Lenders aren't the only ones taking heat for their role in the housing meltdown: Lawyers are getting their share too, especially during the foreclosure process.
Judges these days are accusing lawyers for processing sloppy or fabricated paperwork in foreclosure actions when representing banks, The New York Times reports.
Judge Arthur M. Schack of New York State Supreme Court in Brooklyn recently described a filing submitted by Steven J. Baum, an attorney, as "incredible, outrageous, ludicrous and disingenuous," the newspaper reports.
In November, another judge ordered Baum’s firm to pay nearly $20,000 in fines and costs related to papers that the court said contained numerous "falsities."
Furthermore courts in New York State, along with Florida, are requiring lawyers in foreclosure cases to vouch for the accuracy of the documents they present.
“When the consequence of a lawyer plying his trade is the loss of someone’s home, and it turns out there are documents being given to the courts that have no basis in reality, the profession gets a very big black eye,” Stephen Gillers, an expert in legal ethics at New York University, tells the Times.
Foreclosure rates have repeatedly grabbed headlines in wake of the housing meltdown.
Home prices dropped 26 percent since peaking in 2006, exceeding the 25.9 percent drop registered in the same time frame running from 1928 to 1933, according to housing-data provider Zillow, Reuters reports.
More declines in the sector are on the way.
"For the next six to nine months, the larger factors affecting the housing market that will produce more home price declines will be the excess inventory of homes, high negative equity and foreclosure rates, and weakened demand due to elevated employment," says Stan Humphries, Zillow's chief economist, according to Reuters.
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