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Fidelity Land Trust Sued to Give Title Back to Homeowner

Kimberly Miller with the Palm Beach Post is reporting at least one homeowner is suing Fidelity Land Trust.

“Kenneth and Joycelin Morgan filed a lawsuit last week against Fidelity Land Trust Co. and affiliated firms, saying they thought they were signing up for help reducing their mortgage amount but instead were deceived into a contract that cost them $5,000 upfront, $2,333 in monthly payments and title to their Plantation home.

About 100 Palm Beach County homeowners have signed deeds over to Fidelity Land Trust since it opened in December 2011. The company once boasted having more than 250 properties statewide.
The Morgans’ suit, which is a motion to join in an attorney general’s complaint filed in Broward County in September, is one of the first homeowner actions against Fidelity Land Trust.

But real estate attorneys said they expect more homeowners to pursue a judge’s approval to undo their land trust contracts and regain clear title to homes.

Although Fidelity has signed deeds back to homeowners in recent months, it may not have the legal ability to do so, said Alan Polin, a Boca Raton attorney representing the Morgans. The attorney general froze the firm’s operations and assets. That means the action of returning the deeds, which may be considered assets, could violate the court order.

“Fidelity may voluntarily say ‘We’ll give you your deed back’ but that’s not good enough in order to clear an arguable title defect,” Polin said. “This was a very unconscionable contract.”

The attorney general’s complaint said the land trusts wrongfully guaranteed they could cancel the homeowner’s mortgage, misrepresented that homeowners can void their mortgage through a quiet title action, and charged an advance fee.”

“William and Renata Boykin in Royal Palm Beach said they signed up with Fidelity last year after being sold on the deal by a North Palm Beach-based firm called Lincoln Financial Group, which has been renamed Lincoln Property Consultants.

The couple paid a $3,300 fee and were then asked for $800-a-month, said 75-year-old William Boykin.

“That was supposed to be the new mortgage payment but I never received a new mortgage,” Boykin said about the $800.

Palm Beach County records show Fidelity signed the deed back to the Boykins last month.

The state complaint also names the Sunshine State Land Trust, American Federal Trust and Florida Land Trust Services.

Judges in federal and circuit court have condemned the trusts’ legal arguments.

“I think, beyond a doubt, that these actions were false, and they were frivolous, and you’re trying to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners in Florida,” said Palm Beach County Judge Meenu Sasser in a January hearing.”

You can read the full story, here.

Fidelity Land Trust Sued to Give Title Back to Homeowner
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • ed

    The attorney general may have frozen their operations and their assets but that has not stopped them from collecting monthly fees and filing more bullshit cases . Some assets were unfrozen as a result of Larry Diodato lying on an affidavit to lift the asset freeze for August Belmont and Co. and Esquire Litigation Support.That is not going to bode well for him. They have flaunted this injunction and are now facing more serious charges. On top of that, consumers, like the ones detailed in this article, are being encouraged to join the action. This is just the beginning for Larry Diodato, Ed Cherry (who may face bankruptcy fraud) and Paul Gellenbeck. Stay tuned and watch what happens next ! This is going to get good. The wheels of justice are in motion.

    • ed

      Word on the street is that “clients” of Fidelity Land Trust are coming in to file lawsuits in droves now and that criminal charges are looming for Larry Diodato, Ed Cherry, Paul Gallenbeck et al. These guys are no strangers to criminal charges based on their dubious pasts. There should be some more press about this soon. Stay tuned. Like I said, this is going to get good.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Keep us all posted. From the start this looked like it was going to leave a mark.

      • ed
      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        An interesting part of that story.

        “Boca Raton attorney Howard Feinmel, who had been filing the quiet title claims for Fidelity, avoided judicial sanctions earlier this month by agreeing to dismiss all pending litigation and deed all properties back to the original owners, said attorney Albert Gibson, who represented the bank in the case where sanctions were ordered.

        Gibson’s firm, Blank Rome, is defending the banks against about 100 land trust cases statewide filed by Feinmel and other attorneys.

        “I think, beyond a doubt, that these actions were false, and they were frivolous, and you’re trying to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners in Florida,” said Palm Beach County Judge Meenu Sasser in a January hearing where she ordered sanctions against Feinmel.”

      • ed

        Even more interesting is the new scumbag attorney they enter into the fray, some S. Tracy Long, who is also under investigation by the Florida Bar for fee splitting with non attorneys. Where do they find these low life, bottom of the barrel attorneys anyway ? I guess all of these scam operators know who each other is and they alll swim in the same cesspool. The next action will surely be a contempt charge against Larry Diodato as he had his asset freeze for himself, August Belmont and Esquire Litigation Support lifted by blatantly lying on an affadavit then put his foot in his mouth during his deposition admitting his involvement and clearly continued to operate the scam when he was ordered to cease and desist . Stay tuned.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Craigslist.

      • ed

        Right. In the “scumbag seeking scumbag” personals. Got it. Thanks.

      • Adam

        Paul Gellenbeck is the corporal! His kids even think he’s a scumbag! I’ve heard them say it! Catch him at Cheetah 5 nights a week and somehow he can’t pay his own employees. He’s going down, along with anyone the bi-polar crapdouche is close to.
        Home
        (954) 708-2960
        4901 NE 29th Ave

        Lighthouse Point, FL 33064-7919

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