Colorado law is unique in making really easy for folks to lose their homes — oftentimes to banks that have no right to foreclose. It got even easier in 2009 when powerful special interests like attorney Larry Castle convinced state lawmakers that foreclosures should be approved merely based on the bare approval of a single foreclosure attorney. Bankruptcy can stop such foreclosures in their tracks and enable most people to keep their homes. But without bankruptcy protection, a foreclosure lawyer can easily get a public trustee to sign over the title to your home back to a bank — whether or not that bank has the right to take the home. (For more information about saving your home in bankruptcy, click here.)
The Denver Post reported on this problem after an employee of Mr. Castle’s law firm stepped forward:
“Thousands of Colorado homes were taken in foreclosure in recent years by banks that probably never had the right to do so because no one bothered to challenge the process, said a lawyer who worked for the state’s biggest foreclosure law firm. Lawyers often blindly sign a document attesting that the bank they represent has the right to foreclose — allowable under Colorado law — without ever actually seeing the original loan documents, attorney Keith Gantenbein said. He worked at Castle Stawiarski, where more foreclosure cases originate than any other law firm statewide. Gantenbein said he and other lawyers signed “tens of thousands” of documents known as statements of qualified holder. The papers certify lenders’ right to foreclose, generally with little more than an e-mail from a bank or loan servicer telling the lawyers to file the case.” http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_20160083/honor-system-foreclosure-paperwork-has-led-illegal-colorado Mr. Castle had no comment on the article.