Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"...And Winning, Winning, Winning' "

As a solo practitioner I must acknowledge my work limitations; I cannot compete against the 40th floor Boston or other big-city law firms.

In the Foreclosure Prevention work I have been doing, I have had to bring actions against players like HSBC (and its subsidiaries HFC, Beneficial, Household Finance), America Home Mortgage Servicing Inc ("AHMSI"), Wells Fargo, CitiMortgage, etc. In so doing I lost my ability to do any work other than fighting these lenders, which hire Big Firms, 40th Floor Boston, 50th Floor New York, water-front Rhode Island etc. offices. They have associates, attorneys trying to become partners, being paid to fight anyone who gets in the way of a foreclosure.

The fighting is "civil" - sort of. The filing of a claim brings a ream of paper filled with questions for my client (Interrogatories) meant to elicit the smallest details about the case, and pages of "Request for Production of Documents". These legal tactics are used in reality to flood a small office with paper and consume time. Well I just drowned in the latest flood and there was no one to perform CPR.

Make no mistake - these firms are within their legal rights to protect their clients through any legal means, but are they and their clients acting "morally" or, using the word in the common sense, ethically? In many cases I believe the Lenders/Servicers/Investors are not. They claim not to have any responsibility for the loans they made/service, regardless of how onerous, regardless of "bad faith", "bait and switch", unconscionable, and just plain improper and misleading. What's worse is that by the time the problem hits, most of the laws enacted to protect consumers have run their course - the "Statute of Limitations" has expired - it's too late to argue about the violations.

The Lenders are about taking no losses, granting no relief to someone facing foreclosure, just WINNING! I concur that winning is nice but how about DOING WHAT IS RIGHT?

I have been generally successful in preventing foreclosures and reversing some that have occurred, and in getting modifications. I have been unsuccessful in making a living because I could spend every week, all week, working on foreclosure cases where the BIG FIRMS for the BIG LENDERS know how to kill a case - bury the other "guy" in paper.

The best and most apt summary of what it's like to work against the lenders is from lyrics of one of Don Henley's (formerly of the Eagles) songs

"Today I made and appearance downtown.
I am an expert witness, because I say I am.
And I said, 'Gentleman....and I use that word loosely...I will testify for you; I'm a gun for hire, I'm a saint, I'm a liar - Because there are no facts, no truth, just data to be manipulated.

I can get you any result you like....what's it worth to ya?
Because there is no wrong, there is no right; And I sleep very well at night; No shame, no solution No remorse, no retribution.
Just people selling t-shirts just opportunity to participate in this pathetic little circus

And winning, winning, winning' "

They have won...I have lost! So have my clients!!!!!!

Author's Copyright by Richard I. Isacoff, Esq, July 2010

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