Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Nationwide Title drops libel suit against lawyer

A Tampa Bay company at the center of the nation's "robo-signing" controversy has dropped its lawsuit against a St. Petersburg attorney who claimed it improperly or illegally prepared foreclosure documents.

Nationwide Title Clearing dismissed the case Tuesday, a few days after Matthew Weidner apologized on his popular blog and deleted comments that the Palm Harbor company had called false and libelous.

Nationwide Title does not prepare foreclosure documents. Many banks, however, have authorized Nationwide employees to sign for them on assignments of mortgage, which are key in determining who has the legal right to foreclose.

"I regret and retract any statement that implies that NTC has falsified any documents or that NTC is involved in foreclosures," Weidner wrote on his blog. "I apologize to NTC and its employees for any harm caused by my posts."

Without adding any comment of its own, Nationwide Title posted Weidner's entire apology and retraction on its own blog,

Barbara Petersen, president of the Florida First Amendment Foundation, said proceeding with a lawsuit would have enabled Weidner and his legal team to request documents from Nationwide Title.

"I'd think they'd be very worried about discovery because basically it would open up all of their records," she said of the company.

Nationwide Title drew national attention in November when another attorney, Christopher Forrest of Sarasota, posted on YouTube videotaped depositions of three Nationwide employees describing the assembly-line process in which they sign hundreds of documents at a time, usually without reading them.

A judge ordered Forrest to remove the videos, taken as part of a foreclosure case, but other people have reposted them.

Critics say "robo-signing" has made a mockery of the legal system, and several major lenders temporarily halted foreclosures this fall because of concerns over errors and fraud in documents.

Nationwide Title drops libel suit against lawyer 01/19/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 10:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. JFK's last birthday: Gifts, champagne and wandering hands on the presidential yacht


    It has been 100 years since John F. Kennedy's birth on May 29, 1917, at his parents' home in Brookline, Mass., just outside Boston. Over the course of his life, Kennedy enjoyed lavish birthday celebrations, the most famous being a Democratic fundraising bash at Madison Square Garden on May 19, 1962, when a sequined …

    President John F. Kennedy aboard the Sequoia in 1963 opening birthday presents. [Robert Knudsen | John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum]
  2. 1 in 4 Florida adults aren't registered to vote, according to non-partisan group


    TALLAHASSEE — Five million people in Florida who are eligible to vote aren't registered, according to a nationwide non-partisan group that helps improve the accuracy of state voter rolls.

    Voters line up in front of the Coliseum Ballroom in St. Petersburg on Nov. 8. A non-partisan group estimates that more than a quarter of Florida's adult-age population isn't registered to vote. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Rays morning after: A lot that went into a marathon win


    Rays manager Kevin Cash had a simple strategy when Fox Sports Sun's Alex Corddry asked him how the team would move on from Sunday's marathon win and get ready to face the Rangers tonight in Texas:

    Kevin Kiermaier of the Rays celebrates as teammate Michael Martinez slides safely into home plate to score a run against the Minnesota Twins during the 14th inning.
  4. Navy parachutist dies during demonstration over Hudson River


    JERSEY CITY, N.J. — In the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, a Navy Seal team member fell to his death Sunday after his parachute failed to open during a Fleet Week demonstration over the Hudson River.

    Officials surround a U.S. Navy Seal's parachute that landed in a parking lot after the parachutist fell into the Hudson River when his parachute failed to open during a Fleet Week demonstration over the river in Jersey City, N.J. The Navy said the parachutist was pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center. [Joe Shine | Jersey Journal via AP]
  5. As White House defends Jared Kushner, experts question his alleged back-channel move


    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration argued over the weekend that back-channel communications are acceptable in building dialogue with foreign governments, part of an effort to minimize fallout over White House adviser Jared Kushner's reported discussion about creating a secret conduit to the Kremlin at a Russian …

    President-elect Donald Trump embraces son in law Jared Kushner, as his daughter Ivanka Trump stands nearby, after his acceptance speech at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of Nov. 9. [Mark Wilson | Getty Images]