2010, a Terrible Year for Home Sales

Posted on February 14th by Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq.

2010 was the worst year for home sales in the United States since 1997. The National Association of Realtors stated that home sales dropped by 4.8% to 4.91 million homes sold in the year 2010. This is the smallest amount of home sales in the United States since 1997.

Foreclosures and High Unemployment Depress the Real Estate Market

The high volume of foreclosures in the United States, coupled with record-high unemployment rates, have depressed the real estate market in the United States. Many potential home purchasers are waiting to buy homes because the prices will continue to decrease. Many economists feel it will take an additional five to six years for the real estate market in the United States to reach a level of equilibrium. It is estimated that 2011 will even be a worse year for home sales in the United States due to increasing foreclosure rates. This should cause the value of homes to continue to decrease in value in 2011. Due to the foreclosure crisis in the United States, there are simply too many homes on the market and not enough prospective purchasers. In addition, it has become much more difficult to obtain mortgages for prospective homeowners.

Banks are carefully underwriting new mortgages. They are looking into the loan-to-debt ratio. They are performing more due diligence, such as to see that the mortgage applications contain correct information. The fact that mortgage rates are extremely low has not been successful in raising the level of home sales in the United States.

The current rates on fixed home-mortgages in the United States are approximately 4.74% for thirty year mortgages and approximately 4.25% for fifteen year mortgages. In November of 2010, rates reached an all time low of 4.17% for a thirty year mortgage and 3.57% for a fifteen year mortgage. The medium home price in the United States in December of 2010 fell to $168,800.00. This was down 1% from December of 2009.

Foreclosure Defense

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo handles foreclosure defense for homeowners throughout the Metropolitan New York area. We prepare mortgage modification applications. We litigate foreclosure lawsuits and keep our clients in their homes. We attend court foreclosure conferences. We deal with defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending and bad faith on behalf of financial institutions. Should you have a problem call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Bank of America Segregates Troubled Mortgage Loans From Performing Mortgage Loans

Posted by Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq.

Bank of America Segregates Troubled Mortgage Loans From Performing Mortgage LoansBank of America has 1.3 million home mortgage loans in its portfolio that are in default. To deal with these defaulted home mortgage loans, Bank of America created a new entity.  This entity is known as Legacy Asset Servicing.  The defaulted loans, from this point forward, will be serviced by Legacy Asset Servicing.  Many of these defaulted loans were acquired from Bank of America when it purchased Countrywide Financial in 2008.

Performing Mortgage Loans

Bank of America has approximately twelve-million additional home mortgages in its portfolio.  These home mortgage loans are not in default.  Bank of America will continue to service these loans directly.

Countrywide Financial and Improper Mortgage Policies

Countrywide Financial was involved in initiating numerous sub-prime mortgage loans.  Since Bank of America’s acquisition of Countrywide, they have been forced to write off billions of dollars in sub-prime mortgage loans.

Bank of America has decided to remove the non-performing loans from its portfolio for a variety of reasons, including an investigation into foreclosure practices by financial institutions that is currently underway by all fifty state attorney generals’ offices.

Bank of America Changes its Foreclosure Practices

Last year, after Bank of America was criticized by state court judges in a number of states, it established a moratorium on foreclosures.  The bank has since modified its foreclosure practices.  Bank of America has also sharply increased the number of mortgage modifications that have been approved. In the last quarter of 2010, more than 80,000 mortgage modifications were approved by Bank of America.  This is a step in the right direction.

Chase Retail Services, which is a consumer banking unit of JP Morgan Chase, has also indicated that it would separate its non-performing home-equity and mortgage loans from its performing home-equity and mortgage loans.  In January of 2009, Citibank also separated its troubled home mortgage loans from mortgage loans that were up-to-date.

Foreclosure Defense In New York

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo handles foreclosure defense cases throughout the Metropolitan New York area.  We assist our clients in mortgage modifications.  Should your home go into foreclosure, we attend foreclosure conferences, we litigate these matters and deal with defective foreclosure practices, predatory lending and bad faith proceedings by financial institutions.  We also maintain this foreclosure blog to update the general public regarding a variety of issues concerning mortgage modifications, foreclosures, mortgage modification programs that fail to serve the needs of consumers, as well as other related articles.  Should you need a consultation, fell free to contact us at 1-800-344-6431; 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.  Our phones are answered 24/7.

In 2010, One Million Homes Foreclosed and Repossessed in the United States

Posted by Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq.

2010 was the worst year in modern history with regard to homes being foreclosed on in the United States. One million American families were forced out of their homes. It is estimated that we will break this horrendous record in the year 2011 and more than a million families will be forced out of their homes due to foreclosures.

It is estimated that more than five million mortgage holders are more than two months behind in their mortgage. Unless more jobs are created by the Obama administration, it is expected that more Americans will lose their jobs in 2011. As foreclosures increase, the home values in the areas with high levels of foreclosures decrease.

2.9 million homeowners received foreclosure filing notices in 2010. This amounts to virtually one in every forty-five homeowners receiving a foreclosure notice. In December alone, more than a quarter of a million homeowners in the United States received a foreclosure notice. As incredible as this sounds, this is good news! This is the lowest amount of foreclosure notices in the past thirty months. The reduction in foreclosure notices was caused by banks reviewing their foreclosure processes after there were numerous instances where it was found that evictions and foreclosure documents were being inappropriately handled by financial institutions. There has also been lawsuits by the Attorney Generals in all fifty states that have put banks under greater scrutiny regarding their practices concerning foreclosing on homes.

Arizona was the leader in 2010 in foreclosures. One in every seventeen households in Arizona received a foreclosure notice. Florida came in second. One out of every eighteen homeowners in Florida received a foreclosure notice. Approximately fifty-percent of the foreclosure notices in the United States were in the five states of California, Illinois, Arizona, Michigan and Florida.

New York Foreclosure Problems

Suffolk County on Long Island had the highest foreclosure rate in New York State in the year 2010. Although the foreclosure rates in New York are lower than many other states, they are still extremely high by traditional standards. The foreclosure crisis in the state of New York is causing real estate values to be depressed.

Foreclosure Defense in NY

Our law firm represents New Yorkers in foreclosure defense proceedings. We litigate foreclosures on behalf of our clients in the five boroughs of the City of New York, Nassau and Suffolk Counties on Long Island, as well as Westchester County. We attend foreclosure conferences on behalf of our clients, we deal with bad faith predatory lending issues, mortgage modification problems, mortgage modification programs and defective foreclosure lawsuits. We are available 24/7 to assist our client. Feel free to call us should you need help to save your home! Our telephone numbers are 1-800-344-6431, 516-561- 6645 or 718-350-2802.

Banks Close in Florida and Arizona

Posted by Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq.

Regulatory agencies in Florida and Arizona have recently closed two banks.  These two banks are the first banks that have been closed in the year 2011.  The Federal Deposit Insurance Company was forced to take over the First Commercial Bank of Florida.  This bank was located in Orlando.  The Federal Deposit Insurance Company (FDIC) also took over the Legacy Bank located in Scottsdale Arizona.  These two banks had approximately 275 million dollars in deposits belonging to consumers in their institutions.  It is estimated that these banks will cost the FDIC approximately 110 million dollars.  It should be noted that the FDIC insures each consumer’s account up to $250,000.00. Therefore, the depositors at the aforementioned banks will not lose any money, provided they didn’t have more than $50,000.00 at these banks.

Florida Has the Biggest Banking Crisis in the United States

In 2010, twenty-nine banks in Florida failed.  Florida has had more bank failures than any other state.  California and Illinois came in second and third in the list of states with bank failures.  During the course of 2010, 157 banks failed nationwide.  This is the highest amount of banks that has failed in the United States in recent history.  In 2009, 140 banks failed in the United States.  This had been the previous record year for bank failures.

In 2009, the FDIC paid our 36 billion dollars due to bank failures.  In 2010, the FDIC paid out 21 Billion dollars due to bank failures.  The numerous bank failures have been draining the FDIC of the funds it maintains to secure accounts deposited in the banks of the United States.  It is estimated that there are almost 900 financial institutions with financial difficulties in the United States.  Thank God for the FDIC! Without this Federally backed institution, hundreds of thousands of consumers would lose their life savings.

New York Foreclosure Defense Lawyers

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo represents homeowners in New York with foreclosure problems and issues involving mortgage modifications.  Our office is adept at keeping our clients in their homes and preventing the banks from putting them on the street.  We attend foreclosure conferences for our clients.  We deal with defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending issues, mortgage modification programs that don’t work as well as bad faith issues.  If you have a problem involving a foreclosure or mortgage modification, we are the solution! Feel free to cal us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Blame the Banks, Not the Homeowners, for the Mortgage Crisis (PART 3)

Posted by Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq.

Modifications Are Superior to Foreclosures

The granting of mortgage modifications to worthy homeowners is a much better policy for the banks, the homeowners and the economy in the United States. However, the banks don’t get this! If the banks were to modify mortgages, in most situations, they would end up making more money, the homeowners would have a place for their family to live, the foreclosure volume in the United States would go down and real estate prices would start to rebound.

Foreclosures Have a Negative Impact on the Real Estate Market

The huge volume in foreclosures is having a crushing impact on the real estate market in the United States. Who is to blame for this mess? The banks and other financial institutions!!! They created the mortgage bubble by improper mortgage lending practices and they made the foreclosure crisis worse by failing to set up reasonable appropriately financed and managed mortgage modification programs. The Federal government bailed out the banks when they had financial problems. The banks were supposed to help the homeowners who were in financial trouble. They have failed miserably in this endeavor!

Foreclosure Defense and Loan Modification Lawyers

If you are involved in the above referenced foreclosure mess or have problems with mortgage modifications, we can help you. The foreclosure defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have been assisting our clients for more than twenty years. We have dozens of foreclosure defense cases pending throughout the courts in the Metropolitan New York area. We attend foreclosure conferences for our clients. We help negotiate mortgage modifications. We are familiar with the mortgage modification programs that fail. We are adept at litigating defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending and bad faith of financial institutions. Call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802. We can help you!

Blame the Banks, Not the Homeowners, for the Mortgage Crisis (PART 2)

Fraudulent Mortgage Applications

Banks were aware that the applications that had been submitted to them by individuals seeking mortgages were fraudulent.  Instead of operating an appropriate underwriting process that provided due diligence to see to it that the consumer’s requesting mortgage loans could actually make payments on these loans, the banks simply stopped underwriting the loans in any reasonable manner.  The failure of the banks to properly underwrite the loans is one of the principal reasons for the mortgage bubble in America.

Income-to-debt Ratio

The banks have been aware for decades that there is an income-to-debt ratio a perspective homeowner must meet to be able to afford to make mortgage payments.  Loan officers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents and appraisers were involved in the submission of fraudulent documents where the loan-to-debt ratio was of such a nature that the perspective homeowner could never successfully make the mortgage payments.

Servicing Companies Who Would Rather Foreclose than Modify Mortgages

The servicing companies hired by financial institutions to service mortgages were supposed to provide the consumer with a simple, reasonable mortgage modification process.  Instead, incompetent under-financed mortgage modification programs were set up.  The financial institutions continuously ask the consumers to send and resend the same documents.  The communication level between the mortgage servicing companies and the consumer is almost non-existent.  Consumers became more and more frustrated in trying to communicate with individuals at the serving companies who knew nothing about their pending mortgage applications.  Instead of appropriately processing mortgage modifications for creditworthy individuals, these individuals have been turned down for their mortgage modifications.

Twenty Years of Representing New Yorkers in Foreclosure Defense Lawsuits

Our law firm is currently handling dozens of foreclosure defense cases throughout the Metropolitan New York area.  We help our clients obtain mortgage modifications.  We prevent banks from forcing our clients out of their homes.  We attend court foreclosure conferences, litigate defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending, bad faith and other improper practices by financial institutions.

Should you need help, we are the law in the Metropolitan New York area with an extremely high success rate in our foreclosure defense cases.  Call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Blame the Banks, Not the Homeowners, for the Mortgage Crisis (PART 1)

There is a foreclosure crisis in America.  There has been a lot of discussion as to where the blame lies for this crisis.  From my point of view, the blame sits squarely with the financial institutions.

There are those who say that homeowners are responsible for the foreclosure crisis because they haven’t been paying their mortgages.  Every foreclosure starts with a bank making a mortgage loan.  Banks make money by giving mortgage loans to consumers. They make more money when they sell the loans to other banks.  The banks that buy the loans make money when they contract with servicing companies to service these loans. When the underlying loans should not have been given to the consumer because the banks knew the consumer had no potential of making the loan payments, the banks bear the responsibility when the loans go bad.

Banks Knowingly Made Millions of Bad Loans

Banks made millions of loans in the United States to potential homeowners who had no potential of making the payments on these loans.  They carelessly handled the paperwork and processing of these loans.  Then when confronted with the mortgage crisis by President Obama, they said they would set up mortgage modification programs to help the beleaguered homeowners.  Instead of setting up reasonable mortgage modification programs, the banks intentionally and incompetently set up under-financed, poorly managed programs that were doomed to fail.  These programs, if they were properly and intelligently designed, operated and maintained, could have saved hundreds of thousands of salvageable mortgage loans.

Foreclosure Help

Should you need help with a foreclosure, we are the law firm for you.  We provide foreclosure defense for our clients.  We handle mortgage modifications.  Should you be served with a Summons and Complaint (legal documents in a foreclosure), we can represent you in these proceedings and keep you in your home.  We also countersue banks for defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending and bad faith.  We attend foreclosure conferences and we litigate foreclosure proceedings on behalf of our clients. Feel free to contact us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Bank Acts in Bad Faith Regarding Mortgage Foreclosure

Posted by Elliot. S. Schlissel, Esq.

Justice Spinner, sitting in the Supreme Court in Suffolk County, recently had before him the case of U.S. Bank National Association v. Mathon. In this case, the bank had offered homeowners a three-month trial modification to their mortgage. The homeowners accepted the agreement and made the payments. The bank advised the homeowners, in writing, that a final modification would be forwarded to them in the very near future. The homeowners waited, and waited, and waited. They waited for an entire year. After a year had passed, they received notification from U.S. Bank National Association that their mortgage modification request had been turned down.

During the course of the one-year waiting period, the homeowners made ten additional mortgage payments. These payments were made on a timely basis and they were all accepted by the bank without protest. Thereafter, the bank made an application to the court to obtain a judgment in the foreclosure proceeding and sell the homeowners’ property. The homeowners brought an application by Order to Show Cause which motivated the bank to withdraw their request for a judgment of foreclosure and sale.

Hearing Held by Judge Spinner

Judge Spinner ordered a hearing regarding what had happened on this mortgage. The focus of the hearing was to look into whether the bank had acted in good faith or whether they acted in bad faith. If the bank acted in bad faith, the court was going to consider sanctions and other remedial measures against the financial institution. The court noted in its decision that the conduct of the bank in this matter was “rife with bad faith”. They had accepted twelve payments on a three-month trial modification. There had made the homeowner wait a year to find out that even making the twelve payments in good faith, they were getting turned down for their mortgage modification. There were both written and verbal assurances by the bank that the homeowners would receive a permanent loan modification.

Long Island and New York City Foreclosure Defense Lawyers

We defend homeowners whose homes are in foreclosure. We assist homeowners in obtaining mortgage modifications. We litigate bad faith procedures by financial institutions. We attend foreclosure conferences in court. We are familiar with the problems concerning mortgage modification programs that, instead of helping the homeowner, simply don’t work. We deal with predatory lending situations and defective foreclosure lawsuits. We are the New York Foreclosure Defense Law Firm that has presented innovative defenses for our clients. If your house is in foreclosure or you have financial problems related to your mortgage, call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802. We can help you save your home! Call us now!

Foreclosure Rates Dip In November 2010

November 2010 marked the lowest level of foreclosure activity in the United States in the past eighteen months! This is not an indication that the economy is coming back, or that people are earning more money and homeowners are making their mortgage payments. The significance of lower foreclosure rates is most likely caused by a number of the largest banks in the country freezing their foreclosure process due to the fact that they are being investigated by attorney generals in all fifty states. The investigations concern the improper handling of foreclosure proceedings.

In the month of November 2010, 67,428 homes were taken back by lenders. This is the lowest rate since May 2009; however, as of the end of November, 980,000 homes in the United States have been lost in foreclosure sales. This is the largest amount of homes being taken in foreclosure since 2005.

Rick Shark, a senior vice president at Realty Tarc stated “It’s almost impossible to imagine we won’t break a million” (referring to foreclosed homes this year). He further stated, “Unfortunately, it’s a record that we’ll probably break next year.” Had there not been a problem with improper foreclosure procedures, it was likely that banks would have taken back 1.2 million homes in 2010.

Due to the problems seen in the courts and the investigations by attorney generals in all fifty states, banks temporarily ceased taking legal action against their borrowers who were behind on their mortgage payments. Some banks thereafter indicated they would proceed with the foreclosure process, but there are still a number of large banks who are not moving forward with foreclosures at this time.

Foreclosure Problems to Continue in 2011

Many of the factors that have been involved in this foreclosure crisis will still exist in 2011. High unemployment, falling home values and difficulty in obtaining new mortgages are several of the factors that are contributing to the current mortgage crisis.

It is estimated that almost 11 million homes, or 22.5%, of all homes that have a mortgage, were under water for the July through September quarter of 2010. This is according to housing data by the firm CoreLogic.

During November 2010, 262,339 homes received at least one foreclosure notice. Utah is now the number two state in foreclosures on a per-capita basis in the United States. It is estimated that 1 out of every 220 households in Utah received a foreclosure notice in November 2010. This is more than twice the average in the United States. Other states with very high foreclosure rates are California, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Idaho, Illinois and Colorado. The foreclosure rate in New York is high, but not as high as some of the aforementioned harder hit states.

Foreclosure Defense Lawyers

If you’re behind in your mortgage or have been turned down for a mortgage modification, you need to think about foreclosure defense. The foreclosure defense lawyers at The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have been assisting their clients in dealing with foreclosure problems for more than twenty years. We also help our clients with mortgage modifications. We represent our clients in court appearances and foreclosure conferences in court. We stop the foreclosure from going forward!

We deal with defective foreclosure lawsuits, bad faith bank practices and predatory lending issues. If you have a foreclosure problem, call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802. We can help you!

Foreclosure Action Dismissed, Bank Had No Standing to Sue

Posted by Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq.

Justice Madden, sitting in the Supreme Court of New York County, recently dismissed a foreclosure proceeding because the plaintiff financial institution had no standing to sue. The court held that they had no standing to sue because they could not document that the mortgage had been properly assigned to them. The case involved was LPP Mortgage Ltd. v. Sabine Properties, LLC.

LLP Mortgage claimed that Sabine had defaulted in making mortgage payments to them. They had accelerated the mortgage (called it due) and asked for a judgment for the entire mortgage balance.

Justice Madden noted that the complaint submitted by LLP Mortgage Ltd. did not specifically identify the original institution that granted the mortgage. It also didn’t state how the mortgage was assigned to LLP Mortgage Ltd.

The attorneys for Sabine alleged that the mortgage was originally given by Wall Street Mortgage Banks. They also claim that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems was acting as a nominee and was not the mortgage holder filed with the Registrar of Deeds in the City of New York.

Sabine Properties contended that LLP Mortgage did not provide the courts with documentation that this mortgage had been assigned to them.The court ruled in favor of Sabine Properties. The court held that LLP Mortgage could not show the rightful owner of the note and mortgage. Sabine Properties could not show a continuing chain of title as to how the mortgage became their property. On this basis. the court dismissed the lawsuit because they had no standing to sue.

Foreclosure Defense Lawyers

Should you be facing a foreclosure situation regarding your home, it is important you have experienced legal counsel to defend you. For more than 20 years, the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo has been representing individuals whose homes have been foreclosed upon. We litigate foreclosure cases. When necessary, we can file Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies to stop foreclosures from moving forward. We are adept at handling mortgage modifications as well as defending foreclosure lawsuits based on the banks using defective procedures , bad faith and assignments. We also deal with predatory lending cases. Call us should you need assistance at 1-800-344- 6431; 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Foreclosure Defense in Valley Stream, Lynbrook, Baldwin, Malverne, Freeport, Oceanside, Long Beach, Elmont, Lakeview, West Hempstead, Hempstead, Merrick and Bellmore, New York

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