Chip Parker is the managing partner of Parker & DuFresne, P.A., where he represents Northeast Florida businesses and consumers facing bankruptcy, and homeowners facing foreclosure. His firm files more homeowners in the Mortgage Modification Mediation Program than any other law firm in Northeast Florida.

Parker is the recipient of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid's prestigious Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service. Mr. Parker is an active member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and National Association of Consumer Advocates.

 

Author: Chip Parker, Esq.

25 Jan 300 California law firms investigated for mortgage modification scams

As a Florida foreclosure defense attorney who personally meets with 25 new distressed homeowners every week, I am often the second lawyer consulted about the foreclosure. The first lawyer is usually a California lawyer promising a mortgage modification, and the outcome is always the same: My clients complain that they got absolutely nothing for their money – often thousands of dollars are lost. California has had it rough. It has skyrocketing unemployment and is the home of the Option ARM foreclosure wave. In this climate, it is no wonder that California boasts the largest number of lawyers committing fraud on the Middle Class through the operation of illegitimate mortgage modification scams. In a recent article by Fresno Bee reporter Barbara Anderson, The California Bar Association is fielding an alarmingly high number of complaints from clients who say their lawyers illegally withheld settlement money or charged them for work they didn't do — especially those who promised help modifying mortgages.
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30 Dec Does Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac own my loan?

As a Florida foreclosure defense attorney, one thing I’ve learned is that mortgage servicers don’t want homeowners to know who owns their loan. In about half of all foreclosure complaints I see, the servicer is the plaintiff, and the identity of the owner is not revealed in the pleadings. Generally speaking there are 4 owners of mortgage notes: the originator (the rarest of cases), a securitized trust (known as a REMIC), Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) or Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation). If your foreclosure complaint is filed by an entity other than the exact originator named in the mortgage note (the note should be attached to the complaint), you need to determine whether the plaintiff is the servicer or the alleged purchaser of your home loan. If the plaintiff is the entity who normally accepts your payment, such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citi, Chase, etcetera, you can bet it is not the owner. The plaintiff may admit as much in the pleading, with a statement like, “Plaintiff, as the servicer for the owner, has the right to foreclose on behalf of the owner and holder of the note and mortgage.”
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28 Dec What is a judge’s role in a foreclosure case?

As a lawyer with 500 actively defended foreclosure cases throughout the state of Florida, I have argued nearly every conceivable foreclosure issue before dozens of Florida judges. Clients often ask me, and I often ask judges, “What is the role of a judge in foreclosure cases?” Don’t get me wrong. I know the answer, but over the years leading up to the foreclosure crisis, many judges sort of forgot why they were there. The role of a judge in the judicial process is to impartially enforce the rule of law, which is sometimes easier said than done. Judges don’t want their dockets overloaded with contested foreclosure cases, and at the current rate of 11,000 foreclosures per month in the State of Florida, the bogging down of the judicial system is a real concern. Prior to 2007, foreclosure mills and state court judges have allowed the rule of law to fall by the wayside. However, though efforts by foreclosure defense attorneys like April Charney, judges have been force-fed reminders that fundamental principles of law matter more than crowded dockets. I can honestly say I have seen most of them rethink the way they handle foreclosure cases over the last three years.
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23 Dec Chapter 11 bankruptcy can provide emotional stability

Sadly, a longtime Jacksonville Beaches developer took his own life on December 22nd at least partly because of his deteriorating financial condition. As a bankruptcy lawyer, I am always particularly disturbed by stories like this because I believe I may have given some hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. According to a St. Johns County Sheriff's Office report, the man was depressed recently about his financial situation. As the old saying goes, The bigger you are, the harder you fall, and in our current economic morass, the biggest are falling the hardest. I have personally met with dozens of successful entrepreneurs who have lost nearly everything they've worked for. It's one thing to lose your job, but it is something completely different to lose your business.
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