Wells Fargo Dumps Foreclosure King

Flickr/<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/2960675738/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Woodley Wonder Works</a>

The bleeding just won’t stop for David J. Stern, the South Florida foreclosure baron and attorney who built an empire within the foreclosure industry, only to see it crumble. The subject of an eight-month investigation by Mother Jones published in August, Stern and his companies learned this past week that Wells Fargo was the latest bank cutting ties with Florida’s foreclosure king, who handled thousands of foreclosures for the bank. Wells said it will instead send cases to other Florida foreclosure firms, the Palm Beach Post reported.

Wells Fargo’s dumping of Stern comes a week after the twin government housing corporations, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, severed ties with Stern’s firm and went so far as to seize documents from inside the firm. The two housing giants, who until recently counted Stern among their go-to law firms in Florida, previously ranked among the attorney’s top clients; so tight were Stern, Fannie, and Freddie that he called them his “babies,” according to a former employee of Stern’s. In addition to Wells, Fannie, and Freddie, Wall Street heavyweights Citigroup and GMAC have stopped doing business with Stern, who’s also under investigation by the Florida attorney general’s economic crimes division.

The fallout for Stern has been massive. He himself wrote in a letter to terminated employees that he’s lost more than 90 percent of new business in the past six months. In the same letter, he wrote that 70 percent of employees will be laid off due to the company’s downturn; so far, more than 400 employees have lost their jobs within Stern’s operation. Meanwhile, his publicly traded real estate processing company, DJSP Enterprises, has seen its stock plummet, from $6 in June to $0.71 on Friday.


as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot. That's what Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein tackles in her annual December column—"Billionaires Are Not the Answer"—about the state of journalism and our plans for the year ahead.

We can't afford to let independent reporting depend on the goodwill of the superrich: Please help Mother Jones build an alternative to oligarchy that is funded by and answerable to its readers. Please join us with a tax-deductible, year-end donation so we can keep going after the big stories without fear, favor, or false equivalency.


as we head into 2020 is whether politics and media will be a billionaires’ game, or a playing field where the rest of us have a shot.

Please read our annual column about the state of journalism and Mother Jones' plans for the year ahead, and help us build an alternative to oligarchy by supporting our people-powered journalism with a year-end gift today.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.