Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

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Real Estate: All is not quiet on the mortgage foreclosure front.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | September 25, 2011

No. 720

  The Washington Post reports that a recent settlement between Bank of America (pronounced Countrywide) and certain large investors precipitated a storm of delinquency notices.  Although BOA has denied the connection, there is no doubt that litigation activity generally has been increasing, after a long lull during the summer.

Although the slowing of new cases due to the robosigning controversy is ending, the issue is far from a resolution. The case involving the former Goldbeck law firm in Philadelphia, Loughren v. Bair et al, alleging that paralegals were preparing and filing pleadings without lawyer supervision, is still alive.  Judge Christine Ward denied Defendant’s preliminary objections and The Defendant has requested additional time to answer the lengthy complaint.  This case should be going on for a long time.

Meanwhile, the issue of the robosigning of verifications was raised in another Allegheny County Common Pleas case, Wells Fargo v. Kosar, MG 10-000400. In response to a Motion and Rule to Show Cause, which was treated as Preliminary Objections, the Plaintiff’s counsel, Joseph Loughren (who is plaintiff in the Goldbeck case) argued that Wells Fargo’s foreclosure should be dismissed with prejudice (meaning forever) because Wells followed a standard business practice of flaunting Rule 1024, which requires a fact pleading to be verified by a party.  It appears that all pleadings for Wells by the law firm involved here — Phelan Hallinan & Schmieg of Philadelphia — were initially signed by counsel and replaced by the verification of a robosigner.  Although the alleged robosigner held the title of Vice President for Documentation at Wells Fargo, she knew nothing about the cases which she verified.

Judge Hertzberg denied the requested relief in an opinion that recognized that Wells Fargo had violated Rule 1024, but indicated that he was not  shocked by the firm’s conduct.







CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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