by Kim Miller, Palm Beach Post

Roman Pino settled with his lender so that he could keep his house, but the Supreme Court wanted to rule on the case anyway.

A Florida Supreme Court ruling involving a Greenacres foreclosure allows banks to get away with fraud, as long as they voluntarily dismiss the case, attorneys said today.The case, Roman Pino v. the Bank of New York, was the first significant foreclosure complaint heard by the high court since the state’s legendary housing collapse.

At issue was whether a bank can escape punishment for filing flawed or fraudulent documents in a case by voluntarily dismissing it. A voluntary dismissal allows the bank to refile at a later date.

Royal Palm Beach-based foreclosure defense attorney Tom Ice, who represented Pino, had challenged a document created by the former Law Offices of David J. Stern and sought to question employees about its veracity. On the eve of those depositions, the bank moved to dismiss the case, blocking the court’s ability to address any sanctions.

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