Sunday, October 14, 2012
Of course Shuster & Saben is NOT like most firms that defend foreclosures. Firm attorney Richard Shuster saw the collapse of David Stern as an opportunity to cut off the head of a sleeping snake.
After the Stern firm failed to respond to requests for admission served by Shuster on behalf of a foreclosure defense client, Shuster filed a motion for summary judgment in favor of the homeowner. The Stern firm did not withdraw form the case and Wells Fargo did not assign the case to new counsel. Shuster then set a hearing on the motion for summary judgment.
Despite their receipt of the notice of hearing, David Stern did not have an attorney present at the hearing. When the judge called the firm to allow them to attend the hearing by phone the lawyer who the receptionist directed the Judges call to did not take the Court’s call. Since Wells Fargo's lawyers ( David Sern, P.A.) failed to respond to requests for admission that Wells Fargo did not own the note and a request for admission that Wells Fargo did not hold the note summary judgment and final judgment were entered in favor of the homeowner. After the win the foreclosure defense attorney Richard Shuster filed a motion for attorney’s fees.
Shuster was concerned if the firm immediately sought to collect attorney’s fees Wells Fargo might move for relief from the judgment arguing that they accidentally failed to send the file to new counsel. As such Shuster waited one year from the date of judgment so that the time for Wells Fargo to seek relief form judgment ( 1 year under the rule) expired. Once the time for Wells Fargo to seek relief from judgment expired the firm went forward with its motion for attorney’s fees. Wells Fargo’s new lawyers, Aldridge Conners argued that the homeowner should not be entitled to attorney’s fees. This argument was rejected by the Court which found for the Defendant on attorney fee entitlement. The day before the hearing on the amount of attorney’s fees Wells Fargo and their new counsel agreed to pay $17,500.00 to resolve the attorney fee claim. Our client not only won their case ( a final judgment win not a mere dismissal ) get money back from the fees recovered from Wells Fargo.
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Old Payment $1,596.31 – New Payment $954.17.
On April 26, 2012, a nervous couple sat down with foreclosure defense attorney Richard Shuster, for a free consultation at Shuster & Saben’s Melbourne office. Ten days earlier the couple had been served with a summons, lis pendis, and a complaint ( law suit) to foreclose on their Viera, Florida home. The couple had had not make a mortgage payment in over fourteen months, and owed approximately $230,000.00 on a home worth approximately $175,000.00. The couple came to Shuster & Saben, at the recommendation of a co-worker whose foreclosure case was won by Attorney Shuster.
The firm filed a notice of appearance for the homeowner on April 30, 2012, and a fifteen page Answer to the complaint on May 7, 2012. At the same time he served the firm’s Answer, Shuster opened lines of communication to Ocwen ( the loan servicer ) and to opposing counsel to attempt an expedited settlement. Shuster fast tracked this case toward settlement based on the fact that the loan servicer was Ocwen with whom the firm has a large number of principal reduction settlements and because the homeowners were only 25% upside down. The plaintiff that had filed the foreclosure action was Bank of New York Mellon as Trustee for the Certificate Holders of Poplar ABS Inc. Shuster was further encouraged by the fact that this trust had no prohibition against principal reductions and had made other principal reduction settlements.
On June 8, 2012, the firm received an offer (dated June 5, 2012) from Bank of NY Mellon’s attorney. Shuster forwarded the offer to the client the same day, and E-mailed the bank’s lawyer that the offer was accepted. Once the client was ready to wire their first payment the settlement documents were executed and faxed to Ocwen and Bank of NY Mellon’s counsel on June 27, 2012.
The settlement reduced our clients loan balance from approximately $230,000.00 to $185,000.00 and reduced their interest rate from 7.5% to 3.78%. Our client’s monthly payment went from $1,596.31 (principal & interest only) to $954.17 (principal & interest only). Over the remaining 23 years of their mortgage term our clients will save $177,230.64 which is based on a monthly savings of $642.14 per month times 276 months. Our clients will not only keep their home and the roof over their children’s beds, they will also be in a far stronger position when they retire in a few decades. Our clients’ return for their investment in foreclosure defense was over $30.00 of savings for every dollar they invested.
To Review the Settlement Agreement Clink the Link Below:
About Shuster & Saben: Shuster & Saben thinks that the best foreclosure defense lawyers are problem solvers. We look at and discuss our clients finances, home value, loan balance, and personal objectives before explaining their options and helping our clients make well informed decisions. We evaluate asset protection, tax consequences, and the strengths and weaknesses of the banks' cases and look at all potential solutions including litigation, deed-in-lieu, loan modification, short sale and on very rare occasions referral to a bankruptcy lawyer. We charge more than those foreclosure lawyers using cookie cutter, one-size fits all, stall tactics but we work our cases and are proud of our results. See our older post for court orders from our victories and other loan medication settlements.
Friday, June 1, 2012
Old Principal Balance: $213,834.00
New Principal Balance: $66,000.00
Percentage Savings: 69%
Old Principal & Interest Payment: $888.62
New Principal & Interest Payment: $312.06
Shuster & Saben, LLC recently obtained a principal reduction loan modification for a Palm Bay, Florida homeowner that cut his mortgage by over 69%. When the client came to the firm in March of 2009 he already had a loan modification offer in hand. Before he ever hired a lawyer the loan servicer, Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC offered the homeowner an “Trial Modification” that after a successful trial modification would have reduced interest rate on the loan to 3.95% for five years.
When the homeowner met with foreclosure defense attorney, Richard Shuster for a free review of the loan modification offer he wanted to know the pros and cons of accepting the offer versus defending the foreclosure action. Shuster advised that the offer was a band-aid the would, in the short term, make the home more affordable but in the long term would do absolutely nothing to solve the client’s huge negative equity problem. The client owed over $215,000.00 on a home in Palm Bay worth about $80,000.00 (in 2009) that was continuing to lose value in a declining real estate market. Further, after five years the 3.95% interest rate would end and the client would be stuck with a very high interest rate of his original mortgage that was nearly 8%.
The foreclosure lawsuit filed against the homeowner alleged that the loan on his home was owned by a securitized trust. Shuster explained to the homeowner several of the weaknesses in the foreclosure action filed against him. Ultimately, the homeowner decided it was better and far cheaper to fight the foreclosure than to accept a bad loan modification offer.
For over two years the firm defended the foreclosure action. Along the way the firm obtained Court orders directing the lender to produce various documents that the lender's counsel failed or refused to turn over. During this time the client made no mortgage payments and therefore his loan balance grew from $213k to approximately $240k. While tightening a vice on the lender’s case with discovery court orders, attorney Shuster sent out an olive branch to the lender’s attorney and Ocwen offering to settle the case if they would cut the client’s loan balance down to $66,000.00. Shuster ‘s settlement offer included the client’s current property appraisal form the Brevard County property appraiser. Ocwen in turn sent back a settlement offer that mirrored most of the terms set forth in Shuster’s offer. Unlike Ocwen’s first offer that had 3.95% interest for only five years, the new offer has a 3.92% interest rate for the life of the loan.
Both the original 2009 offer and the 2012 offer are linked at the bottom of this blog entry. Please view both of these offers to see what a difference fighting a foreclosure can make. During the two and half years we defended this case our client saved over $18,000 that he would have spent on rent or mortgage. The principal reduction saved him an additional $147,834. For ever dollar invested in foreclosure defense he saved over ten dollars in housing expenses. For obtaining this huge principal reduction our firm qualified for a small contingent bonus that will be paid out over a year. Our client thinks this is a great deal and one he can easily afford with a principal and interest payment of only $312.06 for the next twenty-four years.
SEE THE LOAN MOD OFFERS HERE
Shuster & Saben is a law firm for smart homeowners who understand the difference between foreclosure defense and foreclosure delay. We think a good outcome if a foreclosure case is one where the bank’s case is dismissed or settled under terms solve or substantially diminish the homeowners financial problems. A good foreclosure defense lawyer in a problem solver with the ability, desire, and stamina to fight like heck for their client. We are not the firm for everyone and there are other foreclosure defense firms who change less. To arrange a consultation to see if your case meets our requirements and we meet yours please call offices as follows: Melbourne (321) 622-5040, Fort Lauderdale (954) 423-0052, Miami/Doral (305) 629-8806 or e-mail email@example.com.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
One of the coolest things we get to do as a foreclosure defense lawyers is write checks to clients. Most clients hire our firm under an arrangement in which they pay us a flat fee each month for the first hour we work on the case and any additional hours are worked on a pure contingency basis. Under such an arrangement if we want to get paid for the rest of our time we need to win the case and recover attorney’s fees from the bank. When we get foreclosure cases dismissed or win cases on summary judgment or at trial, we go after the banks and servicers to get paid for the rest of our time and to obtain reimbursement for our clients for the attorney's fees they previously paid.
|Redacted check issued to client after firm obtained dismissal of Wells Fargo's foreclosure case and obtained a judgment against the bank for attorney's fees.|
If you scroll though our blog you will find quite a few attorney fee judgments that order banks and loan servicers to pay attorney’s fees to our firm. One of our clients asked why we put fee judgments and fee checks up on our blog. The reason is to let homeowners know that that some of the time homeowners win and that when they go shopping for a lawyer what law firm they choose makes a difference. Some lawyers who represent homeowners confuse foreclosure delay with foreclosure defense. To us foreclosure defense means fighting foreclosure cases with a goal of winning a significant portion of our cases and finding solutions through settlement, loan modification, short sale or deed in lieu for the rest of the cases when possible. Our sophisticated clients want more than knee-jerk, cookie-cutter, stall tactics. We evaluate our clients' cases with an big picture view that considers asset protection and tax consequences.
When we win cases and recover fees from the bank our fee judgments are usually sufficient to return to the client a substantial portion for the fees the client previously paid. This past week, I got to write a check for $2,651.00 to a foreclosure defense client of our Melbourne office. We obtained a dismissal without prejudice of the client’s case after Wells Fargo’s lawyers failed to timely comply with a Court order. For the past five months there has been no pending foreclosure case against our client ( the bank has not re-filed), our client has made no mortgage payments, and he has had no legal expenses. Now the client has received a check to reimburse him for more than half of his prior legal expenses.
To see a redacted copy of the check to our client full size in a separate window click the link below:
To see a redacted copy of the check to our client full size in a separate window click the link below:
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Pictured Above: Actual Shuster & Saben Case file from case where firm defeated
U.S. Bank and their counsel Doug Zahm, P.A.
In April a foreclosure case our firm had been defending for well over two years was scheduled for summary judgment hearing in Brevard County, Florida. Generally if a bank files a motion for summary judgment and “wins” the hearing on their motion, the case is for all practical purposes is over and all that is left is for the Court to administratively set a sale date, sell the property, transfer title to winning bidder at the foreclosure auction, and issue a writ of possession to remove the home’s former owner.
Summary judgment hearings are either “special set” meaning a hearing usually fifteen minutes in length is scheduled for a specific time before a specific judge or set on a “cattle-call” mass docket where thirty to one hundred cases have summary judgment hearings set for the same time and the court goes through all of the cases set in an hour or two. Our case was set on a cattle call docket with ninety seven cases. When I arrived at 9:00 for the haring, I learned our case was number eighty-eight on the judge’s list of cases set for the morning. Thankfully, I bought something to read. It was going to be a long morning. While re-reading the case law I would present to the Court when our case was called, I watched the hearings of other lawyers and unrepresented homeowners. In most of the cases nobody showed up for the homeowner. In every case where there was no homeowner present and no lawyer present for the homeowner, the bank’s motion for summary judgment was granted and a sale date was set.
When the first contested case where the homeowner actually had a lawyer present was called, I looked up from what I was reading to see a confident colleague walk to the lectern with a file as thick as a telephone book. The homeowner's attorney explained “ Judge we have rescheduled the bank representative’s deposition three times at their request but the deposition has not happened yet. The case is not ripe for summary judgment because discovery is not compete. “ After a brief rebuttal from the bank’s lawyer the Court denied the bank’s motion.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
When the recession of 2008-2010 hit, a young Florida mom’s employer closed and in a short span of time she faced financial hardships of both unemployment and divorce. In her divorce she kept the family home in Palm Bay, Florida. Unfortunately, the value of the property fell more than 60% when the local real estate market collapsed. She now owed nearly $150,000 on a property worth less than $50,000 and her limited income from unemployment was insufficient to pay her mortgage. When Space Coast Credit Union filed a foreclosure action against her in 2009, the homeowner traveled to a legal aid office in Daytona Beach where a legal aid lawyer helped her draft a do it yourself ( Pro Se ) Answer.
The homeowner originally obtained the loan on her home from Space Coast Credit Union ( SCCU) who in turn sold the loan to the Federal National Mortgage Association, also known as Fannie Mae or FNMA. In 2009, SCCU filed a foreclosure action against the homeowner which she defended herself through 2009 and part of 2010. In 2010, the homeowner found a job as a legal assistant and attempted unsuccessfully to modify her mortgage. In 2010 after mediation was unsuccessful and Space Coast’s lawyers filed a motion for summary judgment the homeowner hired Melbourne Florida foreclosure defense attorney, Richard Shuster, to defend the foreclosure action.
Shuster & Saben defended the foreclosure action for two additional years during which time the homeowner made no mortgage payments. During the three years that the client made no mortgage payments she was able to use the savings to provide for her family, and later after finding employment, to replenish her savings that were wiped out by unemployment and divorce.
Shuster went on the offensive in the foreclosure action and deposed Space Coast’s corporate representative. The firm hoped to win the case under a theory that the proper plaintiff was Fannie Mae the loan owner and not the loan Space Cost the loan servicer. The firm used testimony from the deposition to defeat Space Coast’s motion for summary judgment. Unfortunately, the Court denied the motion for summary judgment the firm filed on behalf of the homeowner. Since the Court denied both sides’ motions for summary judgment the case would ultimately have to be resolved by trial.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Shuster & Saben, LLC has reached a Loan Modification Settlement with Residential Credit Solutions.
Old Payment: $1,240.00
New payment: $961.17
New payment: $961.17
Thursday, April 12, 2012
After winning yet another foreclosure action against Wells Fargo and their counsel, Florida Default Law Group, foreclosure defense attorney Richard Shuster has obtained a judgment for attorney’s fees and costs in the amount of $12,695.00. Homeowners should understand that hiring foreclosure attorneys who actually win cases as opposed to merely trying to slow a bank’s case down makes good financial sense. In a foreclosure case, when the bank or loan servicer loses the case the bank has to pay the homeowner’s attorney’s fees. Money from the judgment against Wells Fargo will reimburse legal expenses previously paid by the firm’s client.
Fighting cases to win, rather than to lose slowly requires more time and effort on the attorney’s part. Hiring a firm that attempts to win cases might cost a little more in the beginning but in cases where the homeowner wins their case and recovers fees from the bank and in many cases settled under favorable terms the investment in a sophisticated foreclosure defense pays off for the homeowner.
To review a redacted copy of the final judgment for attorney’s fees please click the link below.
About Shuster & Saben: Shuster and Saben, LLC knows the difference between real foreclosure defense and knee jerk stalling. Savvy homeowners in foreclosure who want more than a cookie cutter foreclosure delay can consult with one of our attorney’s for free. Since we regularly go to court on our client’s cases, we don’t take cases in Tampa or the Panhandle that are beyond the reach of our firms offices. We do accept cases from Miami to Jacksonville on the east coast and in Orange, Seminole, Collier and Lee counties. We know who the top foreclosure lawyers are in parts of the state where we do not practice and gladly make referrals. Thanks for reading our blog. We would love to put your case in a future post.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
An eighty-five year old homeowner came to the Melbourne office of Shuster & Saben caught between a rock and a hard place. Her property insurance company dropped her because she did not replace a thirty-year-old electrical panel in her home. When her lender learned that her property insurance was not renewed it replaced the old insurance policy with a force-placed policy costing nearly quadruple the price. The client could not afford to pay both her mortgage and the cost of replacing her electrical panel.
The client’s sole source of income was Social Security and she did not have savings available to pay for the expensive home repair. The client had tried on her own, for months, without success, to obtain a loan modification from her mortgage servicer. Prior to the filing of a foreclosure action, firm attorney Richard Shuster advised her that she since she could not obtain other insurance coverage until she replaced a dangerous, outdated, electrical panel and she could not afford force-placed coverage she had no other choice but to miss a few mortgage payments and use the money that to fix her home. The client was encouraged to speak to the lender and let them know her situation. Hopefully the homeowner could fix her electrical box and obtain a loan modification before the loan servicer brought a foreclosure action.
Unfortunately the loan servicer filed a foreclosure action after the client missed several payments. When the servicer filed the foreclosure action, the client did not have sufficient funds to pay the firm’s usual fees for foreclosure defense and was given a hardship discount. After being retained the firm moved to dismiss the foreclosure action and submitted a loan modification package for the borrower. Less than sixty days after being hired, the firm has obtained a HAMP loan modification that will lower the client’s interest rate from 6% to 2.25% The client has fixed her electrical box. Shuster referred the client to top insurance agent to obtain a new insurance policy to replace the force-placed insurance policy obtained by the loan servicer. With swift proactive representation designed to solve problems, the firm has helped another client save their home.
About Shuster & Saben: Shuster & Saben tailors its approach to each clients unique situation with a goal of solving problems and protecting our clients home and assets. If you want more than cookie-cutter foreclosure delay, a free consultation (for homeowners in foreclosure) is a phone call away.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Nearly four years ago a Melbourne, Florida resident in foreclosure left town for the weekend. Although her home was in foreclosure she continued to live there and run her home based business from the property. When she arrived home after the weekend away, the lock on her front door had been changed. A field service agent sent by her loan servicer had broke in the back door, changed the lock on her front door, and left his business card. When she found her front door locked she went around to the back of the house where she found her broken in back door left wide open. When she went inside she found that many of her possessions were gone.
The homeowner called the police and a police report was filed. The police did not arrest anyone and told her that because she was in foreclosure this was a “civil” matter. Our client did not know if the field service agent took her belongings or merely enabled some other person to take her stuff by leaving the back door unlocked.
The home owner took pictures of her home after the break-in to show that the property was in good repair and could not have been mistaken for an abandoned property. She asked several different lawyers in the Space Coast to take her case. Every attorney she spoke to told her the same thing: that her damages (about $6,000.00 of lost property) were to small and she had no proof that the field service agent left the back door open or took her property. One lawyer told her “Perhaps the field service agent broke into the property, changed the locks, and locked all the doors and then a thief broke in and left the back door open.”
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Shuster & Saben Defeats Nationstar Mortgage in Vero Beach Foreclosure Case and Recovers Attorney’s Fees.
Things did not look good for a Vero Beach resident when he drove to Melbourne to hire Shuster & Saben to defend his home. Before Shuster & Saben was hired Nationstar had already obtained summary judgment against the homeowner. All that was left in the case was for the Indian River Circuit Court to conduct a foreclosure sale which was scheduled to take a place about a month after the firm was hired. When Shuster & Saben was first hired Nationstar was so confident in their position that they rejected a request made by attorney Shuster for a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure settlement.
After the firm was hired, Shuster & Saben moved to set the summary judgment aside based on promises made to the homeowner that his loan would be modified. Before the hearing on the motion to cancel sale and vacate summary judgment took place, Nationstar’s original counsel Ben-Ezra Katz, P.A., withdrew the affidavit that had previously been filed in support of Nationstar’s motion for summary judgment. Shortly thereafter Nationstar, Fannie Mae and numerous other lenders discharged the Ben-Ezra firmunder suspicious circumstances.
Firm attorney Richard Shuster argued that if the affidavit used in support of summary judgment was withdrawn and was possibly fraudulent the Court should vacate the summary judgment previously entered against our client. The Court agreed, canceled the foreclosure sale and vacated the summary judgment against our client.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
In November of 2011, Shuster & Saben filed an Answer on behalf of an owner of an oceanfront condominium in Roney Palace in Miami Beach. In February of 2012, the Plaintiff and alleged owner of the note, Kondaur Capital Corporation dismissed their case against our client. Another day… another dismissal for Shuster & Saben. Our client was happy to hear the news that he will have no bill for our services in March because his case is now over.
Our client, an out of state condo owner, had his personal attorney in New York screen top foreclosure firms to find an agile, aggressive, cost effective foreclosure defense firm that would go on the attack from the get-go. After interviewing firm attorney Richard Shuster and researching our case results, the client’s personal attorney recommended that he hire our firm.
Shuster & Saben does not use stall tactics like motions for extension of time. We hit Kondaur with a answer that was nearly fifteen pages long and discovery into the questionable transfers of the loan from on financial institution to the next. After Kondaur received our answer they put the mortgage up for sale. Kondaur did not wait around and try to substitute some new or future buyer of the loan into the lawsuit they filed. Instead they decided to cut and run. As U.S. Bank recently learned, banks without airtight cases can incur judgments for enormous fees when they go to the mat and lose against our firm. Kondaur’s decision will limit the amount of their fee exposure.
To see the redacted dismissal please click the link below
When other lawyers ask why is it that our firm obtains so many foreclosure dismissals, I let them know it is because we work our cases. Pushing back hard takes a little more work but when it results in a quick dismissal it saves our clients money. Some prospective clients are only concerned about the fees of a foreclosure firm charges and might pick one lawyer over another because they change $100.00 less a month or have a one time flat fee change. We believe that hiring the best lawyer that will take the homeowner’s case is the best way for the homeowner to maximize the value of their foreclosure defense budget. If a homeowner is unsure how tell how good a job a foreclosure lawyer will do in their case, they should look at the lawyer’s results in the lawyer’s prior cases and interview more than one lawyer. For more information about our firm’s results please see the last fifty (50) blog posts on this site or our 5 Star Client Reviews on AVVO.
Friday, February 17, 2012
When a Satellite Beach resident hired Shuster & Saben to defend the foreclosure case filed by Deutsche Bank (as Trustee) against his home, firm attorney Richard Shuster wrote both the servicer for the client’s first mortgage and Heritage Pacific the servicer of the client’s second mortgage. The firm wrote both servicers so that calls and letters from both servicers to the client would stop.
The firm’s letter to Heritage Pacific told Heritage point blank and in bold type “All future contact relative to this debt must take place solely through this office. Please cease and desist all communications with our clients.”
Shuster even said “Please” but only once. When Heritage wrote our client nearly one year later to offer a lump sum payment “option” to make single payment of $93,446.98 when our clients balance was on $93,446.98 ( a whopping discount of 0% ), the firm did not repeat their warning. The firm filed suit against Heritage for both the illegal contact with a person they knew was represented by counsel , a violation of the FCCPA, (Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act) and Heritage’s failure to properly respond to a Qualified Written Request, a violation of RESPA, (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act). Now this Texas loan servicer will have to hire a lawyer to defend a Brevard case where the homeowner is the Plaintiff.
To see a redacted copy of the lawsuit filed against Heritage Pacific please click the link below:
About Shuster & Saben: Shuster & Saben loves to sue banks. See our older blog posts about cases where we sued banks and won. Shuster & Saben has a zero tolerance policy for lenders and loan servicers who call our clients. The firm handles FCCPA, FDCPA, and RESPA claims against banks on a pure contingency basis. The firm accepts referrals from other foreclosure lawyers whose clients are called by banks. We believe that when a consumer hires a lawyer they should enjoy peace and quiet that is not interrupted by collections calls from banks. Speak softly and carry a big stick.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Poor Florida Default Law Group, once against they have lost yet another case to Shuster & Saben, LLC. This foreclosure case began when Wells Fargo decided to hire Tampa foreclosure mill Florida Default Law Group to prosecute a foreclosure case in Brevard County. Florida Default assigned the file to a young lawyer handling a very large caseload. The homeowner hired the Melbourne office of Shuster & Saben, where firm partner Richard Shuster immediately went on the offensive against Wells Fargo.
Shuster, an experienced civil litigator practicing three times as many years as his opponent, moved to dismiss the case because the complaint was not properly verified.
The motion to dismiss set forth that the person who “verified” the complaint had an illegible signature and the verification page did not state whether the unknown person signing the verification even worked for Wells Fargo. The Court granted the motion to dismiss but granted leave for the Florida Default Law Group to fix the problem by filing an amended complaint within twenty days. Florida Default and/or Wells Fargo then dropped the ball by letting nearly two months go by before they got around to complying with the Court’s order. Apparently they thought a Court order directly them to do something within 20 days meant 20 days or whenever they got around to doing it.
When Shuster received Wells Fargo’s amended verified complaint he immediately moved to strike the complaint and for the entire case to be dismissed. Following a January 23, 2012, hearing the Court granted the firm’s motion to strike the amended complaint and dismissed the case. Perhaps this order will teach Florida Default that Court orders need to be complied with and that when a judge orders you to do something you move it to the top of your to-do pile.
After the case was dismissed Shuster filed a timely motion for attorney’s fees and will now prosecute an attorney fee claim against Wells Fargo. The firm looks forward to obtaining fees from Wells Fargo and using such fees to reimburse our client’s legal expenses.
To review or download the entire order with our client's name redacted click the link below.
About Shuster & Saben: If you are being sued for foreclosure chances are quite high that your bank or your bank’s law firm has lost a case to our firm. Perhaps your bank or their lawyer will be angry that you hired Shuster & Saben. We think they want you to bring a knife to a gunfight. If you would rather bring an assault rife give us a call or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
This was the largest attorney fee judgment against a bank or loan servicer the firm has ever obtained and is one of the largest fee awards awarded in Brevard County in a foreclosure case. In this case U.S. Bank went to the mat. At mediation the lender offered our client a token interest rate reduction of less than 1% that would have cut the clients mortgage by less than $50.00 a month. Our client, a county employee, had lost most of his overtime compensation in the wake of government cutbacks that were widespread in the Space Coast, after the housing bubble burst causing property tax revenues to fall off a cliff. Our client owed nearly double what his home was worth. At mediation, we tried to convince U.S. Bank that their case was not a slam dunk but the attorney for U.S. Bank was a “coverage” attorney brought in just for mediation because he had an office in Melbourne. The banks coverage attorney saw the file for the first time the day of mediation. For more than two hours, attorney Shuster pointed out to bank several of the serious obstacles they would face if they proceeded and some of the wholes in their case. US Bank was cocky and complacent. Their position was that they would win and that the homeowner’s choice was to either take the banks crappy offer or lose their house. Our client made another choice. He choose to stay the course and fight.
Friday, January 6, 2012
One of the greatest thrills for a foreclosure defense attorney is to call their client from the courthouse parking lot and tell them the judge has thrown out the bank's case and that the bank’s lawsuit is now over. Firm attorney Richard Shuster, got such a thrill after his first Court appearance of the new year on Thursday, January 5, 2012.
Shuster was in Court in Brevard County, Florida on a motion to dismiss filed on behalf of a Space Coast foreclosure client. Unlike attorney Shuster, who appeared in person at the hearing, the attorney for Wells Fargo, an associate of the Florida Default Law Group, appeared at the hearing by phone. The issue addressed at the hearing was whether Wells Fargo’s foreclosure complaint was properly verified as required by Florida Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 1.110(b). Our position was that verification must be part of the complaint and cannot be made on a separate piece of paper. Wells Fargo argued that their separate verification pleading satisfied the requirements of the rule. Mr. Shuster was one of the first lawyers in Florida to “make new law” on this issue in the case PNC v. Peckham which appeared in the Florida Law Weekly Supplement in January of 2011. The Court agreed with our arguments and entered an order granting the motion to dismiss without leave to amend.
This lawsuit against our client is now over. The firm has already served a motion for attorney’s fees against Wells Fargo and will look forward to recovering attorney’s fees from Wells Fargo to reimburse legal expenses incurred by our client.
The client was overjoyed to know that there is no longer a case pending against him, that next month he will have no legal expenses, and that our efforts will now turn to recovering money from the bank to pay his legal expenses. To review the actual order in Adobe Acrobat / PDF format click the link below:
Redacted Order of Dismissal
About Shuster & Saben: Shuster & Saben, LLC is not like other foreclosure defense firms. We do not file motions to dismiss as a stall tactic. We file motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment to win foreclosure cases. We believe that a good foreclosure defense attorney builds and arms torpedoes and puts them in the water with the goal of sinking the lender’s case. Going on offense takes more work. Winning foreclosure cases requires going to Court, usually several times. This costs us more to do in terms of time, energy and resources and what we change reflects this. We are certainly NOT the cheapest foreclosure firm to hire but we strive to deliver superior results at a price that is clear, fair, predictable and an excellent value. To speak with an attorney to see if the foreclosure cases against you have a weakness or vulnerability that we can exploit please E-mail email@example.com.