Foreclosure Reversal Issued in Case With Robo Witness, In the years following the housing crash, Florida courts were flooded with home foreclosure filings. Defense attorneys protested plaintiffs firms were circumventing evidentiary rules by submitting forged assignments and other documents to prove standing.
n three cases over two days, the First District Court of Appeal threw out evidence submitted in foreclosure actions and ruled the lenders’ witnesses were unqualified.
In what appears to be a trend, the court said the trial courts in two of the three cases should dismiss the lawsuits altogether in favor of the homeowners.
The Oct. 13 and 14 decisions are believed to be the first to strike down so-called robo-witnesses in a homeowner’s case with a lender as plaintiff, said foreclosure defense attorney Thomas Ice of Ice Legal in Royal Palm Beach.
The decisions should become effective statewide if the 30-day deadline for filing a motion for rehearing expires without further action by the lender.
Ice said bank attorneys often come to trial in foreclosure cases with a single witness who lacks first-hand knowledge of the origin and accuracy of the mortgage records they describe.
It’s the same in almost every single bank case because they are always transferring these loans around. The loan servicers change at least once and very often several times between the time of the loan and the trial, Ice said.