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 45 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 45 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 45 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 Crisis: A Problem for President Obama & the Democrats

Posted by Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq.

The foreclosure crisis in the United States is now reaching the highest office of the land. President Obama is being backed into a corner, forced to protect the banking industry from allegations of fraud, misrepresentations, improper lending practices, defective foreclosure lawsuits and predatory lending issues.

Senior democrats have been calling for a moratorium on foreclosures in the United States. They seek to punish the banking industry for their improper actions.

Recently, Shaun Donovan, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, made the following statement: “irresponsible banks need to be held accountable, but if we have not found a problem with a bank’s process, we do not believe that we should impose a moratorium that can hurt the market and hurt the individual buyers.”

The Obama Administration has taken the position that if we hurt or damage the financial industry, in the long run, it is the public who feels the pain when the economy continues to erode.

The banking industry is arguing against the moratorium on foreclosures. They claim that the moratorium would have a long term negative effect on the economy in the United States. The Obama administration shares this concern. Recently, David Axelrod, a senior White House advisor, stated “There are in fact valid foreclosures that probably should go forward.” The Obama administration’s position is that people who don’t pay their mortgages should be held accountable in foreclosure proceedings. In the alternative, homeowner advocates claim there has been a pattern of abuse in the banking industry regarding foreclosures. The Obama administration wants to play this issue both ways. They are expressing concern for homeowners’ whose homes are in foreclosure, but they do not want to take any steps that may have a negative affect on the banking industry because they feel it will have long term negative economic impact in the United States.

Protecting Homeowners From Foreclosure

Our law firm assists homeowners in foreclosure defense. We handle mortgage modifications. We deal with defective foreclosure lawsuits and predatory lending issues. In appropriate situations, we utilize Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies to assist our clients in stopping foreclosure proceedings from moving forward. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Problems With Foreclosure Affirmation Requirement

“Posted by Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq.”

Anne Reynolds Copps is the chairperson of the real property law section of the New York State Bar Association. On behalf of members in her section, she has filed objections to the Office of Court Administration regarding new requirements for attorney affirmations for foreclosure proceedings. She claims that the new affirmation requirements violates the attorney/client confidentiality privilege. She also feels that it unfairly blames New York attorneys for inappropriate practices that exist in other parts of the country.

The Office of Court Administration has recently made some minor changes requiring that attorneys must submit affirmations under penalty of perjury with regard to the truthfulness of documents that they file.
The letter Ms. Copps submitted to the Office of Court Administration questioned the preamble to the original affirmation which said “Numerous and wide spread insufficiencies in foreclosure filings in various courts around the nation.” Ms. Copps demanded that said preamble be removed. She further stated “Mandating the inclusion of this preamble in the affirmation creates an unfair and prejudicial connection between any attorney who submits the documentation and the unidentified attorneys around the nations who have allegedly committed this specific wrongs.”

The courts are now insisting that attorneys report their communications with lender representatives and attest to the best of their knowledge and belief that the statements made in all applications related to foreclosure proceedings in the State of New York be true and correct.

In a related note, Steven P. Younger, the president of the New York State Bar Association, stated that the State Bar has not rendered an official position with regard to the new requirements attorneys must meet with regard to all applications in foreclosure proceedings.

Foreclosure Defense Lawyers

The new requirements in foreclosure proceedings relate to the widespread practices that have existed in the United States in foreclosure cases. When appropriate, we counter sue the financial institution related to defective foreclosure lawsuits and predatory lending issues. We defend our clients from all types of foreclosure proceedings. We also help our clients obtain mortgage modifications. We also advise our clients as to whether Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcies would be the appropriate way to eliminate the foreclosure and save their home. Should you have questions regarding foreclosure defense or bankruptcy, feel free to contact us 24/7 at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Defenses to Foreclosure Proceedings

Until fairly recently, it has been difficult to submit defenses in foreclosure proceedings. However, new information that has recently surfaced and been made public with regard to banks and other financial institutions mishandling initial paperwork regarding the obtaining of mortgages, fraud on behalf of mortgage brokers and financial institutions, the loss of important documents regarding mortgages and the generally sloppy procedures utilized by financial institutions. The new information has opened up a new wave of defenses to foreclosure proceedings.

Challenge the Foreclosure Proceedings

Homeowners and their attorneys have taken a very aggressive stance in New York in challenging foreclosure proceedings. The following are a list of some of the common defenses used in foreclosure proceedings:

1. Unconscionability of the mortgage. Unconscionability basically indicates that the mortgage was simply unfair. The terms of the mortgage must be so unfair as to “shock the conscious” of the court. A homeowner’s inability to pay the mortgage does not, on its own, make it unconscionable.

2. The failure of the financial institution to follow the appropriate procedures in the foreclosure proceeding. New York State law lays out the obligations a financial institution has to its customers. The financial institution must prove all aspects of its case to the court. The loss of documents, the failure to maintain adequate records or the failure of an employee of the financial institution (who signs the affidavit regarding the case) to have sufficient knowledge of the case are defenses to foreclosure proceedings.

Action to be Taken by Homeowner

The best thing a homeowner should do if they receive notice of a pending foreclosure proceeding is to research what attorneys in their area handle foreclosure defense. The homeowner should then have an initial consultation with the attorney and discuss how the homeowner’s rights can be protected.

Foreclosure Conferences

In New York, after a foreclosure proceeding is initiated, there must be a foreclosure conference held with the court. In the event the homeowner has a pending mortgage modification application, the court will usually adjourn the case to see if the application is granted. If the homeowner’s attorney presents a very vigorous defense, pressure can be placed upon the financial institution to be more reasonable in the granting of the mortgage modification.

About Our Firm

For more than 45 years, our law office has represented individuals in lawsuits involving creditors. We handle foreclosure defense, mortgage modifications and bankruptcies throughout the New York metropolitan area. We have had a high degree of success in fighting off foreclosure lawsuits.

Should you have questions or problems concerning a foreclosure lawsuit, feel free to call us at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Defense of Incompetency in Foreclosure Lawsuits

JP Morgan Chase sued Mr. & Mrs. Haedrich in a foreclosure proceeding in Nassau County, New York. Judge Phelan was the Supreme Court judge assigned to the case.

A guardian was appointed for the Haedrichs. The guardian moved to vacate judgments of foreclosure, as well as the mortgage and notes. The guardian alleged that Mr. & Mrs. Haedrich executed the mortgages and notes accompanying said mortgages in 1999, when they were incompetent. He claimed they suffered from a mentally debilitating condition, including dementia, which deprived them of their ability to make a reasoned intelligent decision concerning the execution of the note and mortgage.

Homeowners Competent to Enter Into Mortgage

The court held that the evidence presented did not sufficiently show that Mr. and Mrs. Haedrich were incompetent at the time of the execution of the mortgage and note. The court also held that the lender was not on notice and did not have any knowledge as to any aspect of their incapacity. The court held that the record did not present appropriate medical evidence showing the Haedrichs were rendered legally incompetent due to mental illness or for other reasons when they executed the necessary documents related to the note and mortgage at the real estate closing. The application by the guardian on behalf of the Haendrichs was dismissed.

About Our Firm

For more than 45 years, our law office has represented individuals in lawsuits involving creditors. We handle foreclosure defense proceedings throughout the New York Metropolitan area. We have a high degree of success in fighting off foreclosure lawsuits.

Should you or a loved one have questions or problems concerning a foreclosure lawsuit, please contact us at 1-800-344-6431 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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