Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Financially Strapped Homeowner Victimized By Sewer Service In Foreclosure Action Involving Once-Prominent Florida Law Firm Sweatshop Operator?

In Cape Coral, Florida, The News Press reports:

  • Paula Dobberstein's story starts out like so many others who are in foreclosure. And unfortunately, it looks like it's ending up like many others, too - with attorneys for the banks and mortgage companies using falsified documents and fabrications to deny homeowners' rights.

  • "This is the most horrible thing I've been through in my life," she said. In 2007 Dobberstein took out a $544,000 loan to refinance her Cape Coral home. The interest rate on the loan was 8.375 percent and her monthly mortgage payment was $2,149.46.

  • Soon after, Dobberstein, a registered nurse, took a $10-an-hour pay cut, she said. She can rattle off all the loan modifications and foreclosure prevention programs she tried but failed to get. She would submit documents for months, believing things were working out, and then would learn she wasn't approved. This went on for more than three years.

  • While Dobberstein was working things out, the David J. Stern law firm in Plantation was stealthily foreclosing on her home.

  • Dobberstein wasn't served notice of the foreclosure. The law firm told the court it tried to serve her, but her home was unoccupied. The firm said she didn't have a phone number or a driver's license. In an affidavit that was not properly notarized, an attorney swore he was, "(u)nable to determine if Defendant(s) IS living or dead."

  • Public records show Dobberstein very much alive and living in Cape Coral since 1989. LexisNexis, a subscription database of public information, lists her home phone number. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles records show Dobberstein has had a Florida license and renewed it twice at the same Cape Coral address the law firm said was an unoccupied home.

  • Stern's law firm has closed. Florida's attorney general's office is investigating the firm because it, "Appears to be fabricating and/or presenting false and misleading documents in foreclosure cases," the website states.

For more, see Woman in Cape faces loan nightmare.

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