Florida Newsmakers of the Year
Business - Florida Newsmakers of the Year
• FORECLOSURE FIGHTERS
Lisa Epstein and blogger Michael Redman uncovered fraudulent practices by mortgage holders. [Photo: Steve Mitchell/Newscom]
Forcing the Issue
For many, the bottom line in any mortgage dispute is whether the payments are being made. But Lisa Epstein, a West Palm Beach nurse turned foreclosure activist, focuses on fraudulent practices, backdated documents and robo-signers. Epstein and fellow Florida foreclosure-fighters — blogger Michael Redman in West Palm Beach, attorneys Lynn Szymoniak in Palm Beach Gardens, Matthew Weidner in St. Petersburg and Thomas Ice in Royal Palm Beach — lit the firestorm that pressured major mortgage holders to a brief, self-imposed moratorium on foreclosures until they say they sorted out their paperwork. Attorneys general launched investigations as did the federal government. Epstein, who says she was instructed by her mortgage servicer to stop paying her mortgage in 2008 so she could qualify for hardship assistance, wants a national moratorium, criminal investigations, lots of indictments, breaking up the big banks and more regulation and reform. Some argue slowing foreclosures only slows recovery. To Epstein, that's saying, "keep the criminals in charge and we'll have a recovery."
Florida Business News
Lawmakers say that Floridians continue to report problems with the state's 2-year-old unemployment benefits website.
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The authors of the state's existing medical marijuana bill are proposing giving another option to sick patients in Florida.
Florida Trend Video Pick
A video about the research that is done by the UF Space Plants Lab. Dr. Ferl and Dr. Paul provide a brief overview of what they do and how the lab contributes to society.
About the proposed open-carry gun law: Are you in favor of allowing Floridians with concealed-handgun permits to openly display their weapons?