How do Attorney Ethics Affect the Florida Foreclosure Process?
Florida foreclosure laws are argued about every day in Florida courts. Given the current climate of debating the foreclosure process in Florida in Tallahassee, observers should be wary of any promises that changes will be a panacea for his or her policy position, no matter which side of the debate one falls on. This is because the ultimate arbiters of Florida foreclosure laws are attorneys are attorneys and judges. Both have failed the public during the rise and fall of foreclosure numbers in Florida.
How Have Attorneys Failed the Public?
Much of the discussion regarding malfeasance in foreclosure lawsuits focuses on banks, lenders, or servicers themselves. But very few serious attempts to reckon with the scale of attorney and paralegal wrongdoing have been made. Our attorney Dustin Zacks has a forthcoming law review Article which explains that while lenders and outsourced document processing firms committed massive frauds on the public, attorneys were also primary drivers of faulty documentation driven through Florida courts. So who is to blame?
1) First, attorneys themselves set up firms that sorely lacked oversight and incentives to practice ethically. This includes both bank-representative firms that had paralegals drafting multitudes of documentary evidence and homeowner-representative firms that improperly used disqualification motions to achieve strategic advantage or to prevent efficient functioning of courts. Attorneys who set up firms sending inexperienced, unqualified, and unprepared associates to court bear a huge responsibility for ethical problems present in the Florida foreclosure process.
2) Secondly, judges and the state bar do not hold attorneys responsible in nearly enough cases. A very small percentage of attorneys committing misfeasance during the foreclosure litigation boom were ever prosecuted or disciplined, and those that were received their punishments belatedly.
3) Finally, government sponsored entities bear a huge responsibility for hiring firms with questionable ethical backgrounds in the relentless drive for speedy foreclosures.
In all cases, though, the public must be able to trust that their attorney will not file motions improperly, will not tell their assistants to draft false evidence, and will not allow unlicensed surrogates to have any strategic say in client matters. Unfortunately, not all attorneys made the right choices during this foreclosure crisis.
How Is King, Nieves, & Zacks Different?
Unlike other Florida foreclosure attorneys, we will never send your matter to an inexperienced attorney or an unlicensed assistant. We will be personally responsible for drafting your motions, researching your case, and helping you achieve your goals. Your home is too important to trust to firms that have been accused of improper conduct by the state bar or by appellate courts. Be sure to ask any firm you are considering hiring whether they have been the subject of appellate court opinions questioning their tactics or whether they have been the subject of Florida bar disciplinary action.