Back in 2012, Mr. C had been tricked into signing a deed to Mr. Y, who promised to help him save his home from an impending foreclosure. At the time, Mr. C was in a desperate situation. His furniture restoration business had failed, he had lost his nose as a result of skin cancer, and he had suffered multiple heart attacks. Facing foreclosure of the home he had lived in for nearly 30 years, Mr. C fell prey to the defendant’s claims that he would get a new mortgage, resolve the foreclosure and help manage Mr. C’s house. However, Mr. Y had no ability to arrange for any refinancing – he had terrible credit, little income, and had not filed tax returns for a number of years. The defendant did nothing; he likely only hoped to steal some of the equity in the house, after it was sold at foreclosure.
Pro bono attorneys at Stearns Weaver filed suit to quiet title after Mr. C was able to work out the foreclosure lawsuit with the help of a friend. The case was hotly litigated over the course of nearly three years. It was scheduled for trial on two separate trial dockets, but was not reached. The firm filed a renewed motion for summary judgment and Judge Monica Gordo granted the plaintiff’s motion, finding a breach of dependent covenants and ordering the quit claim deed be rescinded. Mr. C now has full title to his house and the ability to get back on his feet.
Pro Bono Attorney Julie Fishman Berkowitz took the lead in litigating the case and dealing with the defendant’s very contentious counsel. A number of others at the firm were actively involved in the win, including Darrell Payne, Joey Onorati, and Matthew Graham.