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Our Nightmare on Tape

September 2, 2014 Leave a comment

There it is!! WELCOME to our world!! “Bahrani said that while writing the film, he went to foreclosure hearings in Florida (where the movie is set, though it was shot in New Orleans for tax purposes). “With realtors I went on evictions, with wildly rich hedge fund managers and crooks and thieves and hoodlums and swindlers. I remember I would go to foreclosure court with Lynn Szymoniak, who is a fraud attorney, and they tried to foreclose on her home and then she ended up leading a lawsuit against the banks to the tune of $90 million and won. Now she uses the money for charity work. They would call these courts the ‘rocket dockets’ because the cases happen in 60 seconds flat,” he said.

“If you don’t speak English and you are Hispanic, the judge would say, ‘I’m sorry, we don’t have time for that,’” he continued. “After a while, the people started winning, and I turned to Lynn and asked, ‘What is going on?’ and she said, ‘The judge is seeing you with a yellow legal pad taking notes, and he thinks that because you are with me you are a reporter for the New York Times, so as long as you sit here people will win.’ After about an hour, I had to go to the next place to continue doing research, but I couldn’t go because I continued seeing another homeowner coming in, and I knew they would lose if I left. So I ended up being stuck there the whole day, conning the judge into thinking I was going to write a story.” As he points out , he did write a story, and it’s all up there onscreen now.”

http://deadline.com/2014/09/telluride-foreclosure-crisis-drama-99-homes-electrifies-fest-and-sparks-strong-distribution-and-oscar-buzz-827524/

The Judicial Foreclosure – Due Process? Not in Foreclosure. And in the Future in a Lot Less Areas as a Result.

January 12, 2014 Leave a comment

Not much to say except that I have seen a great deal of this first hand. As someone who has had doubts in the two governmental branches where officials are truly elected (with the exception of local judicial elections), I have always trusted the judiciary was the true “check” on our government. The branch that was “for the people”, who made the hard decisions such as Brown v. Board. Truly the admirable branch. Not anymore (with the exception of the Judges I have seen that truly try to remember there are two parties to a case). People are now sold for expediency, and the settlements and promises from the other two branches helped to make it happen. Disgusted. The future backlash on our notion of due process will create a backlog where “expediency” over human rights is the rule of the day. Can you imagine that in ALL areas of law? Be concerned. And no backlog problem is solved through expediency. Reversals coming down from appellate judges who truly believe in the American ideal of due process will remind us once again that no amount of legislative funding can buy due process.

“Despite the seemingly favorable stories about the economy and real estate, Florida homeowners are now worse off than ever before. Banks continue their culture of mortgage fraud, and foreclosure litigation has become the legal “wild west.”

For example, on a single day more than 90 foreclosure trials were set to occur before one trial judge. But general magistrates have now become empowered to take the homes of Floridians, despite the fact they were not summoned by any electorate.

In yet another judicial circuit, court staff unilaterally communicates with the bank’s counsel, prompting them on what to file in order to advance the case along.

In yet another circuit, homeowners are being denied routine depositions and discovery.

Banks that ignored the court’s rules for years are not being sanctioned. As if that was not bad enough, courts statewide have been bullied into clearing the backlog of foreclosure cases by the Legislature in order to receive funding. Forget your Pollyanna notions of separation of powers among the state’s branches of government.

The foreclosure crisis is not over; it’s not even close to being over. It’s getting worse. Issue saturation has led to apathy among leaders, the media and the populace. But the due process rights of homeowners continue to be further marginalized on a daily basis across our state.”

http://tbo.com/list/news-opinion-letterday/foreclosure-crisis-getting-worse-in-florida-20140109/