How to Deal with the “Free House” Bias

If you are dealing with a bias held by most judges the only effective way of dealing with it is to meet the challenge head-on. If you dance around it it looks like you are trying to “get off on a technicality.”

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

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A client asked me this morning about he “free house” bias and whether that will interfere with the decisions and ruling of the court. The answer is “of course it does.” And I again raise the issue that nobody wants to talk about — whether it is right or proper to voir dire the judge not just for bias, but for prejudgment decision before the case started. Here is the response I sent:

The answer to your “free house” question is this: You are correct in identifying that problem. We always start with presumption that the presiding judge will carry that bias with him/her into the courtroom.
However, as I have repeatedly found, once you pierce the foreclosure case, the credibility of the would-be foreclosing party declines to the point where the biased judge will ordinarily rule in favor of the homeowner — faced with inescapable legal defects in the position and assertions made by parties without standing.
But there are exceptions — judges who, in addition to having bias, have already ruled in their minds. For them the proceedings are a sham requirement and a test to see if the judge can APPEAR fair and impartial.
Countering the “free house” mindset first requires a demonstration that the homeowner is well aware that he can neither seek nor get a free house. That requires a presentation that concedes the fact that even if the note and mortgage were completely void, the debt remains and a judgment on that debt will result in a  judgment lien that could be foreclosed by the owner of that debt. That “concession” take the angst out of the “free house” conundrum for the judge and will often be an effective predicate to establishing the primary defense narrative.
So the question is not whether the homeowner will get a free house; it is whether this party seeking to foreclose title and take possession of this home has any right to do so. To say otherwise would be an invitation for anyone to fabricate documentation and foreclose, especially in cases where the homeowner concedes, relying upon false documentation of a false party. That scenario I have seen multiple times where the foreclosure is complete, the homeowner has moved out and basically forgotten about the house. The homeowner is later served with process or given notice that the house was foreclosed AGAIN by a different party.
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