The Economics of Justice

There is no doubt in the minds of most serious trial lawyers who dig deep enough that homeowners can and should win all or most of the foreclosure cases. There is also little doubt that homeowners will lose by default or by inadequate presentation and well-founded attacks on the foreclosing party’s existence and ownership of the loan.

But in the absence of a well founded presentation, in the absence of well founded objections and in the absence of appropriate cross examination and aggressive investigation and analysis, a complete stranger will emerge as the victor in a fight over whether the home should be sold in foreclosure.

This leaves the homeowner and the investor whose money was used to fund or acquire the loan in the dust. It eliminates workouts that are best for both the investors and the homeowners. It rewards the culprits who condemned this country to more than a decade, so far, of strife and inequality of wealth. And it happens because of a defect in the judicial system that is wholly reliant on the financial resources of parties to a dispute.

Let us help you plan for trial and draft your foreclosure defense strategy, discovery requests and defense narrative: 202-838-6345. Ask for a Consult.

I provide advice and consultation to many people and lawyers so they can spot the key required elements of a scam — in and out of court. If you have a deal you want skimmed for red flags order the Consult and fill out the REGISTRATION FORM. A few hundred dollars well spent is worth a lifetime of financial ruin.

PLEASE FILL OUT AND SUBMIT OUR FREE REGISTRATION FORM WITHOUT ANY OBLIGATION. OUR PRIVACY POLICY IS THAT WE DON’T USE THE FORM EXCEPT TO SPEAK WITH YOU OR PERFORM WORK FOR YOU. THE INFORMATION ON THE FORMS ARE NOT SOLD NOR LICENSED IN ANY MANNER, SHAPE OR FORM. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Get a Consult and TERA (Title & Encumbrances Analysis and & Report) 202-838-6345 or 954-451-1230. The TERA replaces and greatly enhances the former COTA (Chain of Title Analysis, including a one page summary of Title History and Gaps).

THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.

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see The Truth About American Mortgages

I listen to a phone message message. The air of despair is evident in the voice of a homeowner who desperately wants to stay in her home. She correctly believes that the parties seeking foreclosure sale of her property are complete strangers to the loan and the property. She would do a workout with anyone who is entitled to her payments, assuming the debt still exists.
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She knows in her bones that what is happening is legally and morally wrong. But she can’t do anything about it without spending thousands of dollars on trial lawyers, forensic analysts and ghost writers. In the end she knows that even in cases of blatant fraud, even when it is clear that she is a victim of illegal behavior, the party with the money has multiple layers of lawyers at their disposal who work tirelessly to make every wrongful act appear right.
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It sounds like she is drifting. I can ask around but it is unlikely that any lawyer will take on her case without some upfront retainer and assurance that future fees will be paid. I know this is unfair but this is how our system has always worked. Organizations like Legal Aid do not generally accept cases involving foreclosure defense.

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The American judicial system boils down to this: if you want representation in a courtroom and it is not a criminal matter, you are on your own. People who commit wide scale fraud across the country generally have deep or nearly infinite pockets. They have lawyers for their lawyers. The bottom line is that anyone can commit fraud and get away with it if they have the assistance of lawyers drafting the documents to make the illusion seem real and more lawyers to represent “clients” in court that either don’t exist or who have no nexus to the loan, debt, note or mortgage. The only risk in committing fraud is the risk of targeting a victim who has equal access to lawyers, money and investigators. Consumers are fair game.
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The appropriate defense of foreclosure actions would include private investigators and aggressive discovery, in addition to carefully worded pleadings and motions. It would require adept lawyers who understand how to present a motion, how to play the discovery game and how to use well-founded objections and good cross examination at trial.
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If the homeowner had deep or infinite pockets, the cost of defense would be over $100,000 and in at least one case of mine was close to $200,000. Very few homeowners have access to that kind of money. If they did, they would have won most of the time. And now that fee awards have virtually been eliminated in a twist of a legal fiction, there is little hope of collecting fees from the foreclosing party except as damages for wrongful foreclosure and related claims.
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Even on the fee awards that exist, the generally accepted amount of “appropriate” or “reasonable” fees is usually set at around $25,000-$50,000. Sometimes that is right but more often it is not. So a lawyer seeking to recover his fees upon winning the case is going to get, in the best of circumstances a fraction of the billable time he/she spent on the case.

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Lawyers are required to do some pro bono work, but those cases typically take a back seat to the cases where the client is paying “full freight.” So file research and analysis is scarce when the fees are low or nonexistent. In large firms pro bono cases are frequently treated with the same respect as clients paying the fees. But that is because they can. A solo practitioner needs to pay his own mortgage and living expenses. Taking a foreclosure defense case pro bono and giving it all it deserves would mean virtually endless hours spent in investigation, analysis, legal research and strategic planning for presentations.
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So the upshot is that really good legal representation is scarce even from the best of trial lawyers. And getting any legal representation is getting increasingly difficult because lawyers don’t like losing. They also privately admit that they don’t want to “look silly” or “anger the judge” because deep inside they believe their client does owe the money and it doesn’t matter who is collecting. It doesn’t matter that a typical loan workout would have eliminated most foreclosures. They are going to lose most of the time without presenting a well focused defense based upon the lies, fabrications and forgeries that are used to pursue foreclosures.
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Most lawyers go through the motions and are content to say that at least they bought time for their clients. It’s easy for me to say that it shouldn’t work that way. Lawyers should seek to win because they can win. But reality sides with the lawyers who do not have clients who are able to pay the going rates for legal representation or who cannot pay the extra amounts necessary to present a full throated defense.
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But reality  does not side with lawyers who refuse to work on contingency in an action for damages based upon false and fraudulent presentation of falsified evidence. For lawyers who take the time to truly understand what the banks have done, they will then understand why the homeowner should not only be able to avoid foreclosure, but should also get monetary damages including in many cases punitive damages.
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But it takes a genuine belief on the part of the lawyer to do it. Most lawyers don’t have that belief because they are ignorant of the true facts and the law. Those lawyers who have done the work have been rewarded handsomely for their efforts in what are not confidential settlements under seal of confidentiality. I know because I have seen many of them but I am restricted as well.
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In every system lawyers are not required to work unless they get paid a reasonable fee. Unfortunately reasonable fees are usually beyond the means of the typical homeowner.
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So like the other intrepid homeowners who won’t give up their home without a fight, you must piece together a defense using your own skills, perhaps a paralegal, a forensic analyst and ghost writers like me to get you over the top. You are right that you should win because most foreclosures are fraudulent and probably criminal schemes. And that is why homeowners do win cases — if they present their defense correctly and they are able to gain access to some attorney who can guide them on trial practice.
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