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
Only 2 percent of all eligible businesses have checked out Small Business Health Options Program exchanges and even fewer purchased policies.
More Americans signed contracts to buy homes in July, a sign that buying has improved as mortgage rates have slipped.
When it comes to volunteering, time-pressed workers need to be realistic about how much they can commit.
Florida Trend Video Pick
Students from the University of Central Florida College of Medicine are combining their love of medicine with their love of the arts. One of the ways they are doing this is by bringing music into the hospital, in hopes of lifting patients' spirits.
When will you retire?