As many as 100,000 foreclosure cases in the state of Florida have been put in a state of flux with the undoing of the David J. Stern law practice. March 31, 2012 was the end of the road for Stern’s involvement in more than 100,000 foreclosure cases in which he is listed as the attorney of record. Some have speculated that many thousands of cases could be dismissed, unless lenders quickly hire another lawyer.
The David J. Stern law firm, founded in 1994, became one of the largest in the state of Florida by 2009. Most of its business was handed out by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in which the Stern Florida Attorney handled many thousands of foreclosures. By its peak, the South Florida lawyers were handling one out of every five foreclosure suits in the state of Florida.
But for much of his legal career, Stern has always been associated with allegations of unethical conduct. He had trouble in 1999, when he agreed to pay $2.1 million to borrowers who were overcharged for legal expenses and the subsequent cover-up by the firm via fraudulent documents. The straw that broke the camel’s back was in 2010, when allegations of illegal shortcuts, including robo-signing, became the center of attention across the nation. Stern’s firm was associated with these allegations, and as a result, the firm was fired by both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Stern, in a letter back in the beginning of March, wrote the firm is basically out of business. What is left is a mess in the Florida court system.
Over the last few weeks, progress has been made in cleaning up matters after the collapse of the Stern law firm. The Florida court system is paying more attention to these fraud allegations. But it’s a long road ahead.
Frank Albear, a West Palm Beach lawyer for LaBovick Law Group, stated that repairs to the Stern files, where necessary, leave stronger legal claims that could protect future home buyers from having to defend title to their home.
Only time will tell how this legal mess will play out. Do you have an opinion? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts .