It’s the little things that count.
My life in the law is so much richer and more productive as a result of help, encouragement and brainstorming I’ve shared with lots of marvelous mentors and friends.
But two people stand out, not just for their generousity with their knowledge, but for the common here’s-how-you-get-it-done tips.
My hat’s off to David Leibowitz and April Charney for ZipLoc bags and software magnification!
The magic of plastic
David Leibowitz spent an afternoon years ago in Chicago with my BLN buddies introducing us to TILA and mortgage based remedies for our home buying clients.
We were rapt at his command of the subject and the opportunities in TILA for our clients.
One of the biggies in TILA work had to do with defective notices of the borrower’s right to cancel the transaction. You found the cause of action in the disclosures given at the close of escrow.
Trial, if you got there, would depend on evidence of the disclosures given the borrower. David’s solution for preserving the evidence such that your client could testify about it at trial was brilliant, simple and effective.
He had a supply of 2 gallon zip loc bags into which he deposited the escrow closing file the client brought in!
Bingo! the document you might need at trial were gathered and preserved in plastic.
I’d never seen a zip loc bag that big before. But it was just the right size for closing documents.
I have a credenza full now of zip loc bags with escrow documents.
The era of TILA causes of action is over, since there’s so little mortgage lending going on. But I have a device for preserving evidence that I continue to use.
April Charney, one of the earliest crusaders against exploitive mortgage lenders, held a workshop in San Diego sponsored by Michael Doan and Michael Miller years ago.
April stressed that the starting point for finding mortgage causes of action was to read the note and the security instrument.
You know, the boiler plate, the tiny, grey, dense pages and pages of the agreement.
But she made it easier and less painful.
She scanned the deed of trust and brought the pdf up in Acrobat. Then from the Acrobat menu, she increased the font size to 125% or even 150%, so it was readable by human eyes.
I gave thanks for that trick this weekend as I prepared to sue a lender for applying borrower payments in an sequences other than that provided by the deed of trust. My tired old eyes were able to read the controlling paragraph because Acrobat delivered it in nice HUGE type.
So, let’s give thanks for the everyday tips and shortcuts that make our jobs easier, and the generous folks who share.
Hat tip image courtesy of Flickr and 10ch.
Zip Loc bag image courtesy of Wikimedia and JamieS93.
Acrobat icon courtesy of Wikimedia.