FL 3RD DCA REVERSES RULING THAT FOUND HSBC FORGED MORTGAGE DOCUMENTS
MIAMI COURT WIPES RULING THAT FOUND HSBC FORGED MORTGAGE DOCUMENTS
A Florida appellate court vindicated HSBC Bank USA N.A., reversing a Miami-Dade Circuit judge who’d found the lender forged mortgage documents to prosecute a real estate foreclosure.
Citing seven points in its analysis of the trial court’s findings, the Third District Court of Appeal Wednesday ruled in favor of New York-based HSBC, and remanded the case to Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Beatrice Butchko to enter a final judgment of foreclosure.
“This is a very disappointing decision, which ignores most of Judge Butchko’s groundbreaking ruling,” said Bruce Jacobs, the Miami foreclosure defense attorney who won at trial.
Butchko in April 2016 dismissed HSBC’s foreclosure suit against homeowners Joseph and Margaret Buset. In response to an accusation of forgery against Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC, she sided with borrowers who accused the loan servicing company of faking a mortgage assignment for HSBC.
“Judge Butchko found Ocwen and HSBC relied on false testimony, false evidence, violated the court’s discovery order and then lied about their violation of that order,” the defense attorney from Jacobs Keeley said. “Judge Butchko found the documents were untrustworthy. She found Ocwen’s loan boarding process was a legal fiction.”
Jacobs of Jacobs Keeley in Miami argued at trial that to prove the plaintiff had legal standing to sue, the financial services firm forged documents in 2012 to show the transfer of the debt about seven years earlier from one lender to another.
“They’re creating fake evidence of transactions that didn’t really happen,” Jacobs told the Daily Business Review after Butchko found the mortgage assignments “never legally occurred.”
The judge found the lender pursued the case with “unclean hands” and lacked competent evidence to support its lawsuit. She also granted the homeowners’ request to force the financial institutions to show why she shouldn’t punish them for committing a fraud on the court.
But the defense victory fizzled on appeal.