Gerald Solomon (“Jerry”) is a thirty-nine-year veteran of Maryland litigation. Jerry represents clients in foreclosure defense, civil suits against lenders for violation of federal and state law, and general civil litigation.
Maryland foreclosure defense attorneys during the era of Covid-19 poses, and will pose, difficult challenges to the homeowner, and the homeowner’s attorney. Maryland has traditionally been a state that favors lending institutions. Many Maryland judges have had little or no empathy for a homeowner facing foreclosure. This might be acceptable if they did not show hostility toward the homeowner, but many do. The foreclosure defense attorney practicing in Maryland must handle these situations.
Jerry practices mainly in Montgomery, Howard, Anne Arundel, and Prince George’s Counties. On occasion he ventures into the Eastern Shore and Baltimore. He represents clients in both state and federal courts. Jerry has been licensed to practice law in Maryland for thirty-nine years, and in Florida, where he lives, for eleven-years.
The basic concept of litigation is to present your case before a court that will decide based on the evidence, law, and argument. There are many different levels of courts. Maryland foreclosure cases are tried in a civil court called the Circuit Court. In Maryland, a litigant is entitled to one appeal, as of right. In the case of foreclosure, the appeal is to the Court of Special Appeals. The highest Court in Maryland is the Court of Appeals, which chooses the cases that it wants to hear through a petition called a Writ of Certiorari.Foreclosure Defense
One Saturday I was working on a number of foreclosure cases and noticed that the signatures of the same person looked different. I spent the balance of the day comparing all of the signatures of that person. I contacted those clients, and all agreed to submit the signature samples to a forensic document examiner. The signatures were bogus. On October 13, 2010, the Baltimore Sun reported:
It was last fall that Solomon scrutinized affidavits purportedly signed by Geesing, the Bethesda lawyer. One signature struck Solomon as unusual because it was too neat. Another signature, also supposedly Geesing's, differed from the first. Notary signatures varied, too. Solomon pulled about two dozen documents and shipped them to a certified document examiner to verify his suspicion that the paperwork was improperly signed.
"There were so many different-looking signatures," said John J. Bascietto, a Beltsville attorney who represents homeowners with Solomon and Morin.
Solomon, in five cases last November, asked judges to bar clients' foreclosure auctions on the basis of "fraud on the court." Geesing agreed to Solomon's motions to have all the cases dismissed.
"If you have a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it and you consistently do it the wrong way, somebody should say, 'Stop,' " said Solomon.
Two of the homeowners involved in the dismissed cases are now fighting new foreclosure proceedings even as they're being considered for a loan modification, Solomon said. Another refiled case ended with the home's being auctioned. Solomon is no longer representing the remaining two borrowers.
There is a court that is lower than the Circuit Court, the District Court. The District Court is a court of limited jurisdiction. For example, the District Court cannot hear a jury trial. The District Court cannot hear a case where the damages are in excess of $30,000. The District Court cannot hear a foreclosure case.
Regardless of the court, Maryland foreclosure defense lawyers must follow the rules that are unique to that court, primarily based on the function of the court. For example, both the Court of Appeals and the Court of Special Appeals are courts of review. They review the decisions of the lower courts. Both the Circuit and District Courts are trial courts.
Preparation to represent a client starts with the first phone call between the client and attorney. Not only does the attorney start to gather the facts, but the attorney also begins to know the prospective client and set the foundation for the litigation.
A civil litigation attorney handles many types of cases. Some cases involve an integral knowledge of the law in a specific area, some cases are fact intensive, and some cases involve both. Some areas of law are simple to master and others are quite difficult. If I cannot provide great representation, I refer the case to others.Consumer Protection
Ninety-eight percent of the consumer protection laws were passed for the protection of the consumer, not the lender. Unfortunately, most consumer protection statutes contain a loophole. Even if the statute does not contain a loophole, many judges will create a loophole. Many times judges in separate jurisdiction apply the same federal consumer protection laws differently. This is quite harmful to our society. An attorney must advise a client based on existing law.
The aftermath of the Covid-19 Pandemic will present new challenges to Maryland homeowners facing foreclosure. Did the bank violate any consumer protection laws as a result of the Covid-19 shutdown? How was the homeowner hurt? How are courts viewing these cases? What are your damages?Conclusion
Seek legal advice early and do so before your molehill grows into a mountain. Avoid attorneys who give a knee jerk reaction, that is deciding before thinking it through. Foreclosure defense requires a special skill set, and due to the COVID-19 Pandemic we are in unchartered territory. Choose the captain of your ship wisely, because you are in unchartered territory. Contact Maryland foreclosure defense attorney Jerry Solomon to schedule a free consultation.
Maryland Foreclosure Defense Attorney | Palm Beach County, Florida Litigation Attorney | Gerald Solomon
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