Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Shuster & Saben obtains $46,878 fee judgment against U.S. Bank

J.R. Ewing of TV drama Dallas was fond of saying “revenge is a dish best served cold.” In January of 2012, our firm obtained a judgment for attorney’s fees and costs against US Bank for in excess of $46,000.00. Our client’s revenge was served cold, approximately six months after a judge dismissed US Bank’s foreclosure case. In a foreclosure case when the bank loses the bank has to pay the prevailing homeowner’s attorney’s fees and costs. In this case, firm attorney Richard Shuster, spent 101 hours defending the case, and the Court, found that 95 of the hours were reasonable. The Court ordered U.S. Bank to pay the firm 95 hours at $450.00 per hour ($42.500.00) together with $3,562.50 of expert witness fees, $500.00 of interest, and $65.00 of costs.

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

Shuster & Saben Defeats Wells Fargo & Florida Default Law Group

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