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A Stern Closing

The law offices of David J. Stern in Plantation, under investigation for its foreclosure practices, will stop handling foreclosure cases by the end of the month.

As mentioned in our February 9th blog entry, Stern’s office is one of the foreclosure law firms currently under investigation by the Florida Attorney General’s Office for document fabrication.

According to the Attorney General’s website, Stern is the focus of serious inquiry for allegedly “fabricating and/or presenting false and misleading documents in foreclosure cases.”  A spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office said the investigation would not stop because the firm is closing its foreclosure practice.

Apparently in the same sloppy manner with which it processed foreclosure cases, the Stern firm has now attempted to withdraw from legal representation in thousands of pending cases. In a letter sent to Lee County Circuit Court judge Keith Cary, the Stern office stated its need to withdraw approximately 100,000 files statewide after its major clients recently fired the firm.

As you may recall, amid allegations of document fabrication in foreclosure matters, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac last year barred the firm from handling their foreclosure cases. And Citigroup also stopped directing foreclosure work to the embattled law office.

Though Stern has a professional obligation to represent its clients until the court allows it to withdraw, the firm merely saw fit to write a letter of mass withdrawal. Beyond the obvious ethical ramifications of this move, how all of this is going to affect the thousands of foreclosure cases in which Stern is named as counsel in such counties as Lee, Charlotte, Hendry, and Glades, remains to be seen.

Please be advised that this article does not constitute legal advice nor does it provide any basis to form an attorney-client relationship. Nothing in this article should be copied without the express permission of the author.

Mr. Hounchell has a law degree from The University of Florida College of Law and he is a partner in The Law Offices of Charles A. Hounchell, P.A. � Attorneys & Counselors at Law, in Tampa, Florida. Mr. Hounchell obtained his undergraduate degree from The George Washington University in Washington D.C. and he obtained his MBA in International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management (“Thunderbird”) in Glendale, Arizona..

Mr. Hounchell is a licensed real estate agent with Smith and Associates, Inc. www.smithandassociates.com; www.livecasanova.com. He has lived in many different countries, including Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Germany and he speaks Spanish and Portuguese. A significant portion of Mr. Hounchell’s law practice is concentrated on Real Estate Law. He can be reached at 813-230-3376 or charlie@floridapropertylaw.com