“Two recent rulings — one in New York involving Bank of America and one in Massachusetts involving Wells Fargo — serve as examples. In the Wells Fargo case, a ruling on Sept. 17 by Judge William G. Young of Federal District Court was especially stinging. In it, he required Wells Fargo to provide him with a corporate resolution signed by its president and a majority of its board stating that they stand behind the conduct of the bank’s lawyers in the case.”
Editor’s Comment: As I am litigating directly now I see evidence of the same trends discussed in the New York Times article. I adopted a different stance than most foreclosure defense attorneys whose strategies are not less valid than my own. They just don’t suit me. I am accustomed to being the aggressor. So I enter a cases in which the bank has been delaying prosecution of the foreclosure case and step up the pace. The Judges here in Tallahassee and elsewhere are taking note — that the banks are curiously opposing our attempts to move the case along. The resulting shift in perception is palpable. Judges are looking at the files and realizing that it is not because of borrowers who frankly did nothing in the file, but because of the banks who never prosecuted the case.
We ask for expedited discovery and a trial order. The bank attorneys inevitably back pedal and state they cannot agree to expediting the case — which has led the Judges to muse aloud about who is the Plaintiff and who is the defendant.
You would think that the bank would be anxious to produce its witnesses and exhibits for discovery. They are not. In one case the bank has been thwarting the deposition of the person who verified the complaint for over three months. We only asked for the documents upon which the witness relied when she verified the complaint — something that obviously had to exist before they could file the complaint. So far, no witness nor documents.
When I was representing banks in foreclosures, if someone raised any kind of defense or objection I went out of my way to produce the records custodian,and all the records and proof of the receipt of the money including canceled checks and the bookkeeping records of the banks so there would be no mistake about the existence of the default. I would carefully confirm the figures and history of the borrower before I sent the notice of default, acceleration and right to reinstate because all my figures had to be correct — or else the notice was defective and I would have had to start all over again (something I learned the hard way).
Judges are sensing a disconnect between the banks and their alleged lawyers, and they are right to question that. The assignment usually comes from LPS and the Plaintiff bank usually has no direct knowledge of the action because LPS fabricates most of the documents. That is why Judge Young said that if you want to proceed, I want to see a resolution of the Board of Directors of Wells Fargo bank that they ratify and accept the actions taken by the the attorneys supposedly representing them.
You can almost feel the vibrations of a ship groaning as it makes a turn. The banks are in for a rude awakening.
By GRETCHEN MORGENSON
District court judges are not generally known as flamethrowers, but some seem to be losing patience with banks in cases involving lending practices.
Filed under: CDO, CORRUPTION, evidence, foreclosure, foreclosure mill, GARFIELD GWALTNEY KELLEY AND WHITE, investment banking, Investor, MODIFICATION, Mortgage, Motions, Pleading, securities fraud, Servicer, STATUTES Tagged: | Bank of America, Fair Game, GRETCHEN MORGENSON, New York Times, Wells Fargo Bank