Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Outfit Accused Of Foreclosure Sewer Service To Cough Up $925K To Settle Fla. AG Suit; Admits No Wrongdoing, Promises Never To Do It Again

In West Palm Beach, Florida, The Palm Beach Post reports:

  • A Tampa-based company responsible for serving foreclosure notices on homeowners will pay $462,500 to a Florida Bar foreclosure defense program under a settlement reached with the state attorney general’s office.

    The office began a civil investigation of the company ProVest in the fall of 2010 following allegations of shoddy paperwork and incomplete service that may have left homeowners unaware that they were being foreclosed on.

    ProVest did not admit to any wrongdoing in the agreement, called an “assurance of voluntary compliance.” But it will pay an additional $462,500 to the attorney general’s office for investigative and attorney’s fees.
  • This is the second foreclosure-related settlement obtained by the attorney general’s office since the housing bust. In March 2011, the Fort Lauderdale-based Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson agreed to pay a $2 million settlement to end its civil investigation.

    Serving foreclosure summonses became big business after the real estate crash as banks began to repossess hundreds of thousands of homes. But foreclosure defense attorneys and some homeowners complained that the service was often sloppy.

    In a 2010 case, a Miami appeals court sided with a homeowner in a foreclosure suit because the judge ruled the summons handled by a ProVest sub-contractor was not properly served. The person serving the summons swore he personally handed it to the homeowner at her residence.

    But the server’s own notes on the file showed he left the documents at the door after seeing curtains move and assuming someone was home. The homeowner later said she had no knowledge of the foreclosure until a final judgment was entered against her.
For more, see Foreclosure server settles with state (Tampa-based ProVest admits to no wrongdoing but will pay a total of $925,000).

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