In light of the wealth of current case law on this issue, it should no longer be a surprise to a foreclosure plaintiff that it must prove that it had standing to foreclose on the date the original complaint was filed… And attempting to bedazzle the trial court with documents establishing all sorts of facts unrelated to standing at the inception of the case will not carry the day.Other recent victories include: Hillsborough County: At trial, the judge granted our motion to dismiss the case based on Nationstar's failure to prove that the notice letter required by the mortgage actually got sent. Also, the judge had concerns that Nationstar failed to prove it had acquired the right to foreclose. Bay County: This case from Florida's panhandle turned on two issues: standing (the right of this particular bank to foreclose) and sending the notice required by the mortgage. After a hard-fought trial, and preparation of an extensive legal briefing outlining why our client should win, R&W received the news a few weeks later that the judge agreed with us on both those points, and dismissed the case. Pasco County: Right in our backyard, this case went forward even though both sides wanted to reschedule to allow the bank time to consider a loan modification. The judge denied it, but everything turned out great for our client when the bank failed to prove it sent the required notice. Case dismissed! Flagler County: This case was a hard-fought battle, involving many complicated legal issues. R&W argued that the bank didn't have the right to foreclose because it caused the supposed "default" when it lied to our client about qualifying for a loan modification. But the victory came because standing was a complete mess: the bank had recorded two conflicting assignments of mortgage showing different chains of ownership; then it introduced a note with an undated indorsement showing a third, conflicting, chain of ownership; and finally, introduced a Pooling and Servicing Agreement that showed a fourth, conflicting, chain of ownership. The trial judge, despite being one of the smartest we've met, couldn't untangle this mess, and in the face of the conflicting evidence, dismissed the case. Pasco County: Another case in our backyard, and another denial by the judge to reschedule due to a pending loan modification. And once again, the same result: case dismissed! This time, it was a loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and R&W convinced the judge that the bank failed to obey federal regulations that attach to FHA-guaranteed loans. With several more trials on our calendar in the near future, we're hoping for several more wins on behalf of the families we represent.
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But while some lawyers are throwing in the towel, the Ricardo & Wasylik firm is just getting started. Here's what reporter Susan Martin wrote after interviewing our firm:
Not all foreclosure defense attorneys, however, say business has slumped.
I get between 90 and 100 people contacting our office over foreclosure defense issues a month and that number is actually growing,said Michael Wasylik, a Dade City attorney.Partly, I think, that's because (lawyers) who used to do this have gotten out. When it got really popular, a lot of lawyers who weren't really able to do anything else started doing it and I think that as their business dried up we were getting referrals from other lawyers and past clients.
Like most foreclosure defense practices, Wasylik's firm offers clients options that include negotiating with the bank on a short sale or loan modification. For many borrowers, though, the goal is to get the case dismissed even though banks generally refile.
I have one family that was filed on four times and beat all four cases and there's been no activity at all from the bank since the last dismissal about a year ago,Wasylik said.That family had active cases starting in 2007 and we've kept them in their home that long.
If you want to speak with a lawyer who's going to fight for you instead of throwing in the towel, give us a call today at 352-567-3173 to set up your appointment.