A Florida appeals court ended a foreclosure lawsuit in which Wells Fargo Bank was caught cheating.
Wells Fargo Bank sued Deborah Griffin’s for mortgage foreclosure but didn’t tell the court about prior loan modifications by keeping these from its foreclosure filing. Ms. Griffin’s lawyers, Matt Weidner and Michael Fuino, asked the court to order the Wells Fargo to hand over the documents, but the bank refused. Then, to gain the advantage on the eve of the foreclosure trial, Wells Fargo delivered over 3,000 pages of documents to Mrs. Griffin’s lawyers.
The judge in the case noticed that Wells Fargo wasn’t telling the whole story and the last-minute document dump. “It’s unfair for this bank to ask for foreclose without disclosing all the facts so our client can adequately tell her side of the story”, says Michael Fuino. The trial judge agreed and dismissed the case. The bank’s motive for not initially disclose the loan modification remains unclear.
Unhappy with the result at trial, the bank appealed arguing Ms. Griffin was not prejudiced by anything it did or didn’t do. But her attorneys argued that without alleging the loan modifications there was no claim against their client, and that sending over documents at the last minute severely impeded Ms. Griffin’s defense. Apparently agreeing with her attorneys, only eight days after hearing argument the Second District Court of Appeal shut down Wells Fargo foreclosure by upholding the dismissal.
The extremely quick appeals decision sends a message that Florida courts will not tolerate unfair and abusive tactics in foreclosure cases by big banks. For now, it is a huge loss on appeal for Wells Fargo and a big win for Ms. Griffin. The appeals court ordered the bank to pay all of Ms. Griffin’s attorneys’ fees and costs. Matt Weidner says, “this important victory shows how critical it is for lawyers to treat every case like it will end up on appeal and that any consumer can fight against the largest corporations in the world and win as long as they have skilled attorneys on their side”.
Matt Weidner, recently he was named to Florida Legal Elite for 2014, is a foreclosure defense attorney rated on avvo.com as “Superb” and also recognized in Super Lawyers. Matt and the other attorneys in the law firm represent Florida homeowners in foreclosure cases. The firm also provides services estate planning, wills, probate, and represents veterans in VA disability claims and appeals.
Release ID: 83357