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According to a new report from foreclosure analytics firm RealtyTrac South Florida foreclosures rose 49% from July to August and 12% over the same period in 2011.
The largest increase came from initial filings, the first step in the foreclosure process, with 110% rise from July to August. There were an overall total of 9,238 properties with foreclosure filings in South Florida in August, after just 6,207 in July. This entry was posted on Monday, September 17th, 2012 at 9:00 am and is filed under Market update, Miami, Real Estate News. Interested in some free resources and information to help you decide on the best course of action for buying, or selling your home. When you are facing debt issues you don’t just want to hire a lawyer, you want to ensure you find the right lawyer for your individual problem.
A lawyer representing the Bend Bulletin and Redmond Spokesman newspapers has filed an ethics complaint against an executive of the Northwest's largest foreclosure trustee, accusing the company of secretly marking up the cost of foreclosure legal ads to its lender clients. View full sizeThe Associated PressA sign of the times across the country as foreclosures hit coast to coast.A lawyer representing The Bulletin of Bend and the Redmond Spokesman newspapers has filed an ethics complaint with the Oregon State Bar against an executive of the Northwest's largest foreclosure trustee, accusing the company of secretly marking up the cost of foreclosure legal ads to its lender clients. Michael Dillard, of the Karnopp Petersen law firm in Bend, filed the complaint last week against David Fennell, a lawyer and a principal owner of Northwest Trustee Services, which by its own account has handled more than 250,000 foreclosures.
Dillard alleges that Northwest Trustee and its advertising operation, FEI, charged its clients an undisclosed 18 percent premium over the actual price. Those costs were then presumably passed on by banks to homeowners and others, Dillard said. Stephen Routh, CEO of Northwest Trustee Services, denied that FEI was charging a secret premium. The complaint puts Western Communications, owner of the Redmond Spokesman, The Bulletin and a handful of other newspapers, in a delicate position. The Bulletin published a lengthy story Tuesday about Northwest Trustee's alleged overcharging. The foreclosure disaster contained a big upside for Western Communications, which calls itself WesCom.
Through a convoluted series of events last spring, WesCom came to suspect that FEI may be charging its lender clients more for legal notices than it was actually paying.
Fueling its suspicion were requests from FEI that WesCom continue to bill the lower rate but list the higher rate on invoices and other paperwork between the two companies. It is, of course, common for businesses to include in their customer bills a markup for subcontractor charges.
The key difference in the case of Northwest Trustee, Dillard argued, is disclosure, or the lack thereof. Bar ethical rules hold lawyers to a particularly stringent standard, as Fennell learned firsthand in 2004. It's dangerous, of course, for WesCom to go public with its suspicions about one of its largest advertisers.

Northwest Trustee's Routh said the ethics complaint is another hardball tactic in a strained relationship. And while it's fashionable to bash the foreclosure business, Routh said, it's important to note that newspapers have not hesitated to profit off the trend. Subscribe and get breaking news, commentary, and opinions on law firms, lawyers, law schools, lawsuits, judges, and more. About a month after our Lawyer of the Day post, we noted that Stern was under investigation and conducting layoffs. A prominent Florida lawyer accused of mishandling many foreclosure cases in that state is shutting down his foreclosure law practice at the end of the month, a regulatory filing shows. The decision by the lawyer, David Stern, was announced by DJSP Enterprises Inc, a company he once ran and which calls itself the main customer of the Law Offices of David J. The law firm’s major customers, including mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, began pulling their cases from the firm last fall.
We suspect that Stern has put enough money away, whether in other investments on in offshore bank accounts, to survive the closing of his businesses. Tew said that, in the last few years, Stern’s firm has handled more than 100,000 foreclosure cases, and there have been fewer than 20 instances in which documents were “inadvertently misstated” and, when found, were corrected.
Tew said his client operates under the strict guidelines created by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and that the foreclosure process is supervised by a circuit court judge. When pressed about how he found out the Review was working on this article, he said Palm Beach Circuit Chief Judge Peter Blanc asked him to call in support of Sasser, who is prevented from commenting about pending cases and motions for recusal by judicial canon. The information on this website is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.
The Florida Foreclosure Law Group, based in South Florida, is a firm lead by an experienced Florida foreclosure defense attorney dedicated to providing Florida residents focused interdisciplinary services. What sets Loan Lawyers apart from other firms in South Florida is our unique and multifaceted approach. These "deceptive and dishonest" tactics, Dillard said, allowed FEI to collect from its clients about $360,000 more than it actually paid for the foreclosure notices published in the Redmond newspaper just since 2009. Since the economic crash of 2008 let loose a tidal wave of home foreclosures, the financial industry has been accused many times over by homeowners of improperly and fraudulently repossessing homes.
It is accusing one of its largest advertisers of underhanded billing practices even as the newspapers' parent company struggles through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. 14, which focused on the company's emergence during the foreclosure boom as one of the region's largest newspaper advertisers and its decision to begin buying newspapers outright. Though the Spokesman generally charged just over $1,000 for the legal notice ads required by Oregon law, WesCom suspected FEI billed $1,185. A home remodeling general contractor, for instance, will often charge the homeowner a surcharge on top of the bills from plumbers, electricials and other subcontractors.

Then, the Washington State Bar determined that a company within the Northwest Trustee umbrella was charging clients a 50 to 100 percent markup for posting foreclosure notices at people's homes without disclosing it.
But both state bars deemed the undisclosed markup dishonest and suspended Fennell's license a year.
The down economy and a dispute with a main lender, Bank of America, prompted WesCom to file for Chapter 11 reorganization in August. Routh and Fennell started up the Oregon Legal Journal in 2009 as an alternative for its own foreclosure notices, a move that threatened WesCom's Deschutes County foreclosure legal notice business.
The more than 2,000 FEI foreclosure notices the Spokesman has run since 2009 generated more than $2 million in revenue. There were claims of problems with documents generated by Stern’s firm, including allegations of falsified paperwork and violations of state and federal law.
The company, whose businesses have included processing, servicing and title operations, has already laid off much of its workforce.
Stern’s law firm handled tens of thousands of foreclosure cases around the state – about 20 percent of all repossessions in Florida. Then DJSP began shedding employees by the hundreds, until there were roughly only 50 remaining last month.
According to Reuters, he has put several luxury assets, including real estate and a yacht, up for sale. But in the unlikely event that some bank tries to foreclose on one of his many multimillion-dollar homes, he won’t have to look far for foreclosure expertise.
Our staff members are advocates of financial responsibility and consumer rights; therefore, we offer nothing less than hands-on legal representation for you.
Nationally, foreclosure filings increased by 1 percent from July but fell by 15 percent from August 2011. We have saved thousands of homes in South Florida and recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients.
But in this case, one of Northwest Trustee's own vendors alleges wrongdoing, with 26 pages of painstaking detail backing up the claim. At Florida Foreclosure Law Group, we pride ourselves on our unwavering commitment to building continued and consistent communication with you, offering comprehensive information to ensure you understand your current legal situation and conducting business and legal matters in accordance to the standards and code of ethics set forth by the Florida State Bar.
Burnston has accepted the position of Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary effective August 5th 2010.
Burnston received his Juris Doctorate from New York University School of Law, his Masters of Business Administration in Banking and Finance from Hofstra University, and his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Albany.

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