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Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Judge Castigates Philadelphia Law Firm for Foreclosure Mishandling

A Philadelphia law firm was castigated by a bankruptcy court in Pennsylvania for illegal filing of foreclosures. The case could serve as a guide for distressed homeowners who are facing foreclosures.

The law always favors righteousness. A US Bankruptcy Court in Pennsylvania has castigated Philadelphia-based law firm Goldbeck, McCafferty & McKeever for misrepresenting a client in a foreclosure case. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Agresti has filed two legal opinions that castigate the law firm and Countrywide Home Loans, the mortgage servicer it represented, for handling a foreclosure case that made a client, a woman from Pittsburgh, file for bankruptcy way back in 2001.

The bankruptcy court ordered Goldbeck, McCafferty & McKeever to turn itself before the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on or before December 3, Friday. The judge declared that a lawyer from the firm knowingly and intentionally submitted phony bank documents to the court in an attempt to speed up foreclosure.

The case comes as federal regulators intensify their respective investigations over alleged mishandling of foreclosure procedures by mortgage banks. Aside from the so-called ‘robo-signers’ and ‘dual tracks’, which enable lenders to process and complete foreclosures in as fast as a day without due legal review, many consumer groups and state attorneys general are revealing other ill practices in the mortgage industry.

According to several consumer advocates, many delinquent mortgage borrowers have been forced into foreclosure due to bad or improper advice by no less than the companies that manage their loans. Numerous borrowers claim that they were advised by mortgage servicers to intentionally miss their payments, so they could qualify for loan modification schemes. However, after defaulting on home loans, those homeowners received foreclosure notices instead of loan modification papers.

Meanwhile, another lawsuit was filed last month by another Pittsburg lawyer, Patrick Loughren, against Goldbeck, McCafferty & McKeever. The lawyer accuses the Philadelphia-based law firm of using non-lawyers in filing numerous mortgage foreclosures across Pennsylvania. The law company is also accused of fraudulently collecting attorney’s fees, which caused many clients to lose their properties in legal cases that should have been legally nullified.

Market observers note that the lawsuit could set two main goals. First, it could defend the legal profession. And second, it could set a remedy for homeowners who are facing foreclosure. It could also set precedence for those distressed homeowners who have already shouldered attorney’s fees or even lost their houses in court actions that were filed by the same law firm.

Attorney Loughren stated that there are still thousands of legal cases that have been advised, prepared, signed, and filed by Goldbeck, McCafferty & McKeever without legal review.

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