Florida's Attorney General's Office is investigating a foreclosure law firm that has become one of the state's largest foreclosure mills.
Florida Default Law Group in Tampa, Fla. files hundreds of foreclosure lawsuits in Hillsborough County (Fla.) alone on behalf of banks and mortgage servicing companies, according to the Tampa Tribune.
The attorney general has an "active public consumer-related investigation" into the firm, noting on its website that it is a civil investigation, not a criminal one. The site states that the company "appears to be fabricating and/or presenting false and misleading documents in foreclosure cases.
"These documents have been presented in court before judges as actual assignments of mortgages and have later been shown to be legally inadequate and/or insufficient. Presenting faulty bank paperwork due to the mortgage crisis and thousands of foreclosures per month."
Attempts to reach Michael Echevarria, the head of Florida Default Law Group, were unsuccessful late Friday and early today.
According to the Tampa Tribune's review of 1,994 circuit court records, the firm filed initial legal documents for 323 foreclosure lawsuits in October. That was second only to the Law Offices of David J. Stern, a Broward County-based foreclosure firm that filed 352 foreclosure cases in October.
Florida Default Law Group operates in numerous counties in Florida, but it's not clear how many lawsuits it files outside of Hillsborough County.
For a recent report on the overall foreclosure issue in Florida, looking at a battle over whether banks should be allowed to bypass court hearings in foreclosures. see story.