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Which Lee County Court Foreclosure Abuse Angers You the Most?


by Mike on April 9, 2011

If you read the ACLU’s recent brief in Merrigan v. Bank of New York, you read a picture of a court obsessed with speed rather than justice; a court more concerned with numbers than with fairness; a court more interested in dispossessing homeowners than discovering fraud. The effect of Lee County’s systemic speed fetish is more plaintiff victories than just about any other county in the entire state—a playing field totally tilted in favor of banks and against the families whose homes are at risk.

The brief included affidavits of several foreclosure defendants and attorneys who routinely practice in Lee County. Each gives specific examples of disappointing, even disgusting behavior by the courts. Read the following affidavits of these attorneys and pro se defendants and tell me: which of these practices outrages you the most?

The affidavits

  • Todd Allen, app. 45-48: Judges demonstrate that they don’t even understand, let alone know how to apply, basic rules of courtroom procedure.
  • Larry Bradshaw, pro se defendant, app. 55-57: Shocking treatment of homeowners who try to represent themselves.
  • Charles Cadrecha, app. 64-65: Judges instruct onlookers that clearing dockets is their highest priority.
  • Justin Cottrell, app. 66-68: Judges apply rules of procedure selectively, in ways that disproportionately burden homeowners and give special favorable treatment to banks.
  • Lane Houk, app. 71-73: The chief judge seemed unconcerned about, and perhaps even ignored, evidence of fraud in foreclosure cases.
  • Michael Olenick, app. 85-88: A statistical analysis of Lee County docket records shows more than seven thousand cases where a judgement was entered—and the foreclosure sale set—prematurely, while there was outstanding discovery or where the motion was legally premature.

This list is not complete, so please look through the appendix and add a comment to tell me which abuse gets your blood boiling.

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