There’s a judge in Brooklyn, NY, who has tossed out nearly half of the foreclosure cases brought before him over the past year, because the lenders have such messy paper trails that they can’t prove ownership anymore.
Justice Schack’s take is straightforward, and sends a tremor through some bank suites: If a bank cannot prove ownership, it cannot foreclose. “If you are going to take away someone’s house, everything should be legal and correct,” he said. “I’m a strange guy – I don’t want to put a family on the street unless it’s legitimate.”
As a result, he’s become an example for other judges to follow, and a “dangerous” rogue in the eyes of lenders.
What’s surprising, however, is Judge Schack isn’t coming up with novel readings of the law. He’s just forcing lenders to follow the rules.
“To the extent that judges examine these papers, they find exactly the same errors that Judge Schack does,” said Katherine M. Porter, a visiting professor at the School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, and a national expert in consumer credit law. “His rulings are hardly revolutionary; it’s unusual only because we so rarely hold large corporations to the rules.”
“A ‘Little Judge’ Who Rejects Foreclosures, Brooklyn Style “ [New York Times]