The other night my wife and I saw the movie “300: Rise of an Empire.” It’s an expansion of the story behind the movie “300,” part prequel, part sequel. The first of the two movies focuses on the Battle of Thermopylae. In 480 BC, at the narrow coastal pass of Thermopylae, known as “The Hot Gates,” King Leonidas of Sparta and 300 men held off an advancing Persian army, rumored to be 1,000,000 strong. Not only did the Spartans hold off the Persians for three days, they inflicted huge losses on their massive army. As legend has it, Xerxes I, of Persia, demanded that the Greeks lay down their arms and surrender. King Leonidas responded, “MOLON LABE,” which translates to, come and take it! Ultimately, all of the 300 were killed but the Greek states united and avenged them, decimating the mighty Persian army in two subsequent battles, the Battle of Salamis and the Battle of Plataea.
What has grown into an iconic statement of defiance, bravery, patriotism, loyalty and an unyielding commitment to never surrender, the saying “Molon Labe,” has been used many times since. “Come and take it” was a slogan in the Texas Revolution. The phrase is on the emblem of the Greek First Army Corps. It is also the motto of United States Special Operations Command Central (“SOCCENT”). Headquartered in Tampa, SOCCENT, among other roles, has the distinct honor of running wartime special operations missions. The fact that the people responsible for coordinating and assisting our nation’s most elite warriors chose “Molon Labe” as their motto tells you all you need to know about the intense meaning of this phrase. There are many other examples as well.
However, for me the phrase Molon Labe defines the state of minds of so many of our clients, myself, our incredible team, and many of my fellow foreclosure defense attorneys and other consumer advocates of all kinds. We all know the facts behind the historic foreclosure crisis the world is still facing. Banks gave out money with reckless abandon. They pooled enormous amounts of loans to form investment trusts. Then, they bought off ratings agencies to dupe both insurance companies and investors all over the world. When the house of cards collapsed, the reckless, greedy sociopaths, who call themselves Wall Street executives, were allowed to fly off into the sunset on their private jets, fortunes intact with millions in new bonuses to boot, while so many of us got wiped out and are still struggling to put the financial pieces of our lives back together.
After the pillars of financial industry pulled off the greatest con in the history of the world, our legislative and executive branches rewarded them. Those same branches have manipulated our judiciary with budgeting pressure to “clear the backlog” no matter what. Judges are literately “scored” by the top brass based on how fast they can move a foreclosure through the system and dispossess people of their homes, not on how well they do the job they were appointed or elected to do. Judges are being treated like employees of a division of the massive mortgage servicing industry, which by the way, scores its foreclosure mill attorneys by the same criteria. You don’t foreclose fast enough – you don’t get paid.
Add to this all the subsequent lawsuits and settlements which resulted from banks being caught red handed breaking laws and their own contracts, followed by more lawsuits and settlements from banks breaking preceding settlements and it’s enough to make your head spin. It’s outrageous and I’m still angry. I know the court’s role in our society is to resolve disputes, and to interpret and apply the law as passed down by the other two branches. Its role is not to police the banks or punish them within a single foreclosure case because of their improprieties in other matters. Yet, I want the courts to hold banks accountable, and as part of their role in our government, they can.
While the other two branches have given Wall Street special treatment, it is the courts’ role to treat Wall Street the same as everyone else that comes before it. Equal treatment under the law – lady justice is blindfolded for just this very reason. At least there is one branch of government, tasked with the responsibility to make sure the banks play by the same rules as everyone else, one case, one issue, one hearing, and one trial at a time.
For me and our hardworking, dedicated staff, on behalf of our clients we say to the financial industry, MOLON LABE! You want our clients’ houses, come prove your case like everyone else, under the same rules of evidence and procedure that apply if they were foreclosing on your property – COME AND TAKE THEM!
If you are in Florida and looking for help defending against foreclosure or fighting improper debt collection, call us at (855) 55-ROSEN or fill out our online form for a FREE CONSULTATION. Let the lawyers and staff at the Law Offices of Evan M. Rosen serve you!