As detailed below, there were never any issues with this loan until a new servicer took over. At no point in time was this client unable to pay her mortgage payments. But for the bank and its debt collector/servicer, this case should never have been filed.

Our client has lived in her condominium for over 20 years. She’s had a full-time job with the same company for over 23 years, making approximately $63,000 per year. Her mortgage payment is $662.56 per month. Underwriting standards dictate that housing debt is generally affordable so long as it does not exceed 28% of a person’s income. Our client’s housing debt is 10% of her income. For many years, until the incidents leading up to this case, our client’s mortgage payments were auto debited from her checking account without issue. She had no issue affording this loan, ever.

And, she has always paid her taxes and her association dues, which includes insurance. There were no escrows.

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After years of litigation and a hard-fought trial, the team worked tirelessly to prepare this memorandum: 2018-10-15 Reply to P’s Amended Memo of Law on Standing
Ten days later the Judge ruled – Case Dismissed! 2018-10-25 Signed Order on D’s Mtn for Involuntary Dismissal
Another trial, another win!

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We lost a trial in January of 2015 even though I thought we had a very clear winnable issue based on the “best evidence rule.” This rule is a fairly small body of law but it seems many lawyers and judges struggle to fully comprehend what it means and how it gets applied. In this case, the trial judge gave us ample time and consideration to make our argument. However, he ultimately did not agree with our position and entered final judgment against our clients. We appealed and the Fourth District Court of Appeal of Florida agreed with us. JUDGMENT REVERSED! CASE DISMISSED!

4th DCA Opinion Reversing Final Judgment & Remanding for Entry of Involuntary Dismissal

Trial Transcript

On or about March 13, 2009, our client, Mr. Julian Garvin, was called to active duty by the United States Army for one year, to begin on March 22, 2009. On March 26, 2009, he informed his mortgage servicer, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., that he had been called to serve. Mr. Garvin provided a copy of his deployment order and asked them to reduce his interest rate, as required by federal law. No such adjustments were made. While on active duty, and for 11 months after his return, Mr. Garvin continued to make his full monthly payments. Then, at the peak of the crisis, he was unable to continue to pay.

On November 14, 2012, ALS-RVC, LLC, the entity claiming the right to foreclose, filed suit. The case went to trial and was involuntary dismissed, in part, because of ALS-RVC’s failure to adjust the interest rate as required by the Servicemember Civil Relief Act (SCRA). 50 U.S.C.A §3937. ALS-RVC appeals. In their Initial brief they concede the SCRA “applies to this situation, and [Mr. Garvin’s] loan payments should have been credited with a reduced interest rate during his active duty…” They also concede that “Subsection (e) of 527 is entitled ‘Penalty’ and reads, ‘Whoever knowingly violates subsection (a) shall be fined as provided in title 18, United States Code, imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.’ 50 U.S.C.A § 3937(e).” Yet, rather than trying to make amends for their admitted, jailable offense committed against a member of the United States Army, the bank and their lawyers appeal.

In the 80s, we were introduced to the phrase “trickle down economics.” From what I see in this and so many other cases, the only thing trickling down from Wall Street is fraud, greed, arrogance and a complete disregard for the rule of law.

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