New York State Sues Bank Of America For Mortgage Abuses

foreclosure lawyersNew York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has brought law suits against Wells Fargo and Bank of America for violations of the National Mortgage Settlement. Mr. Schneiderman has stated there are more than 339 instances where these banks failed to adhere to standards designed to protect borrowers who apply for mortgage modifications.

Mr. Schneiderman stated at a recent news conference “Wells Fargo and Bank of America have flagrantly violated their obligations under the settlement.” In his interview he said that homeowner’s have been faced with “banks, who in some cases, never even bothered to respond or correct errors in applications on mortgage modifications.”

Nationwide Settlement

In the nationwide settlement, 5 large banks agreed to pay $25 billion in damages to mortgage holders and follow a course of conduct involving loan servicing standards which were designed to protect homeowners. Attorney General Schneiderman said the standards were designed to speed up the process for home loan modifications.

About The Author

foreclosure advocate for homeownersElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a foreclosure attorney. He has previously been the President of the Commercial Lawyers Conference of New York, a regional Bar Association. He has extensive experience in helping homeowners with mortgage modifications, foreclosure law suits and other bank related problems.

Short Sales – The Foreclosure Panacea Of 2012

Avoid_Foreclosure_REpageIn 2012, the number of short sales tripled compared to 2011. Short sales in 2012 were the most utilized method to avoid foreclosure sales of homes. In 2012, short sales accounted for 11% of all home sales. In a short sale, homeowners sell their property at a price less than what they owe the bank. In a short sale situation the homeowner applies to the bank for permission to do a short sale. The bank agrees to accept less than is due on the mortgage and forgive the homeowner for the balance of the mortgage.

Getting Short Sales Approved

A homeowner must apply to the bank and show the bank either there is an existing financial hardship or that the home cannot be sold for the amount that is due and owing to the bank to convince a bank to agree to a short sale. It should be noted banks prefer short sales instead of going through the long and detailed foreclosure process.

Under the National Mortgages Settlement Agreement between the government and the five largest mortgage lenders in the United States Banks, receive a credit when they approve the settlement of a short sale. The banks have received more than $19 billion in credit from the government from short sales in recent years.foreclosure advocate for homeowners

Home Equity Declines on Long Island

foreclosure defense attorneys on Long IslandTen percent (10%) of all homes with mortgages on Long Island, New York are under water. This is an increase of three percent (3%) over the prior twelve (12) months. In the rest of the Country, the number of homes under water has been decreasing. Unfortunately, this is not the case on Long Island.

Superstorm Sandy

Superstorm Sandy, which hit Long Island on October 29, 2012, was a significant contributor to the rise in negative equity in homes on Long Island. It is estimated approximately 60,000 homes were damaged on Long Island by Superstorm Sandy. The impact of Superstorm Sandy on homes being under water on Long Island will continue to be felt when the ninety (90) day moratorium on mortgage payments expires.

Although the real estate market is improving in many areas of the United States it is not improving on Long Island.

About the Author

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. and his associates have been representing families throughout the metropolitan New York area for more than 45 years on issues concerning foreclosure, fraudulent mortgages, bad lending practices and other real estate related matters. The law firm offers free consultations to prospective clients.assistance for homeowners

750,000 Homes in Foreclosure

foreclosure defense lawyerThere are currently three-quarters of a million homes in the United States involved in the foreclosure process. This is down from a million homes being foreclosed upon in 2011. Even though the number of homes in foreclosure has declined, there is still a huge inventory of homes being foreclosed upon in the United States.

How Homes Are Foreclosed

The banks foreclosing on the majority of homes in the United States are not necessarily the owners of these mortgages. Many of these financial institutions act as trustees of the mortgages in foreclosures for other banks.

Foreclosing Banks

Bank of America currently services more mortgage loans on single family homes in foreclosure than any other financial institution in the United States. Bank of America is involved with approximately a hundred thousand foreclosures involving mortgage debt greater than twenty-three billion dollars. The majority of the homes in foreclosure are under water. A significant number of the homes in foreclosure were linked to Bank of America’s purchase of Countrywide Financial. It is estimated it has cost Bank of America almost fifty billion dollars to deal with the problems concerning the acquisition of Countrywide Financial Services.

The second and third largest foreclosing banks in the United States are Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase. Wells Fargo is involved in foreclosures on approximately 85,000 properties and JP Morgan Chase has foreclosed on approximately 55,000 homes. The majority of the homes in foreclosure by both JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo are also under water. Although the housing market is starting to improve, there are still three quarters of a million American families currently being pushed out of their homes!

helping homeowners stay in their homesElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. and his associates have been representing families throughout the metropolitan New York area for more than 45 years on issues concerning foreclosure, fraudulent mortgages, bad lending practices and other real estate related matters. The law firm offers free consultations to prospective clients.

Foreclosure Problems Debts That Don’t Go Away

foreclosure defense lawyersThere are tens of thousands of homes in the State of New York in foreclosure. Sometimes families feel the best way to deal with an impending foreclosure is to simply move out of their home and abandon it. This may not be a good idea!

Homeowners are discovering simply walking away from their home does not necessarily end their problems. Banks only have a mortgage on the home. The individuals living in the home are the homeowners. Sometimes families don’t quite understand this difference. This means even if you abandon your home, you are still responsible for maintaining the lawns, the sidewalks and possibly paying the real estate taxes on the home. If you are a member of a homeowners association you still owe the homeowners associations dues and fees.

Banks Are In The Money Business Not The Real Estate Business

In some local areas, there are large numbers of homes in foreclosure. If there are too many homes in a given area already in foreclosure, the financial institutions may be hesitant to take the property back. Banks do not want to maintain homes. Banks like to maintain money! Money requires no maintenance and single family homes can require significant amounts of maintenance. Money does not accrue real estate taxes. Single family homes require the payment of real estate taxes.

If the bank does not move forward with the foreclosure in a timely manner, the homeowner stays responsible for the home. Vagrants, drug dealers and third parties can move into the home. The home can become a nuisance and individuals around the area of the home can become injured. These injured individuals can sue the homeowner for financial damages.

Mistaken Belief The Homeowner Is Off The Hook

Homeowners initially move out of their homes because they feel they will be moving forward with their lives. That does not necessarily happen. The unpaid mortgage payments continually accrue negative information on the homeowners credit score. In some communities, the local community organizations are suing homeowners to have them maintain their homes, even after they move out. The local communities are taking this action because the homes are a blight on the neighborhood and are having a negative effect on the other homes in the area.


Before you move out of your home and abandon it, you should consult with an attorney that handles foreclosures cases.

About The Author

foreclosure advocate for homeownersElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. and his dedicated group of attorneys handle foreclosure defense in the metropolitan New York area. In addition, we litigate issues concerning fraudulent mortgages, violation of truth in lending laws and bad bank practices related to mortgages and foreclosures.

Is Now The Right Time To Buy A House?

foreclosure defense attorney on long islandThe real estate market in the United States has been in the doldrums for many years now. There was a point in time where families in the metropolitan New York Area assumed real estate would go up forever. By now they have learned this is not true. What went up, has come down! So are we at the bottom of a market cycle? If we are at the bottom of a market cycle, is now the right time to buy a house?

Long Term Investments

Purchasing a house is a long term investment. Most families purchase a home with the hope that over time it will appreciate in value. Most real estate experts recommend, if you purchase a home, you should consider owning it for a period of at least ten years. If ten years is too long a period for you to be saddled with a real estate investment, maybe the best route for you to take is to rent.

Can You Afford The House?

If you start looking for a home with real estate brokers, there is a tendency for the brokers to show you what they would consider your “dream house”. Unfortunately, dream houses are expensive. How much can you spend on a first home? Should you buy a starter house with the hope it will appreciate in value and you will trade up down the road? Be aware, there are numerous transaction expenses related to obtaining a mortgage and closing on the purchase of a home.

When To Buy The House

Most pundits recommend buying your first home when you are settled in your life. What does that mean? To begin with you should be finished with school and have a good job. Hopefully a stable job!

Before you buy your first home, sit down and figure out what all of your expenses are and how much you can afford for mortgage, taxes, utilities, maintenance of the house, upgrades, food and all your other living expenses. Good luck! It tends to usually be more expensive then you would assume.

About The Author

assistance for homeownersElliot Schlissel, Esq. has been dealing with residential real estate related matters for more than three decades. His law firm is involved in handling all types of foreclosure defense related cases throughout the Metropolitan New York area.

Foreclosure Dismissed: Bank Didn’t Have Standing To Sue

foreclosure defense attorney on long islandJustice Laura Jacobson, sitting in the Foreclosure Supreme Court Part in Kings County (Brooklyn), recently dismissed a foreclosure lawsuit because the financial institution that brought the lawsuit did not have standing to sue. Saxon Mortgage Services brought a foreclosure action against the homeowner. Saxon did not own the note. The note had been sold to Morgan Stanley in 2007. Morgan Stanley entered into an agreement with Saxon Mortgages Services to have them handle the servicing of the note. However the defendant (the homeowner) never received notification of the transaction between Saxon and Morgan Stanley. At the time the lawsuit was initiated Saxon it was not the owner of the note and mortgage. Their position was they were bringing the action as a servicing agent for Morgan Stanley.

Judge Jacobson in her decision stated, “the summons and complaint in foreclosure did not provided the basis for which Saxon brought the foreclosure proceeding. Saxon in its pleadings did not properly set forth its status as a processing agent.” The homeowner did not know who the principal and owner of the note was during the entire course of the proceeding. As a result, Justice Jacobson granted an application by the defendant to have the foreclosure action dismissed do to Saxon’s lack of standing.

Standing To Sue

If your home is being foreclosed on by an institution that was not the original institution who made the loan, you should consult with our Law Office as to whether they have standing to sue! If they don’t have standing to bring the foreclosure lawsuit, we can have the case dismissed.helping homeowners stay in their homes

No Accountability In The Foreclosure Crisis

foreclosure defense lawyer in New YorkThere has been a recent settlement for $8.5 billion between 10 banks and Federal regulators. The settlement relates to fraudulent practices the banks were involved in regarding the foreclosure crisis that exists in the United States.

Holding Banks Accountable

Banks, to maximize their profitability, use many shortcuts. Robosigners, who knew nothing about the documents they were signing, signed hundreds of foreclosure authorizations.

Of the $8.5 billion the banks are coughing up, $3.3 billion will go towards people’s homes who are being foreclosed on. This will amount to approximately $1,100 for each foreclosed home. Individuals who were improperly denied mortgage modifications could receive as much as $50,000.

Who Will Receive These Funds

Who will receive these funds is the big question. There is no procedure for indemnifying the individuals and families who were damaged when they lost their homes. The families whose lives have been ruined may never receive any portion of this settlement.

So what does this settlement really accomplish for the Obama administration? A public relations gesture to try and convince the public he is actually doing something to deal with the crisis. The reality is the individuals who made millions of dollars scamming homeowners are keeping their illegal gains and suffer no prosecution.

Foreclosure Defense Lawyers

homeowner advocates on long islandThe Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo is one of the largest foreclosure defense firms on the East Coast of the United States representing individuals concerning fraudulent mortgages, mortgage modifications and helping keep families in their homes.

Reverse Mortgages: Should Seniors Take Them Out?

mortgage and foreclosure  lawyersattorneyHere’s how reverse mortgages work. You receive a loan from a financial institution. The loan starts accruing interest when you receive it. However, you don’t make any payments on your loan during your life. At the time of your death your house is sold and the bank is paid back the money due to it and the balance goes to your heirs.

In some situations, reverse mortgages are an excellent option for a senior to maintain his or her living standards where cash flow is insufficient to pay for these basic expenses. This also allows seniors to stay in their homes when they do not have sufficient savings or income to cover their expenses.

Should You Take Out A Reverse Mortgage?

If you are considering taking out a reverse mortgage, you should try to utilize the funds from the reverse mortgage for as long a period of time as possible. If you are in your sixties and you have a life expectancy of 25 or more a years, you may be too young to take out a reverse mortgage. By this I mean, you may take the money out, spend it and still be in the same situation 5 or 10 years later. However, at the later point in time you would not have a nest egg to fall back on. It should be noted the longer the reverse mortgage is in effect the more the interest compounds and the more you will owe.

Higher Interest Rates on Reverse Mortgages

The interest rates on reverse mortgages are higher than those of a conventional mortgage. In addition, there are upfront mortgage insurance expenses, origination fees and closing costs. You should review with a financial adviser or an elder care attorney your financial circumstances and whether taking a reverse mortgage is appropriate in your personal circumstances.

Conventional mortgages

If you have a reasonable cash flow you may be entitled to a conventional mortgage. A conventional mortgage is less expensive to take out, there are less closing costs and the interest rates are lower.

About the Author

foreclosure advocate for homeownersElliot S. Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He represents seniors with regard to drafting wills, trusts, Medicaid planning as well as issues involving powers of attorney and health care proxies.

Home Prices Increasing

real estate and mortgage modification attorneysHome prices are slowly increasing throughout the United States. The price of homes sold in October of 2012 was 4.3% higher than homes sold in October of 2011. This is the largest year over year increase in more than 30 months. Although in most major American cities the price of homes increased during the 12 month period from October 2011 to October 2012, this did not apply to New York. Unfortunately, home prices have decreased in the past 12 months in the State of New York.

Housing Recovery

There is a housing recovery taking place in most of the country. Unfortunately this recovery is not taking place in New York. It is still too early to look at the data concerning the impact of Hurricanes Sandy on the housing market in New York. Although many New Yorkers lost their homes or their homes were badly damaged during Hurricane Sandy, it is too early to reach a conclusion on how this will impact on the New York housing market.

Fiscal Cliff and Home Prices

It is expected home prices will continue to increase slowly throughout the country if Congress and the President solve the issues regarding the fiscal cliff crisis. When home prices rise, potential purchasers have been sitting on the sidelines start to think to themselves, “well, should I get back into the real estate marketplace now?” Potential buyers are always looking for the lowest possible price.

Mortgage rates in the 3% range are very attractive to potential home purchasers. The construction of new homes continues to expand in the United States. The confidence of home builders rose in December 2012 for the 7th straight month. The confidence level of home builders is at the highest level it has been in 6 ½ years.

About the Author

assistance for homeownersElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. and his team of dedicated attorneys represent individuals with regard to foreclosure problems, mortgage modifications and all types of real estate issues.

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