Tuesday, February 23, 2010


By Nicholas M. Moccia
Law Offices of Robert E. Brown, P.C.

Justice Philip Minardo, Chief Administrative Judge of the Richmond County Supreme Court, is reputed for his no-nonsense demeanor on the bench. Justice Minardo rejected the FDIC’s intrusive attempt to intervene in a state court foreclosure matter.  Justice Minardo denied the FDIC’s motion to intervene on February 18, 2009, in JPMORGAN CHASE BANK vs. JAMES D. NELL, Index Number 131166/2009.  Robert E. Brown, Esq., the attorney of defendant James Nell, adeptly revealed to Justice Minardo the hidden purpose underlying FDIC’s unusual request to intervene in a matter of otherwise local concern.  Mr. Brown observes that “Justice Minardo has clearly demonstrated that he is aware of the concerns of Staten Islanders when it comes to foreclosures.  There can be no doubt that the local courts are better positioned to resolve Staten Island foreclosures in a way that is sensitive to local concerns rather than some distant bureaucracy in Washington, D.C.”
In an earlier post I described how the FDIC adopted an aggressive new policy to become increasingly active in local foreclosure actions.  See: Wall Street, Main Street: New Nightmare on Main Street: FDIC Receiver Attempts to Intervene in Foreclosure Action and Scuttle Defendant Counterclaims.
Ultimately, the FDIC, by its own admission, seeks to interrupt local foreclosure actions and to remove them from the state courts for resolution in their own non-judicial administrative process in Washington D.C.   By removing foreclosures from state court, foreclosure defendants stand to be deprived of the judicial remedies and protections that the state courts and legislatures have provided homeowners—including, apparently, the right to appeal.  The FDIC writes on its own website the following about the administrative procedure it seeks to impose on foreclosure defendants:

The primary advantage is that the FDIC, in administering the assets and liabilities of a failed institution as its receiver, is not subject to court supervision, and its decisions are not reviewable except under very limited circumstances.


[FDIC] may seek to put any pending litigation to which the failed institution was a party on hold. Once a claim has been filed, the [FDIC] has 180 days to determine if the claim should be allowed. If the receiver is not satisfied that the claim has merit, the claim will be disallowed.

The foregoing text may be found in Chapter 7 of the FDIC’s “Resolution Handbook.”  The full text is available on the FDIC’s website:

In addition to losing judicial remedies and protections, FDIC intervention effectively removes any leverage foreclosure defendants may have to settle with foreclosing lenders by way of a loan modification.  The FDIC has given itself broad discretion in disposing of the claims foreclosure defendants may have against the abuses of failing and failed banks. This aggressive new policy serves as yet another example of the federal government’s increasingly high-handed disregard of the principles of federalism and separation of powers that have long protected localities from federal intrusion.
            Justice Minardo has halted the FDIC from executing this aggressive new policy in Richmond County, and Staten Islanders should applaud him for preventing this unwarranted federal intrusion—an intrusion that would deprive Staten Islanders of the protections and sensitivities that only their own local courts can provide.
            For more information about Justice Minardo click here:   Minardo Bio
            For more information about Robert E. Brown, Esq., click here:  Brown Bio

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