The Big Bad Banking Bullies

During a recent trial, I immediately began objecting to the type of questions being asked by opposing counsel, who represented a bank trying to foreclose on my client's home. In my opinion, the questions asked for hearsay information, which is not allowed in court. Among other things, hearsay is testimony where a witness either repeats what another person said out of court or tries to authenticate documents that don't belong to that witness and that the witness has no personal knowledge of. After about my third objection, the bank's lawyer became frustrated and started whining to the judge that I wasn't allowing her to ask questions of her client. The judge appropriately admonished the bank's counsel by telling her it is not her job to tell him how to handle objections. This type of behavior continued in different forms during the trial, causing the Judge to admonish her several times.

During closing argument, the bank's lawyer told the Judge that she was "incredulous" at some of my arguments and that the bank had tried to work with me and my client by offering us a different options to work things out. I responded in kind that this was plain false, but I did so in more civilized and respectful terms.

What the bank had offered was for my client to stay in her house a few more months for, what I considered to be a few dollars. Leading up to the trial the bank's lawyer kept pressing me as to what right my client had to be in the house when payments were not made to the bank. As I said to her each time, that has nothing to do with due process and with the bank meeting its burden when it sues someone and that my personal views are irrelevant.

If you sue someone, the burden is on you to prove your case. This is called due process. It is a basic right of every American. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, there are specific rules that govern how court cases proceed and how evidence must be offered and proven. These rules were enacted to protect every citizen's right to a fair trial. A judge presides over these trials in order to determine how these rules apply to the facts in each case. Whether any of us like the rules or the judges' application and interpretation of these rules is not the point. These are the rules of court and the rules we have to comply with.

I have litigated over a thousand cases in my career. I have seen a consistent pattern among one group of plaintiffs - the banks. Many of these institutions, so rife with fraud and power, are only too eager to trample on the rights of the so-called "little guys" - people like you and me. Remember, despite the pervasive and notorious allegations of fraud by the government against the big five banks – Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorganChase and Ally and the demise of Countrywide and Washington Mutual for their fraudulent practices, they have no compunction of painting you as a "deadbeat" and beating you into the ground.

Of course, you were, at one time, a "valued" customer but that gets tossed aside one the bank determines you fell behind in your mortgage payments. Would the bank try and help you by modifying your loan? No way. That question has been answered countless times by the banks as they have made a mockery of the Federal loan modification program.

The banks and some of their attorneys should be ashamed of themselves for their untoward, disrespectful behavior. Although, most foreclosure attorneys I know are fine and considerate people, there are still a few of their colleagues who are small minded bullies, who, in order to compensate for their own inadequacies, get drunk with whatever little power they can grab and take it out on what they perceive to be the helpless, little guys.

We're here to try and even the playing field. I will continue to fight within the rules, for my clients' rights to due process. Win, lose, draw or settle, these bullies need to be taught that us "ordinary" citizens are not going to take their shenanigans without a fight.

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