A lawsuit filed under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in Unites States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Orlando, alleges that Bank of America and its law firm, Kass Shuler, P.A., continued to prosecute a mortgage foreclosure action up to obtaining a final judgment setting a public sale date, despite the fact that the homeowners had obtained a permanent modification from Bank of America and were current on their mortgage payments.
The facts of the case begin with Bank of America, through its successors in interest, extending credit to the Plaintiffs through a first mortgage on their primary residence, Loan No. 164910692.
At some point prior to December of 2012, the mortgage went into default and on November 22, 2011, Bank of America , through its attorneys Kass Shuler, P.A., filed a mortgage foreclosure action against the Plaintiffs in Circuit Court, Orange County, Florida, alleging, among other things, that Plaintiffs were in default on their mortgage.
After November of 2011, Plaintiffs made application to Bank of America, for a modification of their existing first mortgage so that they would be better able to satisfy their financial commitments to Bank of Americasaid Defendant, and, most important, keep their home.
Plaintiffs provided Bank of America with all of the documents and other information that they required in order to obtain the loan modification.
Plaintiffs applied for the loan modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) which, according to Bank of America’s website: “is one of the federal government’s Making Home Affordable programs. The government’s goal for modifying your loan is to help you get a more affordable and sustainable monthly mortgage payment.”
In processing the application for loan modification, Bank of America, represented to the Plaintiffs that if they successfully made all of their Trial Period Plan payments, they would receive a permanent Modification Agreement explaining the changes to their loan terms and that once this document was been signed, notarized and returned to Bank of America, the modification would become permanent.
On December 18, 2012, Bank of America approved the Plaintiffs’ loan modification request and, according to documents, the modification would become permanent upon the Plaintiffs signing and returning the enclosed documents.
Plaintiffs anxiously and gratefully accepted the loan modification, executed a Loan Modification Agreement and returned it to Bank of America.
In full compliance with the Loan Modification Agreement, Plaintiffs continued to timely pay to Bank of America, each and every monthly mortgage payment required under their modified mortgage.
According to the lawsuit, Kass Shuler, P.A. submitted documents to the Circuit Court in the mortgage foreclosure action, contending that the Plaintiffs were in default on their first mortgage with Bank of America when, in fact, the Plaintiffs were current with respect to their obligations with Bank of America.
On March 6, 2013, Plaintiffs received a conformed copy of a Final Judgment for Plaintiff ordering that unless they paid a total of $353,985.67 to Bank of America, that their home would be sold at a public sale to the highest bidder on June 4, 2013 at 11:00 am.
The lawsuit further alleges that the Final Judgment for Plaintiff was drafted and prepared by Kass Shuler, P.A. and all of the information contained therein was supplied and furnished by Kass Shuler, P.A.
The fact and content of the Final Judgment was a complete shock to Plaintiffs because they had faithfully made all of their payments to Bank of America under the terms of the modified mortgage.
The lawsuit also alleges that Kass Shuler, P.A. promoted and reinforced its public image through its website, marketing materials, and other forms of advertising, for the purpose of creating the impression that it possessed special expertise in the areas of foreclosure litigation and problem resolution. What follows is a direct quote from the Kass Shuler, P.A. website:
“Nationally recognized for its experience and expertise in representing creditors throughout the state of Florida, our Collections department comprises highly qualified attorneys, paralegals, investigators and collectors specializing in both commercial and retail matters. Our exceptional online database system allows clients to easily access case status, promoting optimum communication and process efficiency.”
Plaintiffs have requested statutory damages, declaratory relief and emotional damages and have demanded a trial by jury.