Sunday, April 28, 2013

Homeowner: Alleged Racket Peddling "Quiet Title" Suits To Purportedly Cancel Home Mortgages Continues To Snatch Cash By Automatically Drafting My Bank Account, Despite Court Injunction

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

  • Despite a September injunction freezing the operations of several South Florida land trust firms, a Jupiter homeowner says Boca Raton-based Fidelity Land Trust Co. continued to take money from her bank account through affiliate companies.

    Sherma DelTergo, a Palm Beach County firefighter, filed a lawsuit this month in Broward County hoping to piggy-back on an attorney general complaint alleging the land trusts and their operators defrauded homeowners in a foreclosure rescue scheme that included hundreds of properties statewide.

    An Okaloosa County homeowner, Scott MacNeill, also has filed a lawsuit similar to DelTergo’s. Both are represented by attorney Stefan McHardy.

    There are now three homeowner lawsuits seeking to intervene in the attorney general’s case, which alleges the trusts charged upfront fees, which could cost several thousand dollars, and wrongfully represented that homeowners could void their mortgage through a quiet title action.

    They were drafting their accounts automatically each month and they had no idea they were still drafting them,” McHardy said about DelTergo and MacNeill. “In some cases, it was third parties drafting people’s accounts.”
  • The attorney general’s complaint says the land trusts wrongfully guaranteed they could cancel a homeowner’s mortgage through a quiet title action. Quiet title suits are brought to establish someone’s right to property and remove any other claims.

    Boca Raton attorney Howard Feinmel, who had been filing the quiet title claims for Fidelity, avoided judicial sanctions earlier this month by agreeing to dismiss all pending litigation and deed all properties back to the original owners, said attorney Albert Gibson, who represented the bank in the case where sanctions were ordered.

    Gibson’s firm, Blank Rome, is defending the banks against about 100 land trust cases statewide filed by Feinmel and other attorneys.

    “I think, beyond a doubt, that these actions were false, and they were frivolous, and you’re trying to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners in Florida,” said Palm Beach County Judge Meenu Sasser in a January hearing where she ordered sanctions against Feinmel.

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