Kimberly Miller, Palm Beach Post

The Florida Bar is seeking disciplinary action against Florida foreclosure baron David J. Stern, whose massive law firm collapsed in 2011 amid allegations that it mishandled the cases of the nation’s largest mortgage holders by filing forged and fraudulent court documents.

Grievance committees found probable cause to pursue punishment in 17 cases stemming from formal complaints made by homeowners, defense attorneys, judges and a bank representative.

It’s the first attempt by the Bar to hold Stern accountable for actions that occurred at his so-called “foreclosure mill,” which grew quickly following the real estate crash to more than 1,500 employees and more than 140,00 cases statewide. Ten probable cause findings were approved Jan. 25 with seven more following on Friday.

Stern’s company closed in March 2011 after losing most of its clients, including federal mortgage backers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as concerns about robo-signing hit lenders and law firms nationwide.

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