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
Staples has received European Union approval to acquire Office Depot, which is headquartered in Boca Raton.
Gainesville Regional Airport continues its growth trend with record passenger traffic to finish calendar year 2015.
Florida public broadcasting is a network of independent stations that employs more than 1,000. [Sponsored report]
Florida Trend Video Pick
At the Girls Underwater Robot Camp at the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa, students from 10 to 15 years old learn to build underwater drones.
Who do you think will ultimately be the GOP nominee for the 2016 presidential race?