He blew 6 months of valuable time by failing to perform necessary discovery, resulting in home being sold at sheriff sale
Posted by Mary
Mr. Spielberger, while affable and probably well-intentioned, failed to perform any significant sort of 'discovery' with my case, even though he had agreed to work with me starting in February 2013, while the foreclosure proceedings were underway. He did manage to get 2 or 3 continuances - but did nothing with them as far as I know. During most of this period, he was extremely hard to reach, changing his outbound voicemail to an anonymous message, leaving me wondering if I had the right number or whether he had left the law practice. During the period from mid-March to the beginning of June I left many messages -only a handful were ever returned over the entire year's period - most within the past month, when it was too late.
I'd wanted to sign a formal retainer contract and pay a fee back in early March 2013 and he demurred about that , telling me to 'hold off a bit.' I was told the same thing about ordering the audit that I eventually requested (apparently too late, as it turned out) in December of 2013 - when I'd received the Sheriff's Sale notice. The audit - which apparently does show that contractual fraud took place long before the foreclosure - was finished just a few days before the sale, and Mr. Spielberger declined to file a motion to halt the sale as he 'didn't want to lose his license' by filing with less than 3 days ahead of the sale.
Then, 3 weeks AFTER the sale took place, he finally got around to filing a motion (containing numerous misspellings of my name and which he essentially lifted from the auditor's report) to 'dismiss' and halt the confirmation of the sale - which, as might be expected, was denied by the judge. This was due to the fact that the 90-day redemption period had long since expired, and according to the court's website, my case was now marked as 'closed.' This was because Mr. Spielberger had allowed the Summary Judgment in September to proceed, as well as the redemption period to expire. I had no idea this (expiration) had taken place last fall until the end of last month when I received the copy of the sheriff's sale from 1/14/14.
After the denial this past Thursday a.m. 2/6/14, I asked him what he'd done all last spring/ summer with regard to my case (he had told me then that he was taking a 'paramedic class' - ostensibly to be of 'better service' to injury cases, or something like that - no, I couldn't possibly make this stuff up) - and why he had allowed things to get to this point. He had no reply. He seemed more interested at that point in getting me 'extra time' from an eviction after the sale, etc. than fighting Ocwen and others in court, even though I had plenty of legal 'ammo' from the audit, which was performed by a certified, experienced auditor.
I was left with the distinct impression that he didn't have the stomach for a fight with Ocwen and was backing down from the whole thing, even though a couple of weeks earlier he'd referred to filing a lawsuit in an email.
At this point, after nearly 6 months of failure to act with sufficient due diligence on my behalf, I wouldn't trust him with handling something as important as a lawsuit. He seemed to have trouble keeping track of dates and on the rare occasions we actually spoke, would tell me to call back on a given date/ time, and when I did, he didn't answer. He also showed poor judgment overall: why he wasted time and effort filing motions for 'dismissal' when a case was 'closed' I have no idea.
I'm now in the process of finding another attorney to see if I can still salvage my home of 36 years by halting the confirmation - at the least, since I was offered a well-paying temporary job starting the end of March, I am hoping to get 3-4 months extension before having to move. I still intend to file a suit against Ocwen and HSBC for the fraud perpetrated and showing that my home - along with others with high ratios of equity to balances - was targeted by Ocwen, which also bought the home, not surprisingly.
More William F. Spielberger’s response:“The writer leaves out important details. As I recall, she came to me, her attorney, after the discovery period had closed and judgment of foreclosure had been entered. At that time, she had little income and was many months behind in her mortgage payments.
But even if the discovery period were not closed, she had no money for costs of discovery or court expenses. It took her many months to pay for a forensic audit. She had not paid her mortgage payments for very many months and, without a steady income, was incapable of modifying her debt. She never paid me so much as one dollar.
She several times failed to meet me at my office to discuss the case and was upset when I could not meet with her, at her convenience, during two evenings when I was enrolled in a college class. She phoned me repeatedly when I was in the hospital emergency room with my wife, and, nevertheless, shouted, ranted and raved about her own financial situation.
During the time of the foreclosure process she was suffering from severe physical and mental illness. After one court hearing, she complimented and hugged me for how I was representing her, and then, just outside the courtroom, shouted and threatened suicide until a sheriff intervened. I insisted that she seek immediate medical treatment and tried to inform the court about threats.
I attended several court hearing in sub-zero weather and wrote a long brief in an effort to stop the judicial sale of her house. But the court, as usual, was reluctant to review the legality of the foreclosure process and the banks' actions. I told her what additional steps I was willing to take, including an appeal, to assure she stayed in her home. She said instead she wanted to move because she so disliked her Mexican neighbors.
The review does correctly illustrate how the foreclosure process, especially as found in Illinois courts, often is so very injurious and dismissive of homeowners' claims. Courts rarely recognize or address the serious physical and emotional harm resulting from wrongful foreclosures and evictions. It is extremely rare for an Illinois court to rule against the wrongful, illegal lending, servicing and collection actions of major banks and lenders or to stop the judicial sale of a home.”
17 years, 50 cases
Civil Rights: 40%
31 years, 50 cases
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