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WASHINGTON – A Detroit-area law firm that represents mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in foreclosure and eviction cases contributed $200,000 to a super PAC supporting Republican Mitt Romney for president.
With 96 attorneys, the Farmington Hills firm is one of two law firms in Michigan authorized by both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored mortgage underwriters, to represent mortgage servicers foreclosing on government-backed mortgages.
"David Trott, either through Trott & Trott or individually, has a complete monopoly on everything that goes on post-foreclosure on someone's home," said Steve Dibert of MFI-Miami, who works as a mortgage investigator for homeowners in foreclosure. Trott owns Attorneys Title, which researches and files deeds, the Detroit Legal News, which publishes the legally required foreclosure notices, and Trott Recovery Services, which manages abandoned properties for banks. "At each step of the way, there's a cha-ching that can be heard at Trott & Trott headquarters," said Oakland County, Mich., Treasurer Andy Meisner, a Democrat. "Not only are they making money hand over fist at people's misfortune, but it's more than that. Now they're taking a leading role in electing politicians that will see things their way."
Two Michigan counties — Oakland and Ingham — are suing Fannie and Freddie, accusing them of evading property transfer taxes by falsely claiming to be government agencies. Ingham Register of Deeds Curtis Hertel Jr., a Democrat, has named Trott & Trott as a defendant in his lawsuit, claiming the firm went beyond simply representing mortgage companies and instead played an active role in creating the financial arrangements. Trott has a history of supporting Republicans: Sen. John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign in Michigan was run out of the firm's office building. Trott donated $30,800 to the Republican National Committee last year.