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Legalprise HUD FOIA

Legalprise HUD FOIA

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Published by Andy Kroll

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Published by: Andy Kroll on Sep 29, 2010
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11/21/2013

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1Legalprise, Inc.5508 1/2 S. Dixie Highway,West Palm Beach, FL 33405(561) 847-3443July 21, 2010
Addresses for FOIA requests:
 Federal Trade Commission:Joan FinaFOIA/PA Officer 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.Washington, D.C. 20580Housing and Urban Development:Cynthia A. O'Connor Executive SecretaryRoom 10139 451 7th Street, S.W.Washington, D.C. 20410Securities and Exchange CommissionCelia Winter FOIA/Privacy Act Branch Chief Mail Stop 5100 100 F Street, N.E.Washington, D.C. 20549
FOIA REQUEST
 
Fee waiver requested
 
Expedited processing requested
 Dear FOIA Officer:Pursuant to the federal Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, Legalprise, Inc.requests access to and copies of all communications and documents regarding theregulation of law firms that file and prosecute foreclosure lawsuits.This request is being sent to the FTC, FHA/HUD, and SEC. Legalprise, Inc.’s purpose inseeking this information stems from the following actions on behalf of each agencyindividually and collectively:Federal Trade Commission. The FTC has initiated and moved forward with regulationaimed, in part, at licensed attorneys working on behalf of foreclosure defendants. TheFTC’s stated motivation for regulation is an allegation that the foreclosure defense bar 
 
 
2consistently engages in consumer fraud. While it is true that particular foreclosuredefense attorneys acted in contravention of the ethical regulations of their state’s bar,those attorneys represent a nominal fraction of foreclosure defense attorneys, were promptly disciplined by their state’s bar, and have otherwise been managed by the legalcommunity. Because the actions of a few attorneys hardly represents a systemic issuewithin the foreclosure defense bar, and because only approximately 3% of homeownersretain counsel, regulations that further restrict the availability of licensed legalrepresentation only exacerbate the housing crisis. Further, conspicuously absent from theregulation’s purview are restrictions on foreclosure prosecution attorneys. The documentsattached to this request as “Appendix A” and “Appendix B” demonstrate the need for such regulation because they regard unethical conduct by Florida’s largest “foreclosuremill,” The Law Offices of David J. Stern, P.A. despite previous bar sanction.Federal Housing Association/Department of Housing & Urban Development. TheFHA/HUD is closely involved with 100-percent government owned entities Fannie Maeand Freddie Mac (FMFM). FHA/HUD/FMFM run a direct sourcing program in whichmortgaging servicing companies refer foreclosure files to law firms. Firms in the program are allowed to submit less documentation than firms not in the program. TheLaw Offices of David J. Stern, P.A., to the best of our knowledge and belief, is in thedirect sourcing program. However, the firm’s lead attorney, David J. Stern, pled guilty tofiling false affidavits while prosecuting foreclosures in 2002 and, further, was cited for engaging in the unlicensed practice of law and fraudulently inflating fees. [Appendix A].Please explain the process used to screen, select, and monitor firms in this program anddisclose all communications regarding the program and its handling of Mr. Stern’s lawfirm, specifically, and any other ethical issues relating to other “foreclosure mills.” Also, please disclose the direct and/or indirect involvement in the development of the directreferral program and the selection of it’s participating law firms by registered lobbyistDavid Alberto R. Cardenas, who served on the Board of Directors of Fannie Mae from1985 to 1990
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and who’s law firm, Tew Cardenas, LLP has represented David J. Sternsince at least 2002, the date of the above-referenced matter. [Appendix A].Securities & Exchange Commission. Mr. Stern recently took public the “back-office” processing component of his law firm, trading under ticker “DJSP.” The prospectus of DJSP indentifies that the company’s core product, foreclosure processing, may constitutethe unlicensed practice of law but fails to disclose that its former iteration was disciplined by the Florida Bar for exactly that same infraction, nor that the discipline included aguilty plea for filing false affidavits
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. Please explain why the SEC is allowing DJSPstock to continue trading given that the company failed to disclose it’s prior dealings withthe Florida Bar and continues to operate in direct violation of the findings and mandatesof the Florida Bar by processing 6,000 foreclosures per month under the names of onlyapproximately 15 attorneys. Additionally, please also disclose any enhanced duediligence steps the SEC took to protect the public from Mr. Stern, the CEO of DJSP, whohas a history of filing materially false and misleading documents in official proceedings.
1
 
http://www.tewlaw.com/attorneys/cardenas‐alberto/ 2
 
http://google.brand.edgar‐online.com/displayfilinginfo.aspx?FilingID=7333260‐50390‐100834&type=sect&TabIndex=2&companyid=784122&ppu=%252fdefault.aspx%253fsym%253dDJSP, page 11
 
 
3All Agencies. Please disclose the names of all decision makers responsible for monitoring ethical compliance and the specific policies and procedures of suchmonitoring, including all documents related to the ethical or financial ramificationsinvolved with high-volume foreclosure filers.Where possible, Legalprise, Inc. would like to receive all information produced as aresult of this request in electronic format.If Legalprise, Inc.’s request is denied in whole or part, it asks that you justify all deletions by reference to specific exemptions of the act. It also expects you to release all segregable portions of otherwise exempt material. Legalprise, Inc. also reserves the right to appealyour decision to withhold any information or to deny a waiver of fees.Please waive any applicable fees. Release of the information requested is in the public’sinterest because it will contribute significantly to the public’s understanding of government operations and activities. The information sought is in the public's interest because the current housing crisis is, in part, a result of the reckless and fraudulent prosecution of foreclosure suits by “foreclosure mill” law firms. Legalprise, Inc. intendsto immediately aggregate and publicly disseminate any information obtained as a resultof this request in order to spotlight the inadequate attention given to “foreclosure mill” practices. It is Legalprise’s hope that raising awareness of the issue will lead to legislativeor administrative action in the near future.Legalprise, Inc. requests expedited processing of this request because it concerns a matter of urgency. As a research company that works closely with journalists, homeowner advocates, and licensed attorneys, Legalprise, Inc. is primarily engaged in disseminatinginformation for public benefit. The public has an urgent need for information aboutdiscussions related to potential regulations of foreclosure prosecution practices becauseinformed members of the public might contribute through lobbying or other contacts with public officials, and, in these instances, delay would deny the public of its ability to makeknown its views in a timely manner. We, on behalf of Legalprise, Inc., certify that itsstatements concerning the need for expedited processing are true and correct to the bestof our knowledge and belief.Legalprise, Inc., its owners, and the undersigned foreclosure advocates look forward toyour reply within 20 business days, as the statute requires.Thank you for your assistance.

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