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Lawyers in gold rush to defend companies caught in foreclosure crisis

The foreclosure crisis has been bad for banks and bad for the federal government (which is in the awkward position of having to explain why some of the companies it bailed out have found themselves in another mess). But it's been a boon to one group: lawyers.

Take this press release from Nixon Peabody that was released on Monday. The firm is expanding its mortgage finance and foreclosure section. With about 700 attorneys, it's one of the largest law firms in the world and represents such major corporations as JetBlue, Corning and Gannett.

As of Monday, it's also promoting itself as a foreclosure specialist.

Nixon Peabody says it has been involved in foreclosures for many years, but foreclosure work was never something a marquee corporate firm would promote until the recent uproar over foreclosure paperwork.

"With the risks that the new mortgage foreclosure crisis poses to the broader economy, our team can help clients navigate the changing and increasing demands from federal regulators and state governments and litigation resulting from the practices now being questioned," the company said.

Alison McClain, a spokeswoman for the firm, elaborated in an email that the "the focus of our interest is in preserving and protecting the interests of clients in assets and we have substantial experience in the securitization, financing, servicing and real estate businesses."

At BuckleySander, which specializes in work for the financial industry, attorney Andrew Sandler said 70 lawyers of the District-based firm are working on foreclosure matters. "That's more lawyers than we've ever had working on a single issue," Sandler told the National Law Journal.

In California, Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps has created a specialized National Foreclosure Litigation and Investigation practice of 20 attorneys that will represent companies named in civil suits and federal and state investigations related to the recent foreclosure freezes. "The National Foreclosure Litigation & Investigation practice will proactively work with clients to limit or eliminate potential civil or criminal liability prior to the commencement of civil litigation or a civil or criminal investigation," the company promised.

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | October 26, 2010; 12:58 PM ET
Categories:  Housing  
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Next: Wells Fargo admits to foreclosure paperwork problems

Comments

Q. How many lawyers does it take to fix a financial crisis?
A. One, as long as the fix is limited to one person.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

At issue is NOT about borrowers paying or not-paying. That is a smoke screen. It is NOT about borrowers attempting to remain in their homes not paying. And it sure-as-hell is NOT about borrowers attempting to get a free-house.

Fact - the current foreclosures are ILLEGAL... Fact - these particular subprime loans were deliberately sold to these borrowers by fraud in the inducement - violating any & all implied duty of dealing in good faith in all contracts - deceptions - etc. Yes, borrowers must still be held accountable. The question is accountable to what & how much? They signed for a loan - did they? They borrowed more than they could repay - did they? They were given loan docs like everyone else - were they?

EVEN IF borrowers are GUILTY of borrowing more than they could repay - does that JUSTIFY these ILLEGAL foreclosures? That is the problem. MOST FOLKS do NOT realize these foreclosures are ILLEGAL. However, the LENDERS & their foreclosure mill attorneys KNOW IT. It is illegal for an Officer of the Court to KNOWINGLY participate in an illegal act with their client.

These defaults merely EXPOSED a TRUTH that these LENDERS KNOWINGLY BROKE THE LAW - and did-so deliberately to evade taxes.

Continuing the LIES & MANIPULATION of the American People will result in VIOLENCE. While the gov gives an appearance of “something” - 10-thousand American families PER DAY are ILLEGAL TOSSED to the streets… their properties illegally seized by strangers not owed a damn thing - while these families are denied DUE PROCESS to even KNOW the TRUTH… DESPICABLE & anti-AMERICAN

The issue is NOT about payment or nonpayment - its about the gross hypocrisy and double standard by our courts and gov - and most outrageously the obvious BETRAYAL by this Gov - including Obama & Administration - to not only sacrifice these citizens - but allowing the lying thieves to brutally rape & pillage these families - repeatedly & repeatedly - KNOWING the lying thieves have NO legal standing whatsoever. These Banks (CRIMINALS) deliberately broke the law against these folks knowing they could easily pound them into poverty making them too poor to defend themselves.

It is unconscionable - and when the PEOPLE learn of the blatant abuses and deliberate arrogant tactics by these criminals - the American People will RISE and DEMAND JUSTICE or BEGIN THEIR OWN.

Thomas Jefferson - Declaration of Independence
“…But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security…”

…I submit the train of abuses and usurpations already left the building… there has not been ONE serious prosecution of these arrogant thieves… The size & depth of this offense against the American People is worthy of revolution & time for Patriots to invoke

Keep the Powder Dry

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Defending the banks? What's the defense? Insanity?

Posted by: John991 | October 26, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine blue-chip firms like these submitting false affidavits. They have too much to lose.

And if they do follow the law, their clients will be in court for ages.

Billable ages.

Hey, they're on to something.

Posted by: Garak | October 26, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"Lawyers in gold rush to defend companies caught in foreclosure crisis"

.

Repubicans have been spinning the myth for years that lawyers are staunch supporters of the democrats. Take a look at who they scurry to. Rich repubican banks and corporations.

Posted by: fmamstyle | October 26, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

But I thought the GOP hated trial lawyers? Except when they need one? Hypocrisy squared...

Posted by: TNbybirth | October 26, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

The Congress will never permit any harm to come to their financial benefactors-the banks.

The attorneys will ensure that the bankers can continue to financially rape the American public without any fear of reprisal from anyone.

For the Bankers and the Attorneys it is a win win situation.

For the American Public it is your tax dollars that are choking you to a slow but sure financial death.

Michael LittleBig
Cleveland Ohio

Posted by: Michael LittleBig | October 26, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

How will the lawyers justify their clients trying to bypass myriad state and local laws, many going back 200+ years? That's what the banks did that got them into trouble.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 26, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

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