LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas Realtor Michael Bondi's almost 10-year battle against Nationstar Mortgage and Bank of America won't go class action, the Florida attorney who joined Bondi's legal team earlier this month said during a recent interview.
"Since the pleadings were closed well before I got into the case, there is no possibility of turning this specific case into a class action," Maury Udell of Beighley, Myrick & Udell in Miami said during a Florida Record interview. "That does not mean that the facts alleged wouldn’t necessarily support one. It's just a timing issue in this case."
Udell has joined Bondi's legal team, which already includes Las Vegas attorney Rebecca A. Fuller of The Fuller Law Practice, to represent Bondi against the two bank and mortgage lenders, according to an announcement issued July 7.
Bondi is suing Nationstar and Bank of American in Nevada District Court over allegations of fraud and that the two financial giants violated federal credit and debit collections practices. The case, Bondi v. Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. et al, claims a foreclosure loan with a zero balance was improperly sold, leading to collection attempts on a nonexistent debt. Bondi, a well-known realtor in Las Vegas who specializes in short sales and foreclosures, claims the improper sale led to charge offs and other derogatory entries on his credit rating and caused a wide variety of other profession problems.
Bondi is seeking $1 million plus legal fees. He describes many of his allegations on a website set up to follow his case and via Twitter at #shutdownbofa.
Udell, a partner in Beighley, Myrick & Udell's Civil Litigation Practice Group who has practiced in South Florida since 1997, is no stranger to the two defendants in the Bondi case. Udell has represented plaintiffs in federal court against both Nationstar and Bank of America, including Alhassid v. Bank of America, presently before the U.S. District Court in Florida's Southern District.
"I think Michael chose me based on my results against Nationstar and Bank of America and my familiarity with their business practice," Udell said.
Social media played a part in bringing Bondi and Udell together.
"Maury and I met last year on my Twitter feed @shutdownbofa," Bondi said in an email to the Florida Record. "Maury became one of my followers in my ongoing legal battle with Bank of America. Maury took an interest in my case and we began to chat online and on the phone. I decided to research Maury online and I found nothing but positive comments about him and his practice. I was impressed with his education, legal background and his standing in the community. Since Maury has come aboard to help me fight my case against Bank of America and Nationstar Mortgage LLC I feel that our case is moving forward now and I cannot wait to see him in court going after these companies that have damaged me for almost 10 years now."
Udell's addition to Bondi's team comes at a critical point in what is widely viewed as David versus Goliath litigation against two of the largest bank and mortgage lenders in the U.S. Judge Lloyd D. George is considering a motion for summary judgment filed by Nationstar in the case. Attorneys for the mortgage lender have until the end of this month to file supports for that motion, with George's decision on the motion expected after that.
Udell said he's gotten right to work as part of Bondi's team.
"With respect to this case, my client and I look forward to trying this matter before a jury to show them and the world the type improper business practices these companies committed and based on Mike’s feedback from his website, continue to commit," he said.
Udell, formerly with Marlow, Connell, Valerius in Coral Gables, concentrates is South Florida practice in insurance, construction and commercial litigation. He is a member of the Florida Bar Grievance Committee for the 11th Judicial Circuit's and is AV Rated. He is graduated from the University of Miami School of Law in 1997, having earned his B.A. at Vanderbilt University in 1993. His wife is Judge Bronwyn C. Miller, who sits on the Dade County Circuit Court.
Young, up-and-coming attorneys need to pay attention to the rules of their profession, Udell said.
"My advice to young lawyers is read the rules and then read them again," he said. "You’d be shocked at how many lawyers don’t know the rules, which is a disservice to their clients. Also, read every scrap of paper you get in a case because you never know what arguments you can make that are hidden in the reams of paper that get dumped by these big companies."