MFI-Miami Forces Suntrust To Concede A $200,000 Principal Write-Down And Debt Restructuring For Client
It was the 11th hour for single dad Mike Conroy of New York. Suntrust had spent the past three years trying to foreclosure on Mike and his kids. Mike and his attorney thought they were out of legal options and Suntrust refused to negotiate any type of loan modification. The situation looked hopeless and grim.
That was until Mike Conroy’s lawyer contacted MFI-Miami. The first thing I noticed was that on the surface this foreclosure file was it was unusually clean. Information in the complaint precisely matched the mortgage records at the Orange County Clerk’s Office. The note was endorsed to Suntrust from the originating lender, American Bank. Everything looked perfect to the untrained eye.
MFI-Miami Goes Digging
Things looked so good for Liebler, Gonzalez & Portuondo, the bank’s lawyers, they proceeded with a motion for final judgment. That was until I began digging around in the MERS database. First of all, MERS database showed two pieces of information about the file that were missing from the complaint. The database showed Fannie Mae was the note holder, not Suntrust. In addition to Suntrust not being the owner, the MERS database also showed that MERS had already assigned the mortgage to Fannie Mae as nominee for American Bank. This is long before MERS allegedly assigned the mortgage to Suntrust in August of 2011.
Fannie Mae’s database confirmed the MERS database. Fannie Mae was the holder of the note and mortgage. The coup de grace for Suntrust’s lawyer, Jacob Mitrani from Liebler, Gonzalez & Portuondo, came when their client sent MFI-Miami a letter at the end of February acknowledging Fannie Mae’s ownership interest.
“I don’t write polite letters. I don’t like to plea-bargain. I like to fight.” -Roy Cohn
As a result of these discoveries, I sent Jacob Mitrani an email requesting documentation showing Fannie Mae had transferred an ownership interest back to his client. A terse email exchange between the two of us soon followed. In typical Steve Dibert fashion, I laid it on the line with Jacob Mitrani. It was time for him to put up or shut up. I told him to show me the documentation. Mitrani claimed Mike’s lawyer would need to file a discovery request. In other words, “We don’t have it so we need time to find it.” or “We don’t have it so we need time to figure out some bullshit to tell the judge so we don’t have to produce it.”
I demanded an answer. Either they had it or they didn’t. If they didn’t have it, they would have to withdraw the case and start over. Naturally, Mitani again refused in a way only a Miami lawyer with an over-inflated ego can. He played the wounded bird claiming I hurt his feelings. I became extremely blunt and called him out for not having the documentation.
He soon stopped responding to my emails. Mitrani obviously googled my name and realized I have the reputation of being the Roy Cohn of foreclosure defense.
Several weeks after this email exchange, Suntrust approached Mike’s lawyer and his loan specialist, Olga Rosado, with an offer to settle. They offered Mike a principal reduction of over $200,000 and a 3% interest rate. Mike accepted. Mike’s mortgage is now $374,000 instead of $581,000 and his interest rate was lowered from 6.875% to 3%.