LEE COUNTY, Fla. - An Estero woman is battling both the banks and the courts as she fights to save her home from foreclosure.
Linda Bassett started collecting evidence after foreclosure papers were filed on her Estero home in December of 2009.
She says a faulty paper trail makes it unclear which bank holds her loan. It's the same issue that led several major banks to temporarily halt foreclosure filings last year.
"They probably didn't have standing to foreclose on this loan to begin with," Bassett said. "I have proof the promissary note they're using to foreclose is counterfeit."
But seeking help only led to phony loan modifcations and dead ends.
"They blew me off because I was in foreclosure and I was a deadbeat who didn't pay my bills. So I must be making this up just to get out of losing my home," Bassett said.
It's been a difficult fight: illness has left her living off small disability payments; while researching her case has dominated so much time, her home jewelry design work has sat untouched.
Saving her home meant arguing on her own in front of a judge on Monday.
"I found out today that my case was the 185th trial out of 203 trials set just for today," Bassett said.
Her case became part of the "rocket docket." Lee County started the system more than two years ago, as a way to quickly push through foreclosure cases that were clogging the legal system. The program began long before the paperwork problems in the foreclosure process became widely known.
Bassett feels the sped-up process doesn't give homeowners a real chance to make their case.
"I saw people come in there, and within seconds, their homes were gone."
Bassett's fight didn't end in an instant. After her story was featured in the News-Press over the weekend, she received offers of legal help. A judge gave her 10 days to decide whether to hire counsel. If so, her case will return to court on March 22.