David Stern, the foreclosure kingDavid J. Stern is winding up his infamous foreclosure practice, reports the Associated Press, citing a Securities and Exchange filing. The law firm's fall has been swift and steep, and it offers many reasons for schadenfreude: Stern lived the high life on the backs for borrowers foreclosed on with fraudulent documents, borrowers who weren't consistently given notice they were being foreclosed on. His firm's fall has exacerbated the problems in the Florida court system because his cases are being transferred to other lawyers who must now get up to speed on them.

But there's one thing his fall isn't, much as I wish it were, and that's the end of an era.

If we're to restore the rule of law in foreclosure cases, it's going to take a lot more than the fall of Stern's firm, which is just one of several "foreclosure mills" in Florida. Others are under investigation. Maybe some of them will fall too. Maybe not.

But the issue runs nationally, not just in Florida. Lender Processing Services (LPS) alone has hundreds of "network firms" following its due-process-abusing practices. A firm in Pennsylvania may have jeopardized thousands of foreclosures there by having nonlawyers do the cases. And the situation in nonjudicial states, where even foreclosure mills aren't necessary to take back homes, is worse.

If anyone hearing of the Stern firm's demise mistakes it for news that change has really come to the foreclosure world, that will be saddest news of all.

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ThinkUp70

People in the 1950's had to rent out rooms or the upstairs to pay for their mortgages, taxes, or house insurance, because they had nothing or nobody to bail them out . . . . . . . . . .

March 08 2011 at 3:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ksmwtm

Abigail & maybe First Business News are a very few keeping this on going scam stirred up. Unlike the bought off media that Sect. Clinton rates below Aljazeria. Thanks Abigail! You are a great American!

March 08 2011 at 2:57 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Bobby

When are you idiots going to realize that the subprime part of the mortgage mess is over. The problem we are faced with now are people who took out a mortgae, had the income to pay the mortgage but now they DON'T HAVE JOBS to pay their mortgage. Now you have the end of the story.

March 08 2011 at 2:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bobby's comment
ksmwtm

There are experts in the CDS fiels that believe many of the "A" rated, but "F" quality--subprime mortgages are still on the books of some TBTF banks at full value & some are JUST OUT THERE SOMEWHERE!

March 08 2011 at 2:53 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Lawrence

Come November I'll have been in the Mortgage business for 40 years and I saw the result's of the so-called 'Free Market ..Get the Govenment Off Our Backs!' school of thought ...it should have been more properly known as ' Take the Cop Off the Beat...We Wanna Raid the Candy Store!'...when Wall Street learned it could make $billions by turning mortgages into securities it soon ran out of qualified borrowers to feed the cash cow so to keep the party going it simply started okaying loans to UNQUALIFIED borrowers...to ease the skids the whole underwriting process was computerized ...Want to approve deadbeats ?...No problen...Lemme tweak the underwriting software..There! Ya gotta approval..People that are trained and experienced too expensive?...No problem...Just hire people who havn't a clue for pennies..What's the worst that can happen ?

March 08 2011 at 1:42 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Lawrence's comment
tyghock

Lawrence, you are 100% correct. I worked for 15 years in the mortgage business, secondary markets, decades ago. When I looked at the current mess, I just could not believe what I saw. EVERY sensible standard had been thrown away by greedy businesses to get a quick buck and 'pass the risk on' quickly. Let this be a warning to those 'Government off our backs' pundits: you are being played for fools. Yes, government can and should be streamlined, but beware - BEWARE - the businesses/politicians that cry the 'government' is hurting the economy. BEWARE - they want to raid the candy store, and they will NOT care what happens to you at all!

March 08 2011 at 6:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dave

I have never read such a poorly written grammatical article. The authors writing skills are much lacking.

March 08 2011 at 1:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Dave's comment
knuttybar

Agreed! Poor writing...all opinion, no substance.

March 08 2011 at 1:42 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Taina

Ain't nobody done learned you none English?

March 08 2011 at 3:24 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
bilpalumbo

The basic fact is the people involved did not pay for 2 and 3 years in many cases. NO ONE has shown were someone that paid lost their home due to foreclose. As someone who live and works and pays I have lost over half the value of my home I find it offensive to try to spin a story to make it ok not to pay.

March 08 2011 at 12:52 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to bilpalumbo's comment
ksmwtm

In Lee County FL a lady made an arrangement with BoA & was current with her payments when the sheriff's deputy showed up & gave her just hours to move out. BoA said "OOOOps!" We forgot to tell the servicing co. she was current. You can research that in TV & News Press media.

March 08 2011 at 2:50 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Taina

It has happened without knowledge of the owner. Could be a law suit, but I bet the money is gone.

March 08 2011 at 3:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
rube810

Iwas employed in the mortgage boom in the 1990s.Lenders disreguarded credit,income,debt ratio they based their approvals of mortages only on equity and potential equity. They did't care if home owners made their payments, they assumed that if they forclosed on a house, they would be able to sell the house at a greater valve, then when they issued the mortgage. Everybody was leaving their regular employment to go to work for a mortgage company.

March 08 2011 at 12:11 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rube810's comment
tyghock

Rube810, I worked for 15 years in mortgage banking (secondary marketing), leaving in 1990 (got into systems). I tell you, point blank, there WERE standards - very tight standards -in mortgage securitization. We had the low traunches in REMICS and a few places for 'white elephants', but generally mortgages HAD to be sound, with proper front/back ratios, verifications, etc. What happened was Wall Street, in its overwhelming greed, convinced/bought politicians to open up the securitization options, 'in the name of free markets', gutted/cozied-up with federal overview, and then took the money and ran. It is a sad and sobering lesson for all those who cry 'too much government. MARK MY WORDS - whlie government should be streamlined, those who want it 'off their backs' are just waiting to rob the store when the cop is gone. Check out the S&Ls. Check out the mortgage business. And god help us what they will rob next (once the get the overseers out of the way).

March 08 2011 at 6:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
n2paints3

HARASSING AND OFF BASE sir have you lost your ming? the first thing you say
is people failed to repay their loans end of story. sir you are a asinine. the rest of the story is tax payer dollars were used to save the banks and insurance co. and gm. yet while these mortgage co. got massive bailouts the people
got foreclosed on. but its end of story you say, were they not behing on things
as you say? why not let them go under like others are? i already know and you do to

March 08 2011 at 11:36 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
allamerican7

As usual, the comments are harassing and off-base. The borrowers failed to repay their loans: beginning, middle and end of story. While our government spending and handouts has spiraled out of control, you are STILL NOT entitled to a free house. The claimed problems with the foreclosure are administrative functions that can easily be cured through assignments from one lender to the successor for issuance of an additonal notice of default/sale. None of this changes the fact that the Borrowers TOOK the money and FAILED to pay it back.

March 08 2011 at 10:59 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to allamerican7's comment
ksmwtm

Ignoring the role FED chairman Greenspan, Congress, Freddie & Fannie, & the moral, ethical, legal void in the banking industry is shallow at best.

March 08 2011 at 3:06 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
mowens6402

Dear tired old man . . .the foreclosure mess used to be about people borrowing more than they could pay. Now it's about the devaluation of EVERYONE's home that "underwater" statement. There are entire communities with empty houses save a few that are targets. Those poor people cannot sell their home amid a wash of vacacies on either side; there are few services a vanished tax base, so these poor people after paying their mortgage faithfully have to walk away for safety's sake . . no police, no firemen, no neighbors. This could have all be avoided if the HAMP program was put into effect years ago following the addage that some money is better than no money.

March 08 2011 at 10:26 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to mowens6402's comment
ksmwtm

Actually Greenspan's belief that FRAUD would be taken care of in the market & Federal govt--both parties--promising a house for every chicken---well. the roosting has turned into a roasting!

March 08 2011 at 3:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply