Florida Foreclosures: Law Firm for Banks Probed by AG

Foreclosure noticeOne of the largest foreclosure law firms in Florida is under investigation by the state’s attorney general for possibly “fabricating and/or presenting” misleading documents in foreclosure cases.
The office of Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum posted a notice on its website confirming the civil case investigation into Tampa-based Florida Default Law Group, described as “one of the largest foreclosure firms” in the state.
Florida is the second hardest hit state in the foreclosure crisis, following California. A report by RealtyTrac this week said Florida accounted for seven out of the top 20 metro areas with the highest foreclosure rates in the nation.
Florida officials have been hearing increasing complaints by desperate homeowners over actions by law firms in foreclosure cases.
In the civil case involving Florida Default Law Group, investigators say the law firm “appears to be” a client of Lender Processing Services, a Jacksonville company also under investigation by the attorney general’s office.
“These documents have been presented in court before judges as actual assignments of mortgages and have later been shown to be legally inadequate and/or insufficient,” the Florida attorney general’s office said of the paperwork under review in cases handled by Florida Default Group.
In March, a state judge in Pasco County, Fla. dismissed a foreclosure lawsuit brought by a national bank against a homeowner who defaulted on $190,000, reported The Wall Street Journal.
The case has focused attention on how banks are conducting foreclosure actions, raising legal and ethical concerns.
Circuit Court Judge Lynn Tepper ruled a law firm’s prepared document on behalf of U.S. Bank N.A. “did not exist at the time of the filing of this action…was subsequently created and…fraudulently backdated, in a purposeful, intentional effort to mislead.” 
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