Monday, August 22, 2011

"Bah, Humbug!" Says Bklyn Judge On F'closure Mill's Affidavit Attesting To Conversation With Bank Officer Occurring Long After Outfit Ceased To Exist

In Brooklyn, New York, Reuters reports:

  • Shouting "Bah, humbug!," a New York judge threw out the planned foreclosure against a Brooklyn man based on an alleged fraudulent Christmas Eve phone call confirming the paperwork was in place to take his home away.

  • The judge, Arthur Schack, said US Bancorp's US Bank NA unit cannot foreclose on the Brooklyn home of Dario Trujillo, who faced foreclosure proceedings begun in July 2008 by Downey Savings and Loan. Downey failed four months later and was bought by Minneapolis-based US Bancorp.

  • Schack is a state Supreme Court justice in Brooklyn known for criticizing perceived abuses in mortgage servicing.

  • He was angered after lawyer Margaret Carucci said in a sworn affidavit that a Downey officer on Dec. 24, 2010 claimed to have personally reviewed and could vouch for the accuracy of the paperwork underlying Trujillo's foreclosure — although Downey had long ceased to exist.

  • "Ms. Carucci affirmed under the penalties of perjury that she communicated on Christmas Eve 2010 with the officer of a defunct financial institution," Schack wrote. "This is a deceptive trick and fraud upon the court. It cannot be tolerated. This Christmas Eve conduct, in the words of Ebenezer Scrooge, is 'Bah, humbug!"'

  • Schack directed Carucci and her law firm at the time, Westbury, New York-based Druckman Law Group, to explain at a hearing on Sept. 12 why they should not be sanctioned.

  • Nicholas Perciballi, a lawyer for the Druckman firm, had no comment on the ruling. Carucci is no longer employed by the firm and efforts to reach her were unsuccessful. US Bancorp had no immediate comment. A lawyer for Trujillo could not immediately be located.

  • The sworn affirmation is a new requirement in all New York foreclosure cases, instituted last year to cut back on foreclosure fraud and abuse.

For the story, see NY judge stops Christmas Eve foreclosure ('Bah Humbug' he says, allowing Brooklyn man to keep his home).

For the ruling, see Downey Sav. & Loan Assn., F.A. v Trujillo, 2011 NY Slip Op 51517(U) (NY Sup. Ct. Kings Cty. August 12, 2011).

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