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Written by
Noel Cookman


Published On 
October 5, 2023

I am tracking the various idiocies of one Judge Jesus Nevarez, II in Tarrant County. Yet, while dealing with a set of orders from the 231st that make no sense in the mortgage lending world (aka, the real world of loan-getting), some of which are wholly inappropriate (not to mention potentially a violation of federal law), I hear of more and more stories from other courts that are committing the same ridiculous mistakes.

This is not a mere exercise in complaining or fault-finding. It is highly instructive regarding no less than 10 important facts about real estate and finance. I offered to instruct the judge and my customer’s attorney, Elizabeth Rivera, but they would have none of it. By extension, I would have been happy to instruct the other attorney, James Masek, but I had no direct contact with him.

Here's Idiocy #4 –

That a court can legally prohibit a party from doing business with any company, person or firm they so wish (provided the prohibited company, person or firm has done nothing illegal); and, that a court can force a litigant to use a particular mortgage lender.

This is a two-sided idiocy – that a court can require the use of one vendor (business) and/or prohibit the use of another.

In the August 3, 2023 hearing (Cause No. 231-715459-22, 231st Judicial District, Tarrant County, Texas), Judge Nevarez issued a verbal order (which was never converted to writing and shared with the relevant parties who were the subject of the order) that included a prohibition upon Denisse Rodriguez from doing business or seeking a mortgage loan from me. The prohibition was paired with an order for Denisse Rodriguez to use ONLY Joseph Soto, a mortgage loan officer in the local area.

Besides the incompetence of this other mortgage loan officer, this order is problematic on multiple levels.

Most importantly, it is a violation of the freedom that people have to do lawful business as they please. This ethos underlies one of the major tenets that govern banking and mortgage lending in the U.S. – equal access to credit.

Speaking of which, such an order violates multiple federal laws including the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and the Fair Housing Act. Although these laws mostly circumscribe lenders’ practices, the prohibitions extend to government agencies which may not discriminate when people attempt to obtain mortgage loans.  Nevertheless, the massive volume of mortgage regulations makes it clear that everyone must have access to apply for credit as they freely choose.

Nowhere that I am aware of does the law provide that family court judges can award contracts or business to favored persons or companies. Neither can they prohibit a person or company from providing services to parties/litigants in a divorce.

But, why would a judge and a complicit attorney need such a law or some set of guidelines to make them avoid this conduct?

Let me cut to the chase. No judge has that authority. They may seem to possess these powers but only because they are not challenged. Meanwhile, the people under their thumb, quiver and quake and submit, fearing reprisal and loss if they do not obey.

This is a good place to tell you, dear family law attorney, that I would like for you to connect me with any and all of your clients who may need mortgage financing for purchasing homes or refinancing their marital residences in order to remove the ex-spouse from liability and maybe to “roll in” a buy-out of spouse’s interest.

But I never want you to pressure your clients or insist that they use me or to specifically forbid them from using someone else.

I don’t need it.

  • First of all, I don’t want to get business that way.
  • Secondly, I don’t want to take advantage of such inordinate and unseemly pressure upon vulnerable people.
  • Thirdly, it will always have the appearance of impropriety. Such impropriety or the appearance thereof is expressly forbidden in the Judicial Code of Conduct. (See below).

I have a sacred duty to tell divorcing folks everywhere – especially in the counties where I see such nonsense - that they are not bound by these illegal and wholly inappropriate orders. I do hope that good attorneys will prepare themselves to defend against these unlawful intrusions into the freedom of individuals to conduct business as they choose.

Lawyers – don’t let judges get away with this criminality and corruption. These are evil people who are stripping the citizens of your state of their homesteads, wasting away the hard-earned equity in their homes.

As you will see in later articles, these judges are – out of sheer ignorance and (sometimes) malice – putting people into the wrong types of loans, often loans for which they do not qualify and which loan denial causes them to lose their homes. Sound crazy? It's true. I will show you in Idiocy #7.

Personally, I am telling more and more people – especially in Tarrant County, Texas – of the wanton disregard for the estates of divorcing homeowners by these uninformed, willfully ignorant judges. 2Jesus Nevarez, II may be one of the more dishonest and unseemly but he is certainly not alone in his ignorance about the many laws and guidelines that affect home loans. I certainly hope he represents a minority. We’ll see. I’ll let you know how many judges attend my upcoming CLE-accredited webinars. Ha.

Partitioning a property is one thing. Requiring that a litigant use the services of a particular financing company and especially prohibiting a litigant from using the services of a particular financing company is an entirely different matter. Especially if there is no finding of fault.

The Judicial Code of Conduct provides that a judge should avoid impropriety and even the appearance of impropriety in all activities. This nonsense of commanding litigants to use the services of one provider and prohibiting them from using the services of another provider – especially when there is no finding of fault – is the stuff of 1930’s Chicago-style mafia legend. Only, those corrupt judges had better sense than to speak their judgments aloud. The most common reason for Jesus Nevarez forcing litigants to use the services of a favored loan officer – he’s “in on the take.” By advancing the appearance of impropriety, it is now incumbent upon Nevarez and Soto to prove to the public that there is no “tit for tat,” no backroom deals. Sorry guys – but when you act like a mafia-style cabal, you should understand that folks have every right to assume that you’re a mafia-style cabal.

There is no good reason why we as professionals cannot do things right. It will require diligence to educate ourselves, resolve to do the right thing and courage to tell the truth.

Noel Cookman < click and send me an email

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