A Fort Lauderdale based law firm is the first in the U.S. to agree to pay a settlement in the latest robo signing scheme for mishandling foreclosures. The law offices of Fort Lauderdale based Marshall C. Watson, which handled one of the largest volumes of foreclosures for Freddie Mac until the government withdrew its business from the firm earlier this month agreed to pay a $2-million fine to the state attorney generals’ office for its part in the scandal.
According to HousingPredictor.com, improperly signed documents were made by eight major banks to establish mortgage ownership in hundreds of thousands of foreclosure cases that are being investigated in all 50 U.S. states by state attorney generals, according to legal authorities investigating cases. Bank of America, Wells Fargo, CitiBank, JP Morgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Bank of New York Mellon, HSBC and Deutsche Bank are among the banks being investigated.
Now, eight Florida law firms have also been implicated in the growing robo signing scheme, and are being investigated for wrongdoing. These offices include the offices of David J. Stern in Plantation, who organized a public company for his foreclosure business since it became so large as a result of the foreclosure crisis. Stern is being sued by an army of investors and homeowners. The law offices of Shapiro and Fishman of Boca Raton, Ben-Ezra and Katz in Fort Lauderdale, Florida Default Group in Tampa, Kahane and Associated in Platation, Daniel C. Consuegra of Tampa and Albertelli Legal of Tampa are also being investigated by the state attorneys general.
Attorneys for the Obama administration and the U.S. Treasury are working in efforts to coordinate an agreement with bankers and mortgage loan servicing companies on a settlement for homeowners who were foreclosed as a result of the improper procedures, opening a series of lawsuits against lenders.
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