Abigail Field for DailyFinance reported on two recent Pennsylvania cases accusing a foreclosure law firm of engaging in the unlicensed practice of law. In these cases, a law firm is accused of allowing non-lawyers to prepare and prosecute foreclosure actions with no attorney supervision or involvement. (http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/real-estate/thousands-of-pennsylvania-foreclosures-could-be-thrown-into-doub/19740497/)
Here in Florida, as in Pennsylvania, most of the foreclosure actions are filed by a few firms. These “foreclosure mills” have already been caught in Florida having employees sign mortgage-related documents without even knowing what the documents were. (see e.g., http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20101201/ARTICLE/12011057) Are we now going to find that some Florida foreclosure mills are allowing non-lawyers to engage in the unlicensed practice of law?
As detailed in an earlier blog post, mortgage holders and lenders would benefit by retaining competent, local counsel to represent them in foreclosure actions. Foreclosing lenders would do well to remember the adage that “quality is remembered long after low price is forgotten.” Foreclosure mills are cheaper for a reason.
Property owners being foreclosed upon should also retain competent, local counsel. Florida courts have, on a local level, imposed procedural requirements designed to help borrowers renegotiate loans and remain property owners. Local counsel can help borrowers protect their rights.
Need help with a foreclosure action? Call Kirk Pinkerton’s Brad Hogreve at 941-364-2455.