Saturday, March 26, 2011

Florida AG 2 million settlement award: What about the homeowner?

Florida AG - Pam Bondi
March 26, 2011 - Yesterday, it was announced that the Florida Attorney General Office is receiving a settlement award of 2 million dollars.  The settlement is against attorney Marshall C. Watson and his law firm. A foreclosure mill which has been accused of improperly prosecuting foreclosure cases in Florida.

The distribution of the award is questionable and will not benefit those that have gone to bat to try to provide information to make the settlement possible.  Those who have lost their homes are already quite possibly on the street, in less than adequate shelter or staying with relatives. Homes have been ripped apart, pets left behind or split from family members. Jobs lost.  Wherever they are - those homeowners, rushed through foreclosure mill tactics,  were the ones injured. Florida State instead of helping with a settlement for those injured is using the settlement money to defray the taxpayer from funding investigation costs and to give a grant to Legal Aid to hire more lawyers to assist homeowners FACING foreclosure.   

With reservations which are outlined below we  applaud the determination to make law firms accountable for accuracy,
“We are aggressively investigating these law firms in order to protect the interests of everyone involved in foreclosure proceedings. Homeowners, lending institutions and the courts deserve to know that the law is being followed and all documentation is true and accurate,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi. “Anything short of total assurance of complete accuracy during such serious situations is unacceptable.” - Florida AG 

If fraud is the basis of the settlement, shouldn't the fraud be reversed and the homeowner injured be compensated FULLY?  Where is the equity and where is help?   READ posts about the fraud perpetrated by the banks and then what is happening in courts.  Contract law is not being upheld except when it benefits the banks. Shouldn't part of the settlement have been fixing the wrongful foreclosures.  Shouldn't the state revise laws immediately to protect homeowners.  I want to be fair, spending money for Legal Aid lawyers to help prevent foreclosure actions is good but should not replace helping those already harmed by these seedy law firms. 
"Half of the $2 million payment from Marshall Watson’s firm to the Attorney General’s Office will be contributed to the Florida Bar Foundation to continue the Florida Attorney General Mortgage Foreclosure Grant Program. This grant program provides for the funding of Legal Aid attorney positions throughout Florida specifically devoted to the representation of low-income individuals facing foreclosure actions. " - Florida AG newsrelease

INQUIRING MINDS would like to know why it takes AG's to do the job (AND DETERMINE SETTLEMENT AWARDS) when the courts ARE NOT doing their job.  If Florida and other states had the judges with 1/2 the caliber of New York's Judge Schack, the necessity of the AG investigation would be moot point.  Taxpayer dollars would be saved and the economy could recover. 

Sometimes Government just looks at things backwards. For SEVERAL YEARS this wrongdoing has been ignored by courts, states and banks.  WE are talking MILLIONS of homeowners nationwide. Maybe we need to start suing the states to recover settlement damage for fraud perpetrated upon homeowners. Government seems powerless to help those that are really the victims in this whole toxic loan, mortgage fraud and foreclosure fraud mess. Anyone care to step up to the plate? 

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