Anda di halaman 1dari 55

2/22/2011 Judicial Automated Calendaring Syste…

ADA Vie w Te x t Vie w Site Map C ontact Us Book m ark !

Se arch
Home Programs Services Resources Media Self Help
Fe bruary 22, 2011
Court Services Online Services Page Options: Print | Favorite s

O nline Se rvice s Web Site Location: Hom e » Court Se rvice s » O nline Se rvice s Your Full Nam e :

» O nline Se rvice s Disclaim e r

Frie nds E-m ail:
» Traffic Citation Paym e nt Se nd Page
» TurboC ourt - Florida
C ourtroom Se rvice s

Select County
Lee County | Charlotte County | Collier County

Important Logon Information

» Vie w Tim e Slots
For first time users, click the "Schedule Time Slots" link,
» Sche dule Tim e Slots
enter your bar number for both user ID and password,
select a judge, and then click "Login". Please omit any
leading zeros w hen entering the bar number. The
system w ill give you the opportunity to set a passw ord of your choice. If you
are unable to successfully login, send an email w ith your bar number to

Motion Guidelines
Only contact the Judge's office if your case parameters don't allow you to set
the hearing or under special circumstances already listed in the system.

Select Judge
Judge Hayes Senior Judge Foreclosure
Judge Pivacek
Magistrate James M.
McGarity, III Collier County Courthouse
Sr. Judge Foreclosure Clerk of Courts 3315 Tamiami Trail E
Naples, FL 34112
Magistrate (239) 252-8119
Karen Bailey, Administrative Assistant

Nancy Figueroa-Ibanez, Administrative Assistant

Diane Williams, Administrative Assistant



Judgments only

Only hearings for Summary and Default Judgments

may be scheduled on the Tuesday, Wednesday and
Thursday dockets before Judge Daniel Monaco.
These timeslots will be in 5 minute increments. (DO

NOT schedule any other kind of motions on this

docket.) All motions other than MSJ and DJ will be
cancelled by Court Administration. No additional
motions w ill be heard w ith the Summary/Default
Judgments before Judge Monaco.

For scheduling question please contact Nancy or

Diane at (239) 252-8133 or (239) 252-8785. For any
questions pertaining to the Judges' procedures
contact Karen at (239) 252-8119. All cancellations
will be FAX'ed to (239) 252-8870 attention Karen.
Include the reason for cancelling, our case number
and style w ith date and time of hearing.

Special Set Hearings

If you have a hearing for Summary/Default Judgment

requiring more than 5 minutes, you may request in
writing by email pforeclosures@ca cjis20 org or…/jacs.asp 1/3
2/22/2011 Judicial Automated Calendaring Syste…
writing by or Also, all other motions
over 30 minutes, objections to the Magistrate
(objection must be filed), must be requested in
writing and may be emailed to the above email
addresses. The administrative assistant w ill contact
the attorney's office to schedule these hearings, so
please provide contact information. Include in the
written request cases number and style, amount of
time needed, motion description, and w ho the
attorney is representing (plaintiff or defendant).
These hearings w ill be scheduled by the
administrative assistant only and w ill be heard in
front of Judge Monaco.

Emergency Hearings must be requested in w riting

to Judge Daniel Monaco. Describe the nature of the
emergency and estimate the hearing time needed.
Do not argue your motion in the letter. The
administrative assistant will contact the attorney's
office to schedule these hearings.

Miscellaneous Hearing Notes:

Except for cancellations, there can be no changes,

additions, sw apping, or other alterations of the
motion calendar. Attempts to accommodate such
requests in the past have resulted in unnecessary
confusion and inadequate notice of opposing

A party/attorney scheduling a hearing must

concurrently notice the matter in conformance with
the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure and ensure timely
notice is served on all pro-se parties and counsel of
record in advance of the hearing. The original notice
must be timely filed with the Clerk of Court. The
Judges' and Magistrates ask that NO courtesy copies
be sent to their offices on foreclosure cases only.

If you CANCEL a hearing, you are required to file a

Notice of Cancellation. If you are cancelling your
hearing ten (10) working days before the hearing
date you can go to JACS and cancel on-line by
follow ing the instructions. If you are cancelling less
than ten (10) w orking days please, immediately
cancel the hearing, by FAX'ing you're a request to
(239) 252-8870 attention Karen. Include the reason

for cancelling, our case number and style w ith date

and time of hearing and w hat party you represent.
You do not need to attach the Notice of Cancellation
(just send the original to the Clerk of Courts). When
cancelling hearings over 30 minutes (Special Set)
you are required to write to the Court for approval
or provide written proof the Issue is Settled.

Once a motion is scheduled through JACS,

subsequent motions may not be "piggybacked"
using the time reserved for the first motion absent
prior approval of the Court. This does not preclude
an independent reservation of another timeslot
during the same hearing period for a different
motion the same case, provided the timeslot is
appropriate in length of time for the motion.

Generally, each attorney/party w ith a stake in the

outcome of a motion scheduled to be heard w ill be
entitled to a proportionate share of the reserved
hearing time.

All Hearings before Judge Monaco will be in


As of January 2010, Telephonic appearance will NOT

be permitted for any foreclosure hearing before the
Senior Judge.

If you need 30 minutes, ask for 30 minutes. Please

don't say, "Can I get in sooner if I only ask for 15
minutes?" The Judge will limit the length of the
hearing to the time requested. If the hearing is not
finished in time, the motion will have to be
rescheduled. When estimating necessary hearing
time, remember to include opposing counsel's time!

2/22/2011 Judicial Automated Calendaring Syste…

Exceptions MUST be filed w ith the Clerk of Courts. If

an exception to the Recommendation of the
Magistrate is filed, please contact the Judge's office
to schedule a hearing. A Motion for Rehearing or
Reconsideration must be submitted in w riting. The
presiding Judge will then decide w hether to refer
back to Magistrate.


Telephone hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Due to the high volume of phone calls received, you
will at times not reach the assistant in person.
Therefore, w hen calling and receiving voice mail,
please leave your name and a brief message. Your
phone call w ill be returned. It is not necessary to call
back to confirm that your message was received.
Calls of that nature are not returned.


on this docket are before the Honorable Daniel
Monaco and do not require an Order of Referral in
Collier County.

To check the Foreclosure Judges' docket schedule

click here.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Other People Who Can Help

Administrative Assistant...................Karen Bailey

(239) 252-8119

Administrative Assistant
(scheduling only)...............Nancy Figueroa-Ibanez
(239) 252-8133

Administrative Assistant
(scheduling only).............................Diane Williams
(239) 252-8785

Court Administration ................................................

(239) 252-8800

Online Services: O nline Se rvice s Disclaim e r, JAC S, CJIS, Traffic Citation

Paym e nt, TurboC ourt - Florida
Courtroom Services: Digital C ourt R e porting, W iFi Inte rne t Acce ss, ADA, Court
Inte rpre te r

Adm inistrative O ffice of the Courts • 20th Judicial C ircuit • 1700 Monroe Stre e t • Fort Mye rs, FL 33901 • (239) 533-1700

Te rm s of Use | Privacy Policy | Disclaim e r | Cre dits Copyright © 2006 - , The 20th Judicial C ircuit.…/jacs.asp 3/3

non-successor in interest to [lawfully seized] BANKUNITED, FSB.,

purported plaintiff(s),

vs. DISPOSED CASE NO.: 09-6016-CA


purported defendants.



Jennifer Franklin-Prescott, “BankUnited” fraud victim

MARK MIDDLEBROOK, CCM, Senior Deputy Court Administrator
20th Judicial Circuit of Florida
Phone: 239-252-8785
Fax: 239-252-8272
[reportedly did not come to the office on 02/21/2011]
Charles Rice, Director
Collier County Probation Dept.
Phone: 239-252-8135
Karen Bailey, Administrative Assistant
[reportedly unavailable]
Debbie Mravic, “Case Manager”; “Program Coordinator”

RE: Fraudulent “02/22/11” hearing” in disposed wrongful foreclosure case 09-6016-CA

Dear Mr. Middlebrook:


1. Thank you for our phone conversations via Skype from the Pacific on 02/21/2011, PM,
regarding “BankUnited’s” fraud on the Court and unauthorized “02/22/2011 hearing”.
2. As conclusively evidenced by the Court’s “OFFICE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES”, the
Court has failed to cancel the “02/22/2011 hearing”. The Court and its Administration have
failed to rationally explain the errors and contradictions on the record.
3. Here, neither this Court nor any reasonable person could possibly explain WHY and HOW
there could be any “hearing on 02/22/2011”:


SENIOR JUDGE FORECLOSURE – Summary Judgments only
Only hearings for Summary and Default Judgments may be scheduled on the
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday dockets before Judge Daniel Monaco.
These timeslots will be in 5 minute increments.
(DO NOT schedule any other kind of motions on this docket.) All motions other than
MSJ and DJ will be cancelled by Court Administration. No additional motions will be
heard with the Summary/Default Judgments before Judge Monaco.”

02/08/2011 AMENDED NOTICE OF 02/14/2011 HEARING

4. Pursuant to the Docket in this disposed case, the unauthorized “02/22/2011 hearing” had
been amended on “02/08/2011”. See “AMENDED NOTICE OF HEARING 02/14/11”.
Pursuant to the public record, “BankUnited” and/or “Albertelli Law” did not appear on
5. After said 02/08/11 hearing amendment, the Court now alleges a “02/22/2011, 9:00AM”
hearing. Said allegation is erroneous. See 02/21/2011 Docket.


6. During said conversations today, Court administration alleged “motions to dismiss and
enjoin”, which however are known to be MOOT after the 08/12/2010 disposition.


7. After said 2010 disposition, and in the absence of any promissory note, the record evidenced
a. Conflicting court dates and times;
b. Erroneous ”plaintiff”” “BankUnited, FSB”;
c. Erroneous parties such as, e.g., “Pedro Luis Licourt”; see 02/08/11 filings.


8. Crooked bank lawyers at the “Albertelli Law” Foreclosure Mill are not to run this Court. In
this Court apparently anyone can schedule a hearing after disposition and in the known
absence of, e.g.,
a. Any standing of the purported “plaintiff” bank;
b. Any evidence of a contractual obligation/debt;
c. Conditions precedent;
d. Any notice of appearance.
9. Here without any personal knowledge, e.g., Ashley Simon, Esq., and Barbie Fernandez
“robo-signed” documents for unlawful purposes of defrauding the alleged “defendants”.
10. This Court knew that Jennifer Franklin-Prescott was under no contractual obligation to pay
“BankUnited”, and the wrongful action was disposed. See evidence on file.

08/12/2010 DISPOSITION
11. The wrongful foreclosure action had been disposed on 08/12/2010 for lack of standing.
Here, bankrupt “BankUnited, FSB” was seized by the F.D.I.C, and “BankUnited” had no
standing and no right to sue “Jennifer Franklin Prescott”.


12. I have been in the Pacific and given notice(s) of my unavailability. See Docket.


13. After the objections on file, previous unauthorized “hearings” on 09/02/2010 and
12/06/2010 did not take place. This is the third attempt by crooked bank lawyers to steamroll
pro se “defendants” without any authority and in the record absence of any admissible
and/or competent evidence of any debt and/or note.


14. Here, “BankUnited” did not serve any “timely notice” of hearing on Jennifer Franklin-
Prescott as also conclusively evidenced by the Clerk’s 02/18/2011 Docket. Here, said bank
was not entitled to sue nor to any hearing.
“A party/attorney scheduling a hearing must concurrently notice the matter in
conformance with the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure and ensure timely notice is
served on all pro-se parties and counsel of record in advance of the hearing. The
original notice must be timely filed with the Clerk of Court.” Id.
15. “Andrew Lee Fivecoat” had no authority to schedule any hearing in said disposed wrongful
foreclosure action. Here, Fivecoat knew and/or fraudulently concealed that “BankUnited”
had no standing and that the exhibits on file conclusively evidenced that “BankUnited” was
not identified as “lender” and was not any note holder and/or owner.


16. Forged and perjurious evidence are a fraud on the defendants and the court. After the bank
had submitted sham “ownership” documents, it came back after the 08/12/2010 disposition
to file more perjurious papers.


17. Here, a retired “temporary” judge is paid to “accelerate” the rocket docket and has a
financial interest in dispensing cases. In this disposed case, the record bias against
“defendant” homeowner violates due process.
18. Here, the retired robo judge failed to take judicial notice of the 08/12/2010 disposition and
case facts. The robo judge is not reading the case file(s) any more than the robo signer at
“BankUnited” and/or “Albertelli law”. One attorney observed:
“If the court finds for the defendant, the plaintiffs just refile. The only way for the
caseload to get reduced is to give the case to the plaintiff. The entire process is
designed with that fraudulent result in mind.”
Here after disposition in favor of Franklin-Prescott, the court system is set up to enable
“BankUnited” to commit fraud over and over again.


19. Jennifer Franklin-Prescott objects to the retired judge‘s rocket docket. Here, all
correspondence and pleadings evidencing the fraud on the Court have been utterly ignored.
Retired “temporary” Judge Hon. D. R. Monaco does not even have any assistant.
20. Airlines understand the risks of retired pilots. Similarly, courts should not “hire” temporary
judges who need the extra money to sign off on prima facie fraud.


21. On 02/18/2011, I had appealed from the lack of due process and arbitrary and capricious
acts in this disposed wrongful action. Here, defunct “BankUnited, FSB” was not any
“plaintiff”, and “BankUnited” had no right to sue and/or schedule any hearing.

22. These pleadings and/or communications have been published at See;


/s/Jennifer Franklin-Prescott, “BankUnited” fraud victim


• “Naples Attorneys complain – Collier County new foreclosure hearing process only favors

• “Collier County Court and Foreclosure Case Hearings”

CC: Florida Attorney General

New York Times
Naples News
Robert D. St. Cyr, Director, Community Outreach
Clerk of the Circuit Court, Collier County, FL; T: (239) 252-6879
The Honorable Daniel R. Monaco
The Hon. Hugh D. Hayes, “Disposition Judge”
Circuit Court Judges, Twentieth Judicial Circuit
Judicial Assistants Karen / Jan
Collier County Government Complex
3301 Tamiami Trail East
Naples, Florida 34112
Phone: 239.774.8118; 239.252.8119;
Fax: 239.252.8870; 239.775.5538; 239.774.9654; 239-252-8020
Other …
2/22/2011 POLL Collier’s new foreclosure hearing…

Switch to full desktop version


Published Sunday, June 20, 2010

NAPLES — Foreclosure attorneys who represent homeowners say recent changes in the way hearings
are scheduled in Collier County have given banks the upper hand.

They say they’ve had trouble getting hearings and that five-minute hearings on foreclosure cases appear
to now be reserved for banks’ motions for default and summary judgment.

When a bank gets a summary judgment, it has the right to take a house. At that point, a homeowner is
unlikely to get a second chance.

Mark Middlebrook, a senior deputy court administrator in Collier County, said, “We have not changed
anything regarding the scheduling of these hearings. That’s absolutely not true.”

Foreclosure hearings are scheduled through an automated calendaring system online called JACS. Users
in Collier County are warned to read the foreclosure rules carefully “due to recent changes.”

Middlebrook said the changes haven’t been made yet.

Under the rules for booking hearings, it says “only hearings for summary judgment and default may be
scheduled for the five-minute time slots. In parenthesis, it says: “Do not schedule other hearings in these
time slots.”

Foreclosure attorneys who represent homeowners say these rules only appear to apply in Collier and
they’ve never been enforced until recently.

“Somebody is speaking without understanding how the scheduling occurs,” Middlebrook said.

He said five-minute hearings still are available outside of an online calendaring system and that changes
are planned over the coming months that will significantly increase the amount of hearing time available for
foreclosure cases.

With money from a state grant, Collier County plans to increase hearings from one day a week to three by
August. In January, there will be hearings four days a week, Middlebrook said.

Defense attorneys likely haven’t been getting hearings because there’s such a backlog of cases and time
slots fill up so quickly, not because of any rule changes, Middlebrook said. There are about 9,000
unresolved foreclosure cases in the county and that’s why changes are planned in the future, he said.
……/colliers-new-fore… 1/4
2/22/2011 POLL Collier’s new foreclosure hearing…
“There just wasn’t enough time available to accommodate everybody,” Middlebrook said.

Mike Schneider, a Naples foreclosure attorney who represents homeowners, said the rules have changed
in favor of the banks.

He said he was taken off-guard recently when a five-minute hearing he scheduled through the online
calendar was automatically canceled by the court through an e-mail.

When he tried to schedule a 10-minute hearing _ the next shortest time slot available _ for the same client,
there were none available for months. It’s even harder to book 15-minute or 30-minute hearings, he said,
and he doesn’t need that much time.

“I guarantee many people have lost their house because of this,” Schneider said. “How are we supposed
to argue our case?”

Dwight Brock, Collier County’s clerk of courts, said he wasn’t aware of any new rules and his office had
nothing to do with them.

“We have no control over it,” he said.

Those rules are made by judges or magistrates, Brock said.

Schneider said he was trying to stop a foreclosure that never should have been filed. He struggled to get a

His client signed a forbearance agreement, in which the lender agreed to temporarily modify the loan
payments and not foreclose. The lender foreclosed anyway, Schneider said.

“They are coming to his house and basically telling him to get out,” he said. “That’s just one of a million

Marc Shapiro, one of the most active foreclosure defense attorneys in Naples, said he used to schedule
his motions for five-minute hearings online, but now he can’t.

He can argue a homeowner’s case during a hearing on a motion for summary judgment, but time is limited.
At that point it might be too late.

“You are taking a little bit of a gamble,” Shapiro said.

Judges often frown on requests for emergency hearings. So some attorneys say they generally don’t ask
for them.

In one of Shapiro’s cases, he was trying to get a court order to force a bank to produce documents it had
refused to share and he couldn’t get a hearing a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, the bank was proceeding to
……/colliers-new-fore… 2/4
2/22/2011 POLL Collier’s new foreclosure hearing…
Shapiro also saw some of his five-minute hearings suddenly canceled recently. It hadn’t happened like that
before, he said.

For about a month, few hearings were available to defense attorneys on foreclosure cases.

“As of last week they started freeing up more time for us,” said Donald Schold, one of Shapiro’s legal
assistants. “The bank is still the only ones to get the five-minute hearings, which for some reason are
being set before our hearing dates.”

In Collier, foreclosure cases that are contested by homeowners are mostly handled by magistrates. To
have their arguments heard by a magistrate, foreclosure attorneys who represent homeowners must get
an order of referral from a judge.

Banks aren’t required to do the same for hearings on their motions for summary judgment, giving them
another time advantage, attorneys who represent homeowners say.

Where foreclosures might have taken a year or two in the past, now they can happen in less than six

Conrad Willkomm, another foreclosure defense attorney in Naples, said he hasn’t faced any big problems
in scheduling his hearings.

“A lot of the time, I’m letting the banks schedule the hearings, and we’re working around them,” he said.

Even if a bank gets a hearing on a motion for summary judgment, a judge can continue the hearing if
there are motions pending from the defense that haven’t been heard.

“It’s not like you lose the case out from under you,” Willkomm said. “Usually we are in front of the
magistrates for a lot of these cases and the magistrates have been pretty cooperative.”

__ Connect with Laura Layden at



Bank begins foreclosure proceedings on Marco Rubio's Tallahassee home

Updated Jun 18, 2010 42 Comments

Collier, Lee foreclosures slow, debate begins whether banks are backing off
Published Jun 12, 2010 16 Comments


Web: Check out

……/colliers-new-fore… 3/4
2/22/2011 POLL Collier’s new foreclosure hearing…

Search Florida foreclosure properties on


Fatal accident closes U.S. 41 in Bonita Springs

Published 6:18 p.m. 1 Comment

10-year-old girl reports $280 necklace ripped from neck at Bonita Springs Library
Published 1:52 p.m. 13 Comments



Switch to full desktop version

Return to top

Scripps Interactive Newspaper Group

©2011 The E.W. Scripps Co.

……/colliers-new-fore… 4/4
2/22/2011 Naples Attorneys complain – Collier Co…
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010 | Posted by Amitesh Kumar

Naples Attorneys complain – Collier County

new foreclosure hearing process only favors
The Attorneys representing home owners in foreclosure cases at Naples are the worried lot – they say
recent changes in the way hearings are scheduled in Collier County give banks undue advantage. They
have had trouble getting hearings and the five minute hearings by magistrates on foreclosure cases,
seem to be reserved now for banks’ motions for default and summary judgment.

What happens when a bank gets a summary judgment? It gets the right to forfeit a house, when the
distressed homeowner is not likely to get a second chance.

The officials of the Court deny these allegations. According to Mark Middlebrook, a senior deputy
court administrator in Collier County, this is absolutely not true and they have not changed anything
regarding the scheduling of these hearings.

In the normal course, Foreclosure hearings are scheduled through an automated calendaring system
online, known as JACS. In Collier County, users are warned to read the foreclosure rules carefully
“due to recent changes”. But Middlebrook refutes that the changes have not been made yet.

The practice at Collier County is foreclosure cases that are contested by homeowners are generally
handled by magistrates. Foreclosure attorneys representing homeowners must get an order of referral
from a judge, to have their arguments heard by the concerned magistrate.

Attorneys on behalf of homeowners, handling foreclosure cases say that Banks are not required to do
the same for hearings on their motions for summary judgment, which gives them unfair time advantage.
With the result, where foreclosures might have taken a year or two in the past, the Attorneys allege
that they can happen now in less than six months.

What the rules are saying? The rules for booking foreclosure hearings say “only hearings for summary
judgment and default may be scheduled for the five-minute time slots”. In other words it says “Do not
schedule other hearings in these time slots”.

Naples foreclosure Attorneys, representing troubled homeowners, caught in the legal proceedings of
foreclosures, say that these rules only appear to apply in Collier County and they have never been
enforced until recently.

So the tussle continues and we will see more of it in the near future.

Share/Bookmark…/naples-… 1/1

non-successor in interest to [lawfully seized] BANKUNITED, FSB.,

purported plaintiff(s),

vs. DISPOSED CASE NO.: 09-6016-CA


purported defendants.





FROM: Jennifer Franklin-Prescott, “BankUnited” fraud victim

The Honorable Daniel R. Monaco
The Hon. Hugh D. Hayes, “Disposition Judge”
Circuit Court Judges, Twentieth Judicial Circuit
Judicial Assistants Karen / Jan
Collier County Government Complex
3301 Tamiami Trail East
Naples, Florida 34112
Phone: 239.774.8118; 239.252.8119;
Fax: 239.252.8870; 239.775.5538; 239.774.9654; 239-252-8020

CANCELLATION of unlawful hearing in disposed wrongful foreclosure case 09-6016-CA


1. “Disposition Judge” Hayes had disposed of this prima facie frivolous action on 08/12/2010
for record lack of any “BankUnited” standing and interest.
2. “BankUnited” has had no right to sue and/or schedule any hearing. Here, Jennifer Franklin-
Prescott did not owe any debt to “plaintiff BankUnited” pursuant to the evidence on file in
this disposed wrongful action. The record and evidence never identified “BankUnited”.
3. After the 08/12/2010 DISPOSITION, the “Motion to Dismiss” was MOOT.
4. “Plaintiff BankUnited” was not any “creditor” in the disposed wrongful action.
5. Here, undersigned “Camner Lipsitz, PA”, and/or founder of bankrupt and defunct
“BankUnited, FSB”, Alfred Camner, Esq., “represented the interest of the plaintiff
[BankUnited]”. See facially frivolous and insufficient Complaint. “BankUnited” had
fraudulently alleged in the Complaint (¶ 16, Count II) that “plaintiff” [“BankUnited”] owns
and holds the note and mortgage.”
6. The purported note and/or mortgage within the four corners of the disposed complaint did
not identify “BankUnited” as a “lender”.
7. Here, “BankUnited” and/or “Albertelli Law” perpetrated fraud on the Court, because after
disposition in the record absence of any “BankUnited” note, “BankUnited” falsely
pretended entitlement to the “hearing” of a MOOT “Motion to Dismiss / Enjoin”.
“… it is the responsibility of the lawyers to keep the judge's office informed. Our
office cannot possibly call all the lawyers on a trial docket to check the status of each
case prior to trial. PLEASE let us know when you have settled or otherwise
disposed of your case. Please cancel your trials and hearings.”
8. Here, “BankUnited” failed to comply with the Rules …
The Standards of Professional Courtesy and Conduct govern scheduling,
hearings, motion practice, submissions to the Court, etc. and may be found at
See Judicial “Office Policies and Procedures”.
9. Arbitrary, ambiguous, and/or unlawful acts undermine the authority of this Court. Here,
violations of this Court’s “OFFICE POLICES AND PROCEDURES” in favor of crooked
bank lawyers threatened the integrity of the Court.
10. All motions other than MSJ and DJ will be CANCELLED by Court Administration. In this
disposed action, “Motions to Dismiss / Enjoin” were scheduled without any authority.

2/21/2011 Foreclosure Fortune Buys Bugatti, Yac…
Search Quotes and News

Anyw here Professional Solutions About Log in

Related New s: Executive · Law · U.S. · Real Estate More Stories

Foreclosure Fortune Buys Bugatti, Yacht, Blake Griffin's All-Star Slam Dunk Over Car Win
Gets Record TV Audience

Mansions for Attorney Manchester United Plans Bid for Tottenham's

By David McLaughlin - Oct 20, 2010 3:49 AM GMT+1300 Modric, News of the World Says

Recommend 122 60 Share

Share More Email Print
Republican Lawmakers Say House Majority Isn't
Seeking Government Shutdown
For Americans, the foreclosure crisis has wiped out fortunes,
Delta Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Florida
bringing destitution and homelessness. For Florida attorney
After Engine Is Damaged
David J. Stern, it has brought mansions, a Bugatti sports car
and a luxury yacht. Rate These Stories More New s »

A screengrab taken from Google Earth Florida has the third-highest residential foreclosure rate in the
shows the home of David J. Stern in Fort
Lauderdale, Florida. The larger boat to
U.S., and Stern, 50, has made a fortune off the bust. His
the right is his yacht, "Misunderstood". foreclosure-processing business has generated hundreds of
Source: Google Earth/ via
millions of dollars in revenue preparing documents for the cases
that his law firm brings on behalf of lenders seeking to reclaim
homes from borrowers who can’t pay their mortgages.

Now his business is under scrutiny, as banks suspend

foreclosures and evictions amid allegations that some home
seizures were based on fraudulent documents. Attorneys
general in every U.S. state have joined to probe foreclosure
practices generally. Stern’s foreclosure firm and three others are
under investigation by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum.

“Some of these law firms we’re dealing with, we have reason to

believe, actually forged documents, committed fraud, did all
kinds of things,” McCollum said in an interview Oct. 15. “We
don’t know where this is headed right now.”
Bill McCollum, Attorney General of
Florida. Photographer: Ric
Stern’s attorney, Jeffrey Tew, said Stern has used technology
and a well-organized operation to efficiently process
foreclosures. Stern gets a flat fee of about $1,400 a foreclosure, according to Tew, of Tew
Cardenas LLP in Miami.

‘His Acumen’

“David’s wealth is a reflection of his acumen and the tremendous volume of foreclosures,” Tew
said in an interview yesterday. “He had something to do with the acumen part. He had nothing
to do with the amount of foreclosures we have.”

Stern’s firm handles thousands of cases a month. It conducted a review of its files and found 21
had “issues with the affidavits,” Stern said in a Sept. 8 conference call to discuss second-quarter
results for DJSP Enterprises Inc. DJSP provides non-legal foreclosure services, such as title
searches, for his law firm, Law Offices of David J. Stern PA. Both businesses share the same…/florida-attorney-bu… 1/5
“Only hearings for Summary and Default Judgments may be scheduled on the
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday dockets before Judge Daniel Monaco. These
timeslots will be in 5 minute increments. (DO NOT schedule any other kind of
motions on this docket.) All motions other than MSJ and DJ will be cancelled by
Court Administration. No additional motions will be heard with the
Summary/Default Judgments before Judge Monaco.”
See “OFFICE POLICIES AND PROCEDURE, Senior Judge Foreclosure, Collier County
Clerk of Court.
“A party/attorney scheduling a hearing must concurrently notice the matter in
conformance with the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure and ensure timely notice is
served on all pro-se parties and counsel of record in advance of the hearing. The
original notice must be timely filed with the Clerk of Court.” Id.
11. Here accordingly, “BankUnited” was not entitled to sue nor to any hearing and did not serve
any “timely notice” of hearing on Jennifer Franklin-Prescott as also conclusively evidenced
by the Clerk’s 02/18/2011 Docket.
12. “Andrew Lee Fivecoat” had no authority to schedule any hearing in said disposed wrongful
foreclosure action. Here, Fivecoat knew and/or fraudulently concealed that “BankUnited”
had no standing and that the exhibits on file conclusively evidenced that “BankUnited” was
not identified as “lender” and was not any note holder and/or owner.
13. Professor Stephen Gillers, an expert in legal ethics at New York University, believes that the
involvement of lawyers in questionable transactions could damage the overall reputation of
the legal profession, “which does not fare well in public opinion” throughout history:
“When the consequence of a lawyer plying his trade is the loss of someone’s home,
and it turns out there are documents being given to the courts that have no basis in
reality, the profession gets a very big black eye,” Gillers said.
See New York Times, “Judges Berate Bank Lawyers in Foreclosures”.
14. Here, Fivecoat knew that the complaint in this disposed action had been “incredible,
outrageous, ludicrous and disingenuous”, because no note had been properly executed and
no note and/or instrument “transferred” from bankrupt and lawfully seized “BankUnited,
FSB”, to the “F.D.I.C.”, and/or “BankUnited”. Disgraced founder of defunct “BankUnited,
FSB”, Alfred Camner, Esq., and/or Camner Lipsitz, PA, had filed the facially frivolous
complaint on 07/09/2009.
15. Here, A. L. Fivecoat has lacked any authority to appear. Fivecoat knew/concealed that
bankrupt “BankUnited, FSB” is not any party to this disposed action.


16. This Court had instructed the parties:

“If you CANCEL a hearing, you are required to file a Notice of Cancellation. If you
are canceling your hearing ten (10) working days before the hearing date you can go
to JACS and cancel on-line by following the instructions. If you are canceling less
than ten (10) working days please, immediately cancel the hearing, by FAX'ing you're
a request to (239) 252-8870 attention Karen. Include the reason for canceling, our
case number and style with date and time of hearing and what party you represent.
You do not need to attach the Notice of Cancellation (just send the original to the
Clerk of Courts).”
17. In disposed Case No. 09-6016-CA, the “reasons for cancellation” included, e.g.:
a. Cancellation is mandatory under Court’s “Office Policies & Procedures”;
b. “BankUnited’s” lack of standing;
c. Lack of authority to have 02/22/2011 hearing;
e. “Motion to Dismiss” has been MOOT since 08/12/2010 DISPOSITION;
f. Disposition of the wrongful foreclosure action on 08/12/2010;
g. The unauthorized “Amended hearing” did not take place on 02/14/2011;
h. Dissolution of fraudulent “lis pendens”.


18. Pursuant to Franklin-Prescott’s “Notice of Unavailability”, she has been in the Pacific. In
this disposed action, and in the absence of any notice of service on Franklin-Prescott, she
could not possibly and reasonably be expected to appear for the “Amended Hearing”. Here,
the “Amended Hearing” never took place on 02/14/2011.
19. Furthermore, if there would have been any lawful and legitimate hearing, Prescott would not
be permitted to appear by telephone from the Pacific in this disposed wrongful action:
“All Hearings before Judge Monaco will be in person.
As of January 2010, Telephonic appearance will NOT be permitted for any foreclosure
hearing before the Senior Judge.” Id.


20. Estoppel prevents identical parties from re-litigating issues that have previously been
litigated and which resulted in a final disposition of a court with competent jurisdiction. See
Mobil Oil Corporation v. Shevin, 354 So.2d 372 (Fla. 1977); Gordon v. Gordon, 59 So.2d 40

(Fla. 1952), cert. denied, 344 U.S. 878, 73 S. Ct. 165, 97 L.Ed. 680 (1952). Here,
“BankUnited” never had any standing in the first place and cannot frivolously “re-litigate”
its prima facie lack of standing.
21. In dealing with the identities of the parties, estoppel requires that the “real parties in interest”
be identical. See Seaboard Coast Line Railroad Company v. Cox, 338 So.2d 190 (Fla. 1976).
The well-established rule in Florida has been and continues to be that estoppel may be
asserted when the identical issue has been litigated between the same parties or their privies.
See Trucking Employees of North Jersey Welfare Fund, Inc. v. Romano, 450 So.2d 843 - 45
(Fla. 1984). Here the file and evidence in this disposed action had conclusively evidenced
that “BankUnited” was not any “real party in interest”
22. The Second District confronted a similar situation in BAC Funding Consortium, Inc.
ISAOA/ATIMA v. Jean-Jacques, 28 So. 3d 936 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010), when the trial court had
granted the alleged assignee U.S. Bank's motion for summary judgment. That court reversed
because, inter alia, "[t]he incomplete, unsigned, and unauthenticated assignment attached as
an exhibit to U.S. Bank's response to BAC's motion to dismiss did not constitute admissible
evidence establishing U.S. Bank's standing to foreclose the note and mortgage." Id. at 939.
Said Appellate Court in BAC Funding Consortium, properly noted that U.S. Bank was
"required to prove that it validly held the note and mortgage it sought to foreclose." Id.
23. In the instant case, the purported note was, e.g., not properly executed, not assigned, the
falsely pretended assignment not recorded, and the endorsement in blank was unsigned and
unauthenticated, creating genuine issues of material fact as to whether “BankUnited” was
ever the lawful owner and holder of the purported note and/or mortgage. As
in BAC Funding Consortium, here there were no supporting affidavits or deposition
testimony in the record to establish that “BankUnited” validly owned and held the improperly
executed note and mortgage, no evidence of an assignment to “BankUnited”, no proof of
purchase of the debt nor any other evidence of an effective transfer to “BankUnited”.
24. Here, the improper and unauthorized lis pendens was automatically dissolved upon the
disposition of foreclosure. See Rule 1.420(f), Fla. R. Civ. P. (2010). The validity of a notice
of lis pendens is one year from filing. § 48.23(2), Fla. Stat. (2010).
25. In this disposed action, the purported “plaintiff” sought to re-establish the missing note in
“COUNT I (Reestablishment of Lost Instruments)” of the complaint (see p. 2 of 8). Franklin-
Prescott had filed her answer(s) and motions to dismiss and proven plaintiff’s lack of
standing, which was one of the ultimate affirmative defenses. Here, the record reflected
that plaintiff could not possibly re-establish the note and that no authentic note could possibly
be proven under the Evidence Code.
26. Here however, alleged ‘plaintiff(s)’, BankUnited & BankUnited, FSB, fraudulently asserted:
“that all conditions to the institutions of this action have occurred, been performed or
excused …”

27. Prior to the 08/12/2010 disposition, plaintiff had failed to re-establish and could not have
possibly re-established the destroyed and/or lost note/mortgage. Here, the time and manner
of the loss/destruction had been uinknown. See UCC §§ 3-309; 3-305.


28. “BankUnited” used incorrect “Case No. 11-2009-CA-006016CA”.
29. Pursuant to various reports, the Hon. Judge Daniel R. Monaco had exceeded the mandatory
judicial retirement age in 2008. The unjustified threat of the loss of Franklin-Prescott’s house
is a matter that demands the highest applicable standards.
30. The below timeline illustrates the arbitrary and capricious nature of the alleged “”02/22/2011
hearing”, which had been amended and then cancelled.
02/20/2011 Docket shows unlawful / unauthorized “02/22/2011 hearing” in disposed case
even though 02/22/11 hearing had been amended [02/14/11 hearing cancelled]
02/19/2011 Franklin-Prescott again contacted Hon. Daniel R. Monaco’s Office
02/18/2011 Clerk and Sen. Judge give conflicting information
02/18/2011 Prescott called Hon. Dwight E. Brock’s Office & Foreclosure Judge’s JA
02/18/2011 J. Franklin-Prescott called Office of “Disposition Judge” Hayes
02/18/2011 No hearing appeared on the Clerk’s Docket
02/18/2011 Franklin-Prescott filed her “NOTICE OF APPEAL …”
02/17/2011 Franklin-Prescott filed her “AFFIDAVIT in support of fraud on court …”
02/15/2011 Franklin-Prescott filed “NOTICE OF OBJECTION to any hearing …”

02/08/2011 Alleged “02/08/2011” Docket entries:

02/08/2011 “AMENDED NOTICE OF HEARING 02/14/11 @3:30P.M., AMENDED
02/08/2011 “NOTICE OF HEARING 02/22/11 @10:00A.M., DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO
02/01/2011 Franklin-Prescott filed “NOTICE OF OPPOSITION …”
12/06/2010 CANCELLATION of unauthorized “12/0610 hearing”
09/02/2010 CANCELLATION of unauthorized “09/02/10 hearing”
08/12/2010 DISPOSITION
08/12/2010 Franklin-Prescott again filed “Motion to Dismiss”

31. Foreclosure mills like “Albertelli Law” have been under investigation, which evidenced so-
called “robo signing” of fraudulent documents and/or affidavits. See, e.g., Office of the
Florida Attorney General, Dept. of Legal Affairs, AG # L10-3-1145, IN RE: Investigation of
Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A..
32. In this disposed wrongful foreclosure action, Ashley Simon, Esq., Florida Bar 64472, stated
under oath that she “had not reviewed the actual file in this [disposed] case.” See prima facie
fraudulent “Affidavit as to reasonable attorneys fees”; 11/10/2010 “Notice of Filing”.
33. Employees of “foreclosure mills” in Florida [e.g. Jeffrey Stephan; Angela Nolan, Cheryl
Samon] admitted under oath that they signed hundreds of affidavits a day to process pending
foreclosures without actually having read or checked the documents. It later came to light
that said employees were not alone, and in 23 states that require a court to approve a
foreclosure, thousands of foreclosures are now potentially under question. Robo-signing and
similar practices are unlawful and egregious.
34. The lender, formerly known as GMAC, admitted that employees signed thousands of
foreclosure documents without reading them, a practice dubbed “robo-signing”.
35. In this disposed action, Jennifer Franklin-Prescott has been defending against, e.g., “robo
signing”, “BankUnited” fraud, and the cover-up by foreclosure mill “Albertelli Law”.
36. In this disposed action, “BankUnited” had failed to show they it had the contractual right to
enforce the alleged note, which had never been properly executed. Accordingly, any hearing
under these circumstances would be unlawful and unauthorized. The allegations by
“BankUnited” have been facially frivolous and unsupported. The Exhibits on file did not
identify “BankUnited” as any note holder and/or owner. Here, the alleged note was never
properly executed.

37. Here after said 08/12/2010 disposition and in the absence of any note and standing,
“BankUnited” was not entitled to “5 minute increments” of a “rocket docket”, because
“BankUnited’s” fraud on the Court is illegal. In this disposed Case, “BankUnited” and/or
Attorney Fivecoat are playing “another round of [illegal] games of paper”.
38. Cases like this have led experts like Katherine Porter, visiting professor of law at Harvard
University, to seriously question the mortgage industry:
“The foreclosures and the whole loss of wealth are going to deepen the
disappointment and distrust in financial institutions to follow the rules of law," Porter
said, "and be fair when dealing with the little guy.”
39. The communications with the Court and Officers are published at, e.g.,, See

WHEREFORE, Jennifer Franklin-Prescott respectfully demands the MANDATORY

CANCELLATION of said 02/22/2011 hearing and removal of Andrew Lee Fivecoat, Esq.
in this disposed wrongful foreclosure case.


/s/Jennifer Franklin-Prescott, fraud victim

Docket et al.

Florida Bar
New York Times
June M. Clarkson, Esq., Theresa B. Edwards, Esq.
Mark R. Briesmeister, Financial Investigator
Office of the Florida Attorney General

2/21/2011 David J. Stern: Bandleader for a Symp…
Just Say Now

« Lew Previews Obama Budget Cuts

Obama Makes Nice with the Chamber of Commerce »

David J. Stern: Bandleader for a Symphony of Foreclosure


By: David Dayen Monday February 7, 2011 9:56 am Tweet Share8

It’s really something that we have to get the scoop on foreclosure mill con artist David J. Stern from the AP and not
some police blotter, but that’s life in post-rule of law America. The story provides a service, however, profiling a man
who’s really a symbol for the foreclosure fraud crisis. Stern sought to corner the market in shepherding foreclosures
through Florida’s courts. He saw them as a growth opportunity and he wanted to increase profits. He did so through
cutting corners along every step of the way, becoming an expert in the kind of skills needed to keep the foreclosure
train moving – document fraud, fabrication, forgery, etc. He and his firm were very good at what they did, which was
basically commit crimes against homeowners and state courts. And it paid off with a suite of cars, yachts, fabulous
homes and all manner of luxury goods. His possessions increased in a direct relationship to the repossessions his
law firm were illegally pushing through the courts.

As Yves Smith points out, the article intimates that the foreclosure mills came up with robo-signing as a cost-cutting
measure, and that fits with how Stern ran his business. The key for him was volume, processing as many
foreclosures as possible. So he would naturally welcome the idea of having one employee sign off on all the
foreclosure documents as a dedicated job every day. This benefited the servicers as well, since they didn’t want a
whole lot of scrutiny on verification and would rather the question of whether or not they own the mortgages go
unexplored. Stern was the perfect role player for this era, because he was always basically a garden-variety crook:

Almost from the beginning, Stern faced trouble. In 1998, he was named in a class-action lawsuit
alleging that he padded fees on foreclosed homeowners. Stern settled for $2.2 million. According to
legal testimony at the time from a Fannie Mae official, Fannie was warned about troubles at the Stern
firm. But Fannie continued referring cases to Stern. Fannie Mae spokeswoman Amy Bonitatibus says,
“At all times, Fannie Mae has had a reasonable expectation that our servicers and the law firms adhere
to proper procedures and conduct under the law. In instances where we learn that servicers or law firms
are not adhering to our requirements or applicable law, we immediately engage and take appropriate
action, which may include termination.”

Soon after, Stern was sued again, this time for sexual harassment. A former paralegal alleged that
Stern created a “sexually-laden” atmosphere in which he routinely “touched and grabbed and subjected
to simulated intercourse” his employees. Stern settled that suit in 2000 for an undisclosed amount.

By this time, lawyers and homeowner activists were also warning lenders, federal regulators and the
Florida Bar about Stern. In 2002, the Florida Supreme Court reprimanded Stern for submitting
“potentially misleading” fee affidavits.

Even a built-for-speed operation like Stern’s firm could not keep up with the volume of foreclosures. As the article
explains, law firms typically get a flat fee per foreclosure, but must get the foreclosure done within a set time frame,
usually around six months, to collect. This led to the need for a solution that streamlined the process as much as

Employee depositions paint a picture of a firm under constant pressure from the banks to move faster.
The longer it took to foreclose, the more money the banks stood to lose. Like so many in the industry,
Stern had a strategy to cope with all the volume and velocity: robo-signing. One employee testified that
Stern’s chief lieutenant, a one-time file clerk named Cheryl Samons who rose to become the firm’s chief
……/david-j-stern-ban… 1/2
2/21/2011 David J. Stern: Bandleader for a Symp…
operating officer, signed as many as 1,000 foreclosure affidavits a day without reading a single word.
The employee said Samons’ hand got so tired that she told three other employees to forge her
signature. Samons also signed numerous mortgage assignments with a notary stamp that didn’t even
exist at the time of signing. Notary stamps are only valid for four years. The only way Samons could
have signed mortgage assignments at the time they were supposedly notarized was if she had been
capable of time travel.

Stern rewarded Samons with a new BMW SUV every year, paid all her bills and took care of the
mortgage payment on her home, according to testimony from two employees. Samons did not respond
to request for comment.

The people getting foreclosed upon were an inconvenient facet of this scheme. And when Stern showed how this
model could work, the servicers undoubtedly pressured every other firm they worked with to operate in the same
fashion. This keeps fees to a minimum and benefits the servicers by giving them an out rather than modifications,
which aren’t cost-effective for them.

The servicer model never had to deal with a flood of delinquent loans before the popping of the housing bubble in 2006;
they were too new to ever need to confront such a problem. And the resultant chaos proved that they simply could not
handle the flood without cutting corners massively and maximizing profits through forms of abuse like illegal fee
increases. The foreclosure mills worked in concert with this.

This kind of profile, quite rare for the AP, exposes the clear fraud at the heart of the mortgage servicing, modification
and foreclosure system. Stern’s company is now a penny stock, he’s being investigated by the state Attorney
General and federal prosecutors, his staff has shrunk from 1,200 to 200, banks have abandoned him, and his
headquarters is in default. He hasn’t gone to jail yet but he’s a likely candidate.

However, if we are to learn anything from this episode, it’s how depressingly normal Stern’s machinations were.

……/david-j-stern-ban… 2/2
2/18/2011 Public Inquiry

Find it here... Site Search

Home / Records Search / Court Records / Public Inquiry / Search Results - A LL / C ase - 112009C A0060160001XX

Ne w Se a rch R e turn to C ase List

Case Information Printer Friendly Version


Uniform Case Number: 112009C A0060160001XX Filed: 07/09/2009
Clerks Case Number: 0906016C A
Court Type: C IR C UIT CIVIL Disposition Judge: HAYES, HUGH D
Case Type: MO R TGAGE FO R ECLO SUR ES Disposed: 08/12/2010
Judge: HAYES, HUGH D Reopen Reason:
Case Status: DISPO SED Reopened:
Next Court Date: Reopen Close:
Last Docket Date: 02/09/2011 A ppealed:

Parties Dockets Events Financials

Docket Type Judge Court Date Court Time

MO TIO N HEAR ING HAYES, HUGH D 12/06/2010 13:30

W e dne sday night is re gular m a inte nance tim e on our se rve rs; as a re sult brie f o utage s m ay o ccur.
W e apologize in advance for any inconve nie nce.

Home | Site Map | Search | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement | FA Qs | Contact Us

This we bsite is m aintaine d by The C ollie r C ounty C le rk of the C ircuit C ourt. Unde r Flo rida law, e m ail
addre sse s are public re co rds. If you do not want your e m a il addre ss re le ase d in re sponse to a public
re cords re que st, do not se nd e m ail to this e ntity. Inste ad, co ntact this office by phone or in writing.…/Case.aspx?UC… 1/1
2/21/2011 MyFax Notification - Fax Sent Successf…
From: MyFax Free <>
To: Jennifer Franklin-Prescott <>
Subject: MyFax Notification - Fax Sent Successfully
Date: Sun, Feb 20, 2011 8:40 pm

Dear Jennifer Franklin-Prescott:

Your fax to HON. DANIEL R. MONACO at +1 (239) 252-8870 has been successfully sent:
Your fax was delivered at 2/20/2011 7:40:23 AM, and contained 21 page(s).

Thank you for choosing MyFax,

The MyFax Team…/PrintMessage.aspx 1/1
2/21/2011 MyFax Notification - Fax Sent Successf…
From: MyFax Free <>
To: Jennifer Franklin-Prescott <>
Subject: MyFax Notification - Fax Sent Successfully
Date: Mon, Feb 21, 2011 1:53 pm

Dear Jennifer Franklin-Prescott:

Your fax to HON. HUGH D. HAYES at +1 (239) 774-9654 has been successfully sent:
Your fax was delivered at 2/21/2011 12:51:36 AM, and contained 21 page(s).

Thank you for choosing MyFax,

The MyFax Team…/PrintMessage.aspx 1/1
2/21/2011 David J. Stern Sale of Back-Office Ope…


This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for
distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers here or use the "Reprints" tool that appears next to any
article. Visit for samples and additional information. Order a reprint of this article now.

February 1, 2011

Bet on Foreclosure Boom Turns Sour for

David J. Stern may be the best-known beneficiary of the foreclosure boom, having made
millions in recent years from evictions processed by his law firm, the largest of its kind in
Florida. But when he took part of his firm public early last year, he had plenty of help from a
constellation of investors also looking to cash in on people losing their homes.

Early in 2010, the back-office processing operations of Mr. Stern’s law firm were converted into
a publicly traded company called DJSP Enterprises. Mr. Stern pocketed nearly $60 million from
that transaction, public filings show.

Behind that big-money deal was a curious cast of characters, including some with previous run-
ins with regulators. Other parties included a small Wall Street investment bank headed by a
former presidential candidate, the retired Gen. Wesley K. Clark, and a little-known private
equity firm based in New York.

Even before the DJSP windfall, Mr. Stern enjoyed a lifestyle that featured grand mansions,
flashy sports cars and a yacht called Misunderstood. But the days of easy money are over for
Mr. Stern, his law firm and DJSP investors.

As the Florida attorney general’s office continues to investigate whether Mr. Stern’s law firm
falsified documents in order to speed up foreclosures, the firm has lost its biggest clients,
including Citibank and Fannie Mae. Many of DJSP’s executives have left the company, and it
has laid off about 80 percent of its 1,200 employees.

Meanwhile, investors in DJSP are not doing any better. Shares of the company, which were
worth $14 apiece last summer, trade now for about 50 cents on the Nasdaq exchange.

DJSP faces a lawsuit from investors who claim they were misled about its financial prospects, an
accusation the company has denied. Separately, former employees of DJSP who performed
back-office work related to Mr. Stern’s law firm have sued, contending that the company failed
to follow federal regulations in laying them off; the company filed a motion to dismiss the claims.…/02stern.html… 1/4
2/21/2011 Florida’s High-Speed Answer to a Fore…


This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for
distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers here or use the "Reprints" tool that appears next to any
article. Visit for samples and additional information. Order a reprint of this article now.

September 4, 2010

Florida’s High-Speed Answer to a

Foreclosure Mess
TEN days from now, a four-bedroom house on a cul-de-sac in Middleburg, Fla., is scheduled to
be auctioned off at the Clay County courthouse, 25 miles south of Jacksonville.

A judge who recently took over their foreclosure case has ordered Rodney Waters; his fiancée,
Terri Reese; and their four children to leave the home they bought in 2006.

Mr. Waters, a supervisor at a local packaging company and the family’s sole breadwinner, fell
behind on his mortgage two years ago after his property taxes jumped unexpectedly. He now
owes $264,000 on the house; a similar home down the street sold for $138,500 in February.

The predicament of the Waters-Reese family is common in Florida today. The state routinely
sets new records for foreclosures — in the second quarter, 20.13 percent of its mortgages were
delinquent or in foreclosure, a national high, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
And with housing prices still in a free fall, almost half of all borrowers in Florida owe more on
their mortgages than their properties are worth, says CoreLogic, a data firm.

While the Waters-Reese case may not be unusual in Florida, the coming auction of the home is
still notable: it will be a result of the Florida Legislature’s new effort to cut the number of
foreclosures inching their way through the state’s courts. Earlier this year, Florida earmarked
$9.6 million to set up foreclosures-only courts across the state, staffed by retired judges. The
goal of the program, which began in July, is to reduce the foreclosures backlog by 62 percent
within a year.

No one disputes that foreclosures dominate Florida’s dockets and that something needs to be
done to streamline a complex and emotionally wrenching process. But lawyers representing
troubled borrowers contend that many of the retired judges called in from the sidelines to
oversee these matters are so focused on cutting the caseload that they are unfairly favoring
financial institutions at the expense of homeowners.

Lawyers say judges are simply ignoring problematic or contradictory evidence and awarding…/05house.htm… 1/9
2/21/2011 Big Legal Clash on Foreclosure is Taki…


This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for
distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers here or use the "Reprints" tool that appears next to any
article. Visit for samples and additional information. Order a reprint of this article now.

October 20, 2010

Battle Lines Forming in Clash Over

About a month after Washington Mutual Bank made a multimillion-dollar mortgage loan on a
mountain home near Santa Barbara, Calif., a crucial piece of paperwork disappeared.

But bank officials were unperturbed. After conducting a “due and diligent search,” an assistant
vice president simply drew up an affidavit stating that the paperwork — a promissory note
committing the borrower to repay the mortgage — could not be found, according to court

The handling of that lost note in 2006 was hardly unusual. Mortgage documents of all sorts
were treated in an almost lackadaisical way during the dizzying mortgage lending spree from
2005 through 2007, according to court documents, analysts and interviews.

Now those missing and possibly fraudulent documents are at the center of a potentially seismic
legal clash that pits big lenders against homeowners and their advocates concerned that the
lenders’ rush to foreclose flouts private property rights.

That clash — expected to be played out in courtrooms across the country and scrutinized by law
enforcement officials investigating possible wrongdoing by big lenders — leaped to the forefront
of the mortgage crisis this week as big lenders began lifting their freezes on foreclosures and
insisted the worst was behind them.

Federal officials meeting in Washington on Wednesday indicated that a government review of

the problems would not be complete until the end of the year.

In short, the legal disagreement amounts to whether banks can rely on flawed documentation to
repossess homes.

While even critics of the big lenders acknowledge that the vast majority of foreclosures involve
homeowners who have not paid their mortgages, they argue that the borrowers are entitled to
due legal process.…/21standoff.html… 1/6
1/12/2011 Foreclosure Judges Berate Lawyers - …

HOME PAGE TODAY'S PAPER VIDEO MOST POPULAR TIMES TOPICS Try Times Reader today Log In Register Now Help TimesPeople

Search All

Business Day

Global DealBook Markets Econom y Energy Media Personal Tech Sm all Business Your Money Ads by Google

Advertise on

Judges Berate Bank Lawyers in Foreclosures Log in to see w hat your friends Log In With Facebook
are sharing on
Privacy Policy | What’s This?
Published: January 10, 2011

With judges looking ever more critically at home foreclosures, they RECOMMEND What’s Popular Now
are reaching beyond the bankers to heap some of their most TWITTER Obam a’s Prom inent
scorching criticism on the lawyers. Rem arks in Chinese Artist’s
Tucson Studio Torn
Dow n
Enlarge This Image In numerous opinions, judges have PRINT
accused lawyers of processing shoddy SINGLE PAGE
or even fabricated paperwork in
foreclosure actions when representing
the banks.

Judge Arthur M. Schack of New Y ork

State Supreme Court in Brooklyn has
taken aim at an upstate lawyer, Steven
J. Baum, referring to one filing as “incredible, outrageous,
Ozier Muhammad/The New Y ork Times, lef t; ludicrous and disingenuous.”
Julie Glassberg/The New Y ork Times
Judge Arthur Schack, left, of New
York State Supreme Court, called one
But New Y ork judges are also trying to take the lead in
filing “outrageous.” Jonathan Lippman, fixing the mortgage mess by leaning on the lawyers. In
the state’s chief judge, says law yers
must ask clients if their paperw ork is November, a judge ordered Mr. Baum’s firm to pay nearly
sound. $20,000 in fines and costs related to papers that he said
Breaking News Alerts by E-Mail
contained numerous “falsities.” The judge, Scott Fairgrieve
Sign up to be notified w hen important new s breaks.
Multimedia of Nassau County District Court, wrote that “swearing to
The Takeaw ay With John false statements reflects poorly on the profession as a Privacy Policy
Schw artz
More broadly, the courts in New Y ork State, along with
Florida, have begun requiring that lawyers in foreclosure
Wells Fargo & Co cases vouch for the accuracy of the documents they 1 . Is Law School a Losing Gam e?
Go to your Portfolio » present, which prompted a protest from the New Y ork bar. 2 . Rising Chinese Inflation to Show Up in U.S. Im ports
The requirement, which is being considered by courts in 3 . Econom ic Scene: The Real Problem With China
other states, could open lawyers to disciplinary actions that could harm or even end 4 . Econom ix: Why So Many Rich People Don’t Feel
Very Rich
5. Auto Show Outsiders Seek Rebirth

Stephen Gillers, an expert in legal ethics at New Y ork University, agreed with Judge 6. Weather Monitoring Com pany Turns to
Greenhouse Gases
Fairgrieve that the involvement of lawyers in questionable transactions could damage the
7 . Judges Berate Bank Lawy ers in Foreclosures
overall reputation of the legal profession, “which does not fare well in public opinion”
8. Itineraries: Sneeze-Free Zone
throughout history. 9. Film Studio Born of Com ic Books Grabs Holly wood’s
“When the consequence of a lawyer plying his trade is the loss of someone’s home, and it 1 0. Flex Tim e Flourishes in Accounting Industry
turns out there are documents being given to the courts that have no basis in reality, the
Go to Complete List »
profession gets a very big black eye,” Professor Gillers said.

The issue of vouching for documents will undoubtedly meet resistance by lawyers
elsewhere as it has in New Y ork.…/… 1/3
2/22/2011 Matt Taibbi’s Devastating Portrait of Fl…

Symbol / Company Lookup

Welcom e, Guest


Shredding As Much As We Can

Matt Taibbi’s Devastating Portrait of Florida’s

Rocket Docket Foreclosure Courts Call: 201-735-iNet (4638)
Text Message: Text NETNET followed by your tip to 26221.
Published: Saturday, 13 Nov 2010 | 11:37 AM ET Text Size

By: John Carney

Senior Editor,

Recommend 4 Twitter LinkedIn

The latest issue of Rolling Stone is out with a devastating portrait by Matt
Taibbi of the foreclosure process in Florida. If it pierces the public
consciousness the way Taibbi’s articles on AIG and Goldman Sachs [GS 168.04
0.88 (+0.53%) ] did, it could be a game-changer.

The set-up is pretty simple. Taibbi goes down

to Florida and sits in on one of the make-shift
foreclosure courts Florida has set up to deal
with the enormous volume of foreclosure cases
in the state. It’s really just a small conference
room run by a formerly retired judge who has
been brought on to speed through
Justin Sulliv an | Getty Images foreclosures.

Taibbi discovers far worse than sloppy

paperwork on the part of banks—although he discovers plenty of that too. He Flash Crash Panel Recommends Major Changes for US
Markets (4)
discovers that the foreclosure process is heavily skewed to favor the banks. If
Friday Video Refreshment: Baby Trashes A Bar
a homeowner doesn’t show up to defend himself or herself, the judge issues
From the Catwalk to Wall Street
the foreclosure order. If the bank fails to send a representative, he just pushes
back the date. When a bank submits a trail of ownership of the mortgage note Stumpf's Office Calls Homeowner Who Foreclosed on Bank
(Steak Knives Pending)
that makes no sense, it just comes back later with a different set of ownership
Inflation Building, Fed Should Back Off: LaVorgna (6)
Contrarians in the Cold as Bulls Keep on Buying (5)
From Rolling Stone: The Union Fight in Wisconsin Means Trouble for Munis (1)
Jamie Dimon Wins Shareholder Beauty Pageant (10)
This is the dirty secret of the rocket docket: The whole system is An Optimistic Steve Jobs Destroys His House (10)
set up to enable lenders to commit fraud over and over again, until Why Shareholder Democracy Is a Bad Idea (4)
they figure out a way to reduce the stink enough so some judge Ticket Pricing Wars Goes Into the Hands of the Consumer
like Soud can sign off on the scam. "If the court finds for the Keeping 'New York' in the New York Stock Exchange
defendant, the plaintiffs just refile," says Parker, the local Waking up With Nicole Lapin (2)

attorney. "The only way for the caseload to get reduced is to give The Bernie Boom: Lawyers Stand to Pocket $1.3 Billion in
Fees From Madoff Case (3)
it to the plaintiff. The entire process is designed with that result in
Chinese Menu: Is Beijing 'Playing Pick One Item from Column
mind." A and One Item from Column B' with Their Data?
Ben Bernanke Goes to the Movies
Is this a fair portrait of the foreclosure process? We have no idea. But it may
well wind up changing the politics of foreclosure in a way that could make it far
costlier for a bank to foreclose on a homeowner. Depending on your point of…/1098/ 1/5
2/22/2011 Matt Taibbi’s Devastating Portrait of Fl…
view, that could either convince banks to be more open to loan modifications
or keep the housing market in turmoil for even longer. But poison or pure, this
apple looks ripe for the picking.

By the way, Taibbi’s success at piercing through the public consciousness Twitter

tends to bother financial reporters. (I’ve had occasion to duke it out with him
in the past on the issue of naked short selling.) But he is a good story-teller
and a thorough reporter who obviously takes time and effort to learn about his
subjects. Importantly, he doesn’t let his stories get bogged down in technical
jargon—one of the errors that makes so much financial journalism boring.

John Carney
Questions? Comments? Email us at Runs this joint.

Follow John on Twitter @

Cadie Thompson
Follow NetNet on Twitter @ Really, really runs this joint.

Facebook us @
Ash Bennington
© 2010 NetNet Special Reporter

TOPICS: Mortgages | Real Estate | Housing

Kate Kelly
Reports on the major Wall Street firms, trading, and

Recommend 4 Twitter LinkedIn Jeff Cox

A staff writer with, covering the gamut of
Print Email issues affecting the stock market and the economy.

Lori Spechler
A Senior Editor at CNBC, commodity trader in a
former life.

Lori Ann LaRocco

A Senior Talent Producer at CNBC.

Lessons for Munis What Will Kill a Bull Homeowner Nicole Lapin
From t he Mortgage Market ? Good News Forecloses on Wells Runs the graveyard.
Market Fargo

24 Comments Total

Tuesday Outlook: What's the Tipping Point for Oil Prices? (4)
Andrewrog | Nov 12, 2010 05:45 PM ET
Deadly Quake rocks New Zealand, Topples Buildings (8)

So what alternative system do you propose? Moody's Warns of Japan Ratings Cut if No Reforms (1)
Wisconsin Budget Fight May Tilt Politics In Other States (39)
Report Abuse
Dozens Are Killed in Libya; Control of Country Unclear (31)
Brent Hits 2-1/2 Year High on Libya Export Concerns (78)
againstidiocy | Nov 12, 2010 06:20 PM ET
Bahrain Protesters Seek to Overthrow Royal Family
Libya on the Verge of Civil War
there is no way around a homeowner having to give up his home if he doesnt pay the
Blockbuster, In Bankruptcy, Is Seeking a Buyer (4)
mortgage. They can delay, they can file suit...but eventually the contract will be found
Obama Budget Has 'Almost No Chance': Moody's
valid, and they will be foreclosed upon.

It is an ugly business, but it is the necessary thing to do.

Report Abuse » Help

rhinochaser | Nov 12, 2010 06:51 PM ET Subscribe to this RSS feed

Stay up to date with NetNet.

I hope Matt Taibbi, after tackling this sordid subject of bank abuse (with govt support),
he'll tackle the even more storied subject of pension fraud. California would be a good…/1098/ 2/5
2/23/2011 Invasion of the Home Snatchers | Rolli…

Invasion of the Home Snatchers

Matt Taibbi on how foreclosure courts are helping big banks
screw over homeowners

Illustration by Victor Juhasz

The foreclosure lawyers down in Jacksonville had warned me, but I was skeptical. They told me the state of
Florida had created a special super-high-speed housing court with a specific mandate to rubber-stamp the legally
dicey foreclosures by corporate mortgage pushers like Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan Chase. This "rocket
docket," as it is called in town, is presided over by retired judges who seem to have no clue about the insanely
complex financial instruments they are ruling on — securitized mortgages and labyrinthine derivative deals of a
type that didn't even exist when most of them were active members of the bench. Their stated mission isn't to
decide right and wrong, but to clear cases and blast human beings out of their homes with ultimate velocity. They
certainly have no incentive to penetrate the profound criminal mysteries of the great American mortgage bubble
of the 2000s, perhaps the most complex Ponzi scheme in human history — an epic mountain range of corporate
fraud in which Wall Street megabanks conspired first to collect huge numbers of subprime mortgages, then to
unload them on unsuspecting third parties like pensions, trade unions and insurance companies (and, ultimately,
you and me, as taxpayers) in the guise of AAA-rated investments. Selling lead as gold, shit as Chanel No. 5, was
the essence of the booming international fraud scheme that created most all of these now-failing home mortgages.…/matt-taibbi-courts-… 1/12
2/23/2011 Invasion of the Home Snatchers | Rolli…
Looting Main Street

The rocket docket wasn't created to investigate any of that. It exists to launder the crime and bury the evidence
by speeding thousands of fraudulent and predatory loans to the ends of their life cycles, so that the houses
attached to them can be sold again with clean paperwork. The judges, in fact, openly admit that their primary
mission is not justice but speed. One Jacksonville judge, the Honorable A.C. Soud, even told a local newspaper
that his goal is to resolve 25 cases per hour. Given the way the system is rigged, that means His Honor could
well be throwing one ass on the street every 2.4 minutes.

This article appeared in the November 25, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone. The issue is available in the online

Foreclosure lawyers told me one other thing about the rocket docket. The hearings, they said, aren't exactly
public. "The judges might give you a hard time about watching," one lawyer warned. "They're not exactly anxious
for people to know about this stuff." Inwardly, I laughed at this — it sounded like typical activist paranoia. The
notion that a judge would try to prevent any citizen, much less a member of the media, from watching an open
civil hearing sounded ridiculous. Fucked-up as everyone knows the state of Florida is, it couldn't be that bad. It
isn't Indonesia. Right?

Exclusive Excerpt: America on Sale, From Matt Taibbi's Griftopia

Well, not quite. When I went to sit in on Judge Soud's courtroom in downtown Jacksonville, I was treated to an
intimate, and at times breathtaking, education in the horror of the foreclosure crisis, which is rapidly emerging as
the even scarier sequel to the financial meltdown of 2008: Invasion of the Home Snatchers II. In Las Vegas,
one in 25 homes is now in foreclosure. In Fort Myers, Florida, one in 35. In September, lenders nationwide took
over a record 102,134 properties; that same month, more than a third of all home sales were distressed
properties. All told, some 820,000 Americans have already lost their homes this year, and another 1 million
currently face foreclosure.

Matt Taibbi: The Crying Shame of John Boehner

Throughout the mounting catastrophe, however, many Americans have been slow to comprehend the true nature
of the mortgage disaster. They seemed to have grasped just two things about the crisis: One, a lot of people are
getting their houses foreclosed on. Two, some of the banks doing the foreclosing seem to have misplaced their

For most people, the former bit about homeowners not paying their damn bills is the important part, while the
latter, about the sudden and strange inability of the world's biggest and wealthiest banks to keep proper records,
is incidental. Just a little office sloppiness, and who cares? Those deadbeat homeowners still owe the money,
right? "They had it coming to them," is how a bartender at the Jacksonville airport put it to me.

But in reality, it's the unpaid bills that are incidental and the lost paperwork that matters. It turns out that
underneath that little iceberg tip of exposed evidence lies a fraud so gigantic that it literally cannot be
contemplated by our leaders, for fear of admitting that our entire financial system is corrupted to its core — with
our great banks and even our government coffers backed not by real wealth but by vast landfills of deceptively
generated and essentially worthless mortgage-backed assets.

You've heard of Too Big to Fail — the foreclosure crisis is Too Big for Fraud. Think of the Bernie Madoff scam,…/matt-taibbi-courts-… 2/12
2/23/2011 Invasion of the Home Snatchers | Rolli…
only replicated tens of thousands of times over, infecting every corner of the financial universe. The underlying
crime is so pervasive, we simply can't admit to it — and so we are working feverishly to rubber-stamp the
problem away, in sordid little backrooms in cities like Jacksonville, behind doors that shouldn't be, but often are,

And that's just the economic side of the story. The moral angle to the foreclosure crisis — and, of course, in
capitalism we're not supposed to be concerned with the moral stuff, but let's mention it anyway — shows a
culture that is slowly giving in to a futuristic nightmare ideology of computerized greed and unchecked financial
violence. The monster in the foreclosure crisis has no face and no brain. The mortgages that are being foreclosed
upon have no real owners. The lawyers bringing the cases to evict the humans have no real clients. It is complete
and absolute legal and economic chaos. No single limb of this vast man-eating thing knows what the other is
doing, which makes it nearly impossible to combat — and scary as hell to watch.

What follows is an account of a single hour of Judge A.C. Soud's rocket docket in Jacksonville. Like everything
else related to the modern economy, these foreclosure hearings are conducted in what is essentially a foreign
language, heavy on jargon and impenetrable to the casual observer. It took days of interviews with experts
before and after this hearing to make sense of this single hour of courtroom drama. And though the permutations
of small-time scammery and grift in the foreclosure world are virtually endless — your average foreclosure case
involves homeowners or investors being screwed at least five or six creative ways — a single hour of court and a
few cases is enough to tell the main story. Because if you see one of these scams, you see them all.

It's early on a sunny Tuesday morning when I arrive at the chambers of Judge Soud, one of four rotating judges
who preside over the local rocket docket. These special foreclosure courts were established in July of this year,
after the state of Florida budgeted $9.6 million to create a new court with a specific mandate to clear 62 percent
of the foreclosure cases that were clogging up the system. Rather than forcing active judges to hear thousands of
individual cases, this strategy relies on retired judges who take turns churning through dozens of cases every
morning, with little time to pay much attention to the particulars.

What passes for a foreclosure court in Jacksonville is actually a small conference room at the end of a hall on the
fifth floor of the drab brick Duval County Courthouse. The space would just about fit a fridge and a pingpong
table. At the head of a modest conference table this morning sits Judge Soud, a small and fussy-looking man who
reminds me vaguely of the actor Ben Gazzara.

On one side of the table sits James Kowalski, a former homicide prosecutor who is now defending homeowners.
A stern man with a shaved head and a laconic manner of speaking, Kowalski has helped pioneer a whole new
approach to the housing mess, slowing down the mindless eviction machine by deposing the scores of "robo-
signers" being hired by the banks to sign phony foreclosure affidavits by the thousands. For his work on behalf of
the dispossessed, Kowalski was recently profiled in a preposterous Wall Street Journal article that blamed
attorneys like him for causing the foreclosure mess with their nuisance defense claims. The headline: "Niche
Lawyers Spawned Housing Fracas."

On the other side of the table are the plaintiff's attorneys, the guys who represent the banks. On this level of the
game, these lawyers refer to themselves as "bench warmers" — volume stand-ins subcontracted by the big,
hired-killer law firms that work for the banks. One of the bench warmers present today is Mark Kessler, who
works for a number of lenders and giant "foreclosure mills," including the one run by David J. Stern, a
gazillionaire attorney and all-Universe asshole who last year tried to foreclose on 70,382 homeowners. Which is…/matt-taibbi-courts-… 3/12
2/23/2011 Invasion of the Home Snatchers | Rolli…
a nice way to make a living, considering that Stern and his wife, Jeanine, have bought nearly $60 million in
property for themselves in recent years, including a 9,273-square-foot manse in Fort Lauderdale that is part of a
Ritz-Carlton complex.

Kessler is a harried, middle-aged man in glasses who spends the morning perpetually fighting to organize a
towering stack of folders, each one representing a soon-to-be-homeless human being. It quickly becomes
apparent that Kessler is barely acquainted with the names in the files, much less the details of each case. "A lot of
these guys won't even get the folders until right before the hearing," says Kowalski.

When I arrive, Judge Soud and the lawyers are already arguing a foreclosure case; at a break in the action, I slip
into the chamber with a legal-aid attorney who's accompanying me and sit down. The judge eyes me anxiously,
then proceeds. He clears his throat, and then it's ready, set, fraud!

Judge Soud seems to have no clue that the files he is processing at a breakneck pace are stuffed with fraudulent
claims and outright lies. "We have not encountered any fraud yet," he recently told a local newspaper. "If we
encountered fraud, it would go to [the state attorney], I can tell you that." But the very first case I see in his court
is riddled with fraud.

Kowalski has seen hundreds of cases like the one he's presenting this morning. It started back in 2006, when he
went to Pennsylvania to conduct what he thought would be a routine deposition of an official at the lending giant
GMAC. What he discovered was that the official — who had sworn to having personal knowledge of the case
— was, in fact, just a "robo-signer" who had signed off on the file without knowing anything about the actual
homeowner or his payment history. (Kowalski's clients, like most of the homeowners he represents, were
actually making their payments on time; in this particular case, a check had been mistakenly refused by GMAC.)
Following the evidence, Kowalski discovered what has turned out to be a systemwide collapse of the process
for documenting mortgages in this country.

If you're foreclosing on somebody's house, you are required by law to have a collection of paperwork showing
the journey of that mortgage note from the moment of issuance to the present. You should see the originating
lender (a firm like Countrywide) selling the loan to the next entity in the chain (perhaps Goldman Sachs) to the
next (maybe JP Morgan), with the actual note being transferred each time. But in fact, almost no bank currently
foreclosing on homeowners has a reliable record of who owns the loan; in some cases, they have even
intentionally shredded the actual mortgage notes. That's where the robo-signers come in. To create the
appearance of paperwork where none exists, the banks drag in these pimply entry-level types — an infamous
example is GMAC's notorious robo-signer Jeffrey Stephan, who appears online looking like an age-advanced
photo of Beavis or Butt-Head — and get them to sign thousands of documents a month attesting to the banks'
proper ownership of the mortgages.

This isn't some rare goof-up by a low-level cubicle slave: Virtually every case of foreclosure in this country
involves some form of screwed-up paperwork. "I would say it's pretty close to 100 percent," says Kowalski. An
attorney for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid tells me that out of the hundreds of cases she has handled, fewer than
five involved no phony paperwork. "The fraud is the norm," she says.

Kowalski's current case before Judge Soud is a perfect example. The Jacksonville couple he represents are
being sued for delinquent payments, but the case against them has already been dismissed once before. The first
time around, the plaintiff, Bank of New York Mellon, wrote in Paragraph 8 that "plaintiff owns and holds the
note" on the house belonging to the couple. But in Paragraph 3 of the same complaint, the bank reported that the…/matt-taibbi-courts-… 4/12
2/23/2011 Invasion of the Home Snatchers | Rolli…
note was "lost or destroyed," while in Paragraph 4 it attests that "plaintiff cannot reasonably obtain possession of
the promissory note because its whereabouts cannot be determined."

The bank, in other words, tried to claim on paper, in court, that it both lost the note and had it, at the same time.
Moreover, it claimed that it had included a copy of the note in the file, which it did — the only problem being that
the note (a) was not properly endorsed, and (b) was payable not to Bank of New York but to someone else, a
company called Novastar.

Now, months after its first pass at foreclosure was dismissed, the bank has refiled the case — and what do you
know, it suddenly found the note. And this time, somehow, the note has the proper stamps. "There's a stamp that
did not appear on the note that was originally filed," Kowalski tells the judge. (This business about the stamps is
hilarious. "You can get them very cheap online," says Chip Parker, an attorney who defends homeowners in

The bank's new set of papers also traces ownership of the loan from the original lender, Novastar, to JP Morgan
and then to Bank of New York. The bank, in other words, is trying to push through a completely new set of
documents in its attempts to foreclose on Kowalski's clients.

There's only one problem: The dates of the transfers are completely fucked. According to the documents, JP
Morgan transferred the mortgage to Bank of New York on December 9th, 2008. But according to the same
documents, JP Morgan didn't even receive the mortgage from Novastar until February 2nd, 2009 — two months
after it had supposedly passed the note along to Bank of New York. Such rank incompetence at doctoring legal
paperwork is typical of foreclosure actions, where the fraud is laid out in ink in ways that make it impossible for
anyone but an overburdened, half-asleep judge to miss. "That's my point about all of this," Kowalski tells me
later. "If you're going to lie to me, at least lie well."

The dates aren't the only thing screwy about the new documents submitted by Bank of New York. Having failed
in its earlier attempt to claim that it actually had the mortgage note, the bank now tries an all-of-the-above tactic.
"Plaintiff owns and holds the note," it claims, "or is a person entitled to enforce the note."

Soud sighs. For Kessler, the plaintiff's lawyer, to come before him with such sloppy documents and make this
preposterous argument — that his client either is or is not the note-holder — well, that puts His Honor in a tough
spot. The entire concept is a legal absurdity, and he can't sign off on it. With an expression of something very like
regret, the judge tells Kessler, "I'm going to have to go ahead and accept [Kowalski's] argument."

Now, one might think that after a bank makes multiple attempts to push phony documents through a courtroom,
a judge might be pissed off enough to simply rule against that plaintiff for good. As I witness in court all morning,
the defense never gets more than one chance to screw up. But the banks get to keep filing their foreclosures over
and over again, no matter how atrocious and deceitful their paperwork is.

Thus, when Soud tells Kessler that he's dismissing the case, he hastens to add: "Of course, I'm not going to
dismiss with prejudice." With an emphasis on the words "of course."

Instead, Soud gives Kessler 25 days to come up with better paperwork. Kowalski fully expects the bank to
come back with new documents telling a whole new story of the note's ownership. "What they're going to do, I
would predict, is produce a note and say Bank of New York is not the original note-holder, but merely the
servicer," he says.…/matt-taibbi-courts-… 5/12
2/23/2011 Invasion of the Home Snatchers | Rolli…
This is the dirty secret of the rocket docket: The whole system is set up to enable lenders to commit fraud over
and over again, until they figure out a way to reduce the stink enough so some judge like Soud can sign off on the
scam. "If the court finds for the defendant, the plaintiffs just refile," says Parker, the local attorney. "The only way
for the caseload to get reduced is to give it to the plaintiff. The entire process is designed with that result in mind."

Now all of this — the obviously cooked-up documents, the magically appearing stamp and the rest of it — may
just seem like nothing more than sloppy paperwork. After all, what does it matter if the bank has lost a few forms
or mixed up the dates? The homeowners still owe what they owe, and the deadbeats have no right to keep living
in a house they haven't paid for.

But what's going on at the Jacksonville rocket docket, and in foreclosure courts all across the country, has
nothing to do with sloppiness. All this phony paperwork was actually an essential part of the mortgage bubble, an
integral element of what has enabled the nation's biggest lenders to pass off all that subprime lead as AAA gold.

In the old days, when you took out a mortgage, it was probably through a local bank or a credit union, and
whoever gave you your loan held on to it for life. If you lost your job or got too sick to work and suddenly had
trouble making your payments, you could call a human being and work things out. It was in the banker's interest,
as well as yours, to make a modified payment schedule. From his point of view, it was better that you pay
something than nothing at all.

But that all changed about a decade ago, thanks to the invention of new financial instruments that magically turned
all these mortgages into high-grade investments. Now when you took out a mortgage, your original lender —
which might well have been a big mortgage mill like Countrywide or New Century — immediately sold off your
loan to big banks like Deutsche and Goldman and JP Morgan. The banks then dumped hundreds or thousands
of home loans at a time into tax-exempt real estate trusts, where the loans were diced up into securities,
examined and graded by the ratings agencies, and sold off to big pension funds and other institutional suckers.

Even at this stage of the game, the banks generally knew that the loans they were buying and reselling to investors
were shady. A company called Clayton Holdings, which analyzed nearly 1 million loans being prepared for sale
in 2006 and 2007 by 23 banks, found that nearly half of the mortgages failed to meet the underwriting standards
being promised to investors. Citigroup, for instance, had 29 percent of its loans come up short, but it still sold a
third of those mortgages to investors. Goldman Sachs had 19 percent of its mortgages flunk the test, yet it
knowingly hawked 34 percent of the risky deals to investors.

D. Keith Johnson, the head of Clayton Holdings, was so alarmed by the findings that he went to officials at three
of the main ratings agencies — Moody's, Standard and Poor's, and Fitch's — and tried to get them to properly
evaluate the loans. "Wouldn't this information be great for you to have as you assign risk levels?" he asked them.
(Translation: Don't you ratings agencies want to know that half these loans are crap before you give them a
thumbs-up?) But all three agencies rejected his advice, fearing they would lose business if they adopted tougher
standards. In the end, the agencies gave large chunks of these mortgage-backed securities AAA ratings — which
means "credit risk almost zero."

Since these mortgage-backed securities paid much higher returns than other AAA investments like treasury notes
or corporate bonds, the banks had no trouble attracting investors, foreign and domestic, from pension funds to
insurance companies to trade unions. The demand was so great, in fact, that they often sold mortgages they didn't
even have yet, prompting big warehouse lenders like Countrywide and New Century to rush out into the world
to find more warm bodies to lend to.…/matt-taibbi-courts-… 6/12
2/23/2011 Invasion of the Home Snatchers | Rolli…

In their extreme haste to get thousands and thousands of mortgages they could resell to the banks, the lenders
committed an astonishing variety of fraud, from falsifying income statements to making grossly inflated appraisals
to misrepresenting properties to home buyers. Most crucially, they gave tons and tons of credit to people who
probably didn't deserve it, and why not? These fly-by-night mortgage companies weren't going to hold on to
these loans, not even for 10 minutes. They were issuing this credit specifically to sell the loans off to the big banks
right away, in furtherance of the larger scheme to dump fraudulent AAA-rated mortgage-backed securities on
investors. If you had a pulse, they had a house to sell you.

As bad as Countrywide and all those lenders were, the banks that had sent them out to collect these crap loans
were a hundred times worse. To sell the loans, the banks often dumped them into big tax-exempt buckets called
REMICs, or Real Estate Mortgage Investment Conduits. Each one of these Enron-ish, offshore-like real estate
trusts spelled out exactly what kinds of loans were supposed to be in the pool, when they were to be collected,
and how they were to be managed. In order to both preserve their tax-exempt status and deserve their AAA
ratings, each of the loans in the pool had to have certain characteristics. The loans couldn't already be in default
or foreclosure at the time they were sold to investors. If they were advertised as nice, safe, fixed-rate mortgages,
they couldn't turn out to be high-interest junk loans. And, on the most basic level, the loans had to actually exist.
In other words, if the trust stipulated that all the loans had to be collected by August 2005, the bank couldn't still
be sticking in mortgages months later.

Yet that's exactly what the banks did. In one case handled by Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, a homeowner
refinanced her house in 2005 but almost immediately got into trouble, going into default in December of that year.
Yet somehow, this woman's loan was placed into a trust called Home Equity Loan Trust Series AE 2005-HE5 in
January 2006 — five months after the deadline for that particular trust. The loan was not only late, it was already
in foreclosure — which means that, by definition, whoever the investors were in AE 2005-HE5 were getting

Why does stuff like this matter? Because when the banks put these pools together, they were telling their
investors that they were putting their money into tidy collections of real, performing home loans. But frequently,
the loans in the trust were complete shit. Or sometimes, the banks didn't even have all the loans they said they
had. But the banks sold the securities based on these pools of mortgages as AAA-rated gold anyway.

In short, all of this was a scam — and that's why so many of these mortgages lack a true paper trail. Had these
transfers been done legally, the actual mortgage note and detailed information about all of these transactions
would have been passed from entity to entity each time the mortgage was sold. But in actual practice, the banks
were often committing securities fraud (because many of the mortgages did not match the information in the
prospectuses given to investors) and tax fraud (because the way the mortgages were collected and serviced often
violated the strict procedures governing such investments). Having unloaded this diseased cargo onto their
unsuspecting customers, the banks had no incentive to waste money keeping "proper" documentation of all these
dubious transactions.

"You've already committed fraud once," says April Charney, an attorney with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid.
"What do you have to lose?"

Sitting in the rocket docket, James Kowalski considers himself lucky to have won his first motion of the morning.
To get the usually intractable Judge Soud to forestall a foreclosure is considered a real victory, and I later hear…/matt-taibbi-courts-… 7/12
2/23/2011 Invasion of the Home Snatchers | Rolli…
Kowalski getting props and attaboys from other foreclosure lawyers. In a great deal of these cases, in fact, the
homeowners would have a pretty good chance of beating the rap, at least temporarily, if only they had lawyers
fighting for them in court. But most of them don't. In fact, more than 90 percent of the cases that go through
Florida foreclosure courts are unopposed. Either homeowners don't know they can fight their foreclosures, or
they simply can't afford an attorney. These unopposed cases are the ones the banks know they'll win — which is
why they don't sweat it if they take the occasional whipping.

That's why all these colorful descriptions of cases where foreclosure lawyers like Kowalski score in court are
really just that — a little color. The meat of the foreclosure crisis is the unopposed cases; that's where the banks
make their money. They almost always win those cases, no matter what's in the files.

This becomes evident after Kowalski leaves the room.

"Who's next?" Judge Soud says. He turns to Mark Kessler, the counsel for the big foreclosure mills. "Mark, you
still got some?"

"I've got about three more, Judge," says Kessler.

Kessler then drops three greenish-brown files in front of Judge Soud, who spends no more than a minute or two
glancing through each one. Then he closes the files and puts an end to the process by putting his official stamp on
each foreclosure with an authoritative finality:


Each one of those kerchunks means another family on the street. There are no faces involved here, just beat-
the-clock legal machinery. Watching Judge Soud plow through each foreclosure reminds me of the scene in
Fargo where the villain played by Swedish character actor Peter Stormare pushes his victim's leg through a
wood chipper with that trademark bored look on his face. Mechanized misery and brainless bureaucracy on the
one hand, cash for the banks on the other.

What's sad is that most Americans who have an opinion about the foreclosure crisis don't give a shit about all the
fraud involved. They don't care that these mortgages wouldn't have been available in the first place if the banks
hadn't found a way to sell oregano as weed to pension funds and insurance companies. They don't care that the
Countrywides of the world pushed borrowers who qualified for safer fixed-income loans into far more dangerous
adjustable-rate loans, because their brokers got bigger commissions for doing so. They don't care that in the rush
to produce loans, people were sold houses that turned out to have flood damage or worse, and they certainly
don't care that people were sold houses with inflated appraisals, which left them almost immediately underwater
once housing prices started falling.

The way the banks tell it, it doesn't matter if they defrauded homeowners and investors and taxpayers alike to get
these loans. All that matters is that a bunch of deadbeats aren't paying their fucking bills. "If you didn't pay
your mortgage, you shouldn't be in your house — period," is how Walter Todd, portfolio manager at
Greenwood Capital Associates, puts it. "People are getting upset about something that's just procedural."

Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JP Morgan, is even more succinct in dismissing the struggling homeowners that he and
the other megabanks scammed before tossing out into the street. "We're not evicting people who deserve to stay…/matt-taibbi-courts-… 8/12
2/23/2011 Invasion of the Home Snatchers | Rolli…
in their house," Dimon says.

There are two things wrong with this argument. (Well, more than two, actually, but let's just stick to the two big

The first reason is: It simply isn't true. Many people who are being foreclosed on have actually paid their bills and
followed all the instructions laid down by their banks. In some cases, a homeowner contacts the bank to say that
he's having trouble paying his bill, and the bank offers him loan modification. But the bank tells him that in order
to qualify for modification, he must first be delinquent on his mortgage. "They actually tell people to stop paying
their bills for three months," says Parker.

The authorization gets recorded in what's known as the bank's "contact database," which records every phone
call or other communication with a homeowner. But no mention of it is entered into the bank's "number history,"
which records only the payment record. When the number history notes that the homeowner has missed three
payments in a row, it has no way of knowing that the homeowner was given permission to stop making
payments. "One computer generates a default letter," says Kowalski. "Another computer contacts the credit
bureaus." At no time is there a human being looking at the entire picture.

Which means that homeowners can be foreclosed on for all sorts of faulty reasons: misplaced checks, address
errors, you name it. This inability of one limb of the foreclosure beast to know what the other limb is doing is
responsible for many of the horrific stories befalling homeowners across the country. Patti Parker, a local
attorney in Jacksonville, tells of a woman whose home was seized by Deutsche Bank two days before
Christmas. Months later, Deutsche came back and admitted that they had made a mistake: They had
repossessed the wrong property. In another case that made headlines in Orlando, an agent for JP Morgan
mistakenly broke into a woman's house that wasn't even in foreclosure and tried to change the locks. Terrified,
the woman locked herself in her bathroom and called 911. But in a profound expression of the state's reflexive
willingness to side with the bad guys, the police made no arrest in the case. Breaking and entering is not a crime,
apparently, when it's authorized by a bank.

The second reason the whole they still owe the fucking money thing is bogus has to do with the changed
incentives in the mortgage game. In many cases, banks like JP Morgan are merely the servicers of all these home
loans, charged with collecting your money every month and paying every penny of it into the trust, which is the
real owner of your mortgage. If you pay less than the whole amount, JP Morgan is now obligated to pay the trust
the remainder out of its own pocket. When you fall behind, your bank falls behind, too. The only way it gets off
the hook is if the house is foreclosed on and sold.

That's what this foreclosure crisis is all about: fleeing the scene of the crime. Add into the equation the fact that
some of these big banks were simultaneously betting big money against these mortgages — Goldman Sachs
being the prime example — and you can see that there were heavy incentives across the board to push anyone in
trouble over the cliff.

Things used to be different. Asked what percentage of struggling homeowners she used to be able to save from
foreclosure in the days before securitization, Charney is quick to answer. "Most of them," she says. "I seldom
came across a mortgage I couldn't work out."

In Judge Soud's court, I come across a shining example of this mindless rush to foreclosure when I meet Natasha
Leonard, a single mother who bought a house in 2004 for $97,500. Right after closing on the home, Leonard lost…/matt-taibbi-courts-… 9/12
2/23/2011 Invasion of the Home Snatchers | Rolli…
her job. But when she tried to get a modification on the loan, the bank's offer was not helpful. "They wanted me
to pay $1,000," she says. Which wasn't exactly the kind of modification she was hoping for, given that her
original monthly payment was $840.

"You're paying $840, you ask for a break, and they ask you to pay $1,000?" I ask.

"Right," she says.

Leonard now has a job and could make some kind of reduced payment. But instead of offering loan
modification, the bank's lawyers are in their fourth year of doggedly beating her brains out over minor
technicalities in the foreclosure process. That's fine by the lawyers, who are collecting big fees. And there
appears to be no human being at the bank who's involved enough to issue a sane decision to end the costly
battle. "If there was a real client on the other side, maybe they could work something out," says Charney, who is
representing Leonard. In this lunatic bureaucratic jungle of securitized home loans issued by transnational
behemoths, the borrower-lender relationship can only go one of two ways: full payment, or total war.

The extreme randomness of the system is exemplified by the last case I see in the rocket docket. While most
foreclosures are unopposed, with homeowners not even bothering to show up in court to defend themselves, a
few pro se defendants — people representing themselves — occasionally trickle in. At one point during Judge
Soud's proceeding, a tallish blond woman named Shawnetta Cooper walks in with a confused look on her face.
A recent divorcee delinquent in her payments, she has come to court today fully expecting to be foreclosed on by
Wells Fargo. She sits down and takes a quick look around at the lawyers who are here to kick her out of her
home. "The land has been in my family for four generations," she tells me later. "I don't want to be the one to lose

Judge Soud pipes up and inquires if there's a plaintiff lawyer present; someone has to lop off this woman's head
so the court can move on to the next case. But then something unexpected happens: It turns out that Kessler is
supposed to be foreclosing on her today, but he doesn't have her folder. The plaintiff, technically, has forgotten to
show up to court.

Just minutes before, I had watched what happens when defendants don't show up in court: kerchunk! The judge
more or less automatically rules for the plaintiffs when the homeowner is a no-show. But when the plaintiff
doesn't show, the judge is suddenly all mercy and forgiveness. Soud simply continues Cooper's case, telling
Kessler to get his shit together and come back for another whack at her in a few weeks. Having done this, he
dismisses everyone.

Stunned, Cooper wanders out of the courtroom looking like a person who has stepped up to the gallows
expecting to be hanged, but has instead been handed a fruit basket and a new set of golf clubs.

I follow her out of the court, hoping to ask her about her case. But the sight of a journalist getting up to talk to a
defendant in his kangaroo court clearly puts a charge into His Honor, and he immediately calls Cooper back into
the conference room. Then, to the amazement of everyone present, he issues the following speech:

"This young man," he says, pointing at me, "is a reporter for Rolling Stone. It is your privilege to talk to him if
you want." He pauses. "It is also your privilege to not talk to him if you want."

I stare at the judge, open-mouthed. Here's a woman who still has to come back to this guy's court to find out if…/matt-taibbi-courts-… 10/12
2/23/2011 Invasion of the Home Snatchers | Rolli…
she can keep her home, and the judge's admonition suggests that she may run the risk of pissing him off if she
talks to a reporter. Worse, about an hour later, April Charney, the lawyer who accompanied me to court,
receives an e-mail from the judge actually threatening her with contempt for bringing a stranger to his court.
Noting that "we ask that anyone other than a lawyer remain in the lobby," Judge Soud admonishes Charney that
"your unprofessional conduct and apparent authorization that the reporter could pursue a property owner
immediately out of Chambers into the hallway for an interview, may very well be sited [sic] for possible contempt
in the future."

Let's leave aside for a moment that Charney never said a word to me about speaking to Cooper. And let's
overlook entirely the fact that the judge can't spell the word cited. The key here isn't this individual judge — it's
the notion that these hearings are not and should not be entirely public. Quite clearly, foreclosure is meant to be
neither seen nor heard.

After Soud's outburst, Cooper quietly leaves the court. Once out of sight of the judge, she shows me her file. It's
not hard to find the fraud in the case. For starters, the assignment of mortgage is autographed by a notorious
robo-signer — John Kennerty, who gave a deposition this summer admitting that he signed as many as 150
documents a day for Wells Fargo. In Cooper's case, the document with Kennerty's signature on it places the
date on which Wells Fargo obtained the mortgage as May 5th, 2010. The trouble is, the bank bought the loan
from Wachovia — a bank that went out of business in 2008. All of which is interesting, because in her file, it
states that Wells Fargo sued Cooper for foreclosure on February 22nd, 2010. In other words, the bank
foreclosed on Cooper three months before it obtained her mortgage from a nonexistent company.

There are other types of grift and outright theft in the file. As is typical in many foreclosure cases, Cooper is being
charged by the bank for numerous attempts to serve her with papers. But a booming industry has grown up
around fraudulent process servers; companies will claim they made dozens of attempts to serve homeowners,
when in fact they made just one or none at all. Who's going to check? The process servers cover up the crime
using the same tactic as the lenders, saying they lost the original summons. From 2000 to 2006, there was a total
of 1,031 "affidavits of lost summons" here in Duval County; in the past two years, by contrast, more than 4,000
have been filed.

Cooper's file contains a total of $371 in fees for process service, including one charge of $55 for an attempt to
serve process on an "unknown tenant." But Cooper's house is owner-occupied — she doesn't even have a
tenant, she tells me with a shrug. If Mark Kessler had had his shit together in court today, Cooper would not only
be out on the street, she'd be paying for that attempt to serve papers to her nonexistent tenant.

Cooper's case perfectly summarizes what the foreclosure crisis is all about. Her original loan was made by
Wachovia, a bank that blew itself up in 2008 speculating in the mortgage market. It was then transferred to Wells
Fargo, a megabank that was handed some $50 billion in public assistance to help it acquire the corpse of
Wachovia. And who else benefited from that $50 billion in bailout money? Billionaire Warren Buffett and his
Berkshire Hathaway fund, which happens to be a major shareholder in Wells Fargo. It was Buffett's vice
chairman, Charles Munger, who recently told America that it should "thank God" that the government bailed out
banks like the one he invests in, while people who have fallen on hard times — that is, homeowners like
Shawnetta Cooper — should "suck it in and cope."

Look: It's undeniable that many of the people facing foreclosure bear some responsibility for the crisis. Some
borrowed beyond their means. Some even borrowed knowing they would never be able to pay off their debt,
either hoping to flip their houses right away or taking on mortgages with low initial teaser rates without bothering…/matt-taibbi-courts-… 11/12
2/23/2011 Invasion of the Home Snatchers | Rolli…
to think of the future. The culture of take-for-yourself-now, let-someone-else-pay-later wasn't completely
restricted to Wall Street. It penetrated all the way down to the individual consumer, who in some cases was a
knowing accomplice in the bubble mess.

But many of these homeowners are just ordinary Joes who had no idea what they were getting into. Some were
pushed into dangerous loans when they qualified for safe ones. Others were told not to worry about future jumps
in interest rates because they could just refinance down the road, or discovered that the value of their homes had
been overinflated by brokers looking to pad their commissions. And that's not even accounting for the fact that
most of this credit wouldn't have been available in the first place without the Ponzi-like bubble scheme cooked up
by Wall Street, about which the average homeowner knew nothing — hell, even the average U.S. senator didn't
know about it.

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.

Why don't the banks want us to see the paperwork on all these mortgages? Because the documents represent a
death sentence for them. According to the rules of the mortgage trusts, a lender like Bank of America, which
controls all the Countrywide loans, is required by law to buy back from investors every faulty loan the crooks at
Countrywide ever issued. Think about what that would do to Bank of America's bottom line the next time you
wonder why they're trying so hard to rush these loans into someone else's hands.

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.…/matt-taibbi-courts-… 12/12