Monday, March 21, 2011

Trickle down economics...

That phrase was utter bullshit. I had an English professor in college who told us the only thing that trickles down is piss. That was a great line, and it was almost 20 years ago. I think what is trickling down now is bad behavior.

Check out this article:

Implosion of Foreclosure Mill Leaves 100,000 Cases in Limbo
Florida, as the ground zero of the foreclosure crisis, is arguably further along in seeing how some of the uglier aspects of this mess will work themselves out. The foreclosure mill abuses were so bad that even a not terribly venturesome AG, Bill McCollum, went after them, and his Republican successor, Pam Bondi, is reported to be keen to keep the heat up on mortgage arena miscreants.
As the cases against the big foreclosure mills have moved forward, clients have exited, and that is generally a death knell for a law practice. Normally, when law firms get in trouble, partners who have books of business not involved in the scandal plus senior associates capable of handling client relationships grab as much of the old business as possible and reconstitute under another name. But the foreclosure mills were very high leverage operations, with very few partners and much of the work handled by paralegals or junior attorneys. So there is no one to pick up the pieces when a firm like that falls apart.
The imminent closure of the biggest player in Florida, the Law Offices of David Stern, is leaving a lot of cases in the lurch. From the Palm Beach Post Money (hat tip Lisa Epstein):
The status of nearly 9,000 Palm Beach County foreclosure cases is in question following attorney David J. Stern’s announcement that he is closing his foreclosure shop at the end of the month and dropping the files.
Statewide, as many as 100,000 cases need to be officially withdrawn from by Stern attorneys, but with a decimated staff, Stern told judges in a March 4 letter that he simply doesn’t have the manpower to file the correct paperwork….Hundreds of employees were subsequently laid off, leaving the transfer of foreclosure files to new firms in disarray…
“Florida Rules of Civil Procedure require that attorneys file a proper Motion to Withdraw from any case which they no longer plan to represent,” said Eunice Sigler, a spokeswoman for the 11th Judicial Circuit Court in Miami-Dade County. “We are currently researching various options, including any remedies available through the Florida Bar.”
Palm Beach County Chief Judge Peter Blanc said this week he’s also trying to figure out how to proceed.
“Stern has provided notice he will no longer be attorney of record, but the court is unable to recognize it,” Blanc said. “I’m told we’re getting more stipulations of substitute counsel but not anywhere near the number we should have.”
Blanc said he’s never seen a move like Stern’s before – sending a letter to judges that says “treat the pending cases as you deem appropriate.”….
Foreclosure defense attorney Tom Ice, of Ice Legal in Royal Palm Beach, has about 100 former Stern foreclosure cases.
He said chief judges shouldn’t get involved in what to do with them.
“It’s entirely improper for Stern to be communicating with the chief judge and asking him to decide what to do with my cases behind my back,” Ice said.
There is a lot more to  it, and you have to read the comments. People are really angry about this crap - and they knew that the regular blue and white collar workers, the ones that these state governors (OH, IL, NJ, etc.) are all coming after, are taking the hit while the millionaires and billionaires walk away... It really is a sad commentary on our state of affairs.