Friday, October 15, 2010

The fallout begins.

So, the rules committee starts meeting, today, to discuss adjustments to foreclosure rules relating to affidavits. It appears PG County, alone, is reviewing over 14,000 open cases.

The article suggests a rule whereby the filing of a corrective affidavit would trigger a hearing where the offending lawyer would appear in court to testify to the facts and circumstances of the affidavit. Others could examine and cross-examine the lawyer.

Considering 400+ corrective affidavits by two lawyers, that is a lot of "testifying" by two men!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

But who is thinking of the lawyers!

With Bank of America's announced freeze on foreclosures, nationwide, I wonder about the foreclosure mills, and the hundreds of lawyers that fan out throughout the state each day to conduct their sales. And there are the hundreds of processors (they rarely answer the phones, but they are there, trust me) who manage the pre-sale and post-sale processes. What is to become of them? Can they be bailed out?

I'm guessing they will have more time to focus on title, and generating new and more interesting title claims. C'mon folks, I'm waiting!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Can you face your own Facebook?

A New York state court has ordered that a plaintiff give over to the defendant specific authorization to access her Facebook and Myspace accounts. The court has ordered that she disclose both current content, archived content, and deleted content.

The defendant's motion requesting the disclosure was based on deposition testimony that was at odds with the public portions of the plaintiff's Facebook page. She alleged injuries that limited her to staying indoors. But her publicly posted pictures showed her smiling and out-and-about, and not in her home. Imagine that!

I love this decision, as a parent and a lawyer! I've been telling kids I know and coach, for years, that nothing is private, and every disclosure creates impressions and attitudes. At the office, my law clerks and paralegals search all social media for background on every lawyer and witness we deal with in a case. We've caught more than one witness sleeping at the wheel!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Another reason for all counsel in the title industry to take a deep breath.

Today, the Washington Post reported that Bank of America has suspended foreclosures in 23 states, following the admission of a foreclosure processor that she signed thousands of affidavits without reading them. In deposition testimony given in Massachussetts, the employee admitted to signing over 7,000 items per month. She also admitted to mis-identifying herself as an employee of Bank of New York Mellon.

This puts us all in a delicate position with the Circuit Courts. I routinely proffer affidavits from various bank officers, particularly where I seek default judgment orders. I have always relied upon the bona fides and representations of the client when preparing their affidavits. It now appears necessary to ask for further verification of job title and authority, doesn't it?

Add this to the list, right after "prove to me that you are the true owner of the beneficial interest in the trust before I file suit in your name."