May 26, 2009

Foreclosure Mill Introductory Letter

Filed under: FDCPA,Florida,Foreclosure

What do you do if you get a letter from a law office in Florida saying they are going to sue for foreclosing?

John

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Hello John,

There are only a few law offices that handle most of the foreclosures throughout the state.  I call them foreclosure mills.  The most popular are: Florida Default Law Group, David J. Stern, Marshall C. Watson, and Shapiro & Fishman.  They are all classified as ‘debt collectors’ under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and their modus operandi is to send an introductory letter including the consumer’s ‘validation rights’ which gives the consumer thirty-days to dispute the debt or request verification and then to file foreclosure immediately after (a few days later, not 30-days later).

The thing is that if the consumer sends a certified letter requesting validation of the debt to the attorney and the attorney receives the letter, then the attorney can’t file foreclosure until the debt has been verified.  This essentially slows the process.

I’m not an attorney, so don’t take anything I write as legal advice.  This I simply my unqualified opinion on what I would likely do in this situation, and along those lines, if it were me, then I’d send a certified letter to the foreclosing lender’s law firm (right away) with words to the effect of ‘please accept this as formal notice that I dispute the amount of the debt and am requesting verification of the debt per the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act including a written itemized transaction account history and evidence that your client has the right to collect on this debt by way of the original promissory note with proper endorsements and assignments of mortgage.”

I’m assuming they were sent a letter and not a summons/complaint.  If they were sent a summons/complaint then an answer (or motion) would need to be filed within twenty-days of in-hand service or else the plaintiff/creditor may move for a default judgment.

Thanks for the quetions and hope this helps.

Paul

This author is not an attorney and this infromation should not be considered legal advice.  Please consult an attorney for legal advice. 

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