“With the foreclosure zoo, it’s become a lot more complicated. They’re all in a huge rush. They usually get paid by the piece so the more they can say they’ve served, the more they make.”
-Margery Golant, a foreclosure attorney
I have previously mentioned suspicions with process servers in the Fraudclosure mess (especially in Florida). There were allegations of servers with histories of fraud and criminality, and accusations of “sewer service. ”
We are now learning that suspicions were well placed:
“According to lawsuits filed on behalf of homeowners, some individuals appear to have violated the rules of process serving: the personal delivery of legal papers, required by law, notifying people that a foreclosure action has been filed against them. Like “robo-signing” — the mass signing of foreclosure documents without review by loan servicers — it’s an alleged practice that is putting lenders, and the foreclosure law firms serving them, under fire.
Recent Florida foreclosure defense cases claim property owners never received a court summons even though they still were living in their home, or that servers never took required steps to find them. Some claim the servers lied, filing false court affidavits about to whom or when they delivered the papers.
Bad service, once rare, has become more common in foreclosures as lenders and their attorneys tried to speed tens of thousands of cases through the “rocket docket” court processes, designed to clear a huge backlog, said consumer advocates and attorneys defending homeowners.”
When process server “serves papers” on a person, they must fill out an affidavit. It attests to the details of the service: Who was served, where and when it was, what the person looked like. My favorite example of bad service was the summons that was supposedly hand delivered to “a 140-pound white woman at the [foreclosed] address.” The homeowner was actually a 200+ pound African American. My personal favorite are the people served in Florida whose passports prove they were in Europe at the time. Defense lawyers tell many, many stories of this, and some of which would be hysterically funny if they were not so sad.
The incidences of fraudulent service are increasing, and it is effectively perjury. The rocket dockets, if they are going to hold on tot he last shred of their dignity and credibility, need to prosecute these corrupt weasels . . .
New questions being raised about court filings in foreclosure cases
Diane C. Lade
Sun Sentinel, November 3, 2010