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Florida Quick Facts
Capital: Tallahassee
Area: 58,560 square miles
Ranks 22nd in size
Nicknames: Peninsula State; Sunshine State
State Slogan: Visit Florida
Admission Date: 1845
State Flower: Orange Blossom
State Bird: Mockingbird
Did you know?

  • The official beverage of Florida is orange juice.
  • Florida has the second longest coast line in the United States.
  • Florida waters contain more fish than anywhere else in the world.
  • There are 30,000 lakes in Florida.
  • The Everglades is one of the largest swamps in the world.
  • You can see the space shuttle launch from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
  • Saint Augustine was founded in 1565, and is the oldest permanent city in the United States.
  • Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida, is the number 1 Tourist destination in the world.
  • Gatorade was created in Florida.

In 1845, Florida became the 27th State to be admitted into the United States of America. Below are excerpts of the Florida Constitution followed by what has and is happening in Florida.

The Constitution of Florida
We, the people of the State of Florida, being grateful to Almighty God for our constitutional liberty, in order to secure its benefits, perfect our government, insure domestic tranquility, maintain public order, and guarantee equal civil and political rights to all, do ordain and establish this constitution.

All natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law and have inalienable rights, among which are the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty, to pursue happiness, to be rewarded for industry, and to acquire, possess and protect property; except that the ownership, inheritance, disposition and possession of real property by aliens ineligible for citizenship may be regulated or prohibited by law. No person shall be deprived of any right because of race, religion, national origin, or physical disability.
Article 1, Section 2

There shall be no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting or penalizing the free exercise thereof. Religious freedom shall not justify practices inconsistent with public morals, peace or safety. No revenue of the state or any political subdivision or agency thereof shall ever be taken from the public treasury directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.
Article 1, Section 3

No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law, or be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense, or be compelled in any criminal matter to be a witness against oneself.
Article 1, Section 9

The right of trial by jury shall be secure to all and remain inviolate. The qualifications and the number of jurors, not fewer than six, shall be fixed by law.
Article 1, Section 22

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It is happening in Florida
Wrongful Foreclosures Have Created Dark Skies For Some In The Sunshine State

Inside the Abortive FBI Investigation of Illegal Foreclosure in Florida
The massive probe threatened to implicate the biggest banks in America, but sent just one woman to prison....FBI agents in Jacksonville, Florida, wrote a memo to their bosses in Washington, DC, that could have unraveled the largest consumer fraud in American history....

"Given everything I see here, you'd have thought there would be many more convictions," said Timothy Crino, a now-retired FBI forensic accountant who reviewed case file documents. "If I was the case agent, I would be devastated."...."If evidence collected shows intent to defraud investors by the real estate trusts, this matter has the potential to be a top ten Corporate Fraud case." —FBI Criminal Investigative Division memo, June 2010....

It was Szymoniak, based on weeks of public records searches, who wrote the first official fraud report to the US attorney's office in Jacksonville....Szymoniak filed her own whistleblower lawsuits detailing foreclosure fraud and eventually won $95 million for the government under the False Claims Act...The banks had foreclosed on exactly the wrong person....

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Tags: Florida
Article by David Dayen, May 31, 2016


The Great American Foreclosure Story: The Struggle for Justice and a Place to Call Home
The story of how she ended up in a tent is the story of how America ended up in a foreclosure crisis that has not ended, that still drags down the economy and threatens to force millions of families from their homes. Already, banks have foreclosed on more than 4 million homes since the crisis began in 2007. With almost 6 million loans still in danger of foreclosure, 2012 could very well be the worst year yet. Ramos' story is remarkable not because it's unique but because it isn't. Her story doesn't fit any of the conventional narratives. Ramos is not a helpless victim. She made mistakes....Every step of the way, from her first subprime loan to foreclosure, her downfall was abetted by a mortgage industry so profit-driven and disconnected from homeowners that the common interests once linking lender and borrower have been severed. The lending arms of the nation's largest financial institutions helped plunge the country into crisis through their abuses and blunders, and they responded to that crisis with still more abuses and blunders — this time in how they handled people facing foreclosure....The industry developed tactics of dubious legality — not just robo-signing, which most Americans have heard of by now, but an array of business practices, some dating to the 1990s, that were designed to skirt the law and fatten profits. The federal and state governments largely tolerated these practices until they pushed Ramos into a tent and all of us into the Great Recession....

This grandmother's story — outrageous and complex — is our story, the American foreclosure story....

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Tags: Florida
Article by Paul Kiel, April 10, 2012


The Banks Lost the Notes: This is no Joke!
What kind of banker loses promissory notes? "A **** careless one," according to Law Professor Douglas Whaley, who spent 40 years teaching Commercial Paper at Ohio State University. What kind of banker destroys promissory notes? A "really stupid" one, says Professor Whaley. And yet, it is now clear that promissory notes underlying mortgage backed securities were lost or destroyed on a systematic basis, in what can only be termed yet another exhibition of the infinite recklessness (or corruption) of the bankers running the US economy. How bad was it?....

I can think of no more powerful indicator of gross ineptitude than this: they lost and destroyed promissory notes. These are the bankers that we bailed out and left in control of a huge chunk of our financial sector....

I must say that the entire foreclosure process is flawed - the banks and the courts alike have some changes to make. These "missing" notes are just the tip of the ice berg....

"The ultimate protection of the borrower is an original canceled note. Once a borrower pays a note obligation he is entitled to a canceled note. If the lender loses the note he has in a real sense deprived the borrower of this basic right."....

It is on everyone's interest to resolve most foreclosures in a timely manner.

If the notes are not recorded, again, the burden to prove that they existed and are legtimate should be borne by the banks....

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Tags: Florida
Article by, October 24, 2010


Bank Of America Sued For Illegally Taking Elderly Man’s Personal Possessions In Mistaken Foreclosure
The latest horror story involving Bank Of America involves an 82-year-old Florida man who returned home to find all his possessions taken, his door padlocked with a sign saying his property was seized in a foreclosure.
The only problem is that the man’s home was not in foreclosure. And apparently the home that should have been seized had a similar address.

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Tags: Florida
Article by George Gombossy, June 27, 2011


Foreclosure firms facing action from the Florida Bar
This month, the Bar was investigating 43 reports of some type of foreclosure fraud involving 32 lawyers....In principle, foreclosure fraud can end a lawyer’s career. Knowingly giving false documents to a court or lying to a judge can lead to disbarment. Just knowing another lawyer did that and not saying anything can be grounds for suspension....Many judges have gotten used to incomplete or confusing paperwork, but documents that are obviously false can still get a case thrown out....

Florida bar investigates 32 lawyers for potential foreclosure fraud. According to this article, Circuit Judge Jean Johnson threw out one case after ruling that lawyers representing JP Morgan CHASE used bogus documentation to try to seize a Jacksonville house. According to the article, the "we made a mistake argument" is not an all purpose excuse for this Judge. She points out a sometimes forgotten code that every lawyer has a personal duty to make sure their work meets professional standards. She recognizes there is a difference between sloppiness and dishonesty, but said the argument for fraud grows when 'documents have actually been created to prove a fact that is not in existence'." Way to go, Judge Johnson! Where are the rest of the honorable judges in America? Are you out there? Stand up. Do your job. Honor the robe you wear and the Constitution you have sworn to uphold. Fight for those who you serve. Help us end this holocaust before it happens to you.

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Tags: Florida
Article by Steve Patterson, November 15, 2010


How an $83 fountain pen helped save a family home from foreclosure
In these days of robo-signers and rocket-dockets, you can easily imagine losing your family home at the stroke of a pen—based on the signature on a perjured affidavit, or the order of a hurried judge—but how often have you heard of a home saved by the stroke of a pen?.... we found that they had filed with the court an “original note” that was, in fact, a forgery. My client had gone to the courthouse herself to view the so-called original note, and when she opened the court file, she made a stunning discovery: her signature at the bottom of the page was in blue ink....

Imagine the bank’s surprise when they learned the notary had insisted on black ink—after they went to the trouble of creating a so-called original with a blue-ink signature they must have duplicated from a high-quality scan. Faced with the prospect of proof, at trial, that their “original” was a fake, they opted instead to drop the case. Victory!

A story of how the stroke of a pen saved a home. There are two lessons this author wants you to learn: If you suspect or know there is fraud, first, don't roll over. If you look carefully, and know what to look for, you just might find something terribly wrong with your own foreclosure case. Second, if you find something worth fighting about, dig in and do it. A home is something worth fighting for. Let's fight all the way for our homes. Victims, please look at your documents like this author challenges you to. We did and we have our own fountain pens now. CHASE, PHH, HSBC, WELLS FARGO, no more the right thing. We will not bow or bend. We will fight all the way for our home.

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Tags: Florida
Article by Ricardo & Wasylik, March 1, 2011


Fallen Foreclosure King David J. Stern Disbarred

The long, legal saga of David J. Stern, the south Florida attorney who made a fortune off the wave of home foreclosures stemming from the housing crisis, has reached its end. After years of court battles over the practices of Stern’s once-mighty, multimillion-dollar law firm, the Florida Supreme Court last week disbarred Stern....At one point, the Law Offices of David J. Stern handled as many as 100,000 foreclosure cases. Stern’s firm and others like it were dubbed “foreclosure mills,”....“For these guys, the law is irrelevant, the process is irrelevant, the substance is irrelevant.”....

Lawyer helps banks steal tens of thousands of homes, fraudulently forge and fabricate hundreds of thousands of court documents, illegally makes millions of dollars, and he just gets disbarred. Disbarred simply means you cannot practice law anymore. Actually, it sometimes means you cannot practice law for a specified period of time. As many millions of dollars as this foreclosure fraudster stole from innocent homeowners, do you really think he needed to or was planning to continue to practice law anyway? And we wonder why the mortgage crisis and scams continue...

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Tags: Florida
Article by Andy Kroll, January 13, 2014


Foreclosure King David Stern Shuttering His Law Firm
The reversal of fortune for David Stern and his law firm has been swift and breathtaking. A little over a year ago, the Stern’s operation reigned king in the foreclosure business. Its clients included Wall Street powerhouses such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citgroup; the firm was also cozy with government housing corporations Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which hand-picked Stern’s firm operation to process foreclosure cases for them. In 2009, the firm handled 70,000 foreclosure cases, and employed more than 1,000 people—paralegals, attorneys, paper-pushers, secretaries, and more. From 2006 to 2008, revenue generated by the non-legal, foreclosure-related parts of Stern’s operations spiked from $40 million to $200 million. But the big payoff didn’t come until January 2010, when Stern spun off those lucrative non-legal operations into a separate, publicly-traded company, netting him $58.5 million....And as his business empire crumbled, so, too, has his personal fortune....Stern is still under investigation by the Florida AG, which is looking at the past practices of his law firm....

Are you a mortgage robber? An accomplice by turning your head and looking the other way? What are you going to do when they come for you? Read what happens when the Florida Attorney General decided enough was enough. Even Freddie and Fannie had to duck and run on this one. America, it is time for you to say enough. We need some superheroes working in the mortgage industry to find a whistle and start blowing for all you are worth. Come on, Folks. Enough is enough.

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Tags: Florida
Article by Andy Kroll, March 7, 2011


Florida AG Unveils Foreclosure Mills Probe
The probes, led by the AG’s Economic Crimes Division, are examining whether “improper documentation may have been created and filed with Florida courts to speed up foreclosure processes, potentially without the knowledge or consent of the homeowners involved,” according to a press release. The other two firms targeted by the AG are the Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson and Shapiro & Fishman, who, together with Stern’s firm, handle a vast number of the foreclosure cases now clogging Florida’s courts system....

Another article on Stern and other Florida law firms being investigated for fraud. This article quotes Stern speaking at an investor presentation, "When people say, 'Oh, my ***, the economy is bad,' I'm like, 'Oh, my ***, it's great.' I hate to hear people are losing homes, and credit isn't available, and people's credit is such that they can't [refinance]. But if you are in our niche, it's what we want to do, and it's what we want to see." According to this article, some of the suits that have been filed against Stern includes blithely foreclosing on homeowners who'd never defaulted, gouging homeowners who were trying to get out of default, and even sexual harassment. This article also mentions an investigation into an offshore paper mill on the other side of the world that churns out legal documents. What does this mean? It means, Because many mortgages have been bought and sold by different institutions multiple times, key paperwork involved in the process to obtain foreclosure judgments is often missing. On numerous occasions, allegedly fabricated documents have been presented to the courts in foreclosure actions to obtain final judgments against homeowners. Thousands of final judgments of foreclosure against Florida homeowners may have been the result of the allegedly improper actions of the law firms under investigation. Have you had enough yet? Get involved.

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Tags: Florida
Article by Andy Kroll, August 10, 2010


Whistleblower facing foreclosure wins $18 million

(CBS News) When we first met Lynn Szymoniak on 60 Minutes last year, she was an angry homeowner facing foreclosure. Now, Szymoniak is walking away with an $18 million settlement after blowing the whistle on a "robo-signing" fraud that she says was perpetrated by some of the nation's largest mortgage companies....

"Robo-signing" is the illegal practice of forging mortgage documents. As 60 Minutes learned in its investigation last year (video below), the documents underpinning homeowners' mortgages are sometimes missing or nonexistent. Banks need such documents to foreclose on a homeowner, so some banks have resorted to fraud: creating phony or "robo-signed" paperwork to throw people out of their homes.

Szymoniak uncovered the "robo-signing" fraud while fighting to save her Florida home from foreclosure. After receiving what she considered to be fake paperwork from her bank, Szymoniak -- a lawyer and fraud investigator -- began investigating tens of thousands of documents in other foreclosure cases that appeared to be falsified....

No more excuses, Banksters. Do the right thing. America is coming for you!!

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Tags: Florida
Artcle by CBS News, March 18, 2012


Schedule Of Loans Purchased From WaMu (WASHINGTON MUTUAL) Does Not Exist, No Assignments of Mortgage, No Allonges…
Out of the mouth of Lawrence Nardi JP Morgan CHASE Operations Manager: "schedule of loans purchased from WaMu does not exist; no assignments of mortgage, no allonges or any evidence of transferring ownership of loans from WaMu to CHASE." ....

So, JPM allegedly “purchased” mortgage loans from the FDIC out of the WaMu failure, but there is no schedule of what loans were purchased, no assignments, no allonges, no endorsements, nothing that transferred ownership of the loans from WaMu to Chase. However, as we all know, JPM goes around the country touting that it is the “successor in interest to WaMu” (which it has admitted in Federal Court that it is not) and relies on the amorphous “FDIC Affidavit” which, as far as what the Affidavit” is proffered for, is directly contradicted by the sworn deposition testimony of JPM’s authorized representative WHO WAS FORMERLY WITH WAMU AND WAS PICKED UP BY JPM. Fraud on the courts, anyone?


Did he forget to include NO LOAN?

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Tags: Florida
Article by Jeff Barnes, August 21, 2012


Case Excerpts

Below are excerpts from legal cases that we have found during our research. Please note that we are not necessarily recommending or endorsing any of the cases or their outcomes. However, we have found the parts below to be helpful and informative in our battle.

Required to Hold the Note and Mortgage
“…U.S. Bank was required to establish, through admissible evidence, that it held the note and mortgage and so had standing to foreclose the mortgage before it would be entitled to summary judgment in its favor.”
BAC Funding Consortium Inc. v. Jean-Jacques, 28 So. 3d 936 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2010)

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Source: BAC Funding Consortium Inc. v. Jean-Jacques, 28 So. 3d 936 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2010)


Standing to Foreclose

“To summarize, the plaintiff must prove that it had standing to foreclose when the complaint was filed.”
McLean v. JP Morgan Chase Bank Nat. Ass’n., 79 So. 3d 170 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2012)

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Source: McLean v. JP Morgan Chase Bank Nat. Ass’n., 79 So. 3d 170 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2012)


Fraud on the Court
“The requisite fraud on the court occurs where ‘it can be demonstrated, clearly and convincingly, that a party has sentiently set in motion some unconscionable scheme calculated to interfere with the judicial system's ability impartially to adjudicate a matter by improperly influencing the trier of fact or unfairly hampering the presentation of the opposing party's claim or defense’." Aoude v. Mobil Oil Corp., 892 F.2d 1115, 1118 (1st Cir.1989). from
Cox v. Burke, 706 So. 2d 43 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1998)

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Tags: Florida
Source: Cox v. Burke, 706 So. 2d 43 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1998)