A three-judge appellate panel has reinstituted foreclosure proceedings against a Miami couple who created a fake promissory note and convinced a trial judge to discharge their entire mortgage debt.

Carlos and Marianne Hernandez created and recorded a "new unilateral promissory note," last year with the help of their lawyer. The new note listed their lender, the former Washington Mutual Inc., as the borrower and the couple as the lender, according to a June 22 opinion by 3rd District Court of Appeals Judge Angel A. Cortinas.

The couple convinced former Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Peter Adrien that they had paid the entire $328,000 in principal, interest and fees on their mortgage.

Last year, the judge granted the couple's motion to vacate a May 2009 judgment against them, cancelled a foreclosure sale and dismissed their case with prejudice.

Lawyers for JP Morgan Chase & Co., which acquired Washington Mutual in 2008, did not attend the hearing because they did not receive a copy of the motion to vacate, according to the appeals court ruling.

The appeals court referred the couple's attorney Paul B. Woods to the state bar for "potentially unethical conduct."