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


  1. It is important to hire a Foreclosure Lawyer that commits himself to the case he is assigned too. No client wants an incompetent lawyer, in any case.

  2. Great point of view and very relevant on my topic right now and I think I can make this as an interesting topic on my discussion.

  3. what are the chances the bank will refile?