The Estate That Foreclosure Fees Built

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Photo: trulia

Florida has the third-highest residential foreclosure rate in the United States, and possibly no one has taken advantage of this fact more than David J. Stern, a lawyer who in recent years managed to turn the $1,400 fees paid for processing foreclosures into millions by processing up to 1,000 of them a day. But in its zeal to collect, his company was, shall we say, a little sloppy on paperwork, and foreclosed on some of the wrong people. How did this happen? "It was almost like we didn't have time to really look at what we were doing," one employee admitted in a deposition released today. Now Stern is under investigation by the Florida attorney general for fraud, and has been removed as the chairman of his own company. However, as he sees it, he is merely being scapegoated. “Should I feel ashamed that I have built a successful practice?” he asked the Times last month. His lawyer agrees. "He started from scratch and has built a wonderful legal practice and has made a lot of money," he told Bloomberg today. "That's the American dream isn't it?" It is! Just like owning a home. Speaking of which, thanks to his excellent work kicking people out of their homes, Stern is able to own several really nice ones of his own, in addition to some other things. Check them out in our slideshow of the Estate Foreclosure Fees Built.