Titusville, Florida lawyer George Gingo has done some good work in providing foreclosure defense templates at the above web site. Apparently he wants to toss pro se litigants a bone because he knows they cannot afford an attorney if they cannot make mortgage payments. You can get a hint about the quality of George’s work from his incredibly tolerant and patient appellate brief for the Lytles whose house the plaintiffs wanted to steal, a theft the lower court ordered. See it here:
I saw from the docket report that the George filed the Appellant brief on 12 Jan 2012 Appellee only filed an answer, ungodly late, on 15 Mar 2012. I have not seen it but I imagine the Appellee brief reads like drek. I hope George learns how to demand sanctions of the plaintiffs and their attorneys for their lies, delays, and shenanigans.
Some of my law expert friends claim you cannot make standardized legal documents. I consider that utter nonsense. Sure, you can take a standardized document for a starting point, and adapt it to your particular situation. Of course on template does not fit all circumstances perfectly, but it can fit MANY circumstances NEARLY perfectly. Lawyers use prior pleadings/responses/motions/notices/petitions ALL THE TIME for similar cases. They would be idiots NOT to because, like a recipe for cake, you DON’T NEED TO REINVENT A RECIPE FROM SCRATCH EVERY TIME. You just need to make sure the standard recipe produced a good result the first time.
And note that if you face off against a crooked “CONNECTED” attorney before a crooked “CONNECTED” or hateful judge, your legal documents might not have the proper effect anyway. But, you can still base an appeal on them and timely objections, timely exceptions, and timeliness within the rules.
So, I “fan my fumes” at those who denigrate legal templates. You can fare best with an honest, competent, diligent attorney, but it you don’t have one, and must do it yourself, templates can save you a lot of distress and give you good guidance, particularly if from a reputable source. Remember that even the Rules of Civil Procedure contains templates for certain kinds of complaints (like foreclosure complaints in which the plaintiff must affie to owning and holding the note). So, ignore people who denounce templates, but make sure you flesh them out with the proper information, adapt them to your court and situation, and consult reliable documents like the Florida Litigation Guide.
REMINDER TO USE COMMON SENSE:
1. Foreclosure Defense Wastes Time. I generally consider foreclosure defense a waste of time because a defendant who borrowed money on a mortgage note, bought a house with it, and did not pay it back accordingly, MUST forfeit the house to foreclosure auction in order to repay the note with the proceeds. AND usually, these days, the defendant will end up owing a HUGE judgment lien because the house always auctions for far less than the loan balance. The mortgagee can sue any time for damages respecting the judgment lien, and typically will if the defendant’s financial fortunes improve such as through winning a lottery, inheriting a fortune, or landing a well-paying job. The judgment lien endures for 20 years. And courts/trustees nearly always end up ordering a foreclosure auction. Meanwhile the defendant will rack up ever more obligations in accrued interest and legal fees. For that reason, it makes no sense to defend against foreclosure.
2. Drag Out the Foreclosure for CASH. It makes far more sense to PAY NO MONEY TO AN ATTORNEY. Delay as long as possible while putting the money into savings or a growth investment that you would pay a lawyer or servicer every month. Pretend to do a loan mod to drag things out (NEVER actually do a loan mod). Then try to sell through a realtor, offer it for short sale, or do a keys for cash deal with the lender. Demand zero judgment lien, or simply offer the lender your deed in lieu of foreclosure. Many foreclosure victims using this method would have enough cash to buy a house at a real estate auction or short sale within the year to 3 years the foreclosure takes.
3. Sue the Predatory Lender. It makes MOST sense to attack the lender for the tortious conduct, contract breaches, and other violations underlying the mortgage. If you get a proper examination done, you might find appraisal or loan fraud for which the court will award treble damages. This money could pay down the loan or you could end up with the house free and clear. You would find a personal injury attorney to get the lender to offer settlement, and if the lender refuses, find a personal injury attorney to take the case on contingency. The litigation will take 2 or 3 years to complete (with you in the house the whole time). In a jury trial, you could win PUNITIVE damages amounting to hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. Your lawyer would get 40% of the total take, but you’d get your house free and clear and a wad of money. Wouldn’t your prefer that to suffering through a foreclosure?
Do you want help finding the torts, breaches, and violations underlying your mortgage? If so, DO NOT GO TO A LOAN AUDIT OR SECURITIZATION AUDIT company, as most of them cheat you. Instead, scan in and zip all of your mortgage, closing, and foreclosure related documents, then CALL ME at 727 669 5511 or E-mail me. I shall give you the guidance you need. As most of you know by now, I do not run a business and I do not charge money for consultations (though that could change soon). So, call or write NOW.
DISSEMINATE THIS MESSAGE
Feel free to disseminate this message to all of your friends, family, associates, law buddies, service providers, and especially to people suffering from foreclosure, and also to people with mortgages who don’t face foreclosure but want to do something about being “under water” with their loans. I try to take or return calls/email for all who try to contact me.
WARNING: I do NOT function as law practitioner, lawyer, licensed attorney-at-law, or legal advisor. Construe my comments ONLY as speculation or general information, and NOT as legal advice for you or anyone else. Consult a well-qualified attorney (good luck finding one) in all questions of legality or law.