Foreclosure Defense

28 Nov Tiny Percentage Getting Help Through Modification Program

Folks, the question was "Who Are The 100,000 Homeowners Receiving BOA Mortgage Modifications"? The question at the end of the blog was "where are they?". It turns out that perhaps the mainstream media is beginning to catch on to what consumer attorneys already knew: Perhaps they don't exist. Only a tiny percentage of mortgage modifications attempts turn into reality according to Tami Luhby, a CNNmoney.com senior writer, in a November 28, 2009,articleentitled "Obama Mortgage Rescue: Only A Few Get Lasting Help."
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28 Nov Daily Interest Mortgage Loans Are Dangerous

Most mortgages accrue interest monthly, with an added late charge if, well, if you're late with the payment. On rare occasion the worst of the lenders sneak in a daily interest loan which accrues interest, mmm, daily. No late charge needed; the interest just keeps growing. Consider this. You missed the January payment. (It's November as I write this). With the usual mortgage, you'd be behind one payment plus the late charge. With a daily interest mortgage, you're behind the the principal portion of that January payment plus ten months of extrainterest on the entire principal of the loan. Ouch! Now, let's consider Chapter 13. It's commonly used to cure a mortgage arrears. With the regular mortgage and the above facts, you'd pay the one missed payment and the late charge in equal monthly payments over the duration of your Chapter 13 plan. A daily interest mortgage loan in a 36 month Chapter 13 will have you paying the principal portion of the missed payment plus 36 months of extra interest on the entire principal of the loan. Double-ouch!! You may never be able to pay off the arrears.
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26 Nov New Defenses to Foreclosure in Connecticut?

A Connecticut Superior Court Judge recently decided that mortgage company can be made to answer for the sins of the original lender in a foreclosure action. Consumers now have a new tool in their fight against mortgage lender fraud.

Defenses to foreclosure actions in Connecticut traditionally have been severely limited. You had to allege payment, release of the mortgage, or an invalid lien. If there were any other claims, those defenses could not be presented in the foreclosure action, but instead needed to be litigated in a separate action against the original lender or not at all.

When the sale or assignment of mortgages became commonplace, the opportunity to present any defense to a foreclosure action in Connecticut became nearly non-existent. Not so in other states.

You could not hold anyone responsible for the fraud or misbehavior of the original lender in making the loan.

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22 Nov Parker & DuFresne’s Secret Weapon

As reported recently in the Jacksonville Business Journal, Florida mortgage delinquencies hit 25%, and as a Jacksonville foreclosure defense lawyer, my firm is keeping up with the caseload by focusing on efficient case management. As a matter of fact, I would bet our firm boasts a foreclosure defense team matched by only a few firms in the entire state. Currently, Parker & DuFresne, P.A. is actively defending more than 450 foreclosure cases throughout Florida, and each one is a uniquely complex piece of litigation. To handle this enormous caseload, we have three lawyers and five litigation assistants assigned exclusively to our foreclosure defense litigation model. While this staff sets us apart from many firms, another member of our team makes us truly unique. My nephew, Brian Boucher (no, not the NHL goalie), started college at the age of 12 and graduated from Jacksonville University at the age of 16. Now, at the age of 22, he boasts a Masters in Mathematics from the University of Florida. Brian came aboard to redesign our case management and work flow process. He’s been dubbed our Process Management Specialist, but I’m not sure he cares for the initials.
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31 Oct Modification of a Home Loan: A Case Study.

Modification of a Home Loan: A Case Study
Last February I wrote a post about a retired woman’s struggle to keep her house, and how the mortgage company refused to grant a modification. Actually, they never refused, but were so darn incompetent in processing the papers and making any determination that the foreclosure marched on, and I had to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop it.
Well, I filed the bankruptcy and an adversary complaint to attack the loan. But, that didn’t solve the problem. Basically, the loan on this lady’s home called for monthly payments that were more than she could possibly afford. When you are living on social security of $1200 a month and the mortgage payment is $818 a month; the budget just won’t work.
In our district (the Eastern District of California), if you are behind on your mortgage when you file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, those payments must be made through the plan. So, in this case, she was obligated to make the monthly mortgage payments through the plan.
The plan I filed called for minimal mortgage payments, and was objected to for failing to adequately pay the on-going mortgage. The trustee gave me about six months to sort this out, but my continuing efforts to get the mortgage modified failed, and the adversary didn’t help much. (It did start a dialogue, but the attorney couldn’t stop the mortgage company from pushing for full payments while we negotiated or litigated the complaint.)
The judge, reluctantly, dismissed the chapter 13 case for failure to confirm a workable plan.
The foreclosure went back on calendar, and I picked up my efforts to help get a modification. Well, the loan company appeared to be working with me, and they got the foreclosure put off for a month. During that month, I submitted a new set of papers (they had lost all five of the previous sets), and called every two days to see how the process was coming along.
The foreclosure sale is set for Monday, November 3, and as of October 29th, the modification branch of the loan company has promised to have an answer in 30 to 60 days! And they told me that neither they nor their attorney can stop the foreclosure sale.
So, I can file another chapter 13 on Monday morning to stop the sale, and hope that the modification comes through before I get thrown out of court again.
In this case, however, my client has given up. Although she loves the home she has lived in for years, the stress of this process has worn her down. Since I can’t promise that she’ll get the modification, or that it will be something she can afford, she’s decided to walk away.
After the foreclosure sale, I’ll be able to get her at least thirty days to move, and that’s what she’ll have to do. The mortgage company will get this lady’s home, a house they won’t be able to sell in today’s market for anything close to the amount of the mortgage or the costs of the foreclosure and sale. But they won: they will get the house back.
Last February I wrote a post about a retired woman’s struggle to keep her house, and how the mortgage company refused to grant a modification. Actually, they never refused, but were so darn incompetent in processing the papers and making any determination that the foreclosure marched on, and I had to file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop it. Well, I filed the bankruptcy and an adversary complaint to attack the loan. But, that didn’t solve the problem. Basically, the loan on this lady’s home called for monthly payments that were more than she could possibly afford. When you are living on social security of $1200 a month and the mortgage payment is $818 a month; the budget just won’t work.
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