Author Archive

New Jersey Order to the Bar…foreclosure attorneys must certify that they have talked to an employee of the lender who has personal knowledge of the loan!

12.22.10 NJ BAR ORDER

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Analysis of Katherine Porters’ Congressional Testimony

The following link is to a blog I have published on my website, analyzing the recent congressional testimony of Katherine Porters, mostly as it relates to homeowners and also somewhat to investors.
Katherine Porters Testimony Analysis

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Two Articles from St. Louis Beacon Feature Attorney Rusty Reinoehl

The following are links to two articles recently published in the St. Louis Beacon regarding the foreclosure crisis, and how it may effect homeowners. The articles contain a lot of information regarding the home loan modification process and what homeowners need to do to be successful in obtaining a modification, or what their options are if they are unable to get a modification.

Untangling the Foreclosure Mess
Foreclosure Moratorium Story

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Homeowner who was foreclosed on after never missing a single payment…how can that happen?

I met with a new client yesterday, who for the time being must remain nameless as I do not want to compromise his potential case. However, I wanted to alert readers and visitors to this site as to exactly how bad the foreclosure crisis has become. In my opinion, the banks greed and inefficiency have caused this entire crisis, and this just confirms my thoughts.

This client went through a divorce back in the summer of 2009. While the divorce was proceeding, he visited a NACA seminar here in St. Louis where he was told that he would qualify for a modification under the Federal Guidelines set forth in the Making Homes Affordable program. He signed up with the NACA program to seek a modification on his mortgage with CitiMortgage. Note that he never missed a single regular mortgage payment prior to this point.

After several months of waiting and waiting to hear something, he took the modification process into his own hands and made a call directly to Citi on his own behalf. He was sick of waiting for NACA to do what they said they were doing, but which was getting no results. After the first call, amazingly he received a trial modification offer reducing his payments from nearly $1,000 per month to $700. This was October, 2009. He had still not missed a single payment.

He was told that this trial period would last for 3 months. After making the payment for 4 months without hearing anything, he made another call to Citi to ask how much longer he would need to make the trial payments in order to receive a permanent modification. Citi responded by informing him that he did not qualify for the HAMP program. Why he was given a trial payment under HAMP, but yet did not qualify is a mystery.

Citi then told him that he would qualify for their own, in house, modification program. So once again he was put on a trial payment plan, another 3 months, but this time at $689 a month. This takes us to June/July of this year. At the beginning of June, this client makes his modified payment of $689 to Citi, the 4th one once again when he was told 3 months. He then leaves for a church mission trip to Africa where he is gone for a few weeks. He returns to his home to find numerous letters telling him that his home is now in foreclosure, despite having never missed a single payment and making 8 months of “trial payments” under the modifications he was offered by Citi.

When he calls Citi they inform him that he is over $6,000 in arrears on his mortgage, he explains to them that he was given trial modifications and that he has made them all. Citi then tells him that his trial modification payments have not been going to his mortgage amount, and now that he has been determined to not qualify, he is $6,000 behind and will need to make that amount up if he wants to avoid foreclosure. Despite being told this, he makes his July payment which Citi ACCEPTS, even though they are foreclosing on the home!

He makes his August and September payments, even knowing that his home is scheduled for foreclosure sale on September 7, 2010, but they are sent back to him by Citi. On September 7, the home was foreclosed at a Trustee’s Sale as scheduled.

A month later, he was served with an Unlawful Detainer action. This is an action for eviction filed by whoever purchased the home at the foreclosure sale, in this case, Fannie Mae. Shortly after being served with the Summons to appear by the Sheriff, in fact, on the same day, he receives in the mail a Motion to Voluntarily Dismiss the Unlawful Detainer without prejudice. The lender had just all of a sudden decided to dismiss, but he did not know why.

A short time later, he was again served, this time with a Petition to Rescind the sale of the home. This is when he called me and setup an appointment. In reading over the Petition, it is true, the bank is attempting to rescind the sale. However, in the petition, it clearly states that this man has “defaulted” on and “failed to pay” his loan. This is simply untrue, this man never missed a single payment, he did not default or fail to pay! Furthermore, it states that the foreclosure sale was based on “mutual mistake”…this means that this guy and the bank both made a mistake. How can that be true? I am quite certain that my client did not mistakenly sell his own home at a foreclosure sale! He made no mistakes, other than to trust his bank when they told him they were giving him a modification, the same mistake that thousands of people make every single day across the country.

I am beginning to see more and more of these types of stories and cases. Cases where the client did absolutely nothing but trust the bank to do the right thing, and time and time again the banks fail to do that. People are losing their homes when they never miss a single payment, simply because they thought their bank knew what was going on. But at this point it is obvious, the banks have no IDEA what is going on. They are hugely inefficient, and one department never has any idea what the other department is doing, thinking or planning. Clients are being told one thing one day and the exact opposite the next. And it is causing them to lose their homes by the thousands, oftentimes when they do not do anything wrong at all. Even when the banks admit that they did something wrong, they still fail to admit any fault, blaming it on a “mutual mistake” and a “default” which never occurred.

This is the most clear cut case of wrongful foreclosure, violations of the FDCPA and other causes of action I have seen against a lender to date. But I am willing to bet there will be many, many more in the coming months.

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Bank of America to Restart Foreclosures in Judicial States

Bank of America issued a statement today that it will begin foreclosure proceedings again starting next week in the 23 judicial foreclosure states. The bank will not yet begin foreclosures in the 27 non-judicial foreclosure states. This means that Illinois residents will once again be facing foreclosures by Bank of America if they have defaulted on their home loans, but Missouri residents are safe for the time being. Click below for a link to the full story.
MSNBC Article

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Fox 2 News Interview tonight at 10pm

I will be appearing in an interview that I did with Charles Jaco for Fox 2 News tonight at 10pm. We discussed the differences between foreclosures in Illinois and Missouri, and exactly how they would affect one St. Louis County homeowner’s foreclosure process. I will update with a link when it is posted.
Fox 2 News Story

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KTRS AM550 at 11:15am

I will be appearing on KTRS AM 550 at 11:15am for anyone in the St. Louis area. The interview will focus on the recent developments in lenders halting foreclosures, the differences between the foreclosure process in Missouri and Illinois, and more.

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