|Excerpt from 5 page Final Judgment for Attorney's Fees & Costs|
Monday, March 31, 2014
Firm Obtains $65,523.75 judgment against HSBC
Shuster & Saben has obtained what is believed to be the largest 2014 attorney fee judgment awarded in a Brevard County foreclosure action. The award was entered in favor of our client, a Space Coast homeowner, whose foreclosure action the firm defended since the action was filed in early 2010. The firm spent over 100 hours defending the case before ultimately defeating HSBC Mortgage Services and their counsel, Albertelli Law, P.A. After we obtained judgment on the pleadings against HSBC, the bank appealed the case to the Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal. The Fifth District Court of Appeal dismissed HSBC’s appeal after the bank failed to pay an appellate filing fee after being ordered to do so by the Appellate Court.
At the inception of the case, we asked HSBC to modify our client’s loan. As a foreign bank H.S.B.C. (stands for Hong Kong Shanghi Bank of China ) did not receive TARP bailout money so they had no obligation to the U.S. Treasury to make loan modifications under HAMP. HSBC denied our request for loan modification and advised that our client’s income exceeded income thresholds for their internal loan modification program. Once diplomacy failed it was time for firm to do everything in our power to keep the client in his home. Our fight came to end nearly four years later after we defeated HSBC in the trial court and again on appeal.
Our client hired our firm under a partial contingency fee agreement in which the client paid for the first hour we worked on his case each month. All of the rest of the hours the firm worked were on a pure contingency fee basis. If we did not win this case our firm would have been paid for less than half of the hours we spent on the case. True foreclosure defense meaning defending a case with a goal of winning the case at trial takes far more work than engaging in mere stall tactics that are commonly employed by some general practitioners who “handle” foreclosures from time to time. By using a partial contingency fee agreement our firm can offer services that are affordable to the consumer but still get paid for the huge investment of time that goes into winning a foreclosure case.
When our firm collects on this judgment our client will receive over $20,000.00 from the recovery and will get almost all of the money he paid our firm back. Our client remains in his Palm Bay home. Now that the time for HSBC to appeal the attorney fee judgment has expired our firm will levy on the judgment by having the Sheriff seize the bank's assets if the judgment in not paid within a reasonable time. To view a redacted copy of the judgment click here.