/Another “Foreclosure Freedom Fighter” Nightmare Story
This is a follow-up to a previous post made about the so-called “foreclosure freedom fighters” as I refer to them here.
Another example of, in my opinion, a “grand standing” lawyer more concerned about reputation and getting cases up to the appellate courts (causing their clients to incur even more fees) to make new case law and social policy in the courts, rather than doing what is best for their client to keep their home.
And even a win at the appellate court is not a win, the case is remanded back to the trial court for even more litigation, at even further costs. See the picture now how the rich get richer while accusing the banksters of such? And going back to the trial court doesn’t mean the bank cannot prove their case and still take your house. Let’s even say the appellate riling is such that the bank has to dismiss their case; it is WITHOUT prejudice meaning they can re-file. And with the current Bartram ruling, the bank can frankly re-file over and over again until they get it right, until/unless the Florida Supreme Court eventually changes that.
Back to this “foreclosure freedom fighter.” Without naming names or facts of the case to protect amenity, this lawyer was presenting a motion to dismiss the case at trial and got into a verbal argument with the judge. Number one mistake to piss of the judge whose the last line of your client about to lose their house. In my opinion reading the transcript, this lawyer was wrong. The lawyer laid out a few points (a, b, c, etc) of why the case should be dismissed and the judge simply asked, summarized, any other arguments? And this lawyer went off and requested the judge disqualify himself for “not letting him speak.”
Again, all the judge said was, again summarizing, “next point”; not don’t speak, not cutting his time off, nothing. This foreclosure freedom fighter was not allowed to grand stand in the courtroom and spout off to a judge for no reason, and took such offense that the judge was requested to recuse himself and they got into a verbal argument with the lawyer just continuously saying (summarizing) “you’re not letting me speak” and the judge finally threatening contempt.
You don’t go off on the judge no matter what he/she does, as the judge has the power to rule against your client right then and there. The judge isn’t listening to your points? Make them for the record (court reporter) and appeal the case when you’re rules against. Simple answer. The appellate court would reverse if you made a correct argument on the record (which was only partially done in this example case). But don’t sit there and accuse the judge of not listening, caring etc. and ask him to recuse himself from the case and get a new judge; that’s unneeded in an open court and disrespectful in my opinion. The judge is supposed to listen to both side’s evidence fully, yes, but if they don’t want to hear it (due to preconceived notions about the case etc.) you won’t convince the judge otherwise without pissing him/her off. Move on, make your points for the record and move on and appeal. If you did things right you will win on appeal and the judgement against your client will be reversed.
The end result here though? Final judgment for the bank and the this homeowner will lose their house, or pay the lawyer thousands of dollars more to now appeal the case with very little on the record because the lawyer got so personally offended that they stopped putting facts/arguments on the record.
Was the lawyer’s legal argument correct why the bank shouldn’t get judgment and the case dismissed? Probably yes it was. But the reality is the judge ruled and you move on, appeal the case if you think it was flat out wrong or work something out with the bank so the homeowner can keep the house. Now there is half of a legal argument on the record because feelings were hurt and person offenses taken.
I do continue to be baffled daily with what must be horror stories of homeowners paying thousands and thousands to fight the bank and these grand standing lawyers (widely known in the state too) are too busy with their reputation and “fighting the good fight for all” to do what is best for their client in front of them. Why do you think this small group of foreclosure defense lawyers file more appeals than probably anyone in the state yearly? And to get what? Hopefully a reversal on appeal to maybe get a dismissal where the bank will just re-file the case? Why not look towards a permanent settlement and keep the homeowner in their home first? But, after all, these are the same group of attorneys who have the gall to advertise on their sites and blogs to NOT accept loan mods or do short sales because they are “evil” somehow; god forbid one admits they didn’t pay their mortgage to get a deal to keep them there for 30 years, us other lawyers who are called “sellouts” or “pretender defenders” must be doing it wrong, right?!
I can tell you a good number of our firm’s clients get loan modifications and keep their houses. And I bet if I polled all of the firm’s current clients, the vast majority care more about keeping their home at the end of the day than proving something about the bank (no matter how corrupt they think the bank is).
So for the same amount of initial money, our clients keep their homes versus that money plus some paid going to trial to lose, to having to pay thousands more to appeal (appeals aren’t cheap, more like $5k+ due to the amount of work, and funny how none of the freedom fighter lawyer and doing these pro bono for free to “fight for the cause.” Isn’t that funny?), back down to trial court if you win the appeal just to pay more just to get to get an eventual hopeful dismissal; where the bank can start the whole process over again. These lawyers made their name off the backs (homes) of their unknowing clients and hundreds of thousands in unnecessary fees trying to make social policy and case law rather than doing what was best for the client to keep their home for the next 10-30 years.
How do you want to spend your hard earned money? Trying to get finality to a solution to keep your home or tied up in courts and paying fees for years to come? There is being right and then there is being smart to get what you want/need at the end of the day; and I would assume to most having their house is more important to most out there than proving a bank wrong in a courtroom; after-all there are no mythical free houses given out for proving the bank wrong at trial or getting a dismissal where the bank can re-file.
I’ll use a famous line spoken by Denzel Washington in the move Training Day (yes I am guilty of actually using this on a client in my first criminal defense jury trial when I knew he was lying to me discussing the case; which I did ultimately win at trial) “Do you wanna go to jail, or do you wanna go home?” Do you want your house or do you want to try to fight the “good fight” purely on principle? I bet most would answer the former out there when it’s their home at stake.