It seems that our legal system, already heavily weighted in favor of the powerful, is completely out of control when it comes to these mortgage foreclosures. As Matt Taibbi recently pointed out, judges handling foreclosure cases give kneejerk credence to the attorneys, to the point where they can't even be bothered to check the filings to make sure they're in order. It took a bankruptcy judge to call this law firm to task.
Now, defrauding the homeowners is probably perfectly okay with the establishment. But I find it hard to believe they'll get away with impersonating lawyers!
PITTSBURGH (AP) — A Philadelphia law firm used nonlawyers to file untold numbers of mortgage foreclosures across the state and fraudulently collected attorney's fees that caused people to lose their homes in cases which should be legally nullified, a Pittsburgh lawyer claims in a lawsuit.
The lawsuit comes as a bankruptcy court judge, also in Pittsburgh, has given the same firm, Goldbeck, McCafferty & McKeever, until the end of business Friday to self-report to the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Agresti filed two opinions castigating the firm and the lender it represented, Countrywide Home Loans, in a foreclosure that led a Pittsburgh-area woman to file for bankruptcy in 2001.
The judge determined a Goldbeck attorney knowingly gave the court phony lender documents to bolster its foreclosure claim saying "the evidence that (the attorney) lied was considerable."
Attorneys at the Goldbeck firm have not returned calls for comment from The Associated Press on Judge Agresti's findings or the 78-page lawsuit filed last month by Patrick Loughren.
Loughren told The Associated Press he could not comment on his lawsuit, but said the document made clear his reason for filing it.
The lawsuit spells out two broad goals: defending the legal profession, and pursuing a remedy for those facing foreclosure and those who have already paid attorneys fees or lost their homes in actions filed by the Philadelphia firm.