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Constitutional Law

Pro se homeowner wins rare federal stay of sale in foreclosure case

Posted May 7, 2013 11:08 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Representing herself in federal court without the help of a lawyer, a Colorado homeowner has won a rare ruling staying the auction sale of her home after she lost a state-court mortgage foreclosure case.

U.S. District Judge William Martinez on Monday issued an order temporarily staying the sale of Lisa Kay Brumfiel's home in Arapahoe County, which had been set to go to auction on Wednesday, reports the Denver Post.

Brumfiel, 43, who works as a part-time saleswoman, is now scheduled to argue on May 15 why Colorado's mortgage-foreclosure law violates the equal-protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. She is up against not only U.S. Bank but Larry Castle, a powerful state foreclosure lawyer.

At issue in Brumfiel's federal case, the newspaper explains, is whether the foreclosure plaintiff has shown in the state-court case that the mortgage and note for her Aurora home were validly transferred to U.S. Bank. She originally took out her loan from First Franklin Mortgage.

"Colorado is the only state in the country that allows an unsworn statement by an attorney for a foreclosing party—without any penalty—to say, 'Trust me, judge, these guys are the qualified holder for this deed of trust,' " Martinez said, giving a glimpse of his thinking so far. "Is there another state that has lowered the bar for a foreclosure any lower?"

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