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Articles by Ice Legal

THE NEW MORAL HAZARD (Robo-testifiers and the Myth of Trustworthy Bank Records) By: Thomas Erskine Ice

The transformation of robo-signers into robo-testifiers.

The greatest threat to due process in foreclosure litigation since the days of robo-signing is at full tilt in courtrooms across the state.  While the nation was appalled at the discovery that financial institutions were regularly foreclosing on homes with summary judgment affidavits that were not based on personal knowledge, it has taken little notice of the fact that this same flippant disregard of the Rules of Evidence has simply moved into the courtroom.  The robo-signer of yesteryear has simply become a robo-testifier—a person who testifies live at trial about every aspect of the case, including recordkeeping practices about which they often admit to having no personal knowledge.  

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Negotiating the American Dream: A Critical Look at the Role of Negotiability in the Foreclosure Crisis. The Florida Bar Journal (Thomas Erskine Ice)

Contemporary negotiable instruments law developed hundreds of years ago, before every important institution of the modern financial world: incorporated banks, business corporations, developed capital markets, global monetary systems, electronic transfers, and even paper currency. It is counterintuitive that this ancient law of negotiable instruments would have any relevance to one of the world’s most sophisticated, cutting-edge tools of high finance — the pooling and securitization of mortgage loans. Yet, the courts routinely look to such law to resolve a foreclosure crisis spawned by the collapse of mortgage-backed securitization, a process which is as strained as trying to decide First Amendment issues using cases pre-dating the Constitution. It is all the more extraordinary that, just as the nation begins to awaken to “robo-signing” and other such pervasive and methodical abuses of the court systems, judges should find themselves slavishly compelled to apply a body of law shaped (and then abandoned) by the very authors of such scandals: the financial institutions.

 

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Trial and Appellate Attorneys

We are an AV-rated trial and appellate litigation firm dedicated to practicing in the areas of personal injury, wrongful death, commercial and foreclosure litigation, as well as bankruptcy.  Our exceptional team approach to our cases brings over a hundred years of combined litigation experience to bear for our clients. 


Ice Legal News

Ice Legal supports academics and education.

Ice Legal was proud to participate in the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County's Loop the Lake for Literacy bicycling event February 22, 2014.

 


Ice Legal supports academics and education.

Ice Legal is proud to sponsor the Drop It, Built It, Float It, Launch It, Thrill It 2014 competition of the South Florida Science Center on Saturday, April 12, 2014.  Elementary through high school students will compete for cash and prizes in this fun, engineering contest.

 https://www.sfsciencecenter.org/Dropitbuildit2014

    

 


Ice Legal attorney, Amanda Lundergan, argues pivotal foreclosure case before the Second District Court of Appeal

Oral Argument January 7, 2014.

Part 1:

Part 2:


Ice Legal supports academics and education.

Ice Legal was the Presenting Beekeeper Sponsor for the 2013 Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee to benefit the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County. [click here for website]

The contest was held at the Harriet Himmel Theater, CityPlace, West Palm Beach.  The Ice Legal team of spellers made an admirable showing for their first competition, lasting several extremely difficult rounds.  The top prize was taken by the Palm Beach State College Team.  The Palm Beach Post took second, and Lynn University took third.


Ice Legal attorney, Randy Ackley, appointed Chair of Fund Raising Campaign.

Ice Legal supports community service and its attorneys are actively involved in carrying out this sense of civic responsibility.  Ice Legal shares many of the same goals as the YMCA, such as youth development and education, healthy living and social responsibility.  We are proud that one of our attorneys has been named as the Chair of the YMCA 2014 Annual Fund Raising Campaign in Osceola County.


Ice Legal attorney, Amanda Lundergan, speaks at National Forum on Residential Mortgage Litigation

Ice Legal attorney, Amanda Lundergan, appeared on a select panel addressing The Borrower's Perspective: Insights From the Plaintiff's Bar and Consumer Advocates at the American Conference Institute's 12th National Forum on Residential Mortgage Litigation & Regulatory Enforcement held September 26-27, 2013 in Dallas, Texas.


Ice Legal In The News

Fourth DCA reveses Lake Worth woman's foreclosure. DAILY BUSINESS REVIEW (Julie Kay)

..."Royal Palm Beach attorney Thomas Ice, who represents homeowners in foreclosure, said the case was one of a string of cases the appellate courts have been reversing on standing issues. 'This woman will now have the opportunity to get a trial,' Ice of Ice Legal said. 'It's impressive that a pro se appellant can get a favorable opinion. I think it's good that the appellate courts are continuing to emphasize that you have to prove standing at the time you file. You can't just walk in with a note that's endorsed in blank. You would think after being told this several times that the banks would stop going forward on summary judgment with this argument ... and recognize they are leading the trial courts to errors.'"

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Influx of short sales expected under new foreclosure law DAILY BUSINESS REVIEW (Samantha Joseph)

...Ice Legal founder Thomas Ice of Royal Palm Beach observed: ‘There's dual pressure on banks not to file cases. … This was an environment created by the courts themselves to try all these cases come hell or high water.’”

 “‘Banks have lost control of the pacing of their own judgments," Ice said. ‘Before they could sit on the cases for years until they were ready for sale. But now cases are going to trial even though neither party wants them to go.’”

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County court forum too orchestrated attorney says, withdraws sponsorship. PALM BEACH POST (Kim Miller, blog)

Prominent Royal Palm Beach attorney Tom Ice has withdrawn his sponsorship of a popular foreclosure forum because Palm Beach County judges objected to attorneys acting as moderators and questions had to be generated in advance to be shared with panelists before the event. 


Broward foreclosure lawyer Stern disbarred. SUN SENTINEL (Paul Owers) January 10, 2014

..."Thomas Ice ... helped expose the robo-signing scandal. He testified for the Bar at a hearing in the Stern case.'This closes a chapter in the foreclosure crisis and on some of the most abusive practices of these foreclosure mills,' Ice said."


Foreclosures stall across Florida in wake of new law. Palm Beach Post (Kimberly Miller)

...Royal Palm Beach based attorney Tom Ice agreed.

"Any increase in the clearance rate is due to the dubiously concerted efforts of the courts—funded with money from the ( National Mortgage Settlement)—to force cases to trial against the wishes of the banks and the homeowners," he said.

"I am one of many who believe that the greatest threat to homeowners' due process rights is the judiciary, not the legislature," Ice said.