Legal Ethics

Onetime foreclosure king David Stern accepts likely disbarment

At its height, a South Florida law firm and an an affiliated mortgage foreclosure-processing company operated by attorney David J. Stern had some 1,200 employees and was grossing $260 million annually on a reported 70,000 or so yearly filings.

But it collapsed in 2011, not long after mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pulled their files after learning of claims that Stern had cut corners to streamline his “foreclosure mill” operation. Some 100,000 ongoing cases reportedly were abandoned by the firm, leading to chaos in Florida courts and, eventually, a legal ethics filing against Stern.

Initially, Stern defended the ethics case. Claimed irregularities concerned only a tiny fraction of the 277,000 foreclosure cases his Plantation-based law firm brought for client mortgage servicers, he argued during a hearing last month. Now, however, he has thrown in the towel, agreeing to discipline that will likely mean disbarment, the Associated Press reports.

CBS Miami and the Palm Beach Post (sub. req.) also have stories.

Related coverage: “Law Firm of Fla. ‘Foreclosure King’ to Close; It and Affiliated Company Once Had 1,200 Workers” “A Year After Fla. Foreclosure King’s Law Firm Collapsed, Many Cases are Still Sputtering or Stalled” “Former foreclosure titan David Stern faces bar complaint” “Foreclosure king ‘created chaos on the courts’ and should be disbarred, referee says”

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