Crash and Burn: Pretender Defender Mark Stopa’s Law Practice Raided by FDLE

What a Mess Mark Stopa Made

Mark Stopa photo
Mark Stopa Before Disbarment

Look at this mess.  Florida Foreclosure Pretense Defense Attorney Mark Stopa loses his bar license, and a well-intentioned attorney takes over his business.  The below email had an attached letter that includes the Florida Supremes’ order suspending Stopa from the practice of law and says his law firm has been dissolved.

It happened because Stopa cheated Foreclosure Defense clients.

That attorney called me on 21 September 2018 to tell me that he found the Stopa law practice in such a mess that he decided to shut it down for good, and that he hoped Stopa’s foreclosure victim client base would reach out to me for help.
———- Forwarded message ———
From: Help
Date: Fri, Aug 17, 2018, 12:55 PM
Subject: Important Time Sensitive Message

Dear Client, Attached is an important letter concerning your case with Stopa Law Firm, P.A. Please review attached letter and stipulation. It is important that you respond.  We thank you for your attention to this matter.

———- END of Forwarded message ———

Why Foreclosure Defense Attorneys Deserve Censure

Now it’s time for a little honesty.  Mark Stopa and thousands of attorneys like him deserve censure and public humiliation because of their horrific record of cheating their desperate foreclosure victim clients out of money and an honest advocacy.  Such attorneys have built their practice on pretending to defend clients against foreclosure, but without doing any research to discover precisely who injured the clients in the loan transaction and how the injuries happened.

If they had done honest research, they would have discovered that upwards of 90% of home loan borrowers have suffered appraisal fraud, mortgage fraud, contract breaches, regulatory violations, legal errors in their documents, servicing abuse, and/or legal malpractice by the attorneys they hired to help save their home.

Why Typical Foreclosure Defense Attorneys Cannot Help Mortgage Borrowers in Trouble

Even the attorney taking over Stopa’s failed practice thought he could help keep foreclosure victims IN their homes.

But, he concluded that he can’t keep the clients in their homes.  He could only do what Stopa did – delay the client’s loss of the home while charging absurd annual and/or monthly fees for the hand-holding until the inevitable foreclosure final judgment and sale of the home occurs.

Why?  Because Stopa and other Foreclosure Pretense Defense attorneys NEVER do the full investigation required to prove that someone injured the borrower in the loan transaction.  And so, they DO NOT KNOW whether and how the borrower got injured.  Therefore, they cannot take legal action against the perps to win compensation for their mortgage victim clients.  SO, they can only DEFEND by seeking a dismissal without prejudice for failure to fulfill conditions precedent to foreclosing, or for lack of standing, or tolling of the statute of limitations.  That means the right creditor will correct his errors and foreclose again, this time winning a final judgment.

What It Takes to Win Compensation

Unless the practitioner PROVES someone involved in the loan transaction or associated activities INJURED the borrower who faces foreclosure for breaching the note, then the vast majority of such borrowers will lose their homes to foreclosure, and the pretender defender attorney will merely delay the process while bilking the foreclosure victim out of monthly payments for the privilege.

In order to discover such injuries, a professional team must analyze the background story of the loan and examine every document in the loan transaction from day-one to present time, including litigation documents, servicer correspondence, closing papers, appraisal, loan application, forbearance agreements, loan modification efforts, etc.  Few if any (NONE that I know of) foreclosure pretense defense attorneys have such skill.  Even if some have the skill, they will charge upwards of $15,000 to $20,000 at their hourly rates to do the examination, analysis, and reporting, which take 40 to 60 hours.  What foreclosure victims can afford that?

Why Foreclosure Pretender Defenders Commit Legal Malpractice

The foregoing explains why foreclosure defense attorneys only pretend to defend against foreclosure, and never win actual compensation for their client’s injuries.   And yet, those attorneys hold themselves out as experts in the law.  Think about this.  The creditor accused the borrower of breach of contract by failing to make timely payments.  Doesn’t it make sense that the defending attorney should investigate the circumstances and documents related to the contract in order to find out whether the contract is valid and whether the client suffered injuries in it?

An attorney commits legal malpractice who takes on such a client and fails to perform a comprehensive investigation and go on the attack for the injuries discovered.  And that can justify a legal malpractice action against attorneys like Mark Stopa.  But again, what foreclosure victim can afford such an action?

The Ultimate Solution for Mortgage Victims

The only solution to the above dilemma lies in finding an affordable mortgage examination service.  The borrower should buy that service, and use the information in the examination report as the basis for demanding settlements from the injurious parties, or for filing actions for fraud, breach of contract, and breach of regulatory laws.  In the vast majority of situations, the injurious parties far prefer settling with the borrower than fighting the borrower in a court case that the borrower will surely win.

For more information on the right way to attack the validity of the loan, see http://mortgageattack.com, and fill in the contact form.

Bob Hurt
Consumer Advocate and Mortgage Attack Maven
727 669 5511
Clearwater, FL

 

 

Neil Garfield Revisits Jesinoski

Dear Neil Garfield:

I write in answer to your Jesinoski Revisited article (see below).  I’ll post my comment and yours in my Mortgage Attack and LivingLiesTheTruth blogs because I know you lack the courage to post them at LivingLies blog.

To refresh everyone’s memory, SCOTUS wrote this holding in the Jesinoski opinion:

“The Jesinoskis mailed respondents written notice of their intention to rescind within three years of their loan’s consummation. Because this is all that a borrower must do in order to exercise his right to rescind under the Act, the court below erred in dismissing the complaint.”
Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 135 S. Ct. 790 – Supreme Court 2015

Remember the nature of the dispute.  Jesinoskis had mailed his notice of rescission exactly 3 years after loan consummation, but the district and circuit denied the rescission because Jesinoskis sued AFTER mailing the notice.  So the only issue before the SCOTUS was the question of whether Jesinoskis had to sue within the three year period of repose. SCOTUS said no because TILA does not require that.

The sole principle that Jesinoski clarified was that the three year limitation on notice did not extend to the filing of a lawsuit. 135 S.Ct. at 793

Brown v. Gorman, Dist. Court, ED Virginia 2016

The SCOTUS opinion did not question whether a TILA violation had occurred.  SCOTUS granted certiorari merely to quell differences of opinion between the circuits as to when a borrower may sue to enforce rescission.  The trial judge explained it this way:

“In April 2012, the Court issued an order granting Defendants’ motion, finding that TILA required a plaintiff to file a lawsuit within the 3-year repose period, and that Plaintiffs had filed this lawsuit outside of that period. (Doc. No. 23 at 6.) The Eighth Circuit affirmed. Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 729 F.3d 1092 (8th Cir.2013). The United States Supreme Court reversed, holding that a borrower exercising a right to TILA rescission need only provide his lender written notice, rather than file suit, within the 3-year period. Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., ___ U.S. ___, 135 S.Ct. 790, 792, 190 L.Ed.2d 650 (2015). The Eighth Circuit then reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings. (Doc. No. 38.) After engaging in discovery, Defendants 959*959 now move for summary judgment.”

Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., 196 F. Supp. 3d 956 – Dist. Court, Minnesota 2016


The Elephant in the Room – NO TILA VIOLATION OCCURRED.

You blindly fail to see this gargantuan elephant:

ONLY A TILA VIOLATION TRIGGERS THE RIGHT TO RESCIND…  No violation, no rescission.

If no TILA violation occurred, then an effort to invoke TILA rescission should (and always does) fail.  That explains why the trial court wholeheartedly ruled against Jesinoski.

Furthermore, if the borrower timely mails the notice of rescission and then waits till after the TILA statute of limitations has tolled (1 year and 20 days after mailing notice to rescind), the borrower’s lawsuit should and will fail. Then the borrower will have only a defensive remedy available, such as in foreclosure or bankruptcy.

In any case, the trial judge explained that Jesinoskis had signed an acknowledgement of receipt of the roper TILA notices of right to cancel.  He believed that written acknowledgement rather than their contrary claim.  Thus, the lack of a TILA violation made irrelevant their inability to tender.

A reading of the trial opinion makes it clear that the Jesinoskis were scammers trying to trick the system into giving them an undeserved windfall.  They had used their house as an ATM, borrowing to pay other debts and live large.  The trial court gave a well-deserved comeuppance to them and many others like them.   The judge wrote:

“Here, it is undisputed that Plaintiffs left with copies of their closing documents. (L. Jesinoski Dep. at 94-95.) In addition, Plaintiffs did not testify unequivocally that they did not each receive two copies of the rescission notice. Instead, they have testified that they do not know what they received… Based on the evidence in the record, the Court determines that the facts of this case are more line with cases that have found that self-serving assertions of non-delivery do not defeat the presumption”

The Court rightly denied the Jesinoskis any and all damages:

“For the reasons discussed above, Plaintiffs’ TILA claim fails as a matter of law. Without a TILA violation, Plaintiffs cannot recover statutory damages based Defendants refusal to rescind the loan.”

Clearly Neil Garfield Does NOT Understand TILA Rescission

In spite of KNOWING how the courts have ruled in numerous post-Jesinoski cases, you keep insisting on a nonsensical interpretation of TILA rescission.  You wrote the following in denial of reality:

“The ultimate decision in the Jesinoski case was against the rescission. This was wrong and in flagrant disregard of the Jesinoski decision rendered by the SCOTUS. The decision simply stated that the rescission WAS effective the moment it was dropped in the mail (or delivered.)”

Excuse me, Neil, but didn’t the Jesinoski trial court SHRED your legal theory?  The judge and the creditor knew full well that Jesinoskis LIED about not receiving their TILA notices, and that no TILA violation occurred. What kind of bozo thinks a court should enforce a TILA rescission notice when no TILA violation occurred to justify it?

Recall again that the SCOTUS opinion presumed a VALID TILA rescission, one preceded by a TILA violation.  It did not presume a rescission notice without a justifying TILA violation.  The trial court made that crystal clear.

Now, Neil, you allege that ” It is uncontested that rescission caused the note and mortgage to immediately become void – not conditionally but actually.”

Well, that’s dead wrong too.  Even a valid TILA rescission has certain procedural requirements.  If the creditor does not sue to prevent rescission, and yet does not tender or release the lien, then the borrower must sue and ask the court to void the security instrument.  And try not to forget that the creditor need not tender if he knows the borrower cannot or will not tender.  Only a court can sort out those issues.

 

“The bankruptcy court did not err in finding that Brown never effectively rescinded the loan because she ignored her tender obligation to restore the lender to the same position it was in before the transaction. Brown, 538 B.R. at 720.”

“In the Fourth Circuit, “unilateral notification of cancellation does not automatically void the loan contract,” Am. Mortgage Network, Inc. v. Shelton, 486 F.3d 815, 821 (4th Cir. 2007), because courts “must not conflate the issue of whether a borrower has exercised her right to rescind with the issue of whether the rescission has, in fact, been completed and the contract voided.” Gilbert v. Residential Funding LLC, 678 F.3d 271, 277 (4th Cir. 2012).”

To accomplish rescission, rather than merely initiating the process, “[e]ither the creditor must acknowledge[ ] that the right of rescission is available and the parties must unwind the transaction amongst themselves, or the borrower must file a lawsuit so that the court may enforce the right to rescind.”

Brown v. Gorman, Dist. Court, ED Virginia 2016

Neil, you seemed to allege that Countrywide, not Jesinoski, bore the onus to sue for relief in the rescission question.  The above rulings should disabuse you of that fallacious thinking.  But just in case they didn’t, I’ll explain it to you.

In the matter at hand, Jesinoskis sued Countrywide in 2011 for TILA rescission and related damages, and lost. JESINOSKI v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., Dist. Court, Minnesota 2012.

Somehow this matter wound its way up and back through the Minnesota District Court to the 8th Circuit and the US Supreme Court, and NOBODY (not even Jesinoskis) exhibited the stupidity of suggesting that Countrywide should have sue Jesinoski in order to buck against Jesinoskis’ specious claim for rescission.

You see, Jesinoskis DID sue to enforce the rescission, and Jesinoskis LOST because of their flimsy and transparently FALSE evidence:  their word that they didn’t remember receiving TILA notices just could not stack up against proof, in the form of their own written acknowledgement, that they had received them.

You seem to think that Jesinoskis had some better evidence at hand.  They didn’t.  AND even if they had better evidence, they couldn’t tender.  That made it THEIR obligation to sue in order to work out some means of tendering, as courts across the land have allowed.

Why Does Neil Garfield Insist on Being Wrong?

Look, Neil, I have proven you wrong repeatedly, and as you pointed out, I AM NOT EVEN A LAWYER.

You definitely have a way with words.  I don’t know of any practicing attorney who whiles away more hours at the keyboard than you do.  And sometimes, even I, in spite of my ignorance, will admit that you raise some thought-provoking, if not worthy, points.

But I see you as a Pied Piper leading hapless, feckless, desperate foreclosure victims with the music of your words that “THE COURTS ARE ALL WRONG” and “BOB HURT IS A SHILL FOR THE BANKS”… you lead them inexorably right into the jaws of foreclosure with irrational POPPYCOCK about the meaning of fairly simple laws like TILA.

I think I recall a time (correct me if I’m wrong) when you pronounced that everybody with a mortgage loan should file a notice of rescission (or something similarly nonsensical), even though every other attorney seemed to know the law makes TILA rescission available ONLY to those with refinance or HELOC loans.

Eventually I concluded that, even though I am not an attorney, I am a good enough student to read court opinions that say unequivocally and repeatedly that some of the legal theories you most vehemently espouse are nothing more than COW PLOP.

And I decided that I would try just a little to break the mesmerizing spell you cast on desperate foreclosure victims, by telling them the truth, such as about the really simple meaning of Jesinoski.

Now I see you intend to deliver this oratorial offal to people (victims) in a seminar:

“Countrywide was not a lender or even an aggregator. It was a conduit for an aggregator and far removed from the actual transfer of funds attendant to the apparent loan.”

I recall your claim that table funded loans aren’t really loans because the borrower doesn’t know the lender, or that the borrower should demand a TILA rescission because the loan was never consummated.

“The Fannons theory that the loan was not consummated has been overwhelmingly rejected by other courts. See, e.g., Schiano v. MBNA, 2016 WL 4257761, at *9-*10 (D.N.J. Aug. 10, 2016); Johnson v. Bank of N.Y. Mellon, 2016 WL 4211529, at *4 (W.D. Wash. Aug. 10, 2016); Wilder v. Ogden Ragland Mortg., 2016 WL 4440487, at *4-*5 (N.D. Tex. July 29, 2016)(“Plaintiff’s claim that the three years period to rescind the loan remains open, because Defendants failed to identify the true lender and the loan was never consummated, is nonsensical.”); Almutarreb v. Nationstar Mortg. Holdings, 2016 WL 3384067, at *5 (N.D. Cal. June 20, 2016); Tyshkevich v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 2016 WL 3077580, at *4 (E.D. Cal. May 31, 2016)[3]; Smith v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., ___ F. Supp. 3d ___, 2016 WL 370697, at *4 (D. Conn. Jan. 29, 2016).”

Fannon v. US BANK, NA, Dist. Court, D. New Hampshire 2016


Don’t you, a lawyer, know that rescission is a contract remedy, and so if the loan was not consummated, NO CONTRACT EXISTS, and so the purported borrower is not a borrower and therefore cannot rescind anything?

 Further, if, as the Fannons assert, the loan had never been consummated, then TILA would not apply because there would be no loan to rescind. See, e.g., Wilder, 2016 WL 4440487, at *4-*5; Samuelson v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 2016 WL 1222222, at *2 (N.D. Ind. Mar. 29, 2016).

Fannon v. US BANK, NA, Dist. Court, D. New Hampshire 2016

Don’t you know that the borrower’s agreement with the terms, signature on the note and security instrument, along with delivery of the funds, constitute “consummation” of the loan?

” “A valid enforceable contract requires offer, acceptance, consideration, and a meeting of the minds.” Tessier v. Rockefeller, 162 N.H. 324, 339 (2011). A meeting of the minds occurs when there is agreement on all essential terms of the contract. Syncom Indus., Inc. v. Wood, 155 N.H. 73, 82 (2007).”

Fannon v. US BANK, NA, Dist. Court, D. New Hampshire 2016

See more proof of the folly of your consummation theories, practiced by your followers, I presume:

http://mortgageattack.com/2016/08/25/garfield-tila-delusions-can-cost-you-and-your-lawyer/

Here’s my fundamental trouble with your writings, Neil.  For years you have propounded legal theories that courts have disdained with adverse rulings.  And then you have used the puffery of false erudition to trick unsuspecting innocents into believing your theories will allow them to prevail in court, if only they attend your seminar or buy your “TILA Rescission Package,” or hire you as a consultant.

Of course you cannot show them where your legal theories won in court because those theories always LOSE.  Or you trick them into believing that a dismissal without prejudice is a win and not a dilatory tactic forbidden by the Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct.

Neil Garfield’s Path to Righteousness

Neil I don’t like “crossing swords” with you because I’m no match for you.  And I should go easy on you because statistically, a man who writes as much about the law and litigation as you do is BOUND to err from time to time.

And unfortunately, some of your errors, such as those in the Maslanka case, in which you tried to drown the court in balderdash, have become stuck in court archives, and you will never live them down, particularly if you never admit you were wrong.  Let’s face it.  You deserved the spanking the trial and appellate courts gave you in that case, and poor Maslanka had to pay his adversaries’ legal fees as well as yours.

And it’s hard to get over the spanking the Florida Supreme Court Justices gave you in its August 2016 public reprimand:

“Neil Franklin Garfield, Parkland, to be publicly reprimanded. (admitted to practice: 1977) In at least four instances, Garfield accepted money to represent clients and failed to follow through.  In one case, Garfield did not perform the work and, when asked for a refund, denied knowing the client.  in other cases, he failed to communicate, charged excessive fees, failed to return refunds upon request, and failed to timely respond to Bar inquiries.”

 

But if you put forth a wee bit of effort, you can stop propounding the dreck that courts have denounced repeatedly, and give your clients some honest service instead, such as by using some of your ridiculously high fees to purchase a comprehensive mortgage examination for them from Mortgage Fraud Examiners.  You’ll actually have fun hammering the bank, broker, appraiser, and title company with cogent causes of action in which they really did injure the client.  You’ll become a hero instead of a heel because you’ll actually start winning money and beneficial settlements for your clients instead of earning their scorn and bar complaints.

If you ever bothered to do your job right, Neil, you’d forsake the scams of the foreclosure defense business in favor of attacking the validity of the loan transaction.  I quit the foreclosure defense racket in 2009.  The time for you to make the switch to mortgage attack is long overdue.

***********  Neil Garfield’s Blog Article ************

On 2018-01-23 10:35, Livinglies’s Weblog wrote:

 

Jesinoski Revisited. Rescission is in the details.

by Neil Garfield

it continues to be true that the statute is clear, the rules of procedure are clear, and the rules of evidence are clear — yet trial courts are adamantly opposed to allowing homeowners to use the power granted to them by Congress.

The second ultimate decision by the trial court that Jesinoski had to tender the money to Countrywide before the rescission could be effective is just as wrong as the same court’s prior decision that  the rescission would not be effective — a decision that was unanimously overturned by SCOTUS.  It put a condition on the effectiveness of rescission when SCOTUS clearly stated, and the statute clearly stated, that there were no conditions for the effectiveness of rescission other than the required notice.

Virtually everyone is ignoring the elephant in the living room, to wit: Countrywide was not a lender or even an aggregator. It was a conduit for an aggregator and far removed from the actual transfer of funds attendant to the apparent loan.

[Garfield’s service promo excised]
THIS ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
—————-

See http://mortgageattack.com/2016/07/28/jesinoski-loses-in-trial-court-proving-neil-garfield-wrong/

The ultimate decision in the Jesinoski case was against the rescission. This was wrong and in flagrant disregard of the Jesinoski decision rendered by the SCOTUS. The decision simply stated that the rescission WAS effective the moment it was dropped in the mail (or delivered.) You can read the attack on me in Bob Hurt’s blog in the above link.

Rescission was effective starting with the mailing and uncontested delivery of the notice of rescission, if someone wants to challenge it they must do so in a lawsuit to vacate the effective instrument. This is the most basic procedural law — you don’t get relief without asking for it and the way you ask for it is by filing an pleading in court and getting a decision vacating the rescission notice. This trial court never vacated the rescission probably because it knew it had no power to do so.

You can’t get relief unless you first establish legal standing. SCOTUS said that the rescission was effective in this case and all others like it. It is uncontested that rescission caused the note and mortgage to immediately become void – not conditionally but actually.

So in order to bring a claim you would need to file a claim stating that you are being injured by a wrongfully delivered notice of rescission. That is called standing. The only party who could do that is the owner of the debt, since the ownership of the note and mortgage (void instruments now) is irrelevant. And THAT is where the trial court got it wrong (again). In the absence of a pleading from the owner of the debt, the trial court was devoid of jurisdiction to render any decision in which there rescission was ignored.

*

Hurt, a non lawyer, is apparently attempting to discredit a Federal law. But he is voicing the party line of the banks. The trial court was twice in error when it entered judgment against Jesinoski and if Jesinoski had the resources to appeal again they MIGHT well have won. It does appear that the “issue” in the trial court was whether the rescission stands. Clearly the opposition did not follow the requirements of statute.
*
BUT it is possible for the appellate courts to see this as harmless error since the factual finding of the trial court was that proper disclosure was given to Jesinoski. While that finding is also appealable, appellate courts are not likely to intervene in a  finding of fact unless there was absolutely nothing in the court record to justify that finding.
*
So in the end this is about evidence and the failure to present it.
*
Since rescission is all about proper disclosure and since Jesinoski failed to show that required disclosure was not given at the “closing” of the loan, it may be assumed that they would have lost in an action brought by Countrywide or its successor to vacate the rescission. But that is an advisory decision prohibited to any court.
*
The assumption is improper. That is why we have rules of procedure. If you want relief you must plead for it not simply argue about it. Countrywide never filed a pleading to vacate the rescission, as far as I know. And the rescission was never vacated even by this decision.
*
The trial court decided instead to accept the challenge from a party without standing (CW did not own the debt and their standing was entirely based upon the void note and mortgage). Inherent in the trial court’s erroneous decision was the presumption that was used to allow Countrywide to oppose the rescission — i.e., that because it supposedly had the original note and mortgage, it therefore owned the debt. The rest is history.
*

This decision assumes that Countrywide had standing apart from the note and mortgage, i.e., ownership of the debt. And it also assumes that there was an action filed by Countrywide to vacate the rescission. Neither of these was addressed, much less the 20 day requirement for filing such an action. Instead the trial court simply continued its error by ignoring the rescission because of its factual finding that disclosures had been properly given. But the disclosures were given by people who withheld basic information that is required under the statute, to wit: the identity the lender and the identity of the creditor (i..e., owner of the debt).
*

So this case went down because Jesinoski did not stick with the requirements of burden of proof, and the requirement that a party with standing make the challenge to the rescission within 20 days. Ignoring the 20 day limitation period results in placing a condition to the effectiveness of there rescission in contradiction to the express wording of Federal Statute and SCOTUS. There are no conditions. Jesinoski failed to press the rules of evidence, based upon the written opinion, which could have landed a victory.
*

Virtually everyone is ignoring the elephant in the living room, to wit: Countrywide was not a lender or even an aggregator. It was a conduit for an aggregator and far removed from the actual transfer of funds attendant to the apparent loan.
*

This is why I am offering a seminar on evidence [excised]. The devil is in the details. And too many foreclosure defense lawyers do not properly prepare to attack the details. The trial court decision is basically a political decision, not a legal one. So it continues to be true that the statute is clear, the rules of procedure are clear, and the rules of evidence are clear — yet trial courts are adamantly opposed to allowing homeowners to use the power granted to them by Congress.

*

[Garfield’s services promo excised]

Legal Malpractice BOOMING in Foreclosure Defense Industry


Here's a twist on legal malpractice and foreclosure that NOBODY but I wants to report.

The Malpractice Scheme:  Hundreds       if not THOUSANDS of attorneys around the USA, including prominent lawyers in YOUR CITY, vigorously promote their foreclosure defense services.  They get foreclosure victim clients by promising to "keep you in the house as long as possible."  They charge $1500 to $3000 retainer (a downpayment gift) and $500+ a month till the foreclosure becomes final.  Meanwhile they file cookie-cutter pleadings they copied from other attorneys complaining about "show me the note," bifurcation of note from mortgage, securitization, wrong track of ownership of note, lack of standing (wrong plaintiff), vapor money (lender deposited borrower's note and used that to fund the loan), and other nonsense.  This delays the foreclosure, but the foreclosure inevitably goes through anyway and the client loses the house.  

BUT, the lawyer seldom if ever bothers comprehensively examining the mortgage, note, and all related documents for evidence of torts, breaches, fraud, and legal errors.  Some lawyers sell or promote useless services like securitization audits and loan audits.  In the end, to avert the otherwise inevitable foreclosure, some lawyers con the client into a short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, keys for cash, or an onerous loan modification that leaves the client owing double to triple the value of the house, and facing a huge balloon the client cannot pay.

How does this constitute LEGAL MALPRACTICE?  Well, the bank accused the foreclosure victim of breach of contract.  So, the attorney should take these steps:

1.  Say "give me the contracts and all related documents, letters, lawsuits, etc.," then
2.  Search for the causes of action in them against the lender or lender's agents, then
3.  Attack the lender and agents through settlement negotiation or lawsuit, then
4.  WIN compensation for the mortgage victim's injuries.

You see, historically, lenders and their agents have cheated NINE OUT OF TEN mortgagors.  Settling or suing on the basis of those causes of action can get financial compensation for the mortgagor.

Thus, the mortgagor can fight one of two battles:

1.  The foreclosure, which the borrower statistically always loses.
2.  The mortgage, which the borrower statistically always wins.

Which battle makes most sense to you?

Our problem lies in the fact that no MORTGAGE ATTACK legal industry exists.  Foreclosure Defense Lawyers focus on the easy money of defense for $300 to $500 a month and the mortgagor loses the house after paying the lawyer upwards of $10,000 to $30,000 for doing virtually no work on the case.  They do this KNOWING the mortgagor will lose the house.  Those lawyers have not learned how to examine mortgages for causes of action, and I believe most have become too lazy and incompetent to serve the real interests of the client.  Many such lawyers ballyhoo claims of winning when the court temporarily dismisses the foreclosure complaint for lack of standing because the wrong plaintiff sued.   The plaintiffs nearly always correct their paperwork, get standing, refile or appeal the case, and win.  Then the court sells the property and orders the mortgagor out of the house.

The net issues:  mortgagors cannot find competent lawyers to examine their mortgages. And, the mortgagor with an examination report showing       causes of action in hand cannot find a lawyer to attack the mortgagee over those causes of action.

Herein lies a huge opportunity for lawyers and mortgagors.  Mortgagors do have a mechanism available for negotiating with the lender to obtain a reduced loan balance and payments they can afford, or financial remuneration for their injuries.  They can simply contact the lender and demand a solution.  If the lender balks, the mortgagor can contact Government regulators and report the lender for violating regulations.  That usually brings a quick remedy.  Severely injured borrowers might even get the house free and clear WITHOUT NEEDING the services of a lawyer.

The public needs to know about this technique and opportunity.  I can connect people with a competent mortgage examiner, and I charge nothing for my service.  You can read numerous articles I have written on related subjects at http://mortgageattack.com/articles.  Many people come to me for help.  Some go on to ignore my encouragements, and lose their home.  Others get their mortgages examined, and I help them discover how to proceed from there to save the home or obtain financial compensation for their injuries..

If you want to learn more about this, and don't want to read my articles, contact me.  I have retired from the computer industry and have the time to help people free as my way of giving back to the community.  I have no business obligation to any company.

Before deciding NOT to contact me, ask yourself what YOU would do with a mortgage exam report that showed causes of action against YOUR lender.

Garfield right for a change: Get a Mortgage Exam NOW

In his LivingLies Blog entry of 2016-04-27, Foreclosure Pretender Defender and Kool-Aid Drinker Neil Garfield wrote this, correct for a change:

“… you need a thorough analysis of everything that happened with your alleged loan and a careful examination of the pleadings if you are already in court. We readily understand the reluctance to spend more money on what has been a frustrating experience, but the ONLY way you can select a strategy that will or might get traction is by having an experienced eye do a thorough review and report.”

Garfield FAILS to tell his readers that he and his crew don’t have a clue about doing mortgage examinations.  They only do securitization and forensic loan audits, not full-bore examinations.  And because Garfield has spouted bogus legal theories for years,  THOUSANDS of people have lost their homes to foreclosure by relying upon his advice.  So DON’T rely upon it.  Instead, rely upon the court opinions that I have cited in the Articles section of this site.  They prove nearly everything Garfield promotes is a band-aid, at best.

The ONLY reliable place to get a comprehensive mortgage examination that finds all the ways a borrower got injured in the loan is RIGHT HERE at Mortgage Attack.

Go to the Contact page in the site menu and tell us your story.  We’ll show you exactly how to get a comprehensive mortgage examination AND how to use it for best results.

Mort Gezzam photo
Mort Gezzam

Memorize This Number If You Bought a Securitization Audit or Hired a Foreclosure Defender

Moving:  Such Fun!


Call 800 444 6787 if you did any of these:

  1. Hired a foreclosure pretense defense lawer
  2. Bought a securitization audit
  3. Bought a chain of title audit
  4. Bought a loan audit

It will connect you to Allied Van Lines after you LOSE YOUR HOUSE.  They can help move all your stuff when you get evicted.  You will lose the house, you know…

… UNLESS you heed the comments below.

NO defense exists against a foreclosure of a valid mortgage note that you breached.

None. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Niente. Niemals.  Bupkis.

All foreclosure defenses eventually fail. Only a crooked foreclosure defender hides that ugly truth from you.  The foreclosure eventually goes through to completion.  The foreclosure victim loses the house. OR, if qualified, the victim accepts an onerous loan modification.  You probably don’t qualify. Fewer than 20% do.

If you face foreclosure and don’t hire a competent professional to examine your mortgage comprehensively, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR HOUSE, one way or another, sooner or later. If you cannot prove that the lender or lender’s associates injured you at the inception of your loan, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR HOUSE. If you can prove it but fail aggressively to negotiate or litigate on the basis of those injuries, YOU WILL LOSE YOUR HOUSE.

And that means you will have to move out. So, I decided to do you a favor and give you the above number of Allied Van Lines. Call them and they will move everything you own to your new home.

Oh, right, I nearly forgot. If you complain that you cannot afford a mortgage examination, or the litigation or negotiation to use it effectively, then you will really whine about what Allied Van Lines charges to move you across town or to another state.

That’s IFF (if and only if) you have a home to which you can move.

And if you cannot afford the move, here’s what your house can looklike after you get evicted:

You KNOW Whom to Call

The worst part of disasters like those shown above: generally the mortgagor (that means YOU, the borrower in default on your loan) will end up owing money for all the necessary repairs, the eviction cost, the litigation cost, lawyer fees, accrued interest, etc.

Only the Mortgage Attack methodology will give you the opportunity to save your home from such a disaster AND win concessions or money from those who injured you.

That means you must get your mortgage examined comprehensively by a competent professional. Then you can use the causes of action from the examination report as leverage in a settlement negotiation or a lawsuit against the lender and lenders associates or agents.

See?  You use the causes of action to attack the crooked mortgage instead of defending against an indefensible foreclosure.

“Causes of action” means “reasons to sue.” They can consist of a wide array tortious conduct, contract breaches, legal errors, and violations of state and federal regulations. Examples include appraisal fraud, loan application fraud, wrongful credit reputation damage, and many other terrible injuries that cost you a lot of money or put you in unnecessary jeopardy.

Some mortgage borrowers get injured badly, some get injured little, and some not at all. But any injuries can justify a set-off from the amount of your debt OR another settlement that benefits you, such as a favorable loan modification like a balloon-free reduction in your debt and interest rate, or a keys for cash deal.

You might even win a huge amount of compensatory and punitive damages (money) if you sue successfully for the injuries. In my experience, over 90% of those who get their mortgage examined have suffered injury by the lender or associates.

Yes, you can get a favorable loan modification if you negotiate from a position of power. That means you tell the lender to give you favorable terms (for example assumable 3% fixed rate for 30 years, loan balance reduced to the present value of your home, all accrued interest and costs forgiven, no 1099 to the IRS).

But you have no negotiating power without a mortgage examination report that shows how the lender or others injured you.

If YOU don’t want to lose your home to foreclosure, you know what to do. Call me today to get started on a mortgage examination by a competent professional.

Here’s another number to memorize while you make up your mind whether to lose your house or to take practical action that will give you some hope of redemption in your mortgage:

727 669 5511

Call Now

It’s your choice:

  1. Allied Van Lines (800 444 6787 FREE), or
  2. Mortgage Attack (727 669 5511). Now.

Which makes most sense to you?

What? You still don’t feel “convinced” that you need to call me right now?

Okay, I have taken the time to write up a couple of examples of the benefits you can enjoy IF you act NOW to get your mortgage examined:

And here’s a little help for developing a MORTGAGE ATTACK MENTALITY:

Feel better?

Okay. Now call me. I wait expectantly to hear from you.

727 669 5511

Public Access to Law; Discipline for Foreclosure Pretender Defenders

To:

Professor Dale A. Whitman, Dean Emeritus
University of Missouri-Columbia Law School

Dear Professor Whitman:

I saw your article “Learning from the Mortgage Crisis” in a friend’s magazine.  I thought I’d write and ask you to send me a copy of the pdf file.  Will you send it to me, please, by return email?  Why haven’t you posted that article on your site?

In reading your UCC law journal article (April 2013) recommending a proper nationwide standard of electronic registration for mortgages and notes, I noted several issues which I believe warrant comment.

1.  I fully agree with you.  I don’t blame banks for creating MERS in order to reduce their costs related to recording loan security instruments with county clerks.  But the problems related to the musical chairs game with notes, the robosigning, the securitization, the phony bond ratings, the questionable assignments, the foreclosure plaintiffs who lack standing, and the note assignment after suing all beg for a standardized solution.  That system you recommend should also mandate notice from the court clerk of any lis pendens regarding a registered mortgage or deed of trust, and of any foreclosure complaint and of any related final judgment encumbering or freeing the mortgage.

2.  I doubt seriously that anyone but an idiot would destroy the note, and I believe none of the banks did.  I believe they stashed those notes in their warehouse file cabinets and did not want to risk their lost by giving handing them to the courts; furthermore, they wanted the freedom to use them commercially by assigning or handing them to others without the fetter of the court’s having possessions, SIMPLY BECAUSE of the UCC requirement that possession alone entitles enforcement.

From your footnote 16 about the article Naked Capitalism, FUBAR Mortgage Behavior; Florida Banks Destroyed Notes;  Others Never Transferred Them, Sept. 27, 2010, available at http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/09/more-evidence-of-bank-fubar-mortgage-behavior-orida-banks-destroyed-notes-others-never-transferred-them.html.
3. I don’t believe the destroyed note allegation of the article because, in spite of Florida Statute 673.3091 permitting enforcement of the lost or destroyed note, we have the issue of admission of evidence in Florida courts.  I hope you will address it in a future commentary.

From Florida’s Evidence Code in Florida Statute 90.953:

90.953 Admissibility of duplicates.—A duplicate is admissible to the same extent as an original, unless:
(1) The document or writing is a negotiable instrument as defined in s. 673.1041, a security as defined in s. 678.1021, or any other writing that evidences a right to the payment of money, is not itself a security agreement or lease, and is of a type that is transferred by delivery in the ordinary course of business with any necessary endorsement or assignment.
(2) A genuine question is raised about the authenticity of the original or any other document or writing.
(3) It is unfair, under the circumstance, to admit the duplicate in lieu of the original.

4.  If the court cannot admit the copy of the lost note into evidence, how does the note become a fact before the court so that the court can enforce it?  Well, how about this handy statute that allows re-establishment?

71.011 Reestablishment of papers, records, and files.—All papers, written or printed, of any kind whatsoever, and the records and files of any official, court or public office, may be reestablished in the manner hereinafter provided.
(1) WHO MAY REESTABLISH.—Any person interested in the paper, file or record to be reestablished may reestablish it.
(2) VENUE.—If reestablishment is sought of a record or file, venue is in the county where the record or file existed before its loss or destruction. If it is a private paper, venue is in the county where any person affected thereby lives or if such persons are nonresidents of the state, then in any county in which the person seeking the reestablishment desires.
(3) REMEDY CONCURRENT.—Nothing herein shall prevent the reestablishment of lost papers, records and files at common law or in equity in the usual manner.
(4) EFFECT.—
(a) Any paper, record or file reestablished has the effect of the original. A private paper has such effect immediately on recording the judgment reestablishing it, but a reestablished record does not have that effect until recorded and a reestablished paper or file of any official, court or public officer does not have that effect until a certified copy is filed with the official or in the court or public office where the original belonged. A certified copy of any reestablished paper, the original of which is required or authorized by law to be recorded, may be recorded.
(b) When any deed forming a link in a chain of title to land in this state has been placed on the proper record without having been acknowledged or proven for record and has thereafter been lost or destroyed, certified copies of the record of the deed as so recorded may be received as evidence to reestablish the deed if the deed has been so recorded for 20 years.
(5) COMPLAINT.—A person desiring to establish any paper, record or file, except when otherwise provided, shall file a complaint in chancery setting forth that the paper, record or file has been lost or destroyed and is not in the custody or control of the petitioner, the time and manner of loss or destruction, that a copy attached is a substantial copy of that lost or destroyed, that the persons named in the complaint are the only persons known to plaintiff who are interested for or against such reestablishment.

Apparently, a Plaintiff can re-establish the lost note and then enforce it so long as he indemnifies the Defendant against some other party’s effort to enforce the original note.  Unfortunately, not many plaintiffs claiming to have lost the note have reestablished it in order to admit it into evidence.  In fact, I don’t know of any, but I have imperfect access to court records for conducting a research into the question.

FYI, I am not an attorney and have not attended law school.  I’d love to attend, but it isn’t likely to produce any benefit at this stage of my life except to satisfy my curiosity.  I study law issues as an avocation.

Since 2007 I have focused on Mortgage issues.  I started by inquiring into the means to beat foreclosures.  Eventually I abandoned that interest in favor of a principle I call “Mortgage Attack.”  I have fleshed out the principle in my web site http://MortgageAttack.com.  As I see it, a borrower who breached a valid note cannot defeat a mortgage foreclosure generally.  However, a colossal foreclosure defense legal industry has arisen by which attorneys deceive foreclosure victims with a contrary suggestion.   In actuality, they bilk their clients out of, for example, $2500 retainer plus $500 per month “for as long as we can keep you in the house.”  In my opinion, all those attorneys belong in prison for fraud.  To begin with, they KNOW the client will lose the house unless they con the client into a loan modification or short sale.  And then they continue using the same tired and frivolous arguments in the foreclosure pretense defense which they know will fail – complaining about statute of limitation tolling, robosigning, vapor money, no original note, conditions precedent, etc. They use copy-machine pleadings and motions in a dilatory effort to make it seem that they earn their fees.  And worst of all they NEVER bother examining the mortgage transaction documents for evidence of borrower injury by the lender and lender’s agents and associates.

If I came to you and said “Professor, I just got accused of breaching the note, and now they want to take my house.  Will you help me please?” what would you suggest?  Wouldn’t you say something like this:

Well did you take out a loan?  Did you sign the papers?  Did you breach the note by failing to pay timely?  Let me see those papers, and tell me a little about the events surrounding that loan.  Let me see the appraisal and original loan application, and HUD-1 report, and your TILA notices.?”

Wouldn’t you interview the supplicant to determine whether any shady activities happened?  Wouldn’t you verify that the appraiser, mortgage broker, and lender had proper licenses and operated from offices registered with the Secretary of State? Wouldn’t you ascertain whether the broker promised one set of terms, but hoodwinked the borrower into signing papers with a different set of terms.  Wouldn’t you look for broker lies on the loan application that made the borrower seem more than actually qualified?  Wouldn’t you look at the interest rates and origination fees to determine whether they exceeded standards?  Wouldn’t you look for patterns of misbehavior that might justify offsets even in the event the statute of limitations had tolled on the behaviors? Wouldn’t you look for evidence of violations of the FCRA, FDCPA, TILA, RESPA, HOEPA, ECOA, etc? Wouldn’t you look for contract breaches, fraud and other tortious conduct, legal errors, and regulatory violations that injured the borrower?

Normal foreclosure pretender defender attorneys might give those efforts lip service, but virtually never do them. They don’t do them because they don’t know how, a byproduct of lack of intimate familiarity with the regulations and tort/contract/mortgage law, and because of laziness and greed.  A competent mortgage examination team might spend 40 to 60 hours on such a project.  A typical. lawyer would want to charge a broke foreclosure victim $12,000 to $18,000 for the service.  As a result, the lawyer would have to get out of the business of foreclosure defense.

But, that is exactly what it will take for lawyers actually to give their foreclosure victim clients any hope of convincing the lender to modify the loan to the borrower’s benefit, or of convincing the court to order set-offs from the debt or compensatory and punitive damages to salve the borrower’s injuries.

Such winning awards do happen, but they are exceedingly rare.  And we shall never know how many such cases settle out of court because the borrower managed to convince the lender to avoid the related litigation.

Here’s an anomalous case for your reference:

http://mortgageattack.com/2014/07/10/brown-v-quicken-loans-shows-how-to-punish-abusive-mortgagees/

In that small article, I provided a link to all of the case documents I could find on the web.  You might find more using your WestLaw resources.  I have expected a final resolution of the case for several days.  The appraiser settled for $700K, and the trial court ordered Quicken Loans to pay nearly $5 million in damages, fees, and costs.  Quicken appealed.  Maybe you can find out when the West Virginia Supreme Court will issue its final opinion.

I consider Brown v Quicken Loans the “Poster Child” Mortgage Attack methodology case from which all pretender defender lawyers should learn.  But I estimate that lenders and their agents and associates have injured or cheated at least 80%, and upwards of 95% of mortgage borrowers in the past 15 years.  Precious few attorneys hold them accountable for that maleficent behavior.  And let’s face reality.  Brown’s lawyer took the case on contingency because he knew the judge and his sentiments well and knew his client had suffered extraordinary injuries, and he knew the client as decent person.  Few lawyers will take any foreclosure case on contingency until after having made it ready for trial.  That means the injured borrower must handle the case personally, if anyone handles it at all.

And this brings me to my final point.

You have wisely suggested a dramatic and electronic improvement to the loan registration problem.  But we have two far worse problems:

  1. Bad ethics in the foreclosure “Pretense Defense” attorney business model – it should be outlawed.
  2. Lack of availability of online resources for pro se litigants who should not need a lawyer for “mortgage attack,” coupled with the exorbitant cost imposed by the legal services monopoly.

I know of no cure for the bad ethics other than widespread class actions against foreclosure pretender defenders and State Attorneys attacking them for fraud.  Any attorney commits fraud by re-using frivolous legal arguments that he knows will lose.  Obviously, judges will not punish them, or they already would have.  And just as obviously, law school ethics professors have had little impact on the greed factor that drives attorneys to cheat their clients .

People would find it easier to prevail against crooked banks if they could afford an aggressive, competent attorney. But people cannot afford them generally because the attorneys enjoy a monopoly on legal services. Unauthorized Practice of Law statutes (UPL is a felony in Florida) have made possible that legal services monopoly.   But the law does not protect people against incompetent, lazy, or crooked attorneys. Legal writers have recognized this as an outrage for decades:

And of course many people would fare well in court on their own if they only learned the basics of litigation, civil procedure, and evidence code in high school.  Unfortunately, it has become exceedingly difficult to obtain a decent legal education in high school, college, or on one’s own because of the practice of hiding the law or making it inordinately expensive to discover.  Yes, we have the laws.  But government has posted them on a sign 20 feet in the air, and only attorneys have the ladder needed to read that sign.  By this I mean the actual law has become out of reach, not because people cannot find it, but because of the skill they need to locate the relevant part – court rulings.

Good attorneys support their legal arguments in their court filings with case law.  They generally find that case law using a legal search engine to which they subscribe for a monthly fee.  But the filings that resulted in that case law sit in a clerk’s file cabinet in courts across America, or in law books in law libraries that most people simply cannot access.

And that law which people can access suffers from exiguity or poor organization. In Florida only parties to the case and their lawyers can access the electronic filings in the case.  This seem more than a little strange in light of the reality that the constitution mandates that nearly all proceedings remain open to the public.

Thank God for Google Scholar and Google Books.  Google has made many old law books available, and many if not most of the appellate opinions across America available to the public without requiring that people browse the court sites.  Google has done the job that rightly belongs to government, particularly the courts, of making the law available and visible to, and through the search engine somewhat well-organized for, the masses.

I realize that you personally can do nothing about the terrible ethics in the mortgage foreclosure and foreclosure defense industry.

But perhaps you can propose an electronic means of solving the problem of relative unavailability of the law to non-attorneys.  Some federally coordinated electronic repository should exist akin to PACER, but free, and fully searchable by topic, party, judge, attorney, clerk, and bailiff, nationwide, making all court dockets and filings, from traffic and all other administrative courts, county and other trial courts, and appellate courts, available to the public, particularly to Americans and students in public and private schools.  And that access should cost the public nothing, for the law and the documents leading up to it, should become and remain free for all to read at home through internet access.

And need only one good reason for this.  People can easily commit a vast array of “infractions” and crimes without ever leaving home, and become most susceptible to harassment and arrest for alleged infractions and criminal acts upon setting foot outside the home.  It seems only fair that people should have the benefit of finding, reading, learning, and knowing the law before venturing out of the privacy of one’s home, if any such privacy remains.

Sincerely,

Bob Hurt

Mortgage-Related Laws, Regs, Rules, Cases

Whether or not a person can afford an attorney, it makes good sense to know the law, rules, regulations related to the case, and to know how and where to find case law.  OBVIOUSLY, you should go to a law library or consult an attorney if you can find a competent one willing to fight for you and with some kind of proven track record.

It also makes sense to have a subscription to prepaid legal service like Legal Shield so you can talk to a lawyer inexpensively about your rights and options.

Unfortunately I have learned better than to trust an attorney to develop a sound strategy or to manage a case efficiently  or to advocate my cause aggressively.  In the end YOU are responsible for winning or losing your case, and YOU suffer (the lawyer doesn’t) if you lose your case.   So, you need to keep your “thumb on the pulse” of the case at all times, to keep the lawyer “honest” so to speak, particularly if you have had the sad misfortune of hiring a foreclosure pretender defender (don’t make me name names).

In order to remain aware and capable, you need to learn the law and become disposed to using it.  And you should learn about litigation practice   – rules of procedure and evidence.  I have collected some links to federal and Florida laws, and legal research sites.  Enjoy.

Federal mortgage related Law/Regulations

ConsumerFinancialProtectionBureau Chapter X

  • Equity skimming on HUD property or VA loan property a Federal Crime – 12 USC 1709-2
12 USC 1709-2
Whoever, with intent to defraud, willfully engages in a pattern or practice of—
(1) purchasing one- to four-family dwellings (including condominiums and cooperatives) which are subject to a loan in default at time of purchase or in default within one year subsequent to the purchase and the loan is secured by a mortgage or deed of trust insured or held by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development or guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, or the loan is made by the Department of Veterans Affairs,
(2) failing to make payments under the mortgage or deed of trust as the payments become due, regardless of whether the purchaser is obligated on the loan, and
(3) applying or authorizing the application of rents from such dwellings for his own use,
shall be fined not more than $250,000 or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both. This section shall apply to a purchaser of such a dwelling, or a beneficial owner under any business organization or trust purchasing such dwelling, or to an officer, director, or agent of any such purchaser. Nothing in this section shall apply to the purchaser of only one such dwelling.

Florida Mortgage Related Civil Litigation

Florida Evidence code Chapter 90
Witnesses, Records, Documents Code Chapter 92
Civil Practice
Rules of Civil procedure and Judicial Admin – http://floridabar.org
Go to Florida Judicial Circuit web site to find local court rules and administrative orders
Florida Code of judicial conduct
Oath of Admission to the Florida Bar
Rules regulating Florida Bar

Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act
Article III Chapter 673 and IX Chapter 679 UCC
marketable titles Chapter 712
Foreclosure Chapter 702
Florida Equity Skimming Chapter 697,

Books:

Trawick’s Florida Practice and Procedure
Florida Causes of Action
Florida Evidence Code with Objections
https://pushlegal.com/ online/phone law, rules, etc $1 per book per month rent.

Cheap legal research

http://www.stetson.edu/law/library/ –  Sometimes one can call with a question and get it answered

LII / Legal Information Institute

http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex legal dictionary/encyclopedia
http://law.lexisnexis.com/infopro/zimmermans/  Zimmerman research guide

http://constitution.org – founding documents, scholarly articles, searchable Statutes at Large
Google Scholar
http://Archive.org
Federal Digital System (laws etc)
Florida Appellate court web sites
  Florida appellate Opinions

http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/
http://www.justia.com/
http://www.plol.org/Pages/Search.aspx
http://www.lawguru.com/ilawlib/
http://thelawengine.com/
ABA Free Full-text Online Law Review/Law Journal Search Engine
Law Journals: Submissions and Rankings
http://www.fastcase.com/
http://www.versuslaw.com/
http://estore.loislaw.com/
http://www.lexisweb.com/ – Expensive
http://westlaw.com – Expensive
http://www.lexisone.com/freecaselaw/formulatingsearches.html
http://www.law.gmu.edu/library/research
http://www.law.duke.edu/lib/researchguides/intresearch
Federal case dockets and documents:  http://pacer.gov (you’ll need a credit card)