Sunday, October 14, 2012

Foreclosure Win Results in $17,500.00 Attorney Fee Recovery

When the Foreclosure mill law firm David Stern, P.A. collapsed many lawyers who defend foreclosures were content to sit on their hands and wait six months to a year for the banks suing their clients to send the files to other law firms.  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.