First person: Mortgage settlement payouts are another blown call

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COMMENTARY | It appears the long national nightmare is over. No, not the fraudclosure crisis. Sad to say, that legal mess is still being cleaned up years after the bubble burst.

I'm talking, of course, of the NFL referees lockout.

Believe it or not, as I watched the backpedaling by Goodell and friends after the Monday Night debacle, I found an odd comparison with the latest installment of what I like to call "As the Mortgage Settlement Turns."

Here in Florida and in several other states across the country, thousands of homeowners are about to get notices in the mail stating that they too might be able to claim a piece of the settlement pie.

The basic premise is this: If you lost your home to foreclosure, you'll get a claims form; if you fill it out and you're deemed eligible, you could get some money for your troubles.

When you take a long hard look at this process, you'll probably see, as I have, that this process is inherently flawed from the get-go.

It's why I'm not assisting my clients in filling out these forms. I am not getting involved.

So how does this relate back to the NFL? Well since the lockout started every statement that came from the league was a complete and utter whitewash of the problems caused by the use of the replacement referees.

Rather than apologizing or even acknowledging their mistake -- a mistake millions of people saw with their own eyes -- the NFL just stuck to a hollow narrative and hoped we'd just accept it and move on. Just as the government and the banks are trying to do now with this flimsy settlement.

We all know Golden Tate didn't catch that ball. And we know people lost their homes because of systemic intentional fraud. This has all been proven.

The banks cut corners through robosigning, perjury, forgery, notary fraud, and fraud upon the court. These are fundamental constitutional matters, and they warrant more than a paragraph on the last page of the instruction on how to fill out the form.

There is no real acknowledgement of the vastness of the fraud committed, so why would I have any reason to believe this effort is nothing more than another effort to pull the wool over our eyes?

Maybe the people administering the mortgage settlement think we are as blind as those replacement referees. I think otherwise.

I'm not going to pretend to buy into something that is inherently unfair. All this hoop jumping for a few hundred dollars. Because if everyone applies for this aid, that is all they will get.

It is a waste of paper, time, and resources. And it is an insult to our common sense.

Once again it is a case of way too little and way too late.

Real estate attorney Roy Oppenheim is the co-founder of Oppenheim Law in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Weston Title. He is also creator of the South Florida Law Blog, where he frequently provides "From the Trenches" commentaries.

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