Foreclosure Crisis Continues

Foreclosure Crisis ContinuesForeclosure rates are going down. April of 2011 was the seventh month in a row that the number of homes that banks and other financial institutions initiated foreclosures against declined. There were 34% less foreclosure proceedings brought in April of 2011 than in April of 2010. Although this seems like good news, it is not! Rick Sharga of Reality Trek recently stated that, even with the decline in the foreclosure rates, there were still 225,000 foreclosures initiated during the month of April. There are more than 3.7 million families that are more than 90 days behind on their mortgage payments. In the past, almost all of these homes would have been put into foreclosure. However, the large majority of these homes are still not in foreclosure. Banks are under a microscope by regulatory agencies concerning their foreclosure procedures. They are now making sure that they “dot their i’s” and “cross their t’s” on all new foreclosure proceedings they initiate.

Saturated Real Estate Markets

The current level of foreclosures have saturated most of the real estate markets in the United States. The banks are slowing down their foreclosure procedures to avoid having a further negative impact on the homes that are already on the market waiting to be sold.

Mortgage Modification

Due to the concern by many large financial institutions about further flooding of the real estate market, they have liberalized some of their programs on mortgage modifications. In March of this year, more than 75,000 mortgage modifications were granted by financial institutions. This represented a 26% increase in the number of new mortgage modifications approved by banks since February of 2011.

Declining Home Prices

As home prices continue to decline, more and more homes become under water (worth less then the amount of their mortgages). This unfortunately creates an incentive for mortgage holders to default on their loans and walk away from their homes. It is estimated that approximately 30% of all single family homes in the United States are currently under water. If banks put more homes into foreclosure, the number of homes that are worth less than the amount of the mortgages on them will increase and continue to accelerate the downward spiral in home values. Some experts are predicting that home values will decrease in 2011 by 7% to 9%.

Conclusion: The Housing Crisis is Far From Over

It is estimated that the market for single family homes will not return to a normal housing market until 2014!

Foreclosure Defense

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo is considered by many to be the premier foreclosure defense law firm in the Metropolitan New York area. We represent our clients concerning mortgage modifications and we deal with mortgage modification programs that fail. We litigate all aspects of foreclosure defense including, but not limited to, defective mortgages, defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending and other real estate related defenses. We attend foreclosure court conferences for our clients. At the time of the initial consultation, we provide our clients with all foreclosure options, which also includes discussion of filing Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies, which stop foreclosures upon the filing. Feel free to call for a free consultation. Thank you for visiting our foreclosure blog.

Home Ownership Now at 1998 Rates

Home Ownership Now At 1998 RatesThe percentage of Americans who own their own home has been slipping for many years. The percentage of Americans who live in their own home is now receded back to the rates that existed in 1998, according to recent census data. In the first quarter of 2011, home ownership in the United States slipped to 66.4%. This is on top of a reduction in the number of families who own homes in the fourth quarter of 2010 to 66.5%.

2005 Was The Apex of Home Ownership In the United States

In 2005, 69.1% of Americans owned their own home. The rate of home ownership in the United States has been steadily declining since 2005.

The American Dream

Owning a single family home has been the American dream during the 20th century. The Bush Administration and the Clinton Administration had policies to foster home ownership. Unfortunately, these policies were too generous and the American public manipulated these programs to create a real estate bubble in the United States. For the past three years, this real estate bubble has had a negative effect on the economy in the United States. The trend is starting to change in 2011 and hopefully in 2012, an election year, America will come out of it’s recession and real estate values will increase.

Foreclosure Defense Lawyer

We help clients whose homes are in foreclosure. We assist our clients with mortgage modification applications, as well as dealing with mortgage modification programs that fail to meet our clients needs. We have extensive experience in litigating all aspects of foreclosure proceedings, including, but not limited to, defective mortgages, defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending, bad faith issues and foreclosure related real estate proceedings.

We attend foreclosure court conferences for our clients. We also provide clients with a list of foreclosure options. These options include foreclosure related bankruptcies such as Chapter 13 bankruptcy and Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Both of these bankruptcies immediately stop foreclosures from moving forward. If we file bankruptcy for our clients, we also can help them in re-establishing their credit at the end of the bankruptcy. Feel free to call us for a free consultation. We appreciate you spending time on our foreclosure blog.

Rehabilitating Your Credit Score

creditMany Americans have fallen on hard times in the past few years. Loss of a job, being downsized, inability to make credit card and mortgage
payments and defaulting on personal loans have had negative effect on the credit standing of many Americans.

Credit scores generally run from 300 to 850. There are three major credit bureaus in the United States. They are Equifax, Experian and Transunion. Each of these credit bureaus have their own way of calculating credit scores. The following are a list of ways to help increase your credit scoring:

1. Consider adding a letter to your credit report explaining a
hardship that caused you to miss credit card payments. All three
credit bureaus allow consumers to add brief statements to their credit

2. Bring your credit card payments up to date. Bringing your credit
card payments up to date will have the most significant affirmative
impact on your credit score.

3. Obtain Secured Credit Cards
Secured credit cards can be used to rehabilitate your credit score. These cards require you to put a certain amount of money in a bank account, for
example, $500. This is used as collateral against the amount of
credit you receive on your card.

4. Join a Credit Union
Credit Unions are more lenient than other financial institutions in
offering credit cards and personal loans to their members.

5. Avoid Credit Card Repair Companies
Most credit card repair offers are scams. The claims made by these
companies are that they can straighten out your credit. They have no magic wand! Although there are some legitimate credit card repair companies, you don’t need to hire them. Just pay your bills on time and your credit
will over time repair itself.

Foreclosure Lawyer

Our law office provides foreclosure defense for our clients. We help
our clients with mortgage modifications and mortgage modification
programs that don’t work
. We litigate defective mortgages, defective
foreclosure lawsuits
, predatory lending, bad faith on behalf of
financial institutions
and other real estate related matters. We
attend foreclosure court conferences for our clients and we utilize
these conferences to try to motivate the lenders to give our clients
mortgage modifications. We educate our clients as to the foreclosure
available to them. In appropriate situations, we file
foreclosure related bankruptcies. These bankruptcies can be either a
Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. These bankruptcies automatically
stop foreclosures from moving forward. In some circumstances,
bankruptcy can help eliminate second mortgages. Feel free to call us
for a free consultation. Thank you for reading my foreclosure blog.

Long Island Mortgage Scam

In March of this year, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice arrested seventeen people pursuant to a two-year investigation involving a $20 million dollar mortgage fraud scam. Homeowners of Nassau County and banks lost more than $20 million dollars pursuant to the scam.

The individuals involved were lawyers, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, bank employees, financial consultant, an appraiser and a United States postal worker. Twenty nine homes were fraudulently purchased during the six year period. The homes all went into foreclosure. Fake buyers and fake sellers were involved in the transactions.

Identity Theft

Celso Benalcazar, a forty-nine year old Bronx mechanic, had his identity stolen. After his identity was stolen, two homes were purchased in his name. The ring leaders of this scam were James R. Sweet and Dwanye Benjamin, both of Westbury, New York. They recruited friends and family members to obtain false identities. They then impersonated buyers and sellers. As a result of these fake transactions, they kept all of the proceeds from the mortgages. Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice stated, “at the closing everything was fake except for the money that was stolen.”

One Home Purchased Twice

A home in West Hempstead was purchased twice during a two week period in 2005. A $390,000 mortgage was taken out each time the home was purchased. All the funds from both transactions were stolen.

The accused in this case faced up to twenty-five years in prison. There are numerous pending criminal charges, including violating the New York State Organized Crime Law, money laundering and conspiracy.

New York and Long Island Criminal Defense Lawyers

If you are being investigated with regard to a crime, or either you or a loved one is charged with a crime, we can help you. For more than 45 years, the Law Office of Elliot S. Schlissel has represented individuals charged with all types of misdemeanors and felonies. We defend clients who are charged with drug offenses, domestic violence, shoplifting, burglary, driving while intoxicated (DWI), weapons possession, sex crimes, white collar crimes and all types of violent crimes. We also represent juveniles in both the Criminal Courts and the Family Courts. Call us for a free consultation at 516-561-6645, 1-800-344-6431 or 718-350-2802.

When is it a Good Time to Buy a Home? How About Now?

Home prices have been going down this year. The pundits state that the best time to buy a home is at the bottom of the market. So how can you tell whether the market has hit bottom? Some independent analysts recommend buying homes this spring. Phil DeMuta, an investment adviser and the co-author of a book on investing entitled The Little Book of Alternative Investments, claims it’s a great time to buy a house. He states housing prices are where they were in 2002 and you’ve got mortgage rates at 5% now on a thirty year mortgage. He further states, “if you can put down the 20% and qualify for a good mortgage, I’d say this is an excellent time to take that kind of position.”

Anthony Sanders, a professor of Real Estate Finance at George Mason University, takes the opposite approach. He is cautious about the outlook of the real estate industry. He suggested there may be a buying opportunity in the late summer of 2011.


There is currently a large number of homes in America in foreclosure. It is estimated that the number is currently close to two million. As these homes come back into the real estate market, they will have a further negative affect on home prices. Is renting the solution? Renting should be considered something to do on a temporary basis. The owning of a single family home by a family is the American dream. In theory, home ownership in a rising real estate market will provide the homeowners with a lovely place to live, as well as increasing equity in their investment.

Professor Anthony Sanders from George Mason University takes the position that continuing to rent due to the high home vacancy rate of 18% is the best route to take right now. He suggests that young couples wait to see how the whole market progresses this year before buying a home. He states the average person stays in their house only about six or seven years, so you have to have some belief the prices will be relatively constant over that period, so you don’t take the loss. Sanders feels “the housing market is sitting on a ledge and could go either way – – it could go up which is good or we could be in for a double dip.”

Market Bottoms

It is impossible to pick out the market bottom in advance. The real estate market has been in a disarray for the past few years. Housing prices have been going down for the past several months. I anticipate homes will be worth less at the end of 2011 in most metropolitan areas than at the start of this year. So my personal suggestion is wait and see how things shape up in the economy and the real estate market.

Foreclosure Lawyer

Our office represents individuals in foreclosure defense matters. We have more than 45 years experience in handling various real estate problems. We represent our clients regarding mortgage modifications and mortgage modifications that fail. We litigate defective mortgages, predatory lending, and other foreclosure related issues. We attend foreclosure court conferences on behalf of our clients. We advise our clients concerning foreclosure related bankruptcy matters including, but not limited to, filing Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. In situations where we file bankruptcy on behalf of our clients, we stop foreclosure in its tracks and, on some occasions, we eliminate second mortgages. We also help our clients after filing bankruptcy in re-establishing credit. This foreclosure blog is designed to advise the general public, as well as our clients, concerning mortgage modification issues, foreclosure related issues and real estate matters in general. Feel free to call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Mistakes Made by Home Sellers

It is a buyers market for homes in the United States. Therefore, it is important, if you are trying to sell your home, to avoid making mistakes in how your home is marketed. Here are some suggestions.

Take Beautiful Photographs of Your Home

Today it is estimated that more than three quarters of all home buyers who view perspective homes view them online. It is therefore important that you take attractive photographs of your home and that these photographs are presented online. When you take the photographs, make sure your home is neat, clean and well organized.

Low Quality Home Improvements

Many homeowners, during the course of living in their homes, have been involved in home improvements. Home improvements that have been done to your home should be finished! They should not be projects that made it two-thirds of the way through and never were completed. This is a definite turnoff to perspective purchasers. Purchasers are not interested in buying into your unfinished problems. Homes should be painted in neutral colors.

Realistic Pricing

We have a free market economy concerning the sale of homes in the United States. Your home is only worth what a purchaser will pay for it. Your preconceived notions of what you would like to receive for your home do not necessarily comport with current market conditions that exist in the United States. Remember it is a purchaser’s market. There is a large inventory of homes on the market. Many homes on the market are considered distressed properties. These properties are placed on the market because the purchasers are forced to sell, or the homes have been taken over by financial institutions pursuant to foreclosure proceedings. Buyers will only pay attention to homes that they feel are realistically priced. Before figuring out what you wish to sell your house for, review the prices for other homes that are for sale. If you want your home to sell quickly, price it competitively!

Neat, Clean, Organized

If your home is messy or cluttered, you need to deal with this issue before you list it for sale. Perspective home buyers can be turned off by messy, poorly organized homes. Make sure you do not have corners in your house, closets or other locations that are cluttered with things that need to be filed or organized. The biggest turnoff for perspective purchasers is seeing a dirty home. If your home isn’t clean and neat, hire someone to help you in this endeavor. It is especially important that your kitchen and bathrooms look neat and organized.

Don’t Over Sell

Your home is what it is. You can point out the highlights to perspective purchasers, but to a large extent you should let them look around and get the feel of your home for themselves. Real estate brokers will tell you that the longer the perspective purchaser spends in your home the more likely they will purchase it. Good luck!! Unless the housing market turns around you will need it!

Foreclosure Lawyers

Our office handles foreclosure defense of homes throughout the Metropolitan New York area. We can help you with mortgage modifications and mortgage modification programs that fail to meet your needs. We litigate issues involving defective mortgages, defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending, bad faith litigation and all other foreclosure related issues. We maintain a foreclosure blog to educate our clients and the general public concerning issues involving mortgage foreclosures, mortgage modification programs and other real estate related issues. We also file Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies on behalf of our clients. 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.

Housing Crisis Has Nightmare Scenarios

Foreclosure DefenseThere is currently a national scandal involving the “robo-signing” of foreclosure documents by personnel of financial institutions. There is concern that the foreclosure predicament resulting from the mortgage crisis in this country may destabilize the American financial system.

The Troubled Asset Relief Program, more commonly referred to as TARP, was set up to deal with the bank crisis in the United States related to the banking industry over-extending itself concerning residential mortgages. The Congressional Oversight Panel is the watchdog agency designed to monitor the TARP program. Recently, the Congressional Oversight Panel has been issuing warnings that the problems involving the servicing of foreclosures in the United States could create global economic problems.

The Congressional Oversight Panel is concerned that banks may not be able to prove they own the mortgage loans that they seek to bring foreclosure proceedings on.

In recent months, foreclosure proceedings have actually gone down. This is not related to homeowners making their mortgage payments; it is instead related to lenders temporarily stopping their foreclosure proceedings due to allegations of mishandling and fraud in thousands of cases.

Homeowners being unable to make their mortgage payments and the huge volume of foreclosures in the United States are significant factors in preventing the United States from having an economic recovery. The foreclosure crisis relates to banks giving mortgages to hundreds of thousands of individuals who basically could not afford to make the payments on their mortgages.

About Our Law Firm

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo is a general practice law firm that has extensive experience in handling foreclosure defense. In addition to foreclosure defense, our office handles litigation concerning defective foreclosure lawsuits. We also assist our clients in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies as well as preparing and submitting mortgage modifications> on their behalf. Should you have a problem, feel free to contact us. Our phones are answered 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Our phone numbers are 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Avoid Foreclosure Scams

The foreclosure rate in the United States is at an all time high. There are unscrupulous individuals who are using the foreclosure crisis to take advantage of homeowners who face the loss of their homes in foreclosure proceedings. A variety of scams exist. These scams cause further problems for homeowners. The following are a list of the types of scams that should be avoided:

1. Businesses that advertise with fliers placed in your mailbox or solicit door to door. There are various agencies that represent to homeowners facing foreclosure that they can help them. However some of the solicitations from these foreclosure help agencies not only do not help you in the foreclosure but further scam you out of your hard earned money.

2. You should review documents before you sign them. Sometimes the unscrupulous agencies advise the homeowner they need them to sign documents to authorize the agencies to negotiate for new payments plans with their financial institutions. Some of these documents actually surrender the title (deed) to your house in exchange for “rescue” loans. Do not sign any paperwork unless you have read it carefully or had it reviewed by an attorney that does foreclosure defense work!

3. Be careful about rent to buy programs. There are scam artist out there that will have you send a rental check every month to them. They will claim that they are
negotiating with your mortgage company regarding a refinance. However these rent to buy program scam artists keep your rental money and do not send the funds to your financial institution. Be careful not to sign any documents that deal with the title or deed to your house. Your home should remain in your name! The scam artists will sometimes tell homeowners that by giving up the ownership to your home you can obtain a better credit rating and secure new financing down the road. This is a lie!

4. Hire duly licensed attorneys who handle foreclosure defense cases. The world if full of lawyers. Some lawyers do divorces, some lawyers do car accidents case and some lawyers have experience in handling foreclosure defense. Make sure you are dealing with a licensed attorney in your state that handles foreclosure defense work. Attorneys who have experience handling real estate transactions do not necessarily have the experience to handle litigation involving financial institutions. Choose your attorney carefully!

5. If you have been scammed contact your local bar association for assistance. Local bar associations can provide you with a list of attorney’s that can help you with foreclosure defense and assist you in dealing with problems related to mortgage foreclosure scams.

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