87 Tex. L. Rev. See Also 9 (2009)

handle is hein.journals/seealtex87 and id is 1 raw text is: Professor Katherine Porter and Proofs of Claims by
Mortgage Servicers
by 0. Max Gardner III*
Professor Porter's study' and her review of hundreds of sworn proofs of
claim filed by mortgage servicers in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases is probably
one of the top five such studies conducted in the past ten years. She has
accomplished much good with little funding and a volunteer staff of
dedicated law students and committed consumer lawyers. The extent of the
problem is so pervasive that it is really and truly a challenge to name one
servicer who is consistently complying with the law and rules.
The first draft of Professor Porter's paper was presented to the National
Conference of Bankruptcy Judges (NCBJ) last November at the annual
meeting in Orlando. I had the honor of being on the panel with Professor
Porter. Her presentation provided a learning bridge for every bankruptcy
judge and law clerk that was lucky enough to be in attendance. One of our
biggest struggles, from the consumer's point of view, has been convincing
courts that mortgage servicers are really and truly intentionally stealing the
debtors' and the trustees' money. This is always a problem when you are
talking about some of the marquee names in the history of our financial
I think it is also important to note that Professor Porter's project was
funded by the NCBJ Study Committee. The bankruptcy courts have led the
way in indentifying what I call predatory mortgage servicing. And I am
very proud to say that I have played a very small role in uncovering what
continues to be a pervasive and systematic fraud on our courts. I am proud to
say that I am a consumer bankruptcy lawyer.
The proof-of-claim process is only one aspect of a monumental problem
created by intentional creditor misconduct. My first case in the Western
District of North Carolina was filed over ten years ago and during the course
of these past ten years, I regret to say that the problems have only gotten
worse, not better.
I believe that the NCBJ authorized the Porter Project due to the
mounting concern of bankruptcy courts about the institutional accuracy and
truthfulness of mortgage servicers' claims. Mortgage debt is the largest
claim against almost all consumer debtors who file for bankruptcy relief.
Professor Porter has provided the lawyers advocating for these consumers
Attorney at Law. PO Box 1000, Shelby, NC 28150. maxgardner@maxgardner.com.
1. Katherine Porter, Misbehavior and Mistake in Bankruptcy Mortgage Claims, 87 TEXAS L.
REv. 121 (2008).

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