More Judges Pushing Back on Dubious Foreclosure Documents

Even though this example involves only three judges in Ohio, don’t underestimate its significance. The fact that judges of their own initiative have started insisting that all attorneys provide certifications of foreclosure-related documents, a standard now in effect in New York state, shows how much their credibility has fallen.

From the Columbus Dispatch (hat tip reader Lisa Epstein):

In response to a national outcry over fraudulent foreclosure filings, three Franklin County judges are requiring lawyers to verify that all of the documents in residential-foreclosure actions are valid.

Six of the lawyers affected by the order are fighting back. They have asked the Ohio Supreme Court to prohibit the judges from requiring them to sign “certifications” on behalf of their clients….Among the 17 judges in the Common Pleas general division, at least two others – Laurel Beatty and David W. Fais – had intended to mail the orders to lawyers but stopped after the complaint was filed with the Supreme Court….

[Judge Kimberly] Cocroft said the action was prompted by growing concerns about the foreclosure process.

“Before we sign off on foreclosures, we want to make sure we are diligent in confirming the accuracy of those filings,” she said. “It’s a life-changing event.”

[Judge Guy] Reece said there are alternatives for lawyers who don’t want to sign the certification.

“They have the option of showing up in court, having a hearing and producing the evidence,” he said….

In October, The Dispatch examined the files of more than 130 people whose houses were slated for auction and identified at least 55 whose foreclosure cases contained mistakes, omissions of crucial evidence or questionable affidavits….

Cocroft and Reece said most lawyers have complied with the requirement.

The lawyers fighting this order may lose even if they win. This will only encourage local media to keep the issue of local abuses in foreclosures on the front burner.

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13 comments

  1. Francois T

    “They have asked the Ohio Supreme Court to prohibit the judges from requiring them to sign “certifications” on behalf of their clients”

    Mbwahahahahaha!

    I’m no lawyer, but pray tell on what basis a State SCJ would ever acquiesce to such a petition?

    Plus, as Judge Guy Reece said:

    “They have the option of showing up in court, having a hearing and producing the evidence”

    Why don’t these lawyers do that instead of going to the State SC? People will start to ask: “Got something to hide…REMF?”

  2. subgenius

    Was it really necessary to include “in-text” advertising? Particularly as it doesn’t actually relate in any way to the context of the selected words…

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I don’t see it on my version, so I think it does not show up for every person who looks at a post, just a certain %.

      And if you want me to continue to doing this, I need to monetize the site. Tip jar contributions are nice and very much appreciated, but not close to being sufficient. Yours is the only complaint so far.

      1. subgenius

        I understand your need to monetize your fine work. The reason I posted is that I have seen a rash of these in-text ads on news/finance recently, and they invariably don’t relate to the article – it will tag a word like “event” in “Before we sign off on foreclosures, we want to make sure we are diligent in confirming the accuracy of those filings,” she said. “It’s a life-changing event.” with a link to something like a trade-show. I have also seen ads for eg toothpaste in financial articles…

        The technology simply doesn’t have the capability to parse complex information, and hence detracts from the presentation of that information.

        I suspect the lack of comments relates to the infrequency (currently) of the appearance. The previous, admittedly rather terse comment, was more of a “heads-up”. Is the minute amount they pay for access to placing ads INSIDE the article content actually worth it – rather than simply continuing to place ads around the margins? I ask because currently I allow display of margin ads in my browser, but am likely to activate a blocker if/when this in-text advertising becomes more pervasive (on sites generally, I am not meaning here specifically). Use of a blocker prevents ads being fetched, and hence a total loss of revenue from any visitors using them.

      2. Tao Jonesing

        I’m using the latest version of Internet Explorer, and on this post (and its comments) every use of the word “house” is double-underlined, and when you mouse over the word “house” an ad pops up.

        I don’t have an issue with that, though.

        1. wc4d

          If IE 8.0 is enabling that kind of advertising, you should switch to FireFox immediately. Old IT joke: “Internet Explorer: A utility Microsoft provides to download Netscape.”

  3. Wild Bill

    So now everyone uses the MAD ploy, huh? Funny how executive action trickles down to the populace. Remember, Clinton paved the way for kids to consider blow-jobs “not sex.”

  4. indio007

    I think are judge’s are starting to realize the life changing event could be the vicarious liability they incur for foreclosing on a house when there is no standing in the plaintiff. No standing = no subject matter jurisdiction = no immunity. The suit becomes voidable FOREVER.

  5. vp

    This is insane. The lawyer are willing to produce dubious paperwork or affidavits, but unwilling to certify it. They are implicitly telling us that they believe that the evidence they are producing is BS.

  6. chris

    Nevada Judge just ruled in favor of BOA and Recon Trust in the case that was just out last week. Recon has to provide proof of nothing evidently so I would the majority of judges in the country have no clue what is going on and will still rule in favor of the big money.

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