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Posts Tagged ‘Georgia’

I have to pause and wonder, if any of those who have been fighting with homeowners to keep their homes,have learned anything. The funny thing about this particular case was, the lender was up against a Military Man, in a Military town in South Georgia, and they called the man a liar. The man was not behind on his payments, they were auto paid from his bank account. My understanding is that the attorneys were from McCalla Raymer, who fired them all after the award!
Even so, all these years later, in Georgia, anyone and everyone can foreclose on you. We still are not safe!

article-1374404-0-B86066-F00000578-89-468x297

https://www.msfraud.org/jury-awards-homeowner-$21-million-in-mortgage-lawsuit_4-11.html

We came across this 2011 case in the MSFraud article archives and noticed the story no longer appears in Military News. We did some research and located the following articles, one attorney’s summation of the case, and some of the case documents. – MSFraud.org | 10/16/13

Jury Awards Homeowner $21 Million In Mortgage Lawsuit
04/06/11| Huffington Post

A federal jury has awarded a Georgia man more than $21 million in a lawsuit pitting the homeowner against one of the nation’s largest mortgage servicers.

U.S. Army sergeant David Brash was awarded the damages in March, after a Columbus, Ga. jury found that PHH Mortgage, the country’s eighth largest mortgage servicer, had incorrectly reported Brash to credit score companies as “seriously delinquent” despite the fact that all his mortgage payments had been automatically deducted from his paycheck.

According to court documents, Brash sent letters to the mortgage company that went unanswered, violating federal laws. When he called his mortgage company to find out why his payments were not going through, his attorneys said, he was repeatedly routed to overseas customer services staff who couldn’t answer his questions.

“PHH’s corporate representative testified that call center representatives had limited access to information,” Teresa Abell, one of Brash’s attorneys told The Huffington Post. Some of Brash’s calls — which were automatically recorded by PHH — were played in court, Abell explained. “The jury got a flavor of what would happen, he could be put on hold for 30, 45 or 55 minutes, then representatives would give him whatever story they had concocted,” she added. Different representatives told Brash different things, many of which were simply not true, Abell alleged. “They would tell him they would investigate and get back to him in 24 hours, he’d call back, and another representative would tell him “there is no investigation being done on your account.””

Consumer websites are packed with homeowner complaints of mistakes by mortgage companies and banks that can be impossible to set right — in part thanks to unhelpful customer service departments. In the most extreme cases, these problems may have led to wrongful foreclosures. In January, JPMorgan Chase admitted to overcharging military families on their mortgages, illegally foreclosing on 14 families as a result. In February, The Huffington Post reported on a couple who were facing foreclosure despite having proof they had made every mortgage payment. In circumstances echoing Brash’s, PHH Mortgage reported that homeowner, Kendra Parker, to credit rating agencies for missing payments, destroying her credit rating.

An investigation by all 50 state attorneys general launched last fall when improper paperwork practices at banks and mortgage companies — like the “robo-signing” scandal — came to light found many banks and mortgage servicers violated numerous state laws in handling mortgages and foreclosures. While banks expect penalties, it is unclear whether homeowners affected by their banks’ actions will have any recourse.

Brash’s case remains one of a few in which homeowners have successfully established that their mortgage company was in the wrong, but lawyers say more are on the horizon.

Brash originally took out the $160,000 mortgage on his Columbus, Ga., home in November 2007, setting up automatic payments so his $1,300-a-month payments would be deducted from his army salary. During the trial, the jury heard the homeowner called the mortgage company twice to make sure the paperwork was correct. In court, representatives for PHH Mortgage testified that mistakes on these forms — which customer service staff had told Brash were correct — had caused the missing and late payments.

After 15 months, according to court documents, PHH Mortgage started sending late payment notices to Brash, and threatened to report his “serious delinquency” to credit scoring agencies. After “numerous, lengthy calls” to a customer service department in India went nowhere, Brash hired an attorney who wrote a formal letter to the president of PHH about the errors. Under the federal Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act, mortgage companies and banks have to respond to written requests within 60 business days, which PHH failed to do, the attorneys said. They did however adjust Brash’s account.

In November 2009 PHH Mortgage sent more late payment notices, this time reporting Brash to three credit rating companies and seriously damaging his credit score, according to court documents. Brash, based in Fort Benning, Ga., sued the mortgage company for breaching the federal Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act. He also sued under Georgia state loan servicing and breach of contract laws.

Attorneys representing PHH Mortgage did not return calls for comment, but told Georgia TV news station WTVM: “Although we respect the judicial process, we believe this verdict is not supported by the facts of the case or by applicable law, and that the award is grossly disproportionate to any damages Sgt. Brash may have sustained. We intend to seek further judicial review of the case.”

The Columbus-based Ledger-Enquirer originally reported Brash’s story, but it is no longer available. This story also appeared in Military News, but it was taken down.
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article-1374404-0-B85-FF6500000578-817-468x286

Georgia jury sends $21 million message to sloppy mortgage loan servicer
4/5/2011 | Law Offices of David C. Winton

On March 21, 2011, a Columbus, Georgia jury sent a very loud message to loan servicers in the form of a $21 million verdict and punitive damage award against PHH Mortgage, an affiliate of Coldwell Banker Mortgage.

David Brash, a sergeant in the United States Army, bought a home in 2007, and obtained a $161,000 mortgage loan from Coldwell Banker Mortgage. The loan was serviced by PHH Mortgage. Sergeant Brash had his monthly payments set on autopay out of his US Army paycheck. (In fact, Sgt. Brash overpaid each month.) Things went along swimmingly for about a year and a half, until PHH began losing track of the payments, which then triggered the phone calls and letters telling him that he was delinquent. A mortgage lender losing track of payments and blaming the consumer? Say it ain’t so.

Anyhow, that started a series of very patient efforts by Sgt. Brash to resolve the issue, all of which are thoroughly described in the Complaint. The servicer’s call center was outsourced to India. (No comment on that. I very seriously doubt that Sgt. Brash would have received better treatment from his fellow countrymen.) But in an amusing instance of what’s-good-for-the-goose-is-good-for-the-gander, Sgt. Brash actually recorded the phone calls with the servicer (for quality assurance purposes right?), and the tapes of the phone calls were played to the jury. Transcripts of the calls were also admitted into evidence. I pulled the actual transcript of the phone calls from the Court’s docket, and you can review it for a good example of how to handle your own such calls. Very good evidentiary material that.

The upshot of the story? After multiple attempts to sort things out, PHH assured Sgt. Brash that things were resolved, and that the erroneously designated “late” payments had been properly credited. But then what did they do? You guessed it. They reported the false delinquencies to the Credit Cops, Equifax, TransUnion and Experian. This, in turn, caused Sgt. Brash to be denied credit. As stated in the Complaint, “Coldwell Banker Mortgage has refused to answer Plaintiff’s legitimate inquiries, and has refused to correct and straighten out Plaintiff’s account.” (See Complaint, ¶48.)

Other than the obvious appeal of David taking on and beating up on Goliath–the sheer joy of seeing an abusive loan servicer get hit–the other appeal of this case is how meticulously Sgt. Brash documents his odyssey through this experience. If you’re having trouble with your bank or loan servicer, read the Complaint that Charles Gower (Sgt. Brash’s lawyer) drafted, and review the list of trial exhibits. They are a roadmap for how to build and maintain a paper trail and document abusive loan servicer practices. This is the kind of evidence that wins lawsuits.

For lawyers who are keeping track, it appears that the gravamen of the legal theory was a violation of §2605 of RESPA. (12 USC §2605.)

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David beats Goliath:
Homeowner wins $21 MILLION payout from mortgage firm in dispute over credit rating
4/7/2011 | DailyMail UK

It’s a rare case of the little guy taking on a big corporation – and winning.

U.S. Army sergeant David Brash has won more than $21million in damages from PHH Mortgage after it falsely claimed he defaulted on his loan.

The 29-year-old was awarded the enormous sum by a Columbus jury after he sued the mortgage company – the country’s eight-biggest – for reporting him as ‘seriously delinquent’ to credit rating companies.

Win: David Brash was awarded $21million in damages against PHH after it claimed he defaulted on his mortgage on this house in Columbus, Georgia

Win: David Brash was awarded $21 million in damages against PHH after it claimed he defaulted on his mortgage

on this house in Columbus, Georgia.

_______________________________________________

PHH claimed he was behind on his mortgage payments, when in fact they had been automatically deducted out of his Army pay cheque every month.

He set up a direct debit in 2007 when he bought the house, in Columbus, Georgia, so he wouldn’t miss any of his installments while he was on active duty at Fort Benning.

Austin Gower, one of his lawyers, told WTVM: ‘This soldier was never behind on his payments. They were taking his money and not crediting it properly.

‘I think the jury and everybody has had this experience before with the call centre and they’re fed up with it.’

He said the verdict sent an important message to the ‘billion-dollar’ company – and it needed to pay more attention to its customers.

The sergeant, who is married with a baby on the way, had no problems with his $160,000 mortgage until September 2009, when he began to get late notices in the post.

Payout: PHH, the eighth-largest mortgage company in America, has been ordered to give David Brash $21million in damages

Payout: PHH, the eighth-largest mortgage company in America, has been ordered to give David Brash $21 million in damages.

He called PHH repeatedly to find out what was going on, but each time he was put through to an outsourced customer service centre in India, where staff couldn’t answer his questions.

As the late notices continued, PHH threatened to report his ‘serious delinquency’ to credit scoring agencies – and each time Sergeant Brash called, he still couldn’t get anywhere.

Some of the frustrating calls, automatically recorded by PHH, were played out in court.

Teresa Abell, one of his lawyers, told the Huffington Post: ‘The jury got a flavour of what would happen, he could be put on hold for 30, 45 or 55 minutes, then representatives would give him whatever story they had concocted.

‘They would tell him they would investigate and get back to him in 24 hours, he’d call back, and another representative would tell him “there is no investigation being done on your account”.’

Eventually Sergeant Brash took action, and went to an attorney who wrote a formal letter to the company’s president.

According to court documents, the company failed to respond within 60 days, even though mortgage companies and banks are legally obliged to answer written requests within that time.

Frustration: U.S. Army sergeant David Brash set up automatic payments while he was on active duty at Fort Benning, Georgia – but PHH claimed he had defaulted

Frustration: U.S. Army sergeant David Brash set up automatic payments while he was on active duty at Fort Benning, Georgia – but PHH claimed he had defaulted.

The firm did at least adjust his account – and Sergeant Brash thought it was at last resolved.

But then in November 2009, the late notices began again. The firm reported him to three credit rating companies, seriously damaging his credit score.

His credit card applications were turned down and he began to worry the situation would affect his career in the army – so he decided to sue, under Georgia law and the federal Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act.

After a six-day trial in March, a jury awarded Sergeant Brash $21,350,575, including $20million in punitive damages.
The company claimed the confusion arose because of mistakes made on Sergeant Brash’s original paperwork – even though he rang twice to check and staff told him everything was correct.
Mr Gower told WTVM: ‘The jury has spoken on the verdict. I think it was important for them to send a message to this billion dollar company.

‘Had they given a dollar verdict it wouldn’t have sent the message but I promise you, I think we got their attention now.

‘These mortgage companies need to pay more attention to their customers and not just send them to some out of country call centre. They need to take their calls and get this thing straightened out.’

According to court documents, PHH services approximately one million mortgages, valued at $163billion.

Jonathan McGrain, a spokesman for PHH, told MailOnline: ‘PHH Mortgage is recognised as one of the nation’s leading mortgage servicers, and we take our responsibilities to borrowers seriously.

‘Although we respect the judicial process, we believe this verdict is not supported by the facts of the case or by applicable law, and that the award is grossly disproportionate to any damages Sgt. Brash may have sustained.

‘We intend to seek further judicial review of the case.’
Brash v. PHH Complaint
Brash v. PHH Motion to Exclude Evidence DENIED
Brash v. PHH Jury Verdict
Brash v. PHH Judgment
Brash v. PHH Summation
Brash v. PHH Audio Recordings

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‘She could’ve hurt us’: Georgia police taser 87yo Syrian woman cutting dandelions
https://www.rt.com/usa/436242-elderly-woman-tasered-knife-dandelions/

‘She could’ve hurt us’: Georgia police taser 87yo Syrian woman cutting dandelions

An 87-year-old Syrian woman who was cutting dandelions near her home in Georgia was tasered by police because she approached an officer with a knife. The police department has defended the move, despite outrage from her family.

When Martha al-Bishara grabbed a knife and headed to a Boys and Girls Club near her house in Chatsworth, Georgia to cut dandelions, she didn’t expect that her journey would end with being tasered. In fact, she didn’t even know what a Taser was.

To an employee of the club, however, she appeared to be a threat, because they called 911 to report that an old woman was walking around with a knife.

“This lady is walking on the bike trail, she has a knife and she won’t leave. She doesn’t speak English,” the employee said on the call, according to the Daily Citizen-News.

“She’s old so she can’t get around too well, but… looks like she’s walking around looking for something, like, vegetation to cut down or something. There’s a bag, too,” the employee said.
Read more
© Wikimedia Police brutally smash window and drag man from car for seat belt violation (VIDEO)

When asked if the woman had come at someone with the knife, the employee clearly responded with “no, she just bringed (sic) the knife onto the property in her hand. She didn’t try to attack or anything.”

But despite knowing in advance that Bishara was “old” and apparently only looking to do some gardening, she was tasered by police less than 10 minutes after the call was received.

Footage of the incident, which has not been publicly released because criminal charges against Bishara are pending, shows Chatsworth Police Chief Josh Etheridge and Officer Steven Marshall in a standoff with the woman, according to Daily-Citizen News, which reviewed the video.

As Bishara holds the knife, Etheridge aims a pistol at her. Marshall clutches a Taser. The officers can be heard yelling at the woman to drop the knife. The footage – recorded by the body camera of a third officer – does not clearly show what the woman is doing with the knife during that time.

Bishara is soon heard crying, after taser prongs hit her left breast and stomach, according to family members who say that police should have been more patient with the elderly woman.
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A video of the protest shows a guard struck with a megaphone. © The Oregonian Black-clad group protesting police brutality stage brutal attack outside Portland city hall (VIDEO)

“If they would have approached her with an open hand rather than with their guns drawn, she would have handed it [the knife] to them right away,” grandson Timothy Douhne told Daily Citizen-News. “My grandmother is the most kind, generous-hearted woman.”

The woman’s great-nephew, a former police officer by the name of Solomon Douhne, agreed. “You don’t [taser] an 87-year-old woman… she was not a threat. If anything, she was confused and didn’t know what was going on. It was a ridiculous turn of events.”

“If three police officers couldn’t handle an 87-year-old woman, you might want to reconsider hanging up your badge,” he added.

Etheridge has defended the use of the Taser, however, saying that “an 87-year-old woman with a knife still has the ability to hurt an officer.”

Bishara has been charged with criminal trespass and obstruction of an officer, both of which are misdemeanors. She was reunited with her family after spending two hours at the Murray County jail.

Etheridge said the police department will conduct an internal “use of force” review. Meanwhile, Officer Marshall remains on duty without any restrictions.

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Georgia’s judicial system never ceases to amaze me. Over 200 years of real property law, don’t mean shit!

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State still sending mentally ill people to homeless shelters

By ALAN JUDD The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 3 hrs ago
http://www.mdjonline.com/neighbor_newspapers/news/state/state-still-sending-mentally-ill-people-to-homeless-shelters/article_b4537c5d-8212-5a63-bc39-e2766efb57c0.html#tncms-source=infinity-scroll-summary-siderail-latest

ATLANTA (AP) — Mentally ill patients often left Georgia’s state psychiatric hospitals with just a bus token and directions to a homeless shelter.

For people with disabilities, these same institutions became places of permanent confinement.

This is the system that Georgia, under pressure from the federal government, pledged seven years ago to radically overhaul. But with a court-enforced deadline fast approaching, the state increasingly seems unlikely to fulfill its promises.

Georgia has less than 14 months – until June 30, 2018 – to comply with a settlement it reached with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2010. The agreement followed an investigation that concluded the state had systematically violated the rights of people with mental illness and developmental disabilities.

But the state continues to discharge patients with mental illness to places where they are unlikely to get psychiatric treatment: extended-stay motels, for instance, and even the massive Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter in midtown Atlanta. All patients with disabilities are supposed to be moved into group homes or other community-based facilities, but at the current rate of progress, the state might not meet that requirement for another 10 years.

As officials try to comply with the agreement, they also are investigating an alarming number of deaths in community-based treatment: about 350 since 2014. Those apparently include five dozen suicides.

A court-appointed monitor credits the state with making many promised improvements, especially regarding crisis intervention and other services for people with mental illness.

Still, a grim picture emerges from the monitor’s most recent report, as well as from interviews and documents reviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

It is “absolutely essential” that the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disability “act with urgency to meet its obligations,” the monitor, Elizabeth Jones, wrote in late March in a report to U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell. “Although there has been noteworthy progress in certain discrete areas of implementation, the reform efforts require additional diligent and effective actions if compliance is to be achieved within the anticipated timeframe.”

Department officials declined to be interviewed.

In a statement, the agency did not say whether it expects to meet the deadlines next year. But the department said it is moving at “a reasonable pace” to move. “Transitions are carefully and individually planned to meet the unique needs and preferences of each individual and to provide the best opportunities for success in the community.”

The agency said it welcomed the monitor’s “reflections and recommendations.”
Neighbor News Online Updates

The Justice Department began investigating Georgia’s psychiatric hospitals in 2007 after a Journal-Constitution series, “A Hidden Shame,” exposed a pattern of poor medical care, abuse, neglect and bad management that had caused dozens of unnecessary deaths.

Transforming a historically troubled mental health system has been a slower process than perhaps anyone envisioned when state and federal authorities put together a plan. Already, a judge extended the deadline for compliance once, from 2015 to 2018.

The state has spent millions of dollars and reorganized the bureaucracy that oversees the hospitals and community treatment. It also closed two state hospitals, in Rome and Thomasville. All that’s left of Central State Hospital, the notorious facility in Milledgeville that once warehoused as many as 12,000 people, is a unit for people committed through the criminal justice system.

In past years, the state hospitals, especially Georgia Regional Hospital/Atlanta, sent scores of newly discharged patients to locations where continued treatment seemed unlikely: homeless shelters, street corners, even an abandoned van on a street in Atlanta’s West End.

But from 2016 to 2017, according to the monitor’s report, the hospitals cut discharges to homeless shelters by half. At the same time, however, the number of patients placed in extended-stay motels quadrupled.

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Officials provide updates on I-85 bridge collapse, investigation
http://www.mdjonline.com/neighbor_newspapers/dekalb/officials-provide-updates-on-i–bridge-collapse-investigation/article_5ac439f8-1637-11e7-bf46-076851367242.html#utm_source=mdjonline.com&utm_campaign=%2Fneighbor-newspapers%2Fnewsletters%2Fbreaking%2F%3F-dc%3D1490982235&utm_medium=email&utm_content=headline
Christine Fonville 11 hrs ago Comments

During a 12:30 p.m. press conference today, Russell R. McMurry, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Transportation; Mark W. McDonough, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety; Joel Baker, Fire Chief of the City of Atlanta Fire Department; Keith Parker, CEO of MARTA and Chris Tomlinson, Executive Director of GRTA/SRTA addressed the media and public with updates about the investigation into the I-85 bridge collapse and what commuters can expect going forward. The following is information released at the conference:

-About 700 ft of the bridge will need to rebuilt. This includes about 350 ft on the northbound side and 350 ft on the southbound side. McMurry said the project will take “several months.”

-According to McMurry, the materials stored under the bridge were “common construction products, conduit and PVC plastic.” He emphasized that the materials were noncombustible and had been stored in that area since around 2006. McMurry also stated that “it is not an uncommon practice to store [those materials] under bridges.

-When asked why the materials got hot enough to cause the bridge to collapse, Baker responded, “it was due to the amount of materials involved, which generated a lot of heat.”
Neighbor News Online Updates

-McDonough said there would be no way to “produce detours on city streets,” and that drivers need to start planning alternate routes to avoid I-85. He described the current traffic plan as, “simple: use I-285.”

-MARTA ridership has seen a 25 percent surge and there has been an 80 percent increase in sales which Parker noted is proof that people are “preparing to find alternate transportation methods.” MARTA extended more trains this morning and will increase the amount of service they run during the weekends. Parker also said that Park-n-Ride lots are filling up in and around metro-Atlanta.

Check back with Neighbor News Online for more updates.

That’s one hell of a way to get people in Georgia to give up driving, collapse the bridges.

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The property next door, changed hands, and I cannot in good conscious, continue with the old stories about the property.  Who knows where Robert (previous owner) went, or what happened to him. We have a good idea, but without any kind of evidence, I dare not say more.  
I will update as soon as I have something nice to say. Mama always said, “If you can’t say nothing nice, don’t say anything at all”. I personally added, unless you have the proof.

Unless and until things move along, it would be best if I get rid of all the inferences to criminal owners and illegal acts, etc. That way, I cannot be accused of slandering, defaming, libeling the new owners of the property. I will say, that the property had changed hands in May 2015, but change of ownership was not recorded into DeKalb County Georgia Records, until July 2015.

They have the house boarded up, but that does not mean there is no work being done over there, or that no one is planning to pick up harrassing us where DiNapoli left off. Only time will tell. We been here almost 21 years now, we ain’t going nowhere.

I will be revamping my blog, Keep a heads up yall, Fukushima is still killing us softly and slowly.

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Hi yall!

What I am searching for, is anyone in Georgia that has been, is in the middle of, or will be in foreclosure, in which at any time during their loan, Konaur Capital Corp. was either Lender, Servicer, Assignee, or Assignor.


If anyone in Georgia has ever had Kondaur involved with their loan/loan documents,

Please respond here to this post, or contact me any other way, but contact me…


Thanks yall and have a wonderful day!

🙂

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DeKalb Ethics Board chairman resigns
Posted: 3:18 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14, 2015
By Mark Niesse – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
http://www.myajc.com/news/news/local-govt-politics/dekalb-ethics-board-chairman-resigns/nnKYC/


DeKalb County Board of Ethics Chairman John Ernst resigned Friday, saying he wants to pursue other public service opportunities.

Ernst, who has served on the Board of Ethics since June 2013, stepped down a day after the board reprimanded Commissioner Stan Watson for voting to award a county contract to his employer.

“When I joined the board over two years ago, we had a budget of $16,000, lacked full membership, were in a suspended state and had a number of old and languishing complaints,” Ernst wrote in his resignation letter. “Today, I’m proud to say that we have dealt with dozens of complaints and have a more robust budget for counsel and investigators to root out unethical behavior.”

Clara Black DeLay, the board’s vice chairwoman, will replace Ernst as its chairwoman.

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“Ready for your white tears #BlackBrunchATL”

Black Brunch Atlanta protest leader “Ellevation_”, a self-proclaimed “QueerActivistBae”, espouses anti-white racism.

“Once the names and ages were listed, whiteness was so uncomfy. Oops. #BlackBrunchATL”

Black Brunch protesters invaded several Decatur, Georgia restaurants on Sunday. Protesters report two establishments called police, with managers from Sweet Melissa’s trying unsuccessfully to throw them out.

“Sweet Melissa’s staff attempts to get out #BlackBrunchATL, calls cops. @Ellevation_ like: “don’t touch me!””

Some customers at Sweet Melissa’s reportedly pushed and talked back against the protesters.

“#BlackBrunchATL received a number of threats/shoves at Sweet Melissa’s. “Our breakfast matters” erupted from a table.”

One white man sitting at a table with Black friends was filmed vocally objecting to the protest, repeatedly saying, “You’re stirring up conflict”, and at one point telling the protesters to “go home”.

“You’re stirring up conflict!” #BlackBrunchATL”

The anti-white racism of the protest was amplified by comments made online.

“White liberals don’t like to be reminded of their privilege. RT @jccfergie: White people be like…#BlackBrunchATL”

“#BlackBrunchATL was a success. Interrupting white spaces to raise white consciousness and expose internalized racism.”

 

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Georgia police shooting one of many drawing ire


People attend a rally for Antonio Zambrano-Montes in Pasco, Wash. Zambrano-Montes was shot and killed by police on Feb. 10, 2015. (Joshua Trujillo / Associated Press)

By SARAH PARVINI contact the reporter
http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-police-shooting-roundup-20150310-story.html

The last month has brought a spate of six police killings of unarmed men.

The latest killings have further inflamed tensions after months of protests over the police shooting in August of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man, in Ferguson, Mo.

Here’s a look at the latest police shootings.

DeKalb County, Ga., March 9

A police officer on Monday fatally shot a naked unarmed man, who authorities described as deranged.

Officers responded to a report of a suspicious person in an area east of Atlanta, police said. Before officers arrived, another call came in that the man had removed his clothes and was running around.

Wisconsin protesters fill Capitol over fatal police shooting; family speaks out
Wisconsin protesters fill Capitol over fatal police shooting; family speaks out
Officer Robert Olsen, a seven-year veteran of the department, shot and killed 27-year-old Anthony Hill, who is black.

Hill charged at Olsen, who fired two shots, according to DeKalb County Police Capt. Steve Fore. Olsen was carrying a stun gun, but didn’t use it.

Olsen was placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Hill had been arrested several times by Atlanta police, on suspicion of marijuana possession, obstructing an officer’s performance, and disorderly conduct, court records show.

Aurora, Colo., March 6

Aurora police shot and killed an unarmed black 37-year-old man Friday.

Naeschylus Vinzant died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, according to the Arapahoe County coroner’s office.

lRelated Georgia police officer fatally shoots unarmed, naked black man
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Vinzant had removed his ankle monitor and fled from parole March 2, authorities said. He was wanted in connection with an “assault, robbery, kidnapping and domestic violence incident” that took place that day, police said.

Vinzant was killed four days later as police moved to arrest him. The city’s SWAT team was called in because of Vinzant’s “past violent history,” police said.

Court records show Vinzant previously faced charges of assault, menacing, eludicing police and illegal weapons possession.

Madison, Wis., March 6

Also on Friday, a Madison police officer shot and killed 19-year-old Tony Robinson, another unarmed black man.

cComments
In each and every case the newspaper has mentioned, these suspects would be alive today (in the back seat of a patrol car) if they would have obeyed the lawful commands of law enforcement, then booked into jail (alive), then bailed out or held for a hearing (alive), then either back with…
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AT 11:53 AM MARCH 11, 2015
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Police said they received several calls about a man who had “battered someone” and had been “out in traffic” and had then gone inside an apartment, police said.

Officer Matt Kenny heard a disturbance in the apartment and forced his way in, according to police.

After a scuffle with Robinson in which Kenny received a “blow to the head,” the officer shot Robinson, according to Madison Police Chief Mike Koval.

Robinson later was pronounced dead of gunshot wounds. Koval did not disclose how many shots were fired, citing the information as part of the shooting investigation, which will be handled by the state’s Division of Criminal Investigation.

Los Angeles, March 1 and March 5

The fatal shooting of an unarmed man on skid row renewed debate over how to properly police the homeless and mentally ill people living on the streets.

Charly Leundeu Keunang, a 43-year-old black man, died of multiple gunshot wounds on March 1, according to coroner’s officials.

Police said Keunang refused to follow their commands and tried to fight them, reaching for an officer’s holstered pistol. The gun’s slide was partially pulled back and the magazine dislodged, Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said.

Activists have since denounced the shooting, which was caught on video, taking to the streets in protest and calling for an independent investigation.

A second investigation is underway following the fatal shooting March 5 of an unarmed motorist involved in a pursuit in Burbank.

Sergio Navas, 35, was shot by an officer sitting in a squad car after their two cars collided during the chase.

Wounded, the man got out of the car and ran, but officers chased him down and handcuffed him, said Officer Wendy Reyes.

He was declared dead at the scene after paramedics tried to resuscitate him.

The chase began when the man sped away from LAPD officers who tried to pull him over, police said. Officers started following the car because it had paper plates and Navas was “driving erratically,” they said.

Officers followed him into Burbank, where the man drove into a short cul-de-sac and was cornered. The man’s car collided with the passenger side of the LAPD car, and the officer in the passenger seat started shooting, police said.

Pasco, Wash., Feb. 10

Police in Pasco shot and killed Antonio Zambrano-Montes in a parking lot Feb. 10, following reports that he was hurling rocks at vehicles.

A video posted to YouTube appears to show Zambrano-Montes, 35, exiting the parking lot and then running down a side street with officers in pursuit.

Pasco police said they had ordered Zambrano-Montes to stop throwing rocks several times and tried to subdue him with a stun gun after he hit two officers with rocks.

Police fired 17 rounds at Zambrano-Montes, according to Sgt. Ken Lattin, public information officer for the Tri-Cities Special Investigations Unit, which is reviewing the shooting.

Bullets struck him at least five times, investigators said.

For more national news, follow me on Twitter: @ParviniParlance

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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Just in from AlertsUSA server 8:00PM:

US law enf again being warned re incr threats. Multiple attacks on police in
last 24 hrs, incl in NY, GA & TX. Incr vigilance and situational awareness
urged.

These idiots attacking Police are going to be the cause of Martial Law!!!

Yall be safe!

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I keep thinking about that.  Being told that it really isn’t as bad as I think.  Hell if it ain’t!

When I was a little girl, we walked to school.  We would get there in the morning, and there would be the morning prayer.  Right after that, we all said I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag, and they played the National Anthem.  I started to school when I was four (4).  By the time I was in fourth grade, it was like the second elementary school.  They did not say the morning prayer, or play the anthem, but by golly, the whole time I was in school, we Pledged Allegiance to the Flag.  We were proud to be Americans.

Now, you get suspended for wearing anything with a flag on it.  The Ten Commandments, Pledge of Allegiance, and anything having to do with our natural heritage is bad.  Christians are bad.  Americans are bad.  Christian Americans must be very, very bad.  And who the hell decided all that?  That is bullshit.  Plain and simple, bullshit.  Since when have other people gone to live in another country, and was allowed to claim they were offended by the customs of that country, and the country changed for the outsiders?  Someone tell me when.  That is bullshit!  Plain and simple bullshit.

Seems like it began several years ago… SuperTarget in our area, told the GoodWill people at Christmas, not to come there any more.  Of course, after that, we never went back to that store, and it closed shortly thereafter.  For some reason, outsiders that had moved to the United States, were offended by Christmas, Nativity scenes, and GoodWill ringing their little bells at Christmas.  Those dedicated, hardworking GoodWill employees, trying to make a difference to others at a very hard time of year.  They never asked anyone for anything.  Just stood, ringing the bell and smiling.  It was tradition.  Christmas trees, nativity scenes, GoodWill.

So, in order to not to offend those, who are not from here, America changed? Bullshit.  I say, if our traditions offends you, you came into this country, you know you can leave the same damned way!  Every time I turn around, someone is explaining that such and such offends them.  Screw it!  I am offended by what people do in other countries, but I don’t move there, then expect them to change their country for me.  That is bullshit.  Plain and simple bullshit.

Now, they tell us that our forefathers were terrorists.  Do what?  So what kind of History lessons are they giving kids now a days?  Speaking of kids.  Since when does the govt. have balls enough to tell parents what they are or not going to feed their kids for lunch during school?  The other thing about kids, is that they belong to the community, not their parents?  Bullshit!  Plain and simple bullshit!  And these idiots put up with that?  I sure as hell am glad that my Mama was who she was.  She would have not only told them what horse to get on, she would have had them direct that horse, on out of the country.  And my Daddy, lo and behold, I am glad that he is not here to see this shit.  Daddy was gung-ho Marine.  He is probably rolling in his grave right now.

And someone wants to tell me, that it ain’t as bad as I think it is?  Bullshit!  Plain and simple bullshit!!!

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Have you ever been to Office Depot, where everyone wants to act like an idiot?

I sent someone to Office Depot today.  All he needed was three cover sheets printed onto 50-65# card stock.  He knows nothing about these things, and is from another country.

Anyway, the idiots in there told him that it would be 3-4 hours to make three copies on 50-65# card stock, because they have to change the paper?  What kind of bullshit is that?  3-4 Hours?  Hell, all they have to do, is take the three pieces of card stock over to the copier, stick those three blank pieces of card stock on top of the paper in the copier, and but the document to be copied onto the scanner, punch 3 for 3 copies, and hit enter.

How hard is that?  I swear Alex Jones and the others are absolutely right about us being “dumbed down”, that is about the dumbest thing I have ever heard.  3-4 hours for 3 copies.  I was in printing back before computers took over, and hell, you could wash up the printing press, put the new ink in, warm it up, install the plate on the drum, and get it registering, and print 3 sheets of card stock in 15 minutes tops.  And they are going to tell me that it will take 3-4 hours to change a copier over to print on card stock, when I know for a fact, it will print on that stock, without changing a damned thing.

Ok, Good Luck To All Out There Having to Get Something Printed on Card Stock at the Office Depot Memorial Drive Stone Mountain, GA!

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Crime & Law

Updated: 7:01 p.m. Monday, March 31, 2014 | Posted: 5:00 p.m. Monday, March 31, 2014

http://m.ajc.com/news/news/crime-law/woman-shot-newton-county-deputies/nfPZw/

Woman fatally shot by Newton County deputies

 

By Angel K. Brooks

An armed woman was shot to death by Newton County deputies on Monday afternoon, authorities said.

A woman threatening suicide called authorities, who responded to a home on Russell Braden Road around 3:30 p.m., the Newton County Sheriff’s Office said.

When deputies arrived, the woman came out of the home with a rifle and refused to drop it despite repeated commands to do so, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies fired shots and the woman was hit an unknown number of times. She was transported to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, Deputy Felicia Jefferson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The incident is under investigation by the GBI and internal affairs, Jefferson said.

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Georgia

http://www.wunderground.com/news/winter-storm-pax-latest-news-20140210

Gov. Nathan Deal has declared a state of emergency for 45 counties in north Georgia that are expected to receive the biggest impacts from Pax.

With memories of thousands of vehicles gridlocked for hours on icy metro Atlanta highways fresh in their minds, emergency officials and elected leaders in north Georgia are preparing for Winter Storm Pax. Gov. Nathan Deal, who was criticized for his response to the Jan. 28 storm that paralyzed the metro area and left motorists stranded in vehicles overnight, said in a news release Sunday that he’s put emergency response agencies on alert and began significant preparations. The governor scheduled a news conference for noon Monday to discuss winter storm preparations. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather watch from 7 p.m. Monday through 7 p.m. Tuesday and a winter storm watch from Tuesday evening through Thursday morning for the metro Atlanta area.

Even before the first snowflakes fell, people around Atlanta were planning to work from home and stay off the roads. Jay Ali, 33, a college student, said Monday morning that he planned to mostly stay indoors. He had little confidence that government officials would handle this storm any better than the last.

“New levels of incompetence,” Ali said, describing the state and regional response to the last storm that left motorists stranded in their cars for hours, sometimes overnight. “Unforeseen levels of incompetence.”

Ali said part of the problem is that Southern cities do not have as many snow plows, sanders and spreaders as Northern cities.

“I don’t think they have the infrastructure to protect themselves if a storm gets really bad,” he said.

GA Power on ice: “It’s an event we’re extremely fearful of but are taking precautions for” #Pax #ATLwx #GAwx

— Shawn Reynolds (@WCL_Shawn) February 10, 2014

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My best friend, Donnie Johnson, living in Lithonia, Georgia, has died.

Grady Hospital in Atlanta, Ga, took a healthy, 64 year old male, with a hernia issue, ignored the hernia issue, put him on a ton of other medications, claiming not to know what was wrong with him, and now, after many months, has finally killed him.

I hope everyone who had their hand in the situation is happy!

Donnie, may God hold you in the palm of His Hand….You are sorely missed!

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I was reading some information about the financial crisis in this country (USA), and ran across a paper written by US District Court Judge Jed S. Rakoff.  If we had more Judges with the mind of this one, we would not be in nearly as bad a shape as we are in.  I have not yet figured out how the Judges justify allowing foreclosures, when they know for a fact that the Banks and their attorneys are creating fraudulent documents, committing perjury in their Courtrooms, and are breaking so many laws, that it has become the norm…  

Read what Honorable Judge Jed S. Rakoff says:  http://www.ft.com/cms/cb1e43f2-4be6-11e3-8203-00144feabdc0.pdf

11/12/13
Why Have No High Level Executives Been Prosecuted In Connection With The Financial Crisis?
by Jed S. Rakoff
(U.S. District Judge)

Five years have passed since the onset of what is sometimes called the Great Recession. While the economy has slowly improved, there are still millions of Americans leading lives of quiet desperation: without jobs, without resources, without hope.

Who was to blame? Was it simply a result of negligence, of the kind of inordinate risk-taking commonly called a “bubble,” of an imprudent but innocent failure to maintain adequate reserves for a rainy day? Or was it the result, at least in part, of fraudulent practices, of dubious mortgages portrayed as sound risks and packaged into ever-more-esoteric financial instruments, the fundamental weaknesses of which were intentionally obscured?

If it was the former – if the recession was due, at worst, to a lack of caution – then the criminal law has no role to play in the aftermath. For, in all but a few circumstances (not here relevant), the fierce and fiery weapon called criminal prosecution is directed at intentional misconduct, and nothing less. If the Great Recession was in no part the handiwork of intentionally fraudulent practices by high-level executives, then to prosecute such executives criminally would be “scapegoating” of the most shallow and despicable kind.

But if, by contrast, the Great Recession was in material part the product of intentional fraud, the failure to prosecute those responsible must be judged one of the more egregious failures of the criminal justice system in many years.Indeed, it would stand in striking contrast to the increased success that federal prosecutors have had over the past 50 years or so in bringing to justice even the highest level figures who orchestrated mammoth frauds. Thus, in the 1970’s, in the aftermath of the “junk bond” bubble that, in many ways, was a precursor of the more recent bubble in mortgage-backed securities, the progenitors of the fraud were all successfully prosecuted, right up to Michael Milken. Again, in the 1980’s, the so-called savings-and-loan crisis, which again had some eerie parallels to more recent events, resulted in the successful criminal prosecution of more than 800 individuals, right up to Charles Keating. And, again, the widespread accounting frauds of the 1990’s, most vividly represented by Enron and WorldCom, led directly to the successful prosecution of such previously respected C.E.O.’s as Jeffrey Skilling and Bernie Ebbers.

In striking contrast with these past prosecutions, not a single high level executive has been successfully prosecuted in  connection with the recent financial crisis, and given the fact that most of the relevant criminal provisions are governed by a five-year statute of limitations, it appears very likely that none will be. It may not be too soon, therefore, to ask why.

One possibility, already mentioned, is that no fraud was committed. This possibility should not be  discounted. Every case is different, and I, for one, have no opinion as to whether criminal fraud was committed in any given instance.

 But the stated opinion of those government entities asked to examine the financial crisis overall is not that no fraud was committed. Quite the contrary. For example, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, in its final report, uses variants of the word “fraud” no fewer than 157 times in describing what led to the crisis, concluding that there was a “systemic breakdown,” not just in  accountability, but also in ethical behavior. As the Commission found, the signs of fraud were everywhere to be seen, with the number of reports of suspected mortgage fraud rising 20-fold between 1998 and 2005 and then doubling again in the next four years. As early as 2004, FBI Assistant Director Chris Swecker, was publicly warning of the “pervasive problem” of mortgage fraud, driven by the voracious demand for mortgagebacked securities. Similar warnings, many from within the financial community, were disregarded, not because they were  viewed as inaccurate, but because, as one high level banker put it, “A decision was made that ‘We’re going to have to hold our nose and start buying the product if we want to stay in business.’”

Without multiplying examples, the point is that, in the aftermath of the financial crisis, the prevailing view of many government officials (as well as others) was that the crisis was in material respects the product of intentional fraud. In a nutshell, the fraud, they argued, was a simple one. Subprime mortgages, i.e., mortgages of dubious creditworthiness, increasingly provided the sole collateral for highly-leveraged securities that were marketed as triple-A, i.e., of very low risk. How could this transformation of a sow’s ear into a silk purse be accomplished unless someone dissembled along the way?

While officials of the Department of Justice have been more circumspect in describing the roots of the financial crisis than have the various commissions of inquiry and other government agencies, I have seen nothing to indicate their disagreement with the widespread conclusion that fraud at every level permeated the bubble in mortgage-backed securities. Rather, their position has been to excuse their failure to prosecute high level individuals for fraud in connection with the financial crisis on one or more of three grounds:

First, they have argued that proving fraudulent intent on the part of the high level management of the banks and companies involved has proved difficult. It is undoubtedly true that the ranks of top management were several levels removed from those who were putting together the collateralized debt obligations and other securities offerings that were based on dubious mortgages; and the people generating the mortgages themselves were often at other companies and thus even further removed. And I want to stress again that I have no opinion as to whether any given top executive had knowledge of the dubious nature of the underlying mortgages, let alone fraudulent intent. But what I do find surprising is that the Department of Justice should view the proving of intent as so difficult in this context. Who, for example, were generating the so-called “suspicious activity” reports of mortgage fraud that, as mentioned, increased so hugely in the years leading up to the crisis? Why, the banks themselves. A top level banker, one might argue, confronted with increasing evidence from his own and other banks that mortgage fraud was increasing, might have inquired as to why his bank’s mortgage-based securities continued to receive triple-A ratings?  And if, despite these and other reports of suspicious activity, the executive failed to make such inquiries, might it be because he did not want to know what such inquiries would reveal?  

This, of course, is what is known in the law as “willful blindness” or “conscious disregard.” It is a well-established basis on which federal prosecutors have asked juries to infer intent, in cases involving complexities, such as accounting treatments, at least as esoteric as those involved in the events leading up to the financial crisis. And while some federal courts have occasionally expressed qualifications about the use of the willful blindness approach to prove intent, the Supreme Court has consistently approved it. As that Court stated most recently in Global-Tech Appliances, Inc. v. SEB S.A., 131 S.Ct. 2060, 2068 (2011), “The doctrine of willful blindness is well established in criminal law. Many criminal statutes require proof that a defendant acted knowingly or willfully, and courts applying the doctrine of willful blindness hold that defendants cannot escape the reach of these statutes by deliberately shielding themselves from clear evidence of critical facts that are strongly suggested by the circumstances.” Thus, the Department’s claim that proving intent in the financial crisis context is particularly difficult may strike some as doubtful.

Second, and even weaker, the Department of Justice has sometimes argued that, because the institutions to whom mortgagebacked securities were sold were themselves sophisticated investors, it might be difficult to prove reliance. Thus, in  defending the failure to prosecute high level executives for frauds arising from the sale of mortgage-backed securities, the then head of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, told PBS that “in a criminal case … I have to prove not only that you made a false statement but that you intended to commit a crime, and also that the other side of the transaction relied on what you were saying. And frankly, in many of the securitizations and the kinds of transactions we’re talking about, in reality you had very sophisticated counterparties on both sides. And so even though one side may have said something was dark blue when really we can say it was sky blue, the other side of the transaction, the other sophisticated party, wasn’t relying at all on the description of the color.”

Actually, given the fact that these securities were bought and sold at lightning speed, it is by no means obvious that even a sophisticated counterparty would have detected the problems with the arcane, convoluted mortgage-backed derivatives they were being asked to purchase. But there is a more fundamental problem with the above-quoted statement from the former head of the Criminal Division, which is that it totally misstates the law.  In actuality, in a criminal fraud case the Government is never required to prove reliance, ever. The reason, of course, is that would give a crooked seller a license to lie whenever he was  dealing with a sophisticated counterparty.  The law, however, says that society is harmed when a seller purposely lies about a material fact, even if the immediate purchaser does not rely on that particular fact, because such misrepresentations create problems for the market as a whole. And surely there never was a situation in which the sale of dubious mortgage-backed securities created more of a huge problem for the marketplace, and society as a whole, than in the recent financial crisis.

The third reason the Department has sometimes given for not bringing these prosecutions is that to do so would itself harm the economy. Thus, Attorney General Holder himself told Congress that “it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if we do prosecute – if we do bring a criminal charge – it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy.” To a federal judge, who takes an oath to apply the law equally to rich and to poor, this excuse — sometimes labeled the “too big to jail” excuse – is disturbing, frankly, in what it says about the
Department’s apparent disregard for equality under the law.

In fairness, however, Mr. Holder was referring to the prosecution of financial institutions, rather than their
C.E.O.’s. But if we are talking about prosecuting individuals, the excuse becomes entirely irrelevant; for no one that I know of has ever contended that a big financial institution would collapse if one or more of its high level executives were prosecuted, as opposed to the institution itself.

Without multiplying examples further, my point is that the Department of Justice has never taken the position that all the top executives involved in the events leading up to the financial crisis were innocent, but rather has offered one or another excuse for not criminally prosecuting them – excuses that, on inspection, appear unconvincing. So, you might ask, what’s really going on here? I don’t claim to have any inside information about the real reasons why no such prosecutions have been brought, but I take the liberty of offering some speculations, for your consideration or amusement as the case may be.

At the outset, however, let me say that I totally discount the argument sometimes made that no such prosecutions have been brought because the top prosecutors were often people who previously represented the financial institutions in question and/or were people who expected to be representing such
institutions in the future: the so-called “revolving door.” In my experience, every federal prosecutor, at every level, is seeking to make a name for him-or-herself, and the best way to do that is by prosecuting some high level person. While companies that are indicted almost always settle, individual defendants whose careers are at stake will often go to trial. And if the Government wins such a trial, as it usually does, the prosecutor’s reputation is made.My point is that whatever small influence the “revolving door” may have in discouraging certain white-collar prosecutions is more than offset, at least in the case of prosecuting high-level individuals, by the career-making benefits such prosecutions confer on the successful prosecutor.  So, one asks again, why haven’t we seen such prosecutions growing out of the financial crisis? I offer, by way of speculation, three influences that I think, along with others, have had the effect of limiting such prosecutions.

First, the prosecutors had other priorities. Some of these were completely understandable. For example, prior to 2001, the FBI had more than 1,000 agents assigned to investigating financial frauds, but after 9/11 many of these agents were shifted to anti-terrorism work. Who can argue with that?  Eventually, it is true, new agents were hired for some of the vacated spots in fraud detection; but this is not a form of detection easily learned and recent budget limitations have only exacerbated the problem.

Of course, the FBI is not the primary investigator of fraud in the sale of mortgage-backed securities; that responsibility lies mostly with the S.E.C. But at the very time the financial crisis was breaking, the S.E.C. was trying to deflect criticism from its failure to detect the Madoff fraud, and this led it to concentrate on other Ponzi-like schemes, which for awhile were, along with accounting frauds, its chief focus. More recently, the S.E.C. has been hard hit by budget limitations, and this has not only made it more difficult to assign the kind of manpower the kinds of frauds we are talking about require, but also has led S.E.C. enforcement to focus on the smaller, easily resolved cases that will beef up their statistics when they go to Congress begging for money.

As for the Department of Justice proper, a decision was made around 2009 to spread the investigation of these financial fraud cases among numerous U.S. Attorney’s Offices, many of which had little or no prior experience in investigating and prosecuting sophisticated financial frauds. At the same time, the U.S. Attorney’s Office with the greatest expertise in these kinds of cases, the Southern District of New York, was just embarking on its prosecution of insider trading cases arising from the Rajaratnam tapes, which soon proved a gold mine of good cases that absorbed a huge amount of the attention of the securities fraud unit of that office. While I want to stress again that I have no inside information, as a former chief of that unit I would venture to guess that the cases involving the financial crisis were parceled out to Assistants who also had insider trading cases. Which do you think an Assistant would devote most of her attention to:  an insider trading case that was already nearly ready to go to indictment and that might lead to a highvisibility trial, or a financial crisis case that was just getting started, would take years to complete, and had no guarantee of even leading to an indictment? Of course, she would put her energy into the insider trading case, and if she was lucky, it would go to trial, she would win, and she would then take a job with a large law firm. And in the process, the financial fraud case would get lost in the shuffle.

Alternative priorities, in short, is, I submit, one of the reasons the financial fraud cases were not brought, especially cases against high level individuals that would take many years, many investigators, and a great deal of expertise to investigate.  But a second, and less salutary, reason for not bringing such cases is the Government’s own involvement in the underlying circumstances that led to the financial crisis.

On the one hand, the government, writ large, had a hand in creating the conditions that encouraged the approval of dubious mortgages. It was the government, in the form of Congress, that repealed Glass-Steagall, thus allowing certain banks that had previously viewed mortgages as a source of interest income to become instead deeply involved in securitizing pools of mortgages in order to obtain the much greater profits available from trading. It was the government, in the form of both the executive and the legislature, that encouraged deregulation, thus weakening the power and oversight not only of the S.E.C. but also of such diverse banking overseers as the O.T.S. and the O.C.C. It was the government, in the form of the Fed, that kept interest rates low in part to encourage mortgages. It was the government, in the form of the executive, that strongly encouraged banks to make loans to low-income persons who might have previously been regarded as too risky to warrant a mortgage. It was the government, in the form of the government-sponsored entities known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, that helped create the fora-time insatiable market for mortgage-backed securities. And it was the government, pretty much across the board, that acquiesced in the ever greater tendency not to require meaningful documentation as a condition of obtaining a mortgage, often preempting in this regard state regulations designed to assure greater mortgage quality and a borrower’s ability to repay.

The result of all this was the mortgages that later became known as “liars’ loans.” They were increasingly risky; but what did the banks care, since they were making their money from the securitizations; and what did the government care, since they  were helping to boom the economy and helping voters to realize their dream of owning a home.

Moreover, the government was also deeply enmeshed in the aftermath of the financial crisis. It was the government that proposed the shotgun marriages of Bank of America with Merrill Lynch, of J.P. Morgan with Bear Stearns, etc. If, in the process, mistakes were made and liabilities not disclosed, was it not partly the government’s fault?

Please do not misunderstand me. I am not alleging that the Government knowingly participated in any of the fraudulent practices alleged by the Financial Inquiry Crisis Commission and others. But what I am suggesting is that the Government was deeply involved, from beginning to end, in helping create the conditions that could lead to such fraud, and that this would give a prudent prosecutor pause in deciding whether to indict a C.E.O. who might, with some justice, claim that he was only doing what he fairly believed the Government wanted him to do.

 The final factor I would mention is both the most subtle and the most systemic of the three, and arguably the most important, and it is the shift that has occurred over the past 30 years or more from focusing on prosecuting high-level individuals to focusing on prosecuting companies and other institutions. It is true that prosecutors have brought criminal charges against companies for well over a hundred years, but, until relatively recently, such prosecutions were the exception, and prosecutions of companies without simultaneous prosecutions of their managerial agents were even rarer. The reasons were obvious. Companies do not commit crimes; only their agents do. And while a company might get the benefit of some such crimes, prosecuting the company would inevitably punish, directly or indirectly, the many employees and shareholders who were totally innocent.   Moreover, under the law of most U.S. jurisdictions, a company cannot be criminally liable unless at least one managerial agent has committed the crime in question; so why not prosecute the agent who actually committed the crime?

 In recent decades, however, prosecutors have been increasingly attracted to prosecuting companies, often even without indicting a single individual. This shift has often been rationalized as part of an attempt to transform “corporate cultures,” so as to prevent future such crimes; and, as a result, it has taken the form of “deferred prosecution agreements” or even “non-prosecution agreements,” in which the company, under threat of criminal prosecution, agrees to take various prophylactic measures to prevent future wrongdoing. But in practice, I suggest, it has led to some lax and dubious behavior on the part of prosecutors, with deleterious results.    

If you are a prosecutor attempting to discover the individuals responsible for an apparent financial fraud, you go about your business in much the same way you go after mobsters or drug kingpins: you start at the bottom and, over many months or years, slowly work your way up. Specifically, you start by “flipping” some lower level participant in the fraud whom you can show was directly responsible for making one or more false material misrepresentations but who is willing to cooperate in order to reduce his sentence, and – aided by the substantial prison penalties now available in white collar cases – you go up the ladder. For a detailed example of how this works, I recommend Kurt Eichenwald’s well-known book The Informant, which describes how FBI agents, over a period of three years, uncovered the huge price-fixing conspiracy involving high-level executives at Archer Daniels, all of whom were successfully prosecuted.

But if your priority is prosecuting the company, a different scenario takes place. Early in the investigation, you invite in counsel to the company and explain to him or her why you suspect fraud. He or she responds by assuring you that the company wants to cooperate and do the right thing, and to that end the company has hired a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, now a partner at a respected law firm, to do an internal investigation. The company’s counsel asks you to defer your investigation until the company’s own internal investigation is completed, on the condition that the company will share its results with you. In order to save time and resources, you agree. Six months later the company’s counsel returns, with a detailed report showing that mistakes were made but that the company is now intent on correcting them. You and the company then agree that the company will enter into a deferred prosecution agreement that couples some immediate fines with the imposition of expensive but internal prophylactic measures. For all practical purposes the case is now over. You are happy because you believe that you have helped prevent future crimes; the company is happy because it has avoided a devastating indictment; and perhaps the happiest of all are the executives, or former executives, who actually committed the underlying misconduct, for they are left untouched. 

I suggest that this is not the best way to proceed. Although it is supposedly justified in terms of preventing future crimes, I suggest that the future deterrent value of successfully prosecuting individuals far outweighs the prophylactic benefits of imposing internal compliance measures that are often little more than window-dressing. Just going after the company is also both technically and morally suspect. It is technically suspect because, under the law, you should not indict or threaten to indict a company unless you can prove beyond a reasonable doubt  that some managerial agent of the company committed the alleged crime; and if you can prove that, why not indict the manager?  And from a moral standpoint, punishing a company and its many innocent employees and shareholders for the crimes committed by some unprosecuted individuals seems contrary to elementary notions of moral responsibility.

These criticisms take on special relevance, however, in the instance of investigations growing out of the financial crisis, because, as noted, the Department of Justice’s position, until at least very, very recently, is that going after the suspect institutions poses too great a risk to the nation’s economic recovery. So you don’t go after the companies, at least not criminally, because they are too big to jail; and you don’t go after the individuals, because that would involve the kind of years-long investigations that you no longer have the experience or the resources to pursue.

In conclusion, I want to stress again that I have no idea whether the financial crisis that is still causing so many of us so much pain and despondency was the product, in whole or in part, of fraudulent misconduct. But if it was — as various governmental authorities have asserted it was –- then, the failure of the government to bring to justice those responsible for such colossal fraud bespeaks weaknesses in our prosecutorial system that need to be addressed.

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I have been trying to get the time to post something, anything.  I hate my Blogs to sit without activity, and I appreciate all my followers and readers.  I really do.

I have to be honest with yall.  I have been overwhelmed.  I’ve tried not to be.  I’ve tried to let it all go, and not worry about things.  I failed to do so.  

Between the Banksters, the Globalists, the Feds, ObamaCare Joke, DHS, Cops shooting people all over the place, Cops shooting dogs for wagging their tails, Seven cops beating a dead man.  

Then there is Fukushima, and Foreclosure Hell going 100 mph.  Where does it end?  It don’t, it just gets worse.

So…we do what we can, and this week, I have decided that we will warn others about eating the fish!  Don’t eat seafood and don’t eat the fish for God’s sake, unless it came from the local catfish farm or whatever.

We went to netc.com and purchased our monitoring station, and we are up and running and monitoring for radiation spikes.  At least we are informed, and we are not walking around like sheeple.  

You must realize that our government is not going to talk about Fukushima, no one is talking about it.

http://enenews.com/magazine-the-fukushima-crisis-comes-to-the-u-s-professor-new-and-improved-version-of-the-original-atomic-plague-is-spreading-the-truth-is-so-incomprehensible-its-easier-to-pretend-it-does

I promise, I will try to find time to write every few days.  You promise not to eat seafood…. Please.

 

J&J

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Foreclosure Court: The Erosion of the Judiciary                                                                                                   http://www.stayinmyhome.com/foreclosure-court-the-erosion-of-the-judiciary/

Posted on September 2nd, 2013 by Mark Stopa 

I’m a big believer in the justice system.  In fact, that’s part of why I became a lawyer.  I believe in every litigant’s right to obtain a fair hearing and trial before a neutral judge and/or impartial jury.  It sounds cliché, but that’s what I do – help people navigate the judicial system in their time of need. 

In recent months, though, the judiciary in many parts of Florida (not all, but many) has turned into something I don’t recognize.  The change has been so sudden and so extreme that it’s altering the face of the judiciary and hindering that which I hold so dear – the right to fair hearings and due process.  Yes, what I consider the “core” of a fully-functioning judicial system is eroding. 

If you’re a Florida lawyer but you don’t handle foreclosure cases, you likely have no idea what I’m talking about.  After all, outside of foreclosure-world, Florida’s courts are operating like normal, business as usual.  Sure, the down economy has brought some minor changes, but all in all, our courts are functioning in a normal way. 

Foreclosure cases, though, are a totally different animal. 

I was chatting with a colleague the other day, an attorney who doesn’t handle foreclosure lawsuits, and he was shocked as I described the things I see in foreclosure court on a daily basis.  This is a seasoned attorney who was SHOCKED at what I see every day.  That made me realize … I’m not doing a good enough job of explaining the travesties I see every day in foreclosure-world. 

It’s a tough line to toe, frankly.  Bar rules prohibit me from disparaging any particular judge, so it’s sometimes difficult to explain what’s happening in foreclosure court without crossing that line.  In this blog, though, I’m going to toe that line.  Don’t misunderstand – I’m not criticizing anyone in particular.  Rather, my critique – and that’s what I see this as, a constructive critique, coupled with a hope that everyone will realize just how flawed our system has become – is aimed at the entire institution.  My concerns aren’t with any particular judge or any one ruling – they lie with the entire judicial system, the way the entire judiciary is operating right now, at least as it pertains to foreclosure cases. 

I know what you’re thinking.  I’m just a self-interested, foreclosure defense attorney who’s trying to delay foreclosures and let people live for free.  I’m upset because the courts are making that more difficult.  Right?

Before you blow off my concerns in that manner, you tell me.  Are my concerns legitimate?  Is this how a judicial system should operate?  You tell me … 

As a foreclosure defense lawyer, I’ve seen pro se homeowners attend hearings in their cases and not be allowed to speak.  Not one word.  It wasn’t that the judge didn’t hear the homeowner or didn’t realize he/she was present, either – the homeowner asked the judge to speak at a duly-noticed hearing and was not permitted to do so.  Homeowner loses, yet couldn’t say one word.  Isolated incident, you say?  I’ve personally seen it more than once. 

Not being permitted to speak has not been limited to pro se homeowners.  I have personally been threatened with criminal contempt – criminal contempt – for moving to disqualify a judge after striking my defenses without letting me say one word about those defenses.  Your defenses are stricken, you can’t talk, and if you complain about it, I’ll throw you in jail. 

In many parts of Florida, attorneys are not permitted to attend foreclosure hearings by phone – regardless of how insignificant or short the hearing may be.  Never mind that the Florida Supreme Court created a rule of judicial administration which requires phone appearances be permitted for hearings that are 15 minutes or less absent “good cause” – in many parts of Florida, attendance by phone is simply not permitted. 

I’ve heard some justify this procedure by explaining how it’s difficult to deal with phone appearances in foreclosure cases.  Really?  How is it any more difficult than in other types of cases?  Frankly, I can’t help but wonder if the prohibition on phone appearances is designed to make it harder for defense lawyers to appear in cases for homeowners, enabling the courts to push through those cases faster.  (Prohibiting phone appearances obviously makes it harder and more expensive to attend hearings, often making the difference in a homeowner’s ability to afford counsel.) 

That’s an absurd proposition, though, right?  Why would our courts care how quickly foreclosure lawsuits are litigated?  Judges are neutral arbiters – they don’t care how quickly the cases are adjudicated.  Do they? 

The answer to that question is at the heart of the problem.  In recent months, the Florida legislature has been putting immense pressure on Florida judges to clear the backlog of foreclosure lawsuits.  How much pressure?  Well, the legislature controls the amount of funding that goes to our courts – funding that is needed to retain new judges, senior judges, court staff, and clerks (basically, the funding necessary to keep all judges and JAs from being totally overwhelmed).  Unfortunately, the legislature has been giving these judges an ultimatum, kind of like parents do to their children regarding allowance.  Basically, it works like this … “if you don’t finish these foreclosure cases, we won’t give you more funding.”  As such, the legislature holds the judiciary hostage … if the judiciary doesn’t clear cases, then the legislature doesn’t give the judiciary the funding necessary to manage the many thousands of foreclosure lawsuits pending before it. 

Perhaps worse yet, and to my sheer disgust, I’m told the legislature recently cut the pay of Florida judges (for the first time in years), and the clear understanding was that it was done as a way to punish/blame the judges for not clearing up the backlog of foreclosure cases faster.  “You won’t enter judgments fast enough for our liking … we’ll cut your pay.” 

(The pay of Florida judges is public record, right?  Why is nobody talking about this?) 

The judicial system shouldn’t operate this way.  We all learned it in elementary school, how the three branches of government exist as “separate but equal” branches of government, employing a system of “checks and balances” to ensure a fully-functioning government.  But that’s not what’s happening right now, certainly not in foreclosure court.  In foreclosure-world, the legislature is king. 

You might think this is conjecture and speculation on my part.  It’s not.  I can’t go a week without hearing how the legislature is forcing judges to move cases.  Judges discuss it openly in open court, and not just to me – to everyone.  As a result of this dynamic – judges wanting to move cases – I see all sorts of crazy things I’d never see in any other area of law. 

I’ve mentioned the homeowners who can’t speak, the threats of incarcertaion, and the prohibition on phone appearances, but let’s get to some more egregious concerns. 

Judges sua sponte set trials in foreclosure cases (without a Notice of Trial having been filed, without a CMC or pretrial conference, and without discussing/clearing the date with an counsel).  This is now routine, virtually everywhere in the state. 

Judges sua sponte set trials in foreclosure cases where a motion to dismiss is outstanding and the defendant has not filed an answer. 

Judges sua sponte set trials with less than 30 days’ notice (such that, as defense counsel, you randomly receive a trial Order in the mail, reflecting you have a trial in 2 weeks).

 The sua sponte setting of trials dominates the landscape of foreclosure-world.  Banks often don’t want trials in foreclosure cases, but the judges will set them anyway.  Then, even when the plaintiffs are vocal about not wanting a trial in that particular case, judges often insist they go forward anyway.  Even stipulated/agreed Orders to continue a trial or vacate a trial Order often go unsigned. 

Sometimes, where trial has been set in violation of Rule 1.440, judges will recognize the error and fix it.  (The judges in Pinellas and Hillsborough in particular are good about this, striving to follow the law.)  In many others cases, though, judges will proceed with trial anyway.  In foreclosure circles, one county has become known for using a stamp – DENIED – right on the motion to vacate trial Order, without a hearing.  Case not at issue?  Doesn’t matter.  Less than 30 days’ notice?  Doesn’t matter.  Bank doesn’t want a trial?  Doesn’t matter.  We’re going to trial! 

Often, judges won’t proceed with trial where the defendant hasn’t filed an Answer but will essentially force the Answer to be filed forthwith.  How is this accomplished?  Easily – either deny the motion to dismiss (often without a hearing), or sua sponte set a CMC to ensure the case gets at issue.   Some courts use CMCs as a way to, in my view, browbeat parties into settling.  One county, for example, has started setting three CMCs at once – one per week for three consecutive weeks, requiring in-person attendance, at mass-motion calendars that last an hour or more, with no input from counsel on when the CMCs are scheduled.  You’re not available?  Too bad.  You don’t need a CMC three weeks in a row?  Yes, you do.  Your case will get at issue and it will be set for trial. 

Oh, and if you want to set a hearing in this county, you have to mail in a form – MAIL IN A FORM – and wait for them to respond to you, by mail, with a form that gives you a set hearing date, without any input from you on when that hearing takes place. 

What dominates the thinking from the judiciary – again, not my speculation, but something the judges openly discuss – is their desire to “close” cases.  That’s the monster that the legislature has created – evaluating the performance of judges not based on their work as judges but based on the results set forth in an Excel spreadsheet.  How many foreclosure lawsuits were filed in that county?  How many judgments have been entered?  If the ratio of judgments entered to cases filed is high enough, then the judges in that county are doing a good job and deserve more funding from the legislature.  If not, then those judges and JAs can all suffer through the many thousands of cases without more help. 

The dynamic is so perverse that I’ve seen judges refuse to cancel foreclosure sales even when both sides ask them to. 

Plaintiff’s lawyer:  “We don’t want this foreclosure sale to go forward, judge.” 

Defendant’s lawyer:  “We are living in this house.  We don’t want this foreclosure sale to go forward, judge.” 

Judge:  “Foreclosure sale will go forward as scheduled.” 

Huh? 

This dynamic is particularly difficult to take when the parties have reached a settlement.  For example, loan modifications sometimes happen after a judgment but before a sale.  That means, essentially, that both sides are willing to forego foreclosure with the homeowner resuming monthly mortgage payments.  Incredibly, based partly on their desire to “close” a case, some judges will force a foreclosure sale to go forward even when both parties don’t want it to, having settled their dispute via a loan modification.

 Plaintiff’s lawyer:  “We have agreed to a loan modification.  We want the foreclosure sale cancelled.” 

Defendant’s lawyer:  “We have agreed to a loan modification.  We want the foreclosure sale cancelled.” 

Judge:  “Foreclosure sale will go forward as scheduled.” 

Huh? 

Even when both sides are able to resolve disputes before trial, even then they sometimes can’t escape a dress-down from the judiciary.  For instance, I’ve watched judges threaten Bar grievances against lawyers – yes, Bar grievances – where they settled the lawsuit by consenting to a foreclosure judgment with a deficiency waiver and extended sale date.  Mind you, that’s a perfectly legitimate way to compromise and settle a foreclosure lawsuit – bank gets the house, homeowner avoids any further liability and gets to stay in the house longer so as to pack up and move – but the prospect of the sale date getting pushed out 4-5 months angers some judges.  “No, you can’t settle that way.  The sale has to happen sooner.”  Yes, I’ve seen settlements like this rejected with the sale set sooner than the parties agreed.

Huh? 

There’s absolutely no rule or law that requires a sale to happen sooner where the parties agree.  Unfortunately, the judges are motivated by having that case “closed” so the numbers on the spreadsheet look better for the legislature. 

My natural response is to lament the unfairness of it all.  After all, that homeowner gave up the chances of winning at trial predicated on getting more time in the house.  I find it terribly unfair that the homeowner gave up a right to trial in exchange for an extended sale date that the judge took away … right?  Some judges would scoff at that notion.  After all, I’ve heard several times, in open court, ”there is no defense to foreclosure,” or “I’ve never seen a valid defense to foreclosure,” or words of that ilk.  Never mind that I’ve had many dozens of foreclosure cases dismissed throughout Florida, including several at trial (25 different judges have dismissed a lawsuit of mine on paragraph 22 noncompliance, for example) … there is no valid defense to foreclosure and, hence, no reason for an extended sale date. 

Another county has become known for punishing any defendants who force a trial to proceed.  I personally observed the judge begin every hearing by telling the homeowners and their counsel that they “better” accept a 120-day extended sale date, as if that “offer” was rejected then it would be “off the table” after the trial.  The implication here was obvious to everyone in the room … You want to show up and force the bank to prove its case?  You’ll lose, and I’ll punish you by ruling against you and forcing you to move out sooner. 

Some would say that the way to deal with this madness is to appeal.  Easier said than done.  Homeowners facing foreclosure are often in no position to fund an appeal.  I’ve taken some appeals for free, but there’s only so many I can handle that way.  Oh, and even if you get beyond the issue of funding, go look for published decisions that are pro-homeowner in the First DCA, Third DCA, or Fifth DCA.  Many thousands of foreclosure cases have been adjudicated in those areas in the past several years.  How many favorable rulings do you think have come out of those jurisdictions during that time?  I’ll give you a hint – not many.  In many ways, appealing in those parts of the state is like standing at the bottom of Mount Everest and being told “climb.” 

Dealing with this dynamic has been very difficult in recent months.  It’s a hard pill to swallow.  It’s difficult to watch the judicial system bend at the direction of the legislature.  It’s tough to know the concept of “separation of powers” that we all learned in elementary school is being cast aside.  It’s hard to feel like the most fundamental concepts of due process are being sacrificed to push lawsuits faster when even the plaintiffs in those lawsuits don’t so desire.  It’s hard to feel like these procedures have made it impossible for me to help homeowners in certain parts of the state.  It’s frustrating that many reading this will be upset at the entire judiciary, not realizing there are many circuit judges – particularly in Hillsborough, Pinellas, and other areas within the ambit of Florida’s Second District – who are striving to be fair and follow the law notwithstanding all of the pressure from the legislature. 

Mostly, though, I’m disappointed.  I’m disappointed that such perverse procedures are happening in our courts every day yet nobody is talking about it – and many don’t even realize it’s happening.  I’m disappointed that the justice system I knew is eroding.  I’m not going to find a dictionary definition, but that’s what erosion is – a slow process of deterioration such that, before too long, that thing which previously existed is no more. 

I hope everyone shares this blog.  I hope my friends, colleagues, attorneys and homeowners all understand what’s happening in our courts.  I hope everyone stands up to the legislature and demands it stop this madness.  Most of all, I hope the erosion of our judiciary stops … soon.

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Be sure to visit our latest new Blog, DeKalb County Sux:

http://dekalbcountysux.wordpress.com/

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http://livinglies.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/wake-up-georgia-courts-are-opening-the-door-on-wrongful-foreclosure/

http://livinglies.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/wake-up-georgia-courts-are-opening-the-door-on-wrongful-foreclosure/

Wake Up Georgia: Courts Are Opening the Door on Wrongful Foreclosure

Posted on March 15, 2013 by Neil Garfield

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE IN GEORGIA

If you are seeking legal representation or other services call our Florida customer service number at 954-495-9867 (East Coast, including Georgia – the Atlanta Area) and for the West coast the number remains 520-405-1688. Customer service for the livinglies store with workbooks, services and analysis remains the same at 520-405-1688. The people who answer the phone are NOT attorneys and NOT permitted to provide any legal advice, but they can guide you toward some of our products and services.

The selection of an attorney is an important decision and should only be made after you have interviewed licensed attorneys familiar with investment banking, securities, property law, consumer law, mortgages, foreclosures, and collection procedures. This site is dedicated to providing those services directly or indirectly through attorneys seeking guidance or assistance in representing consumers and homeowners. We are available to any lawyer seeking assistance anywhere in the country, U.S. possessions and territories. Neil Garfield is a licensed member of the Florida Bar and is qualified to appear as an expert witness or litigator in in several states including the district of Columbia. The information on this blog is general information and should NEVER be considered to be advice on one specific case. Consultation with a licensed attorney is required in this highly complex field.

Editor’s Note: For years Georgia has been considered by most attorneys to be a “red” state that, along with states like Tennessee showed no mercy on borrowers because of the prejudgment that the foreclosure mess was the fault of borrowers. For years they have ignored the now obvious truth that the defective mortgages and wrongful foreclosures do make a difference.

Now, reflecting inquiries from Courts below who are studying the the issue instead of issuing orders based upon a knee-jerk response, the State has taken a decided turn toward the application of law over presumption and bias. There is even reason to believe that the door is open a crack for past wrongful foreclosures, as the Courts grapple with the fact that thousands of foreclosures were forced through the system by strangers to the transaction and thousands of wrongful foreclosure suits have been dismissed because of the assumption by judges that no bank would lie directly to the court. It was a big lie and apparently the banks were right in thinking there was little risk to them.

Look at Pratt’s Journal of Bankruptcy Law February/ March Issue for an article on “Foreclosure Law in the Wake of Recent Decisions on Residential Mortgage Loans: The Situation in Georgia” by Ashby Kent Fox, Shea Sullivan and Amanda Wilson. Our own lawyers have out in front on these issues for a couple of years but encountering a lot of resistance — although lately they are reporting that the Courts are listening more closely.

The Georgia Supreme Court has now weighed in (Reese v Provident) and decided quite obviously that something is rotten in Georgia. Focusing on Georgia’s foreclosure notice statute but actually speaking to the substantive defects in the mortgages and foreclosures, the majority held, as a matter of law, that

o.c.G.a. § 44-14- 162.2(a), requires the person or entity conducting a non-judicial foreclosure of a residential mortgage loan to provide the borrower/debtor with a written notice of the foreclosure sale that discloses not only “the name, address, and telephone number of the individual or entity who shall have full authority to negotiate, amend, and modify all terms of the mortgage with the debtor” (the language that appears in the statute), but also the identity of the “secured creditor” (not required by the statutory language, but which the majority inferred based on legislative intent). the majority further found that the failure to identify the “secured creditor” in the foreclosure notice renders the notice, and any subsequent foreclosure sale, invalid as a matter of law.

Once again I caution litigators that this will not dispose of your case permanently and that such rulings be used strategically so that you are not another hallway lawyer explaining how you were right but the judge ruled against you anyway. Notice provisions can be cured, non-existent transactions cannot be cured. Leading with the numbers (the money trail” and THEN using decisions like this to corroborate your argument will get you a lot more traction than leading with defective paperwork.

As I have said repeatedly, no judge, no matter how sympathetic to borrowers is going to give much relief when the borrower has admitted the debt, note, mortgage and default. These must be denied and lawyers should study up on the subject as to why they can and should be denied, and to persevere through discovery to show that the note, mortgage, default and even the debt have all been faked by strangers to the transaction.

Forcing the opposing side to show that they are a bona fide holder FOR VALUE will flush out the truth — that originator in nearly all cases was never the lender, creditor or even broker. They were simply paid naked nominees just like MERS, leaving no real party in interest on the note or mortgage, no consideration between the parties stated on the note and mortgage or notice of default, and no meeting of minds between the real lender (who is NOT in privity with the nominee lender) who, as an investor received a prospectus and Pooling and Servicing Agreement and advanced money under the mistaken belief they were buying bonds of an entity that either did not exist or was simply ignored by the investment banker and the other participants in the false securitization scheme that was used to cover-up a PONZI scheme.

Practice tips: DENY and DISCOVER. Ask for proof of payment and proof of loss. The assignments, the note and the mortgage are not proof of the debt, they are potentially evidence of the debt and the security agreement ONLY if the foundation is there (testimony by witness with personal knowledge, with exhibits of wire transfer receipts and wire transfer instructions, cancelled checks etc.) to show that the originator shown as payee and “Secured party” or “beneficiary” was lender of money.

Make them show that they booked the loan as a receivable with a reserve for default. Discover that they actually booked the transaction as a fee for service (shown on the income statement) and never entered it on their balance sheet.

And PLEASE study up on voir dire, objections and cross examination. If you are not quick and ready objections to leading questions and other issues might well be waived unless you interrupt the questioning as fast as you can stand up. If you study up on hearsay and the business records exception to hearsay you will discover that in practically no case were the business records qualified as exceptions to the hearsay rule. But if you don’t raise it, if you don’t have statutory and case law and even a memo on the subject the judge is going to rule against you. We are talking about good lawyering here and not bias amongst judges.

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http://www.dailyreportonline.com/PubArticleFriendlyDRO.jsp?id=1202559725985

‘Robin Hood’ lawyer fights foreclosures with a passion

Katheryn Hayes Tucker

Daily Report

06-18-2012

For 34 years, Robert Thompson Jr. had been a business and labor lawyer — as was his father before him — defending corporations and financial institutions and even serving on several banks’ boards of directors.

But something happened to him two and half years ago that changed his entire practice. Now, he challenges banks and financial institutions in court, accusing them of wrongful foreclosure and outright fraud on behalf of individuals who are a step away from losing their homes.

The turning point for Thompson came at Christmas time, 2009. His mortgage servicer — with whom he had been embroiled in disputes over what he said were misapplied or lost checks, late fees for payments that had been made on time, unnecessary insurance costs and double billings for taxes — moved to foreclose on his home.

“I was a single father with three young children living with me in that house,” the silver-haired Thompson said during an interview in his Buckhead Thompson Law Group office filled with books about the financial industry and the economic crisis. “It was very upsetting.”

But, he added, “I was the wrong person to pick on about injunctions and bank law.”

On Dec. 28, 2009, he went before Fulton County Superior Court Judge John Goger, asking for an order enjoining the mortgage company from proceeding with the foreclosure. The judge’s first question was, “How much do you owe?” Thompson recalled.

“I told him I didn’t owe anything, that my payments had all been made on time, and that in fact they owed me more than $50,000 in overpayments and mystery fees,” Thompson recalled.

“Can you prove it?” the judge asked.

Thompson recalled he pointed the judge to canceled checks and FedEx receipts, and the judge granted Thompson’s injunction. Thompson filed a lawsuit against his loan servicer for mortgage fraud and abuse, wrongful foreclosure, unjust enrichment, breach of contract, conversion, misrepresentation, defamation, libel and deceit.

“People started talking about it,” Thompson said. “I thought it was just me, but then people started calling saying they had the same problem and wanting to know if I could help them.”

Now, Thompson is a man obsessed. And he said he’s had success halting foreclosures — but acknowledged securing such an injunction for a client is only the first step.

Thompson said he still has new clients coming to his office daily. Most don’t have the exact situation as his, where the payments were current but not applied to the account. The biggest percentage, he said, are struggling because of a loss of income and are seeking loan modifications to make payments more manageable, but were told by their mortgage holder they weren’t eligible either because they weren’t behind or far enough behind.

Thompson said being behind on mortgage payments isn’t a requirement of federally funded modification programs. But, on the assumption that it was, he said, his clients missed payments in hopes of qualifying for modifications, then found themselves in foreclosure with their lender refusing to accept more payments. Thompson calls that being “lured into default.”

Out of hundreds of cases he’s reviewed in the past two and a half years, he said, there wasn’t a single one where he didn’t find fraud or at least errors in the records. So far, he said, he has not yet been able to say to a homeowner, “I can’t help you because the bank did everything right.”

Bank representatives say it’s absurd to suggest banks want to foreclose if there are other options. They admit some paperwork mistakes happen but suggest it’s not right to make those a basis for loan forgiveness.

Meanwhile, Thompson is ordering up forensic audits — at a minimum of $1,000 each — to ferret out problems so that he can go to court to block foreclosures. A forensic auditing company analyzes the loan activity and tracks the transfers of deed and title as the loan has been sold by one financial company to another — and sometimes to several others.

Sometimes, Thompson said, he finds the foreclosing lender has already sold the note and collected the balance, and thus doesn’t have the legal right to foreclose. Often Thompson finds what he calls a “break in the chain of title” because the deed and the note have not been kept together in the transactions, which he said is illegal.

He can’t charge the homeowners the hourly rates he used to bill his corporate clients. Some can hardly pay anything. Occasionally, he said, he just offers free advice on how to fight a foreclosure pro se. Most of the time he negotiates a flat fee varying in amounts according to the work that needs to be done and the client’s ability to pay. “I have to make it affordable or they can’t do it,” he said. “But I can’t do it for free.”

He is especially busy the week before the first Tuesday of every month, when crowds gather on the courthouse steps for the auctioning of foreclosed homes. This month alone, he went to court for 25 injunctions to stop foreclosures.

Asked how many he won, he said, “All of them. But the injunction is only the first step.”

The next step varies, but often includes lawsuits against the lenders or servicers who initiated the foreclosure.

Lender representatives said Thompson’s charges about banks’ motivations don’t make sense.

“Do you really think the lender wants that house back?” asked Mo Thrash, a lobbyist for the Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia and McCalla Raymer, a law firm with offices in Georgia that represents lenders. “It is absolutely ridiculous to think the lender would want the home back.”

Thrash said the conventional wisdom — that the best outcome for the lender is for the homeowner to make all their payments until the loan is paid in full — is still true, maybe more so now because of falling real estate prices and difficulty in selling homes. “I admit mistakes do happen, but I’d be willing to bet that the majority of these cases are a two-way street,” he said. “It takes two to tango.”

The majority of mortgage banks — 99 percent — are ethical and honest, Thrash added. To suggest otherwise, he said, is “absolutely crazy.”

If the personal foreclosure experiences of Thompson and some of his clients are as they described them, “It was a mistake,” said J.D. Crowe, senior vice president of Southeast Mortgage of Georgia Inc. and a member of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Georgia Board of Governors.

“If that’s the case, that’s why he won an injunction and will probably win his lawsuit. With the number of foreclosures in the last few years, there’s a lot of paper going back and forth,” Crowe said.

But like Thrash, Crowe said it’s “ridiculous” to suggest that a lender would want to foreclose if there were an alternative. “Lenders want to work with borrowers. They don’t want to foreclose,” he said.

Crowe also suggested that when homeowners win their foreclosure fights, they usually win on a technicality — a mistake in the paperwork or the separation of the deed and note in the selling of the loan by one financial institution to another. In such cases, if homeowners win damages or loan forgiveness, allowing them to walk away from their mortgage payments, said Crowe, “I think it is unconscionable.”

Disbelief, said Thompson, is the biggest challenge he faces in fighting foreclosure fraud. “People who have never suffered through it cannot believe it. It challenges the fundamentals of everything you want to believe about the banks being honest and the government protecting you.”

He cited the case of client LaVonda DeWitt, a patent lawyer whose income was reduced because her firm’s revenue dropped. In an interview, she said she contacted her mortgage company to discuss a loan modification so she could lower her payments.

“They said I wasn’t eligible because I still had a job,” she said.

Then she was laid off. She called her lender again about the modification and was told she wasn’t eligible because didn’t have a job. She said she was also told she wasn’t eligible unless she was three months behind. She stopped making payments in December 2010. She also filed a complaint with the U.S. Treasury Department over being denied a loan modification. The lender responded with a document she had never seen saying she had been offered a modification and rejected it, but later admitted that claim was a mistake, according to DeWitt. She still wasn’t offered a modification. She received a foreclosure notice in March of this year.

She met with Thompson, who went to court with her to block the sale on the first Tuesday in April. She won the injunction but still wasn’t able to negotiate a loan modification. So, on Thompson’s advice, she filed a lawsuit in federal court.

DeWitt said Thompson reminds her of the fictional Atticus Finch, taking on jobs that other lawyers don’t want.

Another client of Thompson’s, Patricia Sibley, won an injunction a year ago, then filed a lawsuit against the lender for wrongful foreclosure. The suit is pending in the Northern District of Georgia. Sibley and her husband are still in their home — “because of Bob Thompson,” she said.

As with DeWitt, Sibley’s suit is based on what Thompson calls “luring into default.” When the recession hit and slashed revenue for her advertising company, Sibley said she had to close her business. She and her husband had paid down by half their $950,000 15-year mortgage on their north Atlanta home near the Chattahoochee River, and their payments were current, she said in an interview.

She contacted the lender to ask about changing the terms to lower the payments. Since they still had some income, they felt they could afford the loan if they could spread it back to 30 years. They were told they weren’t eligible for a modification because they weren’t behind. They skipped one payment and called again, but were told they were not far enough behind to be eligible, according to Sibley and the lawsuit. After the third missed payment, they received a foreclosure notice. They tried to talk to the lender’s customer service department many times and offered to pay the loan current and cover fees in return for restructuring, she said, but heard no response.

The house was advertised for foreclosure. The weekend before the first Tuesday in June 2011, cars were driving by the house and stopping to take pictures, Sibley said. It was an experience she said she wouldn’t wish on anyone.

A friend called and said she had a friend who knew someone who might be able to help — Thompson. The friend said, “I have somebody who’s like Robin Hood. He takes from the banks and gives to the poor.”

“Not that we’re the poor,” Sibley added. But, she said, “I never would have dreamed I’d be in this position.”

Sibley’s case is unresolved, but Thompson was able to get an injunction to prevent foreclosure while it’s pending.

McCurdy & Candler, which has offices in Decatur and Atlanta, handled Sibley’s foreclosure for PNC Mortgage, as well as DeWitt’s foreclosure for Chase. Managing partner Sidney Gelernter said the firm couldn’t comment on any pending case or even discuss foreclosures generally. Sibley’s suit is being defended by Ballard Spahr. One of the lawyers working on the case in Atlanta, Christopher Willis, said the firm couldn’t comment on any matter involving any of its clients.

Sibley’s lawsuit is against National City Mortgage Company, National City Bank, PNC Mortgage, Bank of America and unidentified investors. Sibley said she tried repeatedly to find out the identity of the investors who now own the loan — in order to work out payment terms — but PNC, the servicer, wouldn’t tell her.

A spokeswoman for PNC said the company couldn’t comment on any lawsuit. “We do work with customers,” said Amy Vargo, noting modification programs described on the PNC website.

In his own personal case, Thompson sued BAC Home Loans Servicing, which is a subsidiary of Bank of America, and Bank of New York Mellon, formerly known as Bank of New York, successor in interest to JP Morgan Chase Bank. Bank of America acquired Countrywide Mortgage Company, which was Thompson’s loan servicer. Thompson’s lawsuit names four companies that owned his note successively. Thompson’s case — which he has withdrawn for now — was defended by Monica Gilroy of Alpharetta’s Dickenson Gilroy, who said she couldn’t discuss it.

The foreclosing firm in Thompson’s case was Shuping, Morse & Ross, based in Riverdale. Neither the managing partner, Sheltan Andrew Shuping Jr., nor the lawyer who handled the foreclosure, Kevin Duda, could be reached for comment.

Thompson’s lawsuit — moved from Fulton Superior Court to federal district court in Atlanta — seeks damages for overpayments and unauthorized fees, harassment and injury to his credit and reputation, naming a figure of $5 million.

Thompson said he has stopped making mortgage payments, and BAC has stopped trying to foreclose. He moved to withdraw his complaint, while keeping the door open to refiling it later, and the judge agreed. He said he believes the courts are evolving in their understanding of foreclosure fraud, and he plans to reinitiate the suit at a time that will be advantageous. For now, he said, “It’s an armed truce.”

Thompson’s case in federal court is Thompson v. BAC Home Loans, No. 1:10-CV-3205-TCB.

Sibley’s case in federal court is Sibley v. National City Mortgage Co., No. 1:12-cv-00305-SCJ-JFK.

Daily Report: Robin Hood lawyer fights foreclosures with a passion

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GEORGIA ON MY MIND..>..

Tuesday, June 12, 2012Last Update: 7:06 AM PT

Squirrely Ethics in Georgia, Former Exec Says

By IULIA FILIP

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ATLANTA (CN) – A former executive claims in court that the Georgia Ethics Commission fired her for trying to investigate a gubernatorial candidate’s violations of campaign finance laws.
     Stacey Kalberman claims the chairman of the state ethics commission board, who was the candidate’s appointee, retaliated against her to deter the investigation and promote his political career.
     Kalberman sued the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission fka Georgia State Ethics Commission, Executive Secretary Holly LaBerge and Chairman Patrick Millsaps, in Fulton County Superior Court.
     The state ethics commission oversees campaign funding and spending of elected officials and lobbyists.
     Kalberman was executive secretary of the commission from April 2010 until June 2011, when she says she was “forced out of her job”.
     As executive secretary, Kalberman managed the commission’s administrative, legal and investigatory functions, including investigations of complaints under the Georgia Campaign Finance Act, according to her complaint.
     “Between March and May of 2010, Kalberman became aware of three third-party complaints made against a gubernatorial candidate (the ‘candidate’) concerning his campaign’s compliance with the Georgia Campaign Finance Act,” the complaint states.
     “The candidate had reappointed Millsaps to his position on the commission.
     “The commission’s investigation revealed troubling irregularities with the candidate’s campaign financial disclosures.”
     After the candidate’s counsel ignored her request for documents, Kalberman says, she prepared draft subpoenas for the commission’s review.
     Kalberman says she discussed the subpoenas with Millsaps at least four times and told him that “the candidate’s campaign had possibly violated campaign contribution limits on many occasions.” But she says Millsaps asked her to keep the matter in “strict confidence” and refused to sign the subpoenas.
     Kalberman claims that in June 2011, less than 3 weeks after she provided the subpoenas to the commissioners, Millsaps asked her to meet him to discuss the commission’s budget.
     But instead of discussing the budget, Millsaps told her the commission was cutting her salary by 35 percent and eliminating the position of deputy secretary, filled by Kalberman’s chief investigator, according to the complaint.
     “At the June meeting, it was obvious to Kalberman that Millsaps’ sudden ‘budget cut’ was retaliation against her for pursuing the ethics investigation into the candidate,” the complaint states. “Kalberman, exhausted from previous weeks of dealing with her mother’s diagnosis of stage IV metastatic breast cancer, became emotional and stated she could not work for the drastic reduction in salary Millsaps proposed.
     “At no time did Kalberman resign her employment with the commission.”
     Kalberman says that though she denied she had resigned, Millsaps sent her an email saying that the commission had accepted her “resignation.”
     She says Millsaps refused to return her phone calls or further discuss the proposed budget cuts with her.
     “Millsaps then began maliciously spreading false rumors to the press and to the public that Kalberman had resigned from her position during the June meeting,” the complaint states.
     “On June 15, 2011, Kalberman sent a detailed email to Millsaps outlining several alternative plans for restructuring the budget to avoid Millsaps’ proposed cuts.
     “Kalberman also indicated in her email that she felt that Millsaps’ alleged ‘budgetary concerns’ were pretextual to hide his real reason for removing Kalberman from her position: to deter the investigation into the candidate. Kalberman made it clear to Millsaps that she planned to proceed with her job duties, which included the investigation.
     “Millsaps ignored Kalberman’s overtures to discuss the commission’s budget, leaked Kalberman’s email to the press, and told the press that Kalberman had resigned from her position and that she behaved badly by becoming ‘upset’ at the June meeting. In addition, Millsaps misled the press when he reported he could not really remember if he ever received the candidate’s subpoenas.”
     Kalberman says the commission enacted Millsaps’ proposed cuts and forced her to resign, claiming her authority had been compromised.
     The complaint adds: “Kalberman’s resignation as executive secretary amounted to a constructive termination because the commission, and specifically Millsaps, forced her out of her job and made it clear she would be rendered powerless, amounting to nothing more than a figurehead.”
     Kalberman says Millsaps’ statements to the press hurt her reputation and prevented her from getting similar ethics-related jobs.
     She seeks compensatory and punitive damages for retaliation under the Georgia Whistleblower Act and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
     She is represented by Kimberly Worth with Joyce Thrasher Kaiser & Liss.

Courthouse News Service

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http://www.lawlessamerica.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=817:city-of-roswell-georgia-bullies-andrew-wordes-to-death-over-his-backyard-chickens&catid=117:news-reports&Itemid=219Sick smile

City of Roswell, Georgia bullies Andrew Wordes to death over his backyard chickens

City of Roswell, Georgia bullies Andrew Wordes to death over his backyard chickens

Tuesday, 10 April 2012 11:54
William M. Windsor
  • wordes-andrew

Andrew Wordes, an innocent man who had legally been raising a few dozen chickens and other small birds in the backyard of his suburban Atlanta home, is now dead, following a crusade of terror perpetrated against him by the City of Roswell Georgia.

Andrew Wordes, who died during a recent raid on his property in which county marshals tried to illegally evict him, was the obvious victim of a rogue state gone mad — and his blood is now on the hands of the Roswell City Administrator, the Roswell City Council, and the Roswell Police Department, all of which robbed from Wordes his property, his livelihood, and ultimately his life.

See the NaturalNews infographic timeline of events that documents the escalation that ultimately led to Mr. Andrew Wordes’ death: http://www.naturalnews.com

Andrew Wordes had long raised his small poultry friends in the backyard of his one-acre property at 335 Alpine Drive in Roswell, Georgia, sharing eggs, chicks, and friendly words of wisdom and encouragement with his neighbors and with local schoolchildren all along the way. Andrew Wordes was very active in his local community, having organized a North Georgia Pet Chicken “Meetup” group, and founded a chicken breeding club. His friends and neighbors described him as a generous, kind, and loving man who was always willing to lend a hand, and who would have given you the shirt off his back if you needed it.

But Andrew Wordes met his unjust fate on March 26, 2012, after roughly four years of enduring illicit and seemingly-endless abuse, bullying, threats, and unsubstantiated legal action taken against him by Roswell city officials with an apparent axe to grind. And after losing his birds, his freedom, his entire life savings, his property, and his livelihood as a result of the City of Roswell’s sadistic war against him, Andrew Wordes ended up losing his life as a result of an explosion that occurred during the final eviction raid carried out by Fulton County marshals.

City of Roswell targets Wordes for standing up for his rights, identifies his property on planning map as future ‘green space’

The saga allegedly began in 2008 when a disgruntled neighbor of Andrew Wordes reportedly complained to the city about Wordes raising chickens, button quail, and other small creatures in his backyard. The City of Roswell responded by issuing Andrew Wordes a citation for his chickens, even though the city’s Code of Ordinances specifically provisioned at the time that property owners on less than two acres of land could legally raise chickens and swine.

With the help of Roswell’s Mayor Jere Wood, a lawyer friend of Andrew Wordes who also raises chickens himself, Wordes was able to get the citation issued against him dismissed in court. But the firestorm of childish retaliation and rage that quickly ensued as a result of Andrew Wordes standing up for himself and his rights, rather than capitulating to the city’s tyrannical and mindless demands that he get rid of his chickens, will likely go down as one of the most tragically absurd abuses of power in the history of local government.

After it became clear that Andrew Wordes was not about to let the City of Roswell trample all over him and his rights, several city officials allegedly kicked their vendetta against him into high gear, not only to forcibly have Wordes’ chickens removed, but also to seize his property right out from under him. After failing twice to get Andrew Wordes nabbed for their made-up code violations, the City of Roswell actually rewrote the law to prohibit residents from raising more than six chickens in an effort to seal the deal.

But even this failed, as a judge later ruled that Andrew Wordes, who had been in his home for more than a decade raising chickens, would be “grandfathered in” under the old provisions which allowed for residents to raise backyard chickens. So the City of Roswell switched gears again and began to play even dirtier by getting Andrew Wordes arrested for petty violations, and proceeding to reclassify his property on their long-term planning map as future green space.

You can view the City of Roswell’s2030 Comprehensive Plan, which demarcates Wordes’ property as future “Conservation Area or Greenspace” here:
http://www.roswellgov.com/index.aspx?NID=893

So it appears as though the City of Roswell used the supposed neighbor complaint as an excuse to pursue Andrew Wordes’ property for the purpose of eventually turning it into parks and green space. This would explain why the city failed to properly maintain storm water infrastructure near Wordes’ property, which resulted in his property becoming severely flooded at least a dozen times, and eventually uninhabitable.

City of Roswell refuses to submit Andrew Wordes’ request for FEMA assistance following severe flooding, issues citation when he attempts to protect his home

Not only did the City of Roswell fail to abide by legal guidelines that required it to maintain storm water infrastructure around Wordes’ property, but the city added insult to injury by refusing to file paperwork to the U.S.Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA) following a flood that caused severe damage to Andrew Wordes’ home, which is also located on a floodplain. As a result, he had no means by which to fix the damage.

And when Andrew Wordes attempted to protect his property from future flood damage by grading his land with a Bobcat, which he borrowed from his friend Mayor Wood, the City of Roswell actually had the audacity to issue Wordes a citation for grading his land without a permit, and for having too many cars on his property at the time.

City of Roswell Code Enforcement Supervisor violates law by contacting Andrew Wordes’ mortgage holder, coercing her into selling mortgage note

From this point on, City of Roswell officials began harassing Andrew Wordes, and the local police department began to surveil his house on a regular basis, watching closely for anything that might be considered a violation. In the process, he was pulled over and even thrown in jail on numerous occasions.

In violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and several other laws, Roswell Code Enforcement Supervisor Vicki Barclay (http://www.roswellgov.com/index.aspx?NID=94) allegedly called Wordes’ mortgage holder, an 80-year-old woman, and coerced her into selling Wordes’ mortgage note for 40 cents on the dollar to another mortgage holder by threatening to issue liens, citations, and grievances on the property if she failed to comply. Barclay is the same city official who had illegally tried to issue Wordes a citation for his chickens from the very beginning.

Having failed at all other attempts to seize his property, the City of Roswell then filed a zoning violation against Wordes claiming that his property was a “nuisance.” The city also filed a 55-page civil lawsuit against Andrew Wordes, which conveniently denied him the right to a city-funded public defender who was supposed to represent him in legal dealings involving the city.

Even with former Georgia Governor Roy Barnes on his side, Andrew Wordes was rapidly losing the ability to fend off these ravenous wolves in the City of Roswell government that were hellbent on forcing him off his property for their own devious purposes. And Roswell City Administrator Kay G. Love (http://www.roswellgov.com/Directory.aspx?EID=3), Roswell City councilmember Becky Wynn (http://www.roswellgov.com/directory.aspx?EID=6), Roswell City councilmember Rich Dippolito (http://richforroswell.com/about-rich.php), and Roswell Code Enforcement Supervisor Vicki Barclay (http://www.roswellgov.com/index.aspx?NID=94) all played a key role in making this happen, according to accounts.

Andrew Wordes’ home vandalized, chickens poisoned while he attends political rally

The madness did not stop at Andrew Wordes’ property, however, as even his animals eventually got caught in the fray of the City of Roswell’s campaign of terror. According to reports, Andrew Wordes’ home was vandalized in 2011 while he was attending a local political rally, and when he returned, he found that his animals had also been poisoned. Roughly one-third of his animals, which included turkeys, chicks, and adult chickens, ended up dying as a result of this poisoning.

Andrew Wordes filed a police report in response to these crimes, but the Roswell police department never pursued the case, and it was never determined who committed them. Consequently, Wordes lost a significant portion of his income and livelihood as a result of the mysterious deaths, which made his already-burgeoning financial problems even worse.

City of Roswell jails Wordes for 99 days, proceeds to evict him from property using phony foreclosure notice

After attacking him from practically all angles and nabbing him for every single petty violation they could think of, the City of Roswell finally ended up jailing Wordes for a whopping 99 days. And immediately after Wordes was jailed, the City of Roswell issued a public press release letting the public know that Wordes’ house was now “vacant,” a purely vindictive move that had terrifying consequences.

Within just a few hours of the announcement, Wordes’ house was vandalized and looted. Even though the City of Roswell promised to keep an eye on the property after issuing the press release, criminals were somehow able to steal Wordes’ firearms and weapons, ammunition, and other valuables, which put the entire community at risk.

During this time, Wordes was refused the ability to proceed with the bankruptcy filings that would have halted the illegal foreclosure on his property which, conveniently for the City of Roswell, was moving forward during his time in jail. As pointed out by Maggie West Bean writing forExaminer.com, the foreclosure paperwork was not even legal to begin with, as it lacked necessary information proving its validity (http://www.examiner.com).

After finally being released, Wordes was left with an uninhabitable house and property, no more animals, no more money, and a pending eviction notice illegally issued by the ruthless criminals at the City of Roswell. Throughout the process, Wordes was denied all his rights to defend himself, denied his right to defend his property against illegal foreclosure, and denied his right to pursue any sort of justice in the matter.

During a February interview with Rusty Humphries, a radio talk show host on WGST 640 in Atlanta, a desperate Wordes explained his dire situation at that point, and issued one of his final pleas for help. You can listen to that interview at either of the following two links:
http://airbornecombatengineer.typepad.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=D0Md7aIudZE

You can also read a post written by Andrew Wordes himself back in 2009 here:
http://www.backyardchickens.com

After being denied the ability to fight back against illegal foreclosure, county marshals swoop in on Andrew Wordes’ property to evict him, culminating in his death

At the end of his rope and facing insurmountable and unrelenting oppression, Wordes’ final hours were spent in his unlivable home, where Fulton County marshals staged an elaborate demonstration of police state force by illegally raiding Wordes’ property.

According to reports, the standoff concluded when Wordes finally told television reporter Mike Petchenik, who he had called to the scene by phone, to have the marshals leave the property. Moments later, an explosion was heard, and Wordes’ house became engulfed in flames.

When it was safe to go inside, responders found a body inside the home, which was later identified as being that of Wordes. And though the incident appears to have been a desperate suicide, which is how some reports categorized it right off the bat, others are worded as to leave room for the potential possibility of foul play.

City of Roswell must be held responsible for its crimes

While it has not yet been determined whether Wordes’ death was a suicide or a murder, it is clear that the City of Roswell has a whole lot of explaining to do concerning its role in the escalation of this situation over the past four years.

As usual, mainstream media reports about the saga fail to mention how the City of Roswell committed numerous criminal acts in its illegal pursuit of Wordes, or how the city is now officially lying, on record, by claiming that it played no part in working behind the scenes to transfer Wordes’ mortgage and foreclose on his property.

Nevertheless, the truth must come out about this case, and those involved in perpetrating it brought to justice. And this, of course, will start with a full investigation into the dealings of Roswell City Administrator Kay G. Love (http://www.roswellgov.com/Directory.aspx?EID=3), Roswell City councilmember Becky Wynn (http://www.roswellgov.com/directory.aspx?EID=6), Roswell City councilmember Rich Dippolito (http://richforroswell.com/about-rich.php), and Roswell Code Enforcement Supervisor Vicki Barclay (http://www.roswellgov.com/index.aspx?NID=94), as well as Roswell city attorneys and the Roswell Police Department, in the case.

It is unfortunate that NaturalNews only just now learned about the Wordes saga after the man’s death, as it may have been possible to help him earlier on by raising awareness about the injustices being perpetrated against him. But at the very least, we can all fight for justice now by banding together to make sure the facts come to light, and the criminals involved punished for their crimes.

The case also serves as a reminder to others who might be enduring similar harassment to speak up now about what they are going through. The reason why news sites like NaturalNews, InfoWars and others exist is to draw attention to issues like this, and to bring what goes on in the darkness to light — so if you or somebody you know is facing similar harassment by city officials, tell us about it!

Also, be sure to read the following memoriam written by Glenn Horowitz at American Daily Herald about the Wordes case. Horowitz was personally involved in trying to help Wordes in years past, and has put together an excellent summary of the events that took place over the last four years: http://www.americandailyherald.com

See the NaturalNews infographic timeline of events that documents the escalation that ultimately led to Mr. Wordes’ death:

http://www.naturalnews.com

Sources for this article include:

http://www.americandailyherald.com

http://www.examiner.com

http://airbornecombatengineer.typepad.com

http://www.backyardchickens.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=D0Md7aIudZE

http://theperspicaciousconservative


William M. Windsor

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http://stopforeclosurefraud.com/2011/11/14/phillips-vs-u-s-bank-judge-dennis-blackmon-nails-us-bank-in-georgia-on-hamp-wrongful-foreclosure-and-emotional-distress-damages/

 

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