Thursday, November 24, 2011

Shuster & Saben Recovers $8,717.50 from Bank of America.

A previous blog post described how Shuster & Saben, LLC sued Bank of America for violations of the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act, ( FCCPA) on behalf of a Brevard County foreclosure defense client. The firm filed a separate lawsuit against Bank of America rather than filing a counterclaim in the underlying foreclosure case. After Bank of America failed to show up for Court the firm obtained a default and a default final judgment for $2,000.00 of damages for our client. When Bank of America failed to show up for the fee hearing the firm obtained an award of attorney’s fees, costs, expert witness fees and interest of over $6,700.00. When Bank of America failed to pay the judgments within ten days, firm attorney Richard Shuster, wrote Bank of America’s in-house legal department and threatened to levy on the judgment and seize bank assets in Melbourne, Florida if the judgment was not paid by November 23, 2011. Earlier this week, as the firm prepared to levy on the judgment, a check arrived by Federal Express at the firm’s Melbourne office. Our client will now receive $2,000.00 in damages plus interest for Bank of America contacting the client after a notice of attorney representation was sent to the bank. All of the attorney’s fees and costs for the litigation have been paid by Bank of America. While Bank of America’s foreclosure action against our client continues, our client’s case against Bank of America was won in under six months.

About Shuster & Saben: Shuster & Saben accepts referrals from other law firms whose clients have been directly contacts by lenders and loan servicers after such companies were put on notice that the consumer is represented by counsel. We also co-counsel with firms that have not previously sued banks and loan servicers. Shuster & Saben has a zero tolerance policy for lenders, loan servicers, and bill collectors who harass firm clients with letters or calls. Consumers with questions about the FCCPA or who want calls from bill collectors to stop can contact the firm by E-mail at

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Shuster & Saben wins another foreclosure case against Bank of America

Shuster & Saben won another foreclosure case against Bank of America subsidiary BAC Home Loans. This victory in Brevard County, follows a trial victory for the firm, in another case against Bank of America pending in Miami-Dade. The firm’s victorious foreclosure client was a family living in Palm Bay. At the onset of the case, the firm diligently assisted the client in submitting a complete loan modification request under HAMP. When the firm’s efforts to reach a reasonable settlement were not countered with a single loan modification offer, firm lawyer Richard Shuster knew it was time to go on the attack. The firm served requests for admission on Bank of America that asked the bank to admit that the bank did not own the note and mortgage on our clients home and did not hold the note.

When Bank of America failed to reply to the requests for admission within thirty days the requests were deemed admitted by operation of law. The firm then filed a motion for summary judgment on behalf of the homeowners. The firm expected that the bank’s lawyers would files responses to the requests for admission prior to the summary judgment hearing but the bank's lawyers never filed responses to the requests for admission. At the hearing on the Defendant / Homeowner's motion for summary judgment, the bank, for the first time made an oral motion for relief from admissions. The motion was untimely and was denied by the Court. The Court then granted Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment and adjudicated that Bank of America did not own or hold the loan. Since this was an adjudication on the merits Bank of America will NOT be able to re-file the case. The firm will now seek prevailing party attorney’s fees on behalf of its client to be paid by Bank of America and will commence an action to quiet title to the client's property.

Lawyers and scheduling staff at Shuster & Saben are often told by judges and Court scheduling assistants that very few foreclosure defense lawyers go on the attack and file offensive motions for summary judgment. Often foreclosure defense lawyers are content to simply file a motion to dismiss. Unfortunately, when a motion to dismiss is granted, it is usually either with leave to amend or with leave to re-file a new lawsuit. When a homeowner wins a motion for summary judgment on a pertinent issue, the losing bank will not be able to prosecute a new lawsuit under the principals of res judicata. Shuster & Saben has won other cases with this aggressive strategy and encourages other foreclosure defense lawyers to give this technique a try.

To view a redacted copy of the entire order please click the link below:

About Shuster & Saben: Shuster & Saben, LLC is firm of eight civil litigators, practicing foreclosure defense, insurance litigation, and consumer protection law, from four Florida offices in Miami, Doral, Fort Lauderdale, and Melbourne. The firm passionately defends foreclosure cases pending in counties within two hours drive of the firm’s 4 offices. The firm can be reached by E-mail at

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Shuster & Saben Celebrates Two Great Years In Firm's Melbourne Office

While Shuster & Saben, LLC was founded in Miami in 2004, the firm opened its third office in Melbourne in October of 2009. The Melbourne office is run by firm co-founder, Richard Shuster who is a resident of Satellite Beach. Since opening firm’s Space Coast office the firm has only lost one foreclosure summary judgment hearing in Brevard County. While there are many law firms that have never obtained a loan modification with a principal reduction, in the last twelve months the Melbourne office had two loan modifications with principal reductions averaging $100,000 (each) for residents of Palm Bay and Indian Habour Beach. For each of these clients, their settlements meant the difference between keeping and losing their homes.

As the firm’s reputation became more well known, the firm was called in to defend a three million dollar foreclosure case in Lee County, that was resolved by short sale with a complete release for the firm’s client. The settlement did not require any out-of-pocket payments by the client to the Plaintiff / Bank or to any second mortgage holder.

Shuster & Saben has never been a firm content to just fight on defense. During the last year, the firm’s Melbourne office sued Bank of America, Chase, CitiMortgage, Fannie Mae, Nationstar, Litton, Ocwen, Strategic Recovery Group, Vantium Capital, Vericrest, and Wells Fargo for claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), and Truth in Lending Act (TILA). During the first ten months of 2011, Shuster & Saben sued more banks in Brevard's County Court than any firm in Florida. The firm also went on the offensive by filing motions for summary judgment against banks in foreclosure cases, and used such techniques to win foreclosure cases by summary judgment.

To our Melbourne clients, staff, and the lawyers in the community who referred us their friends and neighbors, we give thanks for opportunity to fight for our neighbors homes and thanks for a great second year.

(Note: clicking any of the colored or grey text links above will take readers to a prior blog post about the case in question).

Monday, September 26, 2011

Shuster & Saben Defaults Bank of America

Banks win most of their cases by default, the legal equivalent of a forfeit in sports. For a bank to win a case by default the homeowner must bury their head in the sand and fail to respond to the lawsuit filed by the bank. When Shuster & Saben, LLC sued Bank of America subsidiary BAC Home Loan Servicing, the shoe was on the other foot, when Bank of America failed to show up for a mandatory pretrial hearing. At the hearing the Court entered a default against Bank of America. A few days later after submission of an affidavit as to damages the Court entered a default final judgment against the bank. The law suit filed on behalf of a foreclosure defense client sought damages for violation of RESPA ( Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ) and FCCPA (Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act ). Bank of America as the losing party in the litigation will also have to pay all of the homeowner’s legal fees, in addition to the amount of the judgment for damages. Since the bank will have to pay our client’s attorney’s fees the entire judgment amount will go to the client.

To review a redacted copy of the default final judgment please click the link below:
Redacted Default Final Judgment

UPDATE: NEW POST - We Collected on the Judgment

About Shuster & Saben: Shuster & Saben believes the ultimate result of many foreclosure cases can be improved by going on offense and bringing a separate lawsuit for any bank violations of consumer protection laws. Shuster & Saben accepts referrals from other law firms whose foreclosure clients’ rights have been violated where the referring firm does not wish to handle the file alone or would prefer to refer the case to a firm with greater experience suing banks and loan servicers.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Lender dismisses case rather than going to trial against firm attorney Thomas Willis.

On Friday, September 16, 2011, Shuster & Saben foreclosure defense attorney Thomas Willis arrived at the Miami-Dade courthouse long before 9:00 A.M. for a foreclosure trial again GMAC, a lender that has since changed its name to Ally Bank. The trial was set before Judge Victoria Sigler. Representing the GMAC was Albertelli Law who took over the case from Florida Default Law Group, P. L. who had previously taken over the file the law firm that filed the case David Stern, P.A. ( David Stern, P.A. was one of the largest foreclosure firms in Florida before in imploded following an investigation into the firm by the Florida Attorney General ).

While Mr. Willis was ready with the firm’s client and the evidence, discovery, and legal research he would need to try the case, when the case was called for trial, Albertelli Law announced that GMAC was not in a position to try the case and dismissed the foreclosure case against the firm’s client. The subject lawsuit against our Cutler Bay, Florida client was filed in 2009. Shuster & Saben began defending the case in early 2010 after David Stern, P.A. set the client for deposition. The lawsuit sought to foreclosure on rental property owned by the firm’s client. While the case was pending the client used a portion of the rental income from the property to pay her legal expenses. The firm successfully stopped the efforts of the bank’s lawyers to win the case by summary judgment. Since the dismissal of the case was without prejudice it is possible that GMAC might refile the foreclosure action in the future. Our firm will now file a motion for attorney’s fees, to force GMAC to reimburse our client’s legal expenses. The firm congratulates our client who had the persistence to fight her case for over two year, and welcomes her to our winners circle of clients who won their cases and have received or will receive money back when the firm assists them in recovering prevailing party attorneys fees from the banks they defeated.

About Shuster & Saben, LLC: Shuster & Saben, LLC is a litigation firm that tries cases against banks and insurance companies. A homeowner who merely wants foreclosure delay, probably does not need an attorney. A homeowner who wants foreclosure defense, should seek out a firm that is winning cases at summary judgment and trial. Our firm’s goal is to prepare each case for summary judgment and trial while negotiating to see if we can obtain a deal that meets our client’s objectives. For more information about our firm and our track record handling foreclosure cases, please e-mail or call any of our four office ( Miami, Doral, Fort Lauderdale, and Melboune ). Homeowners in foreclosure may request a free, no-obligation consultation with an attorney.

About Thomas Willis: Thomas Willis is a 1996 graduate of Stetson law school where he was a member of Stetson’s nation championship winning trial team. Mr. Willis has been defending foreclosure for Shuster & Saben, LLC since 2008. Mr. Willis is fluent in Spanish and lived in South America for several years. He has appeared on Univision news casts and talk shows as an expert and panelist on foreclosure law issues.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Florida Law Weekly Supplement Publishes Firm Foreclosure Win

The Florida Law Weekly supplement has published an order granting a motion to dismiss obtained for a Saint Lucie County foreclosure defense client. The Florida Law Weekly Supplement publishes legally significant rulings of Florida’s county and circuit courts. The publication is available to Florida Lawyers on a subscription basis. This was the fourth published foreclosure opinion obtained by the firm and the third published foreclosure opinion for firm attorney Richard Shuster. Mr. Shuster has over twenty published opinions in a wide range of civil litigation matters.

In this case the firm filed a motion to dismiss Citibank’s foreclosure complaint for failure to comply with Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.110(b) which requires foreclosure complaints to be verified. Shuster asserted that the Citibank’s verification of the complaint on a separate document was improper and that verification must be made on the complaint itself. The rationale for this argument is that if a bank can verify a complaint on a separate piece of paper, such papers can be robosigned in advance and then just stapled to complaints as needed. If the person verifying the complaint signs the complaint itself, the Court knows that at a minimum the person verifying the complaint had possession of the complaint at the time they signed it.

Judge James Midelis, agreed with the firm’s arguments and granted the motion to dismiss the foreclosure case. The Court also ordered Citiabank to pay the homeowner’s attorneys fees. For the hearing on this case firm attorney Richard Shuster traveled from the firm’s Melbourne office to St. Lucie, Florida where the hearing was held. To download a copy of the order in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format please click the link below. Homeowners who have questions about whether the foreclosure complaint against their home was properly verified may E-mail the firm at


About Shuster & Saben: Shuster & Saben, LLC is a litigation firm of seven attorneys with offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Melbourne Florida. The firm passionately defends foreclosure cases in those parts of the state that are within two hours of the firm's three offices. The firm also sues banks and loan servicers that violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Truth In Lending Act and other consumer protection laws. Our goal is to deliver superior representation at a cost that is affordable, predictable, and an excellent value. Homeowners in foreclosure are welcome call or e-mail to obtain a free, no-obligation consultation with a firm attorney.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bank of New York Ordered to pay Sanctions

Shuster & Saben obtains sanctions against Bank of New York & Litton

Every lawyer who defends foreclosures quickly learns that lawyers for the bank often stonewall discovery requests from homeowners' counsel. First the banks ask for more time, then they often object to answering questions and producing documents. As experienced civil litigators, the lawyers at Shuster & Saben, meet such tactics with motions to compel and when orders to compel are not complied with the firm files motions for sanctions and for motions to show cause.

After Bank of New York failed to comply with a Court Order directing that interrogatories ( written questions under oath) be answered, Florida foreclosure attorney Richard Shuster, filed a Motion for Sanctions and Rule to Show Cuase against Bank of New York. The motion was granted and Brevard County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Mahl ordered Bank of New York to pay sanctions of $600.00 and to furnish verified answers to the interrogatories within seven days. The firm ultimately received a check from Litton, the loan servicer, for the sanctions. Litton, who is not a party to the litigation, appears to be running this case behind the scenes for Bank of New York Mellon, the trustee of a securitized trust that alleges to own the mortgage on our client’s home.

In defending foreclosure cases, homeowner's counsel must be persistent in order to obtain every scrap of evidence that might help save a client’s home. Homeowners or lawyers with questions about motions to compel discovery can E-mail their questions to

To review a redacted copy of the Order granting Defendant’s Motion to Show Cause please click the link below.

Order Granting Motion for Sanctions

About Shuster & Saben: Shuster & Saben a team of experienced civil litigators, give each file and client individual attention. We will go to Court as many times as necessary to leave no stone unturned in our efforts to defend our clients' homes. Our lawyers have won foreclosure cases both at trial and on summary judgment and are passionate about defending foreclosures. We are selective about the clients and cases we take on. To arrange a free interview with the firm to see if your case is one where we can help, please call any of our three offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale or Melbourne or E-mail

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Foreclosure Case Dismissed When Bank’s Lawyer Misses Court.

Sometimes lawyers defending homeowners win cases at trial as a result of evidence obtained in depositions. Banks also lose cases when they are unable to come forward with admissible evidence to prove each element of their case. There is a third way that banks lose cases that very few lawyers on either side ever discuss, and that is lawyer incompetence. That’s right, banks and loan servicers lose foreclosure cases every week because their cases are assigned to massive foreclosure mills where very inexperienced lawyers are assigned hundreds of cases.

On July 14, 2011, our firm obtained a dismissal of a foreclosure action because Chase Home Finance’s lawyer failed to show up for Court. The foreclosure action was filed against our client in 2009. In June of 2011 the presiding judge entered an order requiring the lawyers for the Plaintiff ( Chase Home Finance), the homeowner, and the co-Defendant, City of Palm Bay, to appear at a status conference at 1:30 p.m. on July 14, 2011. At the status conference, firm attorney Richard Shuster was present for our client, the homeowner. An attorney for the City of Palm Bay, per the Court order, was also present, but the attorney for Chase Home Finance was nowhere to be found. After Judge Jeffrey Mahl asked if there were any attorneys from the firm representing Chase, foreclosure defense attorney Richard Shuster moved for the case to be dismissed for Chase’s violation of the Court’s order. Judge Mahl then granted the motion and dismissed the case without prejudice.

Our firm will now file a motion for attorney’s fees on behalf of the homeowner. Chase as the losing party will have to pay the homeowner's attorney’s fees. Our firm’s goal will be to recover money from Chase to reimburse the money previously paid to our firm by the homeowner. Since the dismissal was without prejudice it is possible that Chase will file a new lawsuit against our client. Of course for that to happen the Chase’s law firm will have to tell Chase that the case was dismissed because they forgot to show up in Court. Perhaps this case will slip through the cracks. Our firm defended this case for approximately thirteen months. If the case is re-filed the bank will have to start over from scratch.

Many homeowners think banks are all powerful. While banks have big friends in Congress and the Federal Reserve a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The bank's weak link is often the lawyer or law firm hired by the bank to prosecute a foreclosure case. Sadly most homeowners never hire a lawyer and give up their home without a fight. Other posts on the blog discuss firm victories at trial and summary judgment. In those cases there was an adjudication on the merits and the bank cannot refile. Those cases were won with hard work, meticulous discovery, and persuasive argument. This case was won because we showed up and the bank did not. This has happened in many cases before. This is just another secret that banks and their lawyers don’t want anyone to know about.

To review a redacted copy of order dismissing the case please clink the link below:

Redacted Foreclosure Dismissal

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pre Foreclosure Mediation Settlement Saves Client over $100,000.00

A Shuster & Saben client’s investment of $1,600.00 in legal fees, will result in over $100,000.00 of savings from a pre-foreclosure mediation agreement negotiated by firm attorney Richard Shuster. The client came to the firm’s Melbourne, Florida office after their prior loan servicer, Chase, denied permanent loan modification of their mortgage. Chase had placed the client in a trial modification that reduced their monthly payment from over $3,000.00 to approximately $1,648.00. After the client made their monthly trial payments Chase refused to convert the loan from a HAMP trial modification to a permanent modification.

After meeting with the couple, attorney Shuster recommended submission of a qualified written request to the loan servicer to investigate whether Chase had a valid reason for denying permanent loan modification. The firm then submitted a Qualified Written Request (QWR) to Chase for a flat, one-time fee of $250.00. Chase’s response to Qualified Written Request revealed that the loan was owned by the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA or Fannie Mae) and that Chase alleged that the permanent modification was denied because their file was incomplete. The clients asserted that they submitted all of the requested documents. Some consumer advocates refer to incomplete file denials as the “dog ate my homework” excuse for not making permanent modifications.

After Chase denied permanent modification the client creased making further mortgage payments. The client, a couple nearing retirement age, realized that they could not wipe out their retirement savings to save a home in which they were significantly upside down and had no equity whatsoever.

A few months later, the loan owner, FNMA, transferred servicing of the loan from Chase to Lender Business Process Services (LBPS). When the client advised Shuster & Saben of the change of servicers the firm submitted an updated HAMP application and updated financial disclosures to LBPS. Thereafter LBPS requested pre-foreclosure mediation.

Firm attorney Richard Shuster welcomed the chance to mediate the case before any foreclosure action was filed against the client. Shuster explained that LBPS was proactive and responsible by saving FNMA (the loan owner) the expense of paying a filing fees and attorneys’ fees to file a foreclosure action against the homeowner. Lenders often ask for as much as $4,000.00 to be added to homeowners’ loan balances to pay for such expenses. Since our firm did not have to defend a lawsuit, the homeowners’ legal expenses were also much smaller.

The client hired Shuster & Saben to represent them at mediation under a written agreement that called for a fee of $350.00 together with a success bonus form $500.00 to $1,500.00 depending on the nature of the loan modification obtained. ($500.00 for a small loan modification up to a $1,500 for a loan modification with both interest and principal reduction). The result obtained, a loan modification that will reduce the client’s interest rate to 2% for the next 5 years and to 5% thereafter, qualified the firm for a $1,000 success bonus. The total cost to the client was $1,600 ($250 for QRW, $350 Mediation, $1,000 success bonus). The client’s new mortgage payment of $1,561.78 is a huge savings from their original payment of over $3,000.00 and is less than their prior trial modification payments. At the mediation, attorney Shuster insisted that conversion of the new trial modification to permanent modification be guaranteed in writing and would happen automatically so long as all payments were made. Under the loan modification obtained by Shuster & Saben, the client will save over $85,000.00 during the next five years and over $100,000 over the life of the loan. Shuster’s biggest bonus was two hugs, from the couple whose home was saved by this settlement agreement.

To review the redacted mediation agreement and redacted confirmation letter from LBPS please click the links below.

Mediation Agreement

LBPS Confirmation of HAMP Modification

Monday, May 16, 2011

Foreclosure lawyers at Shuster & Saben obtain dismissal of HSBC’s Foreclosure Action.

Things did not go very well for HSBC or their counsel, Elizabeth R. Wellborn, P.A., when a Melbourne, Florida homeowner retained the law firm of Shuster & Saben, LLC to defend the foreclosure action filed against his Brevard County, Florida home. Within 48 hours of the firm being retained firm attorney Richard Shuster served nearly twenty pages of discovery requests, including requests for admission, requests for production and interrogatories (written questions to be answered under oath) about the factual basis of the lawsuit served against the homeowner and the securitization of the mortgage into the Ace Securities Corp Home Equity Loan Trust. When HSBC’s counsel was unable to answer the discovery within thirty days they filed a motion for extension of time but did set their motion for hearing. To prevent the motion for extension of time from sitting in limbo, our firm submitted an unopposed order grating the motion and ordering HSBC to respond to the discovery within thirty days.

Thirty days after the Court signed the order, our firm had little in the way of discovery as rather than answer the questions and provide the requested documents, HSBC’s attorneys objected to almost all of the discovery requests Shuster & Saben made on behalf of the homeowner. Firm attorney, Richard Shuster then filed a twenty-eight page Motion to Show Cause and to Compel Better Response to Request to Produce that set forth each of the discovery requests, HSBC’s objection to each request, an argument as to why the Court should overrule the objection and a check off blank for the judge or overrule or sustain each objection. After a lengthy hearing the Court overruled many of HSBC’s objections and commanded HSBC and its attorney, Ira Silverstein, to provided better responses within thirty days.

When, HSBC and its counsel failed to comply with the Court’s second order, foreclosure defense lawyer, Richard Shuster filed a Second Motion to Show Cause which detailed the bank’s violations of the Court’s last two discovery orders and requested dismissal of the entire case.

On May 3, 2011, a hearing was held at the Brevard County Courthouse. Firm attorney Richard Shuster appeared at the hearing in person and a staff attorney at bank’s law firm appeared by phone. The Court asked the bank’s attorney if HSBC was “thumbing its nose” at the Court’s orders. The Court did not give the bank a third chance to violate another Court order and dismissed the bank’s foreclosure action. The Court also granted sanctions against the bank. Now that the case against our client has been dismissed his modest legal expenses will stop. Once sanctions are recovered we will hopefully be able to reimburse our client a substantial portion for his legal expenses from the sanction award.

To review a redacted copy of the order dismissing HSBC’s case please click the link below.

Redacted Order

About Shuster & Saben: The foreclosure defense lawyers at Shuster & Saben aspire to vigorously and aggressively defend every foreclosure case. We have offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Melbourne so that we can appear in Court in person rather than by phone when our client’s home is on the line. If your case is in a part of the state where we do not appear in person for Court we can refer you to a likeminded attorney or co-counsel with a carefully selected local counsel.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Shuster & Saben wins foreclosure case with its own motion for summary judgment.

Another Shuster & Saben foreclosure client has won their case against a securitized trust. After firm attorney, Richard Shuster, noted that the lawsuit filed by U.S. Bank N.A. as trustee for a securitized trust was not supported by any evidence that the foreclosing bank owned or held the note, he filed a motion for summary judgment on behalf of the homeowner and against U.S. Bank. Foreclosing banks often file motions for summary judgment against homeowners as a means to win cases without having a trial. A judge can only grant summary judgment when the moving party comes forward with competent evidence in the record and the other side fails to come forward with any record evidence to oppose the motion. Unfortunately, many foreclosure defense lawyers never file offensive motions for summary judgment against banks because they are content to merely delay the bank’s attempts to foreclose on the property.

Most of the lawyers at Shuster & Saben come from a civil litigation background. When we are not defending homeowners, we are suing insurance companies, banks, and bill collectors. We are used to taking cases trial where unless we win we don’t get paid one thin dime. When we take on a foreclosure case, we usually have four goals, (1) prevent default, (2) stop the bank for obtaining summary judgment, (3) implement an asset protection strategy for the client, and (4) win the case by dismissal, offensive summary judgment, or trial. Not every foreclosure case is a winnable case. In those cases where the bank’s case is very strong and the homeowner’s case is weak we let out clients know and give them frank objective advice about loan modification, short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, and in very rare cases bankruptcy. Even in the tough cases we invest a large amount of time to thoroughly conduct discovery to make sure the bank has evidence to prove every element of their case. When the bank is missing proof on any issue its our job to take their case apart. In the case we won by summary judgment the bank’s lawyers failed to come forward with any record evidence that the Plaintiff, U.S. Bank owned or held the note. As a result the Court entered summary judgment and final judgment in favor of the Defendant / Homeowner. To review a redacted copy of the summary judgment order please click the link below.

Redacted Summary Judgment Order

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lee County Homeowner Chooses Shuster & Saben to Defend Three Million Dollar Foreclosure Case

The owner of oceanfront mansion in Lee County has selected Shuster & Saben, LLC to defend the foreclosure action filed against his family’s home. The property owner evaluated foreclosure defense lawyers both locally and across the state before choosing firm attorney Richard Shuster to implement a comprehensive asset protection and foreclosure defense plan. The owner’s search for the right attorney began with reviewing the websites of several law firms. Once he narrowed his focus to a few lawyers he found those attorneys’ bar numbers at the Florida Bar’s website, He then looked up the cases handled by each lawyer in Lee County with the Lee County Clerk of Court though a search of the lawyers’ bar number. The homeowner then reviewed the results obtained in the cases and the pleadings filed by each lawyer.

Two things that impressed the homeowner were that the requests for admissions, interrogatories (written questions) and request for production filed by Shuster varied form case to case and were clearly custom prepared based on the facts of the case rather than cookie-cutter form pleadings. The homeowner was also impressed by the fact that he could not find a single file where a Lee county client had lost their home to foreclosure sale. After performing extensive research online, reviewing files through the Lee County clerk, and interviewing Shuster by phone the homeowner made a will researched decision to hire the firm.

Shuster & Saben appreciates that a well informed homeowner is our best client. The firm is proud to represent multiple attorneys, C.P.A.s, physicians, and police officers in foreclosure cases.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shuster & Saben Collects Fee Judgment against Chase Home Finance

The foreclosure lawyers at Shuster & Saben have obtained payment for a $9,750.00 judgment against Chase Home Finance. The judgment was obtained in a case where the firm obtained dismissal of a foreclosure action filed by Law Offices of Marshall Watson, P.A. The firm, pursuant to our written retainer with our client, will now issue a check to our client to reimburse him for most of the legal fees he previously paid to our firm.

When considering among the many law firms that defend foreclosures homeowners should consider the firm’s track record with respect to beating banks and obtaining attorney’s fees. When a homeowner wins their foreclosure case the bank has to pay the homeowner’s attorney’s fees. The Court will determine the amount of the attorney’s fees and may award less than the total fees charged or sought by the homeowner’s attorney. Shuster & Saben’s written fee agreement fully explains the firm’s attorney fee reimbursement policy when the firm recovers attorney's fees from banks and loan servicers. For many homeowners hiring the best possible foreclosure defense attorney may cost a little more in the beginning but will be a better value over the long haul if the attorney wins the case and obtains a fee judgment against the bank or settles the case with a substantial reduction of interest and principal (loan balance).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Shuster & Saben defeats Bank of America at Trial

Firm attorney, Richard Shuster, defeated Bank of America, in a Miami-Dade foreclosure trial. The evidence presented at trial included the deposition testimony of the person who executed the assignment of mortgage and the live testimony of the borrower / Defendant. For our client’s protection the firm did not blog about this victory until the time for Bank of America to appeal expired. Under the legal principle of res judicata Bank of America should be unable to file a new lawsuit against our client. The firm will soon commence action to quite title for our client. It appears that our client's mortgage, that was more than $175,000.00, has been eliminated.

To Review a redacted copy of the final judgment please click the link below:

Redacted Final Judgment

Shuster & Saben is a litigation firm. Lawyers at Shuster & Saben have tried cases to verdict in personal injury, insurance, felony criminal, and foreclosure. Firm attorney Thomas Willis was on Stetson Law School’s national championship trial team. Micheal Fischetti is a former Broward County public defender. A firm’s trial experience is one of the factors a homeowner should evaluate when considering a foreclosure attorney. To find out more about our firm, its lawyers, and why we are different please visit our firm’s website at

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Shuster & Saben Sues Loan Servicer Vericrest Financial on behalf of Foreclosure Client

After CitiMortage tried for over two years to foreclosure on our clients Melbourne, Florida home, they gave up and while his foreclosure case was still pending, his first mortgage was sold to an offshore trust created in 2010 to acquire distressed mortgages for pennies on the dollar. Citibank never told our client who bought his mortgage but when Citi stopped servicing the loan they complied with RESPA ( the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) and told our client that servicing of his loan would be transferred to Vericrest Financial. We sent Vericrest a Qualified Written Request (QWR) to find out who acquired out client’s fist mortgage. Our letter that contained the QWR also demanded that the Vericrest cease and desist any communication with the our client as he has been represented by our firm for nearly two years.

Vericrest ignored our correspondence and continued to call our client in violation of the FCCPA (Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act) and FDCAP (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act). We did NOT ignore Vericrest’s unlawful conduct. A mere ten days after they called our client we sued Vericrest Financial and their unknown client, the current owner of the first mortgage in Brevard County Court.

To review a redacted copy of the lawsuit filed against Vericrest please click the link below.

Redacted Vericrest Lawsuit

At Shuster & Saben we refer to lawsuit where our foreclosure client is a plaintiff and the loan servicer and lender are defendants as offensive cases. In other offensive cases we have recovered monetary damages for our clients or used the offensive case as a bargaining chip to obtain a substantial principal reduction loan modification. When a consumer wins a Fair Debt case the loan servicer (or bill collector) has to pay the consumer’s attorneys fees. In these offensive cases, our firm receives no attorney’s fees unless we win the case and the fee is paid for by the lender or loan servicer.

About the foreclosure attorneys at Shuster & Saben, LLC: Some lawyers think doing a good job in a foreclosure case means losing slow rather than quickly. Not us. Shuster & Saben, searches every case for clues in hopes of finding evidence to defeat the bank. We take depositions. We litigate foreclosure cases to win. When lenders break the law we do not hesitate to file a separate lawsuit against the bank or loan servicer on behalf of our client. We think a good foreclosure defense lawyer doesn’t drag his or her feet but rather uses them to kick the behinds of banks, loan servivers, and foreclosure mill attorneys.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Shuster & Saben, LLC obtains judgment against Chase Home Finance.

A Florida court has entered Final Judgment against Chase Home Finance in a foreclosure case won by the foreclosure lawyers at Shuster & Saben, LLC. The judgment commands Chase to pay the homeowner and his attorneys $9,950.00 for attorney's fees and costs. Previously, Shuster & Saben obtained a dismissal of the case as a sanction against Chase after Chase failed to comply with two Court orders concerning answering interrogatories (written questions answered under oath) and providing written discovery.

Under Florida law in most cases where the homeowner wins their foreclosure case the bank must reimburse the homeowner for their legal expenses. The amount of the judgment obtained substantially exceeds the amount of money paid by the homeowner to Shuster & Saben because the judgment includes reimbursement of $1,750.00 for an expert witness to testify at the attorney fee hearing ( a cost paid for by the firm not the client ) and for work performed by the firm that was not changed to the client.

From this judgment Shuster & Saben firm will reimburse our client’s legal expenses. When this case began, all our client wanted was a waiver of deficiency on an upside-down rental property. At the onset of the case our firm offered to settle the case by Deed In Lieu of Foreclosure or agreed judgment of foreclosure with waiver of deficiency. Chase as the servicer of a FNMA loan did not accept the settlement offer. Now, a year later, Chase does not have the property and has spent thousands of dollars paying both their lawyers and for all of the time our firm spent defending the case.

To review a redacted copy of the judgment obtained against Chase please click the link below.

Redacted Final Judgment Against Chase

About Shuster & Saben: When the foreclosure defense lawyers at Shuster & Saben win foreclosure cases we aggressively seek to recover attorneys fees from the bank minimize or eliminate or client’s legal expenses.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Foreclosure Defense Litigators at Shuster & Saben, LLC file suit against CitiMortgage for violations of RESPA, TILA, and FCCPA.

After a Palm Bay family retained Shuster & Saben to defend a foreclosure action filed by CitiMortgage, the firm sent CitiMortgage a Qualified Written Request ( QWR ) pursuant to the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ( RESPA ). The letter also requested that CitiMortage verify the debt pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ( FDCPA ) and case communications with the family.

The clients told our us that before they hired counsel, CitiMortgage would not give them the time of day when the clients called CitiMortgage concerning the clients request for permanent loan modification under HAMP. Our clients explained that when Citi refused to provide a permanent loan modification the clients attempt to find out the reason for the denial or obtain reconsideration was a futile struggle of long hold times, voicemail, dropped or disconnected calls, and unfulfilled promises that we will get back to you. Ultimately, CitiMortgage made no permanent interest rate modifications before filing a foreclosure action against our clients.

When our clients decided to fight back by hiring counsel rather then laying down and surrendering their home an unexpected thing occurred; CitiMortgage started calling our client. In one of Citi’s early calls the client advised, why are you calling me, you sued us to try and take our home and we retained counsel, please call our lawyer. When the clients advised us of the calls from Citi, we instructed them that such calls were illegal, that they should keep a log of the calls, and that if the calls continued we would sue CitiMortgage.

The calls did not stop. To add insult to injury, our firm did not receive a response from CitiMortgage to the Qualified Written Request. We believe that Citi violated RESPA when it refused to provide us with an accounting of the amount they claimed to be due and violated the Truth in Lending Act ( TILA ) when they refused to tell us who owned the note.

At Shuster & Saben we are litigators who say what we do and do what we say. Firm attorney Richard Shuster met with clients to obtain their permission to sue CitiMortgage and obtain their cell phone call logs to prove CitiMortgage called the clients AFTER CitiMortgage was put on notice that the clients were represented by counsel. The firm then filed suit against CitiMortgage for violation of RESPA, TILA and the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act ( FCCPA ). We hope that we can use this lawsuit as a bargaining chip to resolve the foreclosure action filed against our clients with a substantial reduction of the loan balance (principal) and interest rate along with damages for our clients and payment of our clients’ attorney’s fees. To view a redacted copy of the lawsuit against CitiMorgage please click the link below.

Redacted FCCPA lawsuit against CitiMortgage

About Shuster & Saben: Shuster & Saben is a litigation firm that represents consumers and against big insurance and big banks. We send a Qualified Written Request on behalf of every client we defend in a foreclosure. If the client has a second mortgage we send a QWR to the second mortgage holder or servicer too. When a client hires us to defend a foreclosure their phone should stop ringing and their case should be one less problem they have to deal with. If the bank or their lawyers don't follow the all applicable rules and laws, we will not hesitate to bring separate lawsuits to obtain justice for our clients. If you have retained counsel to defend a foreclosure case and you are still being called about your mortgage you should keep a log of the date, and time that you were called, the name of the caller, their Id number or extension, and if you have Caller I.D. the phone number from which you were called. Homeowners with questions about the Florida Consumer Collections Practices Act (FCCPA) or RESPA can E-mail us at

Monday, January 10, 2011

Shuster & Saben obtains Principal Reduction Loan Modification from $229,048 to $123,644.

A Shuster & Saben foreclosure client is the big winner in a war of attrition with Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC. The client, a painter, was trapped in a bad subprime loan at an outrageous interest rate of 8.65% and owed slightly over $229,000 after missing over two years of mortgage payments. When the recession hit, panting jobs came to a stand still and our client could no longer afford his home. The client’s home according to Zillow was worth approximately $138,000. The client defended the foreclosure action himself (pro-se) for over six months but when a summary judgment action was filed by the lender he knew he was in over his head and needed legal counsel. The client turned to a family friend and community business leader who referred him to Shuster & Saben.

In the first 48 hours after Shuster & Saben was hired the firm served over twenty pages of discovery requests on the bank’s lawyers including requests to produce, interrogatories, and requests for admission. This was followed by a qualified written request to Ocwen. One month later, when the hearing on the lender’s motion for summary judgment came before the Court, the bank’s lawyers had not answered the discovery requests. The Court agreed with Shuster & Saben’s argument that the bank could not go forward with the hearing because discovery had not been completed. The firm continued to litigate discovery issues for the next nine months.

In September of 2010, Ocwen sent its first settlement proposal in which it offered to reduce our client’s interest rate from a horrible rate of 8.65% to a merely poor rate of 5.375%. Firm partner, Richard Shuster wrote back to Ocwen to tell them that their offer was pathetic, and that they needed to come up with a real offer that reduced our client’s loan balance if they wanted to settle the case. (To Read our firm's response to Ocwen's Initial Offer click here)

Ocwen’s second settlement proposal was much better and offered to reduce the loan balance from $229,048 to $123,644 which equates to $103,404 of principal reduction. By accepting this deal our client would reduce his loan balance by over 45%. Since our client’s home is worth more than $123,000 once the offer was accepted our client would have equity in his house. The deal would also reduce our client’s interest rate from 8.65% to 4.83%. When the client met with firm attorney Richard Shuster, the advice given was straight to the point, accept the offer and do whatever it takes to come up with the $1,256.00 payment required for acceptance.

Our client took our advice. His new principal and interest payment (after the initial month) will be a very affordable $723.36. Our client will exit foreclosure in a much stronger financial position then he was in when the lender filed suit against him. Thankfully along the way his income in the construction, renovation and building trades has improved (but has yet to return to pre-recession levels). Without counsel our client would have lost his case at the summary judgment hearing in April of 2010. With this settlement we believe he will keep his permanently.

To Review the actual settlement offer please click the link below:
Redacted Loan Modification Offer from Ocwen

About Shuster & Saben:
The foreclosure defense attorneys at Shuster & Saben will tell you that most loan modifications (even ours) do NOT have principal reductions. A bad loan modification is not any better than a bad mortgage. Many times (including in this case) the lender's first offer is not their best offer. Not every home can be saved and some homes are so far upside down that they should not be saved. If you are in foreclosure, our professional, frank, and objective advice can be received in a free, no obligation initial consultation. Our firm's offices in Miami, Doral, Plantation, and Melbourne defend homeowners in foreclosure from Miami to Titusville on the east coast, in Collier and Lee County on the west coast, and in Orange and Seminole County.