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
New York-based digital currency, Dash, is partnering with Orlando-based exchange, Mercury Cash to expand its footprint in South America.
Red light cameras have generated an abundance of controversy and revenue since their inception in Sarasota.
The USDA estimated Florida will produce 4.65 million boxes of grapefruit, down more than 40% from the 2016-17 season.
Florida Trend Video Pick
Irma trash still fills Keys canals. One has 16 sunken RVs. Is cleanup finally coming?
Do you think ex-felons in Florida - 1.5 million of them who are permanently barred from voting - should have their voting right reinstated?