Kramer Law: Experts Look to Latest Florida Foreclosure Cases as Examples of Homeowner Justice

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Law Offices of Kramer & Kaslow: Recent cases in Florida prove banks are not invincible.

Kramer & Kaslow

“Florida, Florida, Florida!” was Tim Russert’s famous quote about that most telling state in the 2000 Presidential election. Eleven years later, Florida seems to be the focal point again – only this time it involves the mortgage crisis. State and appellate courts in Florida, fed up with what they have said is lender misbehavior and sloppy and sometimes fraudulent paperwork, are routinely dismissing cases against homeowners who have fallen behind in their payments and are facing foreclosure.

One Miami-Dade County Circuit Judge, Maxine Cohen Lando, was so upset at the way a local law firm representing lenders came into her court with suspect paperwork that she awarded a homeowner title in the disputed property – free and clear – and barred the lender from refilling the foreclosure.

When asked to comment on this, noted attorney Philip Kramer of the law firm Kramer & Kaslow observed, “This doesn’t surprise me. Lenders are almost without exception careless in their paperwork. In my experience there is a line between carelessness and outright fraud which many lenders feel they can cross with impunity.”

The question now is whether the Florida situation spreads to the rest of the nation or remains a local phenomenon. Time will tell, but Philip Kramer feels that Florida is a harbinger of things to come. According to Kramer, “It used to be that judges just assumed the lenders knew what they were doing and that their paperwork was sound. As courts began to look more closely at the lenders’ behavior, it became increasingly clear that things were amiss. I would not be surprised at all to find other states’ courts taking similar positions.”

As Congress grapples with legislation, as all fifty states’ Attorneys Generals pursue a lawsuit against the banks, and as hundreds – and soon to be thousands – of homeowners in trouble pursue justice through the court system, one thing is clear – the way banks do business is going to change.

Philip Kramer, who is representing hundreds of aggrieved homeowners in mass joinder cases, feels this can only be a good thing ultimately. “For the longest time,” Kramer observes, “My clients were lone voices crying out in the wilderness. No one thought what they were saying could possibly be true. Now, it is becoming clearer and clearer that if anything, they were understating the problem.”

Whether or not Florida leads the nation once again remains to be seen. One thing is clear: lenders are no longer going to be able to walk into court, claim that their paperwork is in order, and expect to be believed. It seems more and more likely that aggrieved homeowners are going to have a fighting chance against the banking giants.

PHILIP A. KRAMER is the senior partner of the Law Office of Kramer & Kaslow, in Calabasas, California. Kramer & Kaslow is Martindale Hubbell “AV” rated. Mr. Kramer is a perennial recipient of the prestigious “Southern California Super Lawyer” award.

Mr. Kramer received his undergraduate degree from Ohio State University and his Juris Doctorate from the Catholic University of America, in Washington, DC. His practice emphasizes commercial litigation and trial advocacy, with a concentration on business litigation, and real property matters. He has prosecuted and defended cases for over twenty five years.

Mr. Kramer is a licensed real estate broker and has spent considerable time providing legal services in connection with real estate issues relating to loan modification and loss mitigation, land use and zoning, environmental issues, easements, construction and development, finance, and landlord tenant matters.

Mr. Kramer is admitted to practice before all courts in the State of California, the United States Supreme Court and the United States Court of Military Appeals. Mr. Kramer has tried in excess of 200 cases. He has appeared on nationally televised programs regarding pre-trial procedure and trial strategy and has appeared as a guest lecturer on topics ranging from constitutional law to trial practice, and Mr. Kramer frequently lectures on a broad spectrum of various legal and business issues.

Mr. Kramer also serves as a Judge Pro Tem for the Los Angeles Superior Court and as a Mediator.

Mr. Kramer is also a past president of the Los Angeles West Inns of Court, a national organization dedicated to bringing professionalism and civility back into the legal profession. He also serves on numerous Boards of Directors and serves as an officer in many companies. For more information call (818) 224-3900 or visit


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