News + updates + recent press
Today, Marissa M. Yaker, Esq., an attorney with Padgett Law Group's Florida practice, was appointed to a three-year term on the Florida Bar’s Grievance Committee (Committee "C") of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit. Her appointment will begin on January 1, 2019 and concludes on December 31, 2021.
In Florida, Grievance committees are made up of volunteer members, at least one-third of whom are not lawyers. Each of Florida’s 20 judicial circuits has at least one such committee. The grievance committee reviews complaints with much the same purpose as a grand jury. That is, the committee decides, after a case is submitted to them by bar counsel, whether there is probable cause to believe a lawyer violated the professional conduct rules imposed by the Supreme Court of Florida and whether discipline against the lawyer appears to be warranted.
"I am thrilled to be appointed to the committee. I am always eager to share my time and insight and I'm looking forward to working with this diverse group of attorneys and other committee members as we work together to ensure that our professional conduct rules are upheld," said Yaker.
Marissa's practice is primarily focused on creditors rights' and foreclosure. She is licensed in the state of Florida and is based out of the firm's Ft. Lauderdale, FL office. She can be reached here.
Today, we’re excited to announce that the firm has added the great state of Texas to our footprint which also includes Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, and our founding state of Florida. For 25 years Padgett Law Group (PLG) has excelled at delivering a client-first approach while offering sound legal advice and aggressive representation for our partners. We set the bar for excellence in creditors rights’ representation because we’re focused solely on building a service-driven practice that encompasses the full range of default needs for today’s creditors.
Effective immediately, PLG's Texas operations and the firm's bankruptcy operations will be led by Keena Newmark, Esq., who has joined the firm as Managing Attorney of Bankruptcy Operations. The new Dallas office is also home to additional attorney hires Julian Cotton, Esq. and Mary Vitarkas, Esq. Over the coming weeks, additional Texas staff hires will be announced. Also effective immediately is the promotion of Evan S. Singer, Esq. to Managing Attorney of Default Services, a newly created firm-wide role. Evan remains based out of the firm’s Atlanta, GA office and will work closely with Keena across the firm's practices, operations, client relations, and business development efforts.
Padgett Law Group is pleased to announce the hiring of Joshua R. Hopkins in the role of Supervising Attorney, REO & Title Operations. As the Supervising Attorney, Hopkins' first priority is overseeing the departments' compliance with requirements and regulations as they relate to investors and clients. In addition to departmental oversight and assisting with title and closing process questions, Hopkins is also responsible for managing client relationships and new business development for the departments.
Hopkins has over 20 years of industry experience, bringing his wealth of knowledge to creditor's rights clients in Tennessee and Georgia. "We often speak of The Padgett Law Group Difference, which is focused on expedient and exceptional client service. While implementing advanced technology solutions and qualitative compliance oversight, it's our top-notch team members that make the vision come alive. Joshua's unique skillset and exceptional client service ensure our REO & Title division will continue to meet and exceed client requirements."
Hopkins earned his Juris Doctorate from the Nashville School of Law after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. He is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association and currently serves as the Chair of the Education Committee of the Tennessee Land Title Association. He is based out of the firm's Atlanta, GA office. Reach out to Joshua at JHopkins@padgettlaw.net.
Florida-based Padgett Law Group (PLG) announced today that the firm has expanded its Arkansas practice with the acquisition of local default services law firm Dyke & Winzerling, PLC (D&W). The acquisition is effective today, September 1, 2017.
With the acquisition, PLG will add several attorneys, support staff, and an expanded office presence in the state. PLG will maintain a GSE-compliant brick-and-mortar operation in Little Rock, AR, providing a complete suite of default services state-wide for its mortgage servicing clients. PLG already provides national bankruptcy services.
“This acquisition deepens our commitment to performing high quality legal work throughout the state of Arkansas and is a valuable addition to our regional footprint,” said Robyn Padgett, Director of Operations/Chief Operating Officer of Padgett Law Group. She added, “Our clients were eager to see us move into Arkansas and this partnership will allow us to aggressively grow our presence throughout the state.”
“While our name is changing and we’re coming into the larger Padgett Law Group brand, our culture and satisfied client base we’ve built over the years will stay the same. We were looking for a partner that shared our values and that our clients respected. We found that partner in Padgett Law Group. We’re excited about our future in Arkansas,” said J. Dyke, Managing Member Attorney. As part of the transition, Dyke (and attorneys, Mary Winzerling, Mitch Berry and Renee Price) will join the PLG team. Additionally, J. Dyke will act as Arkansas Supervising Attorney for PLG.
Effective immediately, existing D&W email addresses will begin forwarding to PLG accounts (formatted as [first initial] and [lastname]@padgettlaw.net). An updated escalation matrix and firm-wide contact sheet has already been distributed to clients.
Padgett Law Group is pleased to announce the hiring of Kawanna Buggs in the role of Bankruptcy Court Registry Matters Manager (CRM Manager). As national CRM Manager, Buggs will direct, plan, and manage the staff and operations of the CRM Bankruptcy Department to maximize firm performance and employee job satisfaction. This includes conducting all activities in adherence with all applicable servicer and investor time lines, the firm’s internal policies and procedures, and all U.S. state and federal laws and regulations wherein the firm operates.
Additionally, in this new role, Buggs will be responsible for the management of business development within the bankruptcy department and support business development initiatives throughout the firm’s other practices, which include foreclosure, title, title curative, eviction, real-estate owned (REO) closings, retail closings, litigation, and collections. Padgett Law Group’s bankruptcy services are national. Other practices operate in Arkansas, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida where the firm has GSE-compliant brick-and-mortar operations.
“Having worked in servicing since 2004, I’ve overseen operations that include everything from collections to bankruptcy. I’m excited to bring that perspective into a growing, multi-state law firm already in the lead when it comes to innovation, technology, and client service. At Padgett Law Group I’ll be able to leverage my experience for the larger goal of building a next-generation firm,” said Buggs.
Buggs has had roles at HSBC, Wells Fargo, Citi, and most recently, at Nationstar Mortgage where she served as Vice President of Bankruptcy Operations. “Our firm has consistently led the industry when it comes to innovations on the bankruptcy side. We’ve built a national practice and a customized client services program called P3, or Preferred Padgett Partners, where our clients get white-glove service and turnaround time lines that are simply unmatched by competitors. Kawanna is the best person in the industry to step into a program and practice like that and take it to the next level,” said Evan Singer, Esq., Bankruptcy Supervising Attorney with Padgett Law Group.
Buggs will be based out of the firm’s Tampa, FL office. She can be reached at KBuggs@padgettlaw.net.
On Friday, July 14, 2017, the 1st DCA in Forero v. Green Tree Servicing, LLC, Case No. 1D16-2151 (1st DCA July 14, 2017) affirmed that the continuing nature of the default serves to make each foreclosure its own, distinct action, even though the initial date of default was the same as in prior foreclosure actions. Borrower’s appeal raised two main issues: 1) the foreclosure was barred as res judicata under the two dismissal rule (a 2nd voluntary dismissal of a case operates as an adjudication on the merits); and 2) the statute of limitations had expired due to the December 1, 2008 default date. This was the third foreclosure filed with the same 2008 default date and both of the prior foreclosures were voluntarily dismissed. In reaching its decision, the Court ruled, “…the foreclosure action was not rendered res judicata by the two previously dismissed foreclosure suits on the same note, and …the statute of limitations in section 95.11(2)(c), Florida Statutes, did not bar the action due to the inclusion within the allegations of at least some defaulted installment payments within five years of the date the complaint was filed.”
The Court followed the recent rulings in the Desylvester and Bollettieri cases from the 2nd DCA and Supreme Court cases Singleton and Bartram which address the “installment nature” of mortgages and joined the 2nd , 4th and 5th DCAs in confirming that allegations in the complaint of the continuing state of default satisfies the statute of limitations. The Padgett Law Group, through attorney Michael Ruff, represented the servicer in this case, which is a monumental victory that positively impacts Florida law on statute of limitations for lenders and servicers. Click the "read more" link below for the full decision.
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