Balancing the Scales of Justice for Pro Se Homeowners

91% of homeowner claims were DISMISSED at the pleading stage in Federal Courts

Posted by on Oct 24, 2013

91% of homeowner claims were DISMISSED at the pleading stage in Federal Courts

Notorious Five 

The Federal Judicial Center has recently released a study about the percentage of claims against the Notorious Five[1] (and others), claiming that an astonishing NINETY ONE (91) percent of claims against the banks were dismissed at the pleading stage.  Even more alarming is the finding that while there was no increase in the ratio of dismissal on civil rights and employment discrimination cases, the ratio of dismissal of complaints about mortgage loans TRIPLED during the period of the study.

On page 40 of the report, the classification of cases shows foreclosure related cases going from 17 to 235 – an incredible increase (but not unexpected or surprising) and primary contained claims for TILA, RESPA and FDPCA claims.  The report does not examine the number of complaints filed by pro se’s – which one has to believe that pro se complaints most likely have a higher rate of dismissal than ones filed by attorneys.  Is this because Judges do not believe a pro se will pursue the dismissal with a higher court or are pro se’s failing to meet the pleading standards?

The study was designed to monitor the effect of Iqbal and Twombly which in effect raised the pleading standards for stating a claim.   There is a interesting body of law in which pro se’s are to be given greater latitude in their pleadings; while at the same time there is a line draw as to what that latitude is.  Most case rulings state (in some form or another)  that content is of more importance than form. In my own layman’s opinion, this means that while the form of the complaint may not meet the pleading standards, if the facts are there to support the claim then whatever it is labeled and regardless to the font size or spacing, the pleading is to move forward.   Some pro se’s think this means that if they don’t have time to clearly articulate their claims then they are to be allowed to keep amending until they get that time (and those cases tend to  be met with a dismissal).

When first reading this report I was alarmed by the percentage – thinking does this prove there is a bias with judges against homeowners?  It is easy to take that from this; but then when you get into the details it really begs the question – Are we failing to plead the claims properly? And are we pleading the right claims?

Notorious FiveI am convinced there is bias in the Courts, across the country.  If the Department of Justice, ALL State Attorney Generals, the major governing federal agencies are settling claims of FRAUD – why do the Courts treat these criminals as the keepers of the truth?   I am astounded that any of the Notorious Five can walk into any court and make any claim that is met with any amount of credibility.

But before we can really fight that battle, we must first line up our own ducks and ensure that when we take our claims to court, our claims do not rely Ducks in a rowon the belief that as a pro se we do not have to make a showing – instead we need to show up with strong, well written pleadings that demonstrate we have a claim, we have been harmed, and we are entitled to restitution.

Click here for the Report on Fed Cases Dismissed  – thanks to Charles and Shelley for sharing!




Email:   -REFRESH 2013, VERSION 2 –

Balancing the scales of justice for pro se homeowners!

Phone:  510.290.8928

Fax:  925.952.7130







[1] Notorious Five: Wells Fargo, N.A.; JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.; Bank of America, N.A.; GMAC/ALLY Bank;  and Citibank, N.A.

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