Sunday, August 1, 2010
You could call him the foreclosure king of Florida.
The foreclosure business has been good to Stern, who lives in a $15 million Fort Lauderdale mansion and reaped $58.5 million by selling his back-office operations to a new public company in which he is a major shareholder.
By 1999, Stern's firm represented banks in foreclosure actions against more than 10,000 homeowners, according to records in a class action lawsuit filed in federal court in Tallahassee. The suit alleged that the firm overcharged homeowners for title searches, postage and other expenses, then submitted "false and fraudulent" invoices to support the charges. The case was closed in 2000 with Stern agreeing to pay a total of $2.1 million to homeowners.
Stern's law firm ballooned along with the foreclosure rate. From its headquarters in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Plantation, it now handles nearly 100,000 foreclosure cases at any one time and has a client list that includes Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup