DUSTIN A. ZACKS*
Cleveland State Law Review Vol 60 2013)
The recent housing crisis increased demand for attorneys to process foreclosures through state courts. This increase in demand was coupled with a desire for the fastest and cheapest legal services available. As a result, large foreclosure firms designed to handle an enormous number of foreclosure cases quickly and inexpensively evolved and flourished. During their ascendancy, these firms consistently generated complaints about their conduct, including questions about their ethical decision-making and about the veracity of the pleadings and documents they filed. Scholarly literature on the housing crisis, however, is largely devoid of
commentary on ethical issues related to increased foreclosures.
This Article tracks the rise and fall of several notorious high volume foreclosure firms and to examine the numerous instances of serious misconduct their attorneys and paralegals perpetrated. The Article accordingly examines the curiously muted reaction from state bar associations, judges, and state legislators.
The Article then proceeds to examine how these foreclosure firms differ in makeup from traditional large law firms. Notable characteristics of these foreclosure firms include lenders and servicers’ relentless demand for increased speed and low costs, lack of firm-specific capital at foreclosure law firms, and a factory-like atmosphere of legal practice. The Article concludes with an examination of three policy options to prevent another surge in attorney misconduct: changing ethical rules, improving ethical education, and increasing state bar association funding and authority.
* Dustin A. Zacks is a member of King, Nieves & Zacks PLLC in West Palm Beach; B.A., University of Michigan, 2004; J.D., University of Michigan Law School, 2007.
Full article: 2013-05-07 Robo-Litigation
Phi Beta Iota: There are four cesspools of corruption in the mortgage foreclosure business: Congress, which has been bought off; judges, who take bribes for blocking homeowners and facilitating the robo-litigation; the robo-litigators, where robo = willful knowing fraud; and the banks themselves, among which Maryland’s banks are especially notorious for greasing the palms of selected judges. To Maryland’s credit, the legislature passed a law intended to uphold homeowner’s rights to see the actual deed or have the foreclosure dismissed with prejudice, but crooked judges — as well as ignorant or harried judges — are not respecting that law. We hope the on-going investigation by the International Association of Investigative Journalists does to the judges what they just did to the offshore tax cheats.