MERS recording system facilitates the mortgage fraud of robo signers and lost note enforcement.

    Will my state’s supreme court take my case? We shall see. But as it stands right now in TN, a person who files suit to contest his lien (and to show that the entire public recording system is in serious jeopardy) apparently does not have a case that is ripe for controversy unless he defaults first. Bizarro world.

    So not only do the lawyers who fight this system have to fight huge firms (the firm representing my servicer and MERS is the state’s largest while I am a solo practitioner) and the political clout of these firms, we also have to have the financial ability to withstand the blizzard of paperwork and the smarts to take on courts who seem to bend over backwards to protect the banks.

    Since when did a property owner not have the right to challenge a mortgage lien on his property without being in default? Since the Court of Appeals of TN said so on November 16, 2010.

    When you get opinions like this, it sure makes you wonder how successful property owners will be in the long run.

    1. Still Above Water

      I have to wonder how many of the judges holding foreclosure hearings own stock in the megabanks at the heart of this mess.

      Thank you for fighting the good fight!

  7. Brian Longley

    Matt has to be enjoying this in a way. He has parsed his words for the last two years on his blog. The only time he says anything is when it is fact. He has been very careful, in my opinion, to keep his comments accurate. Has he taken some to task by stating ugly and uncomfortable truths?
    Oh yes. And if this is the last resort for NT, and their best hope, I smell shorts burning as the company immolates itself with attention to their actions.

  8. jim knittle

    why don’t we establish a legal defense fund that can be used to aid those who are fighting the whole corporate/corrupt mortgage lending cartel. instead of righteous indignation, we could all be part of helping to see justice prevail

    1. readerOfTeaLeaves

      Precisely my thought.

      I am not going to put the energy into setting it up, but **if** (and only ‘if’) there were a payment option online that had the blessing of someone that I respect (Yves, Firedoglake, New Deal 2.0) that said, “Yes, some small group of knowledgeable individuals will see that 100% of whatever $10, $20, $50, $100, or $500 sum you put into this account will be used to help fund legal ‘pushback’ specifically on this Case [Case A], as well as Case B and Case C, which raise strategic legal issues 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, then I’d be willing to toss in a humble amount.

      As with ActBlue, it is more mentally healthy for me to at least ‘put my money where my mouth is’ than face the prospect of living in a completely corrupt, utterly lawless world.

      And since this legal threat against an attorney goes right straight to the heart of contract law and legal rights, I’m reasonably confident that if I sent the link around, then a few realtors, appraisers, and others than I know would be willing to toss in a few coins **if**:

      1. They believed the PayPal-online payment link – was legitimate.
      2. They believed that 100% (or at least 95%) of all contributions were dispersed to direct, specific support of legal activities involved in fighting the desperate, thuggish threats.
      3. There was a ‘daily update’ posted re: here’s what money came in, here’s what it is being spent for this week.
      4. There was a way to track outcomes, and legal processes toward specific legal goals.

      I don’t think it’s a good idea just to put up any old payment link.
      I think that there needs to be credibility and legwork behind it (sure worth a 5% administrative cut, definitely).
      I think there needs to be some way to track what the money is being spent for, and where in the legal process things are at any given date.

      More than my two cents, but…

      (Given the talent evident among commenters, surely someone can figure out how to do this… I’m not the person to do it, but I’d be happy to toss in small change if I viewed it as strategic and legit.)

      1. AR

        Jane H. @ FDL has already turned down an offer of seed money to set up what you discussed. I suggested it to her, she responded favorably, but when I insisted on anonymity, she never replied. So I sent my money to a non-profit foreclosure defense practice of my choosing.

        1. Fractal

          FDL has many, many critical projects on the front burner this weekend. For example, have you heard that we still have a Congress? It is preparing to sell the entire effing country to the oligarchs. Meanwhile, DADT repeal and DREAM act may both move on House floor this weekend. Also, Marcy is moving this weekend, and Marcy is the more likely of several FDL main-diary writers to be interested in the fund you are proposing.

          BTW, did you notice that you contradicted yourself. You said Jane responded favorably after you said she rejected your idea. Just give FDL a little time.

          1. AR

            Jane responded favorably, and then dropped the correspondence after my insistence on anonymity. This was a month ago when David Dayen was posting daily about foreclosure. Furthermore, Foreclosure IS one of FDL’s projects. Just look on the sidebar, where they’re all listed. It’s between ‘Just Say Now’ and ‘Prop 8’.

            Congress and crisis will always be on the front burner, as it should be, and I addressed David in my correspondence as well.

            I hope you will consider donating some of your wealth to foreclosure defense attorneys :)

  9. JS

    Not sure where to post this, so I’ll just document it here.

    For at least THREE days running the CHASE phone number for loan modification and foreclosure issues, (800) 848-9380, prompts for the last 4 digits of your SS #, gives you a menu choice, plays the same recording twice back to back, and then promptly drops your call. These is no way to call them regarding your mortgage, loan modification, or foreclosure!

    Should I be surprised? Does anyone believe for a moment that this office didn’t notice that calls weren’t coming in?

    Is this what Stephanie Mudick and David Lowman meant when they said they that they treat customers with respect and honesty? Is this how they are doing everything they can to help America’s struggling homeowners?

    I found a a phone number for Stephanie Mudick online, but of course that number is now out of service too!

    1. Pointless Waste

      Calling? For what purpose? If you’re behind a certain number of months you can try *67, if you really need to talk to someone. When you do talk to someone, and each time, threaten bankruptcy, take notes, but don’t believe anything they say. It’s widely known loss mitigation does just that.
      Get counsel, specify what it is you want, always be ready to pack your shit up and split.

  10. F. Beard

    I’m so angry I can only presume that bankers are allergic to their own heads and I’ve barely got past the title of the post.

    Yes, congratulations Yves for shining the light of day on these scoundrels.

  11. F. Beard

    I wonder what are the chances of a pro bono lawyer winning a counter-suit against the banks for a frivolous lawsuit? Could the amount awarded be so great as to discourage even the deep pocketed bankers from further iniquity?

  12. Sandy

    I am sorry to hear that Matt has to take time out for this. But I cannot imagine that he will not milk this for every tittle of good he can get out of it. I would bet that he already has a list going of the discovery questions he hadn’t been able to ask, and get an answer, until now.

    He is one sharp lawyer and he is on fire! He won’t let a good crisis go to waste. :)

  13. Will T

    Barry Ritholtz has a good overview of how National Title has opened a can of worms.

    To summarize:

    * Libel and Slander laws in the US are Constitutional issues – Truth is an absolute defense – if any defendant can demonstrate that the damaging statements were indeed, accurate, then they win.
    * In civil litigation, the discovery process provides lots of opportunities for a defendant to gather information related to the accusations to prove they are true; nearly anything relevant is fair game – depositions of senior executives, the firm’s accounting and records, balance sheets, low level employees are all legitimate aspects of pre-trial discovery.
    * The executives who run Nationwide just gave carte blanche to a very angry, well connected, deep-pocketed, web & media savvy attorney who wants their blood.

    1. Fractal

      Not to mention that Matt is now entitled to see all of their email to the extent responsive and they will start incurring sanctions & monetary penalties immediately if they drag their feet on discovery of ESI.

  14. Fran

    “Because of the postings, Nationwide Title said, the three had to endure veiled death threats and “highly offensive” comments about their appearance.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that the mental health of its employees is not the main reason National Title has taken action against Weidner.”

    I think that most people realize that the ‘robo’ signers were low paid, unsophisticated employees who undoubtedly thought that what they were doing was OK since they were hired to do it by far more sophisticated people.

    I don’t think people are mad at the signers themselves.

    1. Social Apocalypse

      Routh Crabtree Olsen has definitely proven to me that they absolutely do NOT have any intention of advising their “Client” Northwest Trustee Services Inc., to UPHOLD CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWS which IS THEIR STATUTORY DUTY.

      Attorney General Rob McKenna (Washington State) has given them FAIR WARNING in a recent letter, detailing his understanding of how they are likely guilty of robosigning within their organization and NOT upholding, equally, the rights of BOTH the borrower AND the lender. THAT IS THEIR JOB.

      What a MOCKERY of consumer protection laws in Washington State I am witnessing. YES, Contact your state attorney general if you are experiencing this INJUSTICE.

  15. LeakTheBankInfoJulian

    I am the client of the Washington attorney that has been threatened by Routh Crabtree.

    First, my attorney is NOT filing frivolous lawsuits. There is ample evidence that our trustees, including Northwest Trustee, are acting outside their lawful duties. I have submitted hundreds of documents to Jim Sugarman, Washington State Assistant Attorney General, showing conflicts of interest with NW Trustee. They have all their employees signing documents turning the bank documents over to themselves so that they may begin foreclosure proceedings. Yes, they are a criminal outfit. Yes, we will prevail.

    These criminals believe that intimidation works. I’ve got news for them. I am ramping up my protests and they have just become target number ONE!

    Routh Crabtree is a law firm which also owns NW Trustee….conflict of interest? I’d say so. This co-ownership is incestuous and dubious at best. If you look at Routh Crabtree’s website, “Routh Crabtree Olsen, P.S. is a law firm emphasizing the representation of financial institutions, credit unions, substantial investors with West Coast portfolios, title insurers, housing authorities, and select businesses in all matters related to licensing, servicing, mortgage banking, consumer finance, bankruptcy, special credits, title insurance, vehicle loans, real estate finance and the enforcement of mortgage loans.” Hardly what a trustee for a homeowner should be involved with, right?

    Anyone with further evidence, please file it with Jim Sugarman, Washington State Assistant Attorney General. Thank you.

  16. deeringothamnus

    Libel is a notoriously difficult tort to prove or get damages for. In the famous case of General Westmorland versus CBS, he won, and was awarded a dollar. HOWEVEVER, well heeled corporations regularly use lawsuits as a business practice. Because anyone can sue anybody for any and no reason, an expensive law suit is a great way to deliberately put someone out of business, or to force them to settle and fork over whatever it is they own, intellectual property, assets, etc.. Virtually no matter how frivolous the suit, in the US system, the loser DOES NOT HAVE TO PAY. A viciously suing party can easily run up an opponents legal bills into the millions.Moreover, judges will routinely rubber stamp gag orders with prior restraint of speach against defendents, so called constitutional rights of free speach notwithstanding. Anybody with either an asset or an opinion is in danger in the US legal system.

  17. Housing Goosesteps

    Back to the task at hand – land usually becomes more valuable then people, the conditions have ripened in the US. Banks, servicers, lawfirms, title hacks, Guv’mint – wouldn’t be acting this way unless there was plenty to lose, and there is. i.e Enough motivation to make potentially a million more people homeless: “Don’t get in the way of the necessary land grab!” If the Police State packs the poor in railcars to prisons or gas chambers that becomes too obvious. I guarantee the press is under orders to quiet it down, keep ’em clueless, keep ’em shopping, deadbeats ain’t paid.

  18. Daniel Daugherty

    They must be desperate. Winning a libel suit is incredibly difficult, with the burden of proof placed entirely on the plaintiff. Not only must the remarks be proven false, the plaintiff must then prove they were harmful and that the defendant didn’t do research.

    You bring a libel suit ONLY when your case is rock solid.


    1. Daniel Daugherty

      Edit: I forgot to mention trolls who bring frivolous lawsuits and cost defendants money. I should have said “IF YOU INTEND TO WIN JUDGMENT, you only bring a libel suit when your case in rock solid.”

      The RIAA/MPAA have been successfully trolling the legal system without having many cases go to judgment. Of course, they fear the precedents that would be set by a losing decision.

  19. Nancy Irving

    The only thing that surprises me in this post is that this title company estimates the value of their reputation at $15,000.

    Of course I wouldn’t value it at more, but you’d think *they* would, LOL.

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