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Your Home Was Sold in Foreclosure, So What Do You Do Now?

foreclosure defense lawyers on Long IslandUnfortunately, some homes will end up being sold in foreclosure. If your home is sold in foreclosure, your world will not come to an end! To start with, foreclosure home sales are generally advertised in local newspapers. Sales take place usually on the courthouse steps or inside a courtroom within the courthouse. Referees are appointed by judges to conduct these foreclosure sales. The sale usually goes to the highest bidder. However, if no bidder bids the amount owed on the mortgage, the bank will bid in that amount and the bank itself will take title to your home. Once the bank takes title to your home, you will be considered a tenant in the house. The good thing about this is tenants have rights!

Homeowners in Foreclosed Homes

Now that you are a tenant, it does not mean you will be forced to immediately move out of your home. The bank can bring a landlord tenant proceeding and try to evict you. However, landlord tenant proceedings tend to be long drawn out proceedings. Banks usually take a much softer approach. Your attorney can negotiate a lease where you can continue to stay in your home and pay the bank rent. If you seek to move, the bank may be willing to do what is called a “cash for keys deal”. In these deals the banks will usually pay your moving expenses and give you money for a down payment for an apartment. They will take this action to avoid the necessity of litigating landlord tenant proceedings.

Keeping Tenants In Their Homes

So your home was sold and you are now a tenant, the best way of dealing with your new situation is to have your attorney contact the bank and enter into negotiations with regard to your new status as a tenant. Banks are concerned about their image. They don’t like to put families on the street. They spend millions of dollars on advertising on radio and television trying to show they are your best friend, they are charming and wonderful and are prepared to give money to whoever comes into their branches. The last thing they want is to be thought of as that Simon Legree figure from literature.

Bankruptcy Issues Concerning The Sale of Your Home

Foreclosure cases are brought in the Supreme Court in the county in which your house is located in. Landlord tenant proceedings are either brought in a Landlord Tenant Court or in the District Court where your home is located. Bankruptcy proceedings are filed in United States Bankruptcy Court. The Bankruptcy Court is a Federal Court. It is a higher court. The bringing of a bankruptcy proceeding creates an automatic stay which prevents state court proceedings from moving forward. The automatic stay is the equivalent of a temporary injunction enjoining the state court from allowing either landlord tenant or foreclosure cases to move forward. The filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy can stop you from being evicted and can prevent the landlord tenant proceeding from moving forward.

Should you be in the unfortunate position where your house is sold in foreclosure, do not despair. There is still help available. You can contact our law office to discuss your situation. Our phones are monitored 24/7. We can be reached at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802, or 1-800-344-6431.assistance for homeowners facing bankruptcy

Filing Chapter 7 Bankruptcy and Keeping Your Home – Part I

foreclosure assistance for homeownersCan you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, eliminate all of your debts other than your mortgage obligation, and still keep your home? The answer to this question is, yes! If you are current on your mortgage payments when you file your Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you may be able to protect the equity in your house, if any, by using the New York Bankruptcy Exemptions. You can file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, eliminate all of your credit card debt, personal obligations, debts to lawyers, doctors, medical debts, money judgments, car repossession deficiencies, and all types of other personal obligations in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

After going through the bankruptcy and eliminating all of your debt besides the mortgage, you will be in a better position to make your mortgage payments. You won’t have all the other creditors calling you on the phone and sending letters demanding payments.

Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee

When you file a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the court appoints a bankruptcy trustee to review your case. The trustee reviews your petition and thereafter asks you questions under oath at a creditor’s meeting at the courthouse. The Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee is interested in looking into whether you have property which can be sold to benefit your creditors. If the trustee cannot find property which is not protected by bankruptcy exemptions and has marketable equity in it, the trustee will close your case and not go after your property.helping homeowners stay in their homes

Part II: Other Financial Institutions Deny Mortgage Modifications For Fictitious Reasons

foreclosure defense attorneyChris Wyatt, who had previously worked for Goldman Sacks subsidiary, Litton Loan Servicing, claimed the company occasionally conducted “denial sweeps.” The purpose of the denial sweep was to reduce the backlog of pending applications for mortgage modifications. In these cases, the mortgage modifications were also denied for fictitious reasons.

The Bank of America employees claimed their supervisors encouraged them to provide false information to homeowners. Simone Gordon stated “we were told to lie to customers and claim that Bank Of America had not received documents it had requested.” “We were told that admitting that the bank received documents would open a can of worms.” She claimed the problem that would occur is that the bank would look to be deficient in its underwriting of mortgage modifications.

These mortgage modification applications were supposed to be underwritten within 30 days. The Bank did not have the appropriate staffing to handle the volume of modifications. It was simply easier to just deny them and make up a reason. Simone Gordon worked for Bank of America from 2007 to 2012 as a senior collector. Simone further advised the court that homeowners who were anxious to find out the status of their mortgage modification applications were told their applications were “under review.” They were told this even though nothing had been done for many months with regard to the processing of their applications. In some situations, the homeowners were told their mortgage modification applications were under review when they had already been denied.

Employee’s Rewarded For Denying Mortgages

Simone Gordon’s affidavit states the employees of Bank of America were rewarded when they denied applications and sent the homeowner’s homes to be foreclosed upon. She stated that collectors “who placed ten or more accounts into foreclosure in a given month received a $500 bonus.” There were additional incentives given to employees. They received gift cards to retail stores and restaurants.foreclosure advocate for homeowners

Home prices are down! Interest rates are at an all time low!! But can you get a loan?

Home Prices Are DownMortgage rates have reached all time lows. Unfortunately, the mortgage crisis in American has made it extremely difficult for the average American to qualify for these low interest mortgages.

A number of years ago, during the housing boom, if you were breathing and you walked into a mortgage brokers office, you could walk out with a mortgage. Today, only the most highly qualified perspective homeowners can obtain mortgage financing. Recent data from the Federal Reserve System shows more than 25% of all Americans who apply for mortgage loans are being rejected.

Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, recently stated “good borrowers with one or two blemishes on their credit are being denied credit.”

Statistics regarding credit scores concerning Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac financed loans show the average credit score to qualify for a loan has increased from 720 to 760. For Federal Housing Authority loans the average score has increased from 660 to 700.

Down Payments

Today it is necessary that a perspective mortgage borrower have between 15 and 20% of the total cost of the home to qualify for obtaining a mortgage. It should be noted during the boom year in the real estate market all a prospective borrower needed to buy a home was a down payment of Zero!

About the Author

Elliot Schlissel, Esq. is an attorney who assists clients in real estate related matters. He is a former president of the Commercial Lawyer’s Conference of New York. He currently represents numerous individuals throughout the Metropolitan New York area in a variety of foreclosure defense lawsuits and mortgage modification applications.

Should You Buy A Foreclosed Property?

In foreclosure situations the bank brings a foreclosure action against a home owner.  Sometimes, after many years, the bank successfully takes title of the home. They evict the family who lived in the home.  There can be significant financial benefits from buying a foreclosed home.  However, there are also a variety of potential drawbacks.

Was The Home Properly Maintained?

If a homeowner was unable to make his or her mortgage payments there is a substantial possibility that the home was not maintained very well.  Homeowners who can’t make mortgage payments don’t improve their homes and often don’t fix things that break.  There is also the possibility that the homeowner, when he was being evicted, engaged in malicious conduct damaging the home.

The following is a list of things you should look for before purchasing a foreclosed home:

  1. Is the home neat and clean? Sometimes bank foreclosed homes have been sitting empty for long periods of time.  No maintenance or cleaning has been done and the houses have fallen into disrepair.
  2. Is the home legal? Sometimes homeowners modify, extend, and change their homes without getting the appropriate approval from their local building departments.  This makes title unmarketable.  In the foreclosure process whether the title is marketable or not does not come up.  However if you buy the home and thereafter you decide to sell it you will be responsible for legalizing the home.  This can involve thousands of dollars of modifications, application fees and legal work.
  3. Has the home lost electricity? If the home was vacant for a long period of time and the electricity was cut off this can have a negative impact on the electrical appliances in the house.
  4. Water damage. If there have been leaks in the home while it was empty it is possible that the home has suffered from water damage.
  5. Low quality upgrades to the house or poorly done repairs. Sometimes the homeowners are short on money, they take short cuts when the upgrade, modify or repair their homes.  The expression “A stitch in time saves nine” may apply in these cases.  These poorly done upgrades or repairs may not last very long.
  6. Overgrown property.  Homeowners who can’t afford to maintain their homes often fail to maintain their yards and lawns.  The property may be overgrown and/or may require extensive landscaping.
  7. Vandals.  Homes that are empty have a higher propensity to be vandalized than homes that are occupied residences.  Vandalism can involve individuals breaking in to homes, breaking windows, damaging walls, and removing pipes in the basement to sell the copper or brass.

Although there are bargains to be had in buying foreclosures, be careful!  You should carefully inspect the home before purchasing it.  It is suggested that, you have an engineer write an engineering report on your home before buying a foreclosure.  The price may be cheap on a foreclosed home but the real question is have you bought a bargain or a money pit!

Summer Home Buying Season, the Worst in Five Decades

home1Spring of each year starts the home buying season. The months of April through the end of August signals the time that most home buyers come into the market. This is usually a time of heightened activity in the real estate market for the sale of single family homes. This was not true, however, in the year 2011. From the period of April through the end of August of 2011, fewer homes were sold in the United States during any six month period in the last fifty years. Home sales from the Spring and Summer were the weakest since 1963. This is an indication of how poor the real estate market and the economy in the United States is doing.

Low Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates reached their lowest levels since records were kept during the Summer months. However, even with record low mortgage rates and home prices continuing to go down, would-be buyers are still not being enticed. Approximately one hundred and seventy thousand homes were sold from March through August of this year. This is even less than was sold in the same period in 2010, which, up until that time, was the worst in a half a decade. Normally, approximately four hundred thousand homes would sell during this period of time.

Home Prices Falling

The medium price for the sale of existing homes fell to approximately $168,000. This was decreased in 5% from the prior year. New home prices averaged about $209,000, which was almost 8% less than the prior year. Low priced foreclosure sales and short sales have been driving the market down. This causes real estate brokers to press sellers to lower their prices on their homes to compete with these foreclosures and short sale homes. It is estimated that homes in foreclosure and short sales sell for 20% less than their market value. This has the impact of lowering home prices throughout the areas where the short sales and foreclosures are located.

Is the single family home becoming a depreciating asset? Is the American dream over? I don’t think so. However, we may be headed for an additional five years of flat real estate prices before we see a significant rebound

Bankruptcy can act as an escape valve to prevent the loss of a home, stop foreclosure, eliminate a second mortgage and stop debt collection harassment. Your credit can be re-established after filing either a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 bankruptcy One bankruptcy myth is that you will never receive credit again after filing bankruptcy. This is simply untrue.

Bankruptcy Lawyers

Should you have questions or issues concerning your financial situation or are considering filing for bankruptcy, feel free to call the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo. We’ve been helping our clients for more than 30 years deal with foreclosure defense and bankruptcy matters. We can be reached at 1-80–344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350- 2802.

Falling Home Prices Wreaking Havoc on the Economy

Falling Home Prices WreakingEconomists in the United States are taking the position that falling home prices are a significant problem preventing the economic recovery in the United States. The devaluation of homes in the United States has cost Americans billions of dollars. The declining wealth of American homeowners has had a further negative impact on their confidence that the financial situation will improve in the future.

Richard Curtin, Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan, recently stated “people don’t expect their home to regain value, and that’s really lead to a change in consumer attitudes about the economy that we’ve just never seen before.”

Americans have a confidence problem in their future of their country. They no longer believe that the economy will necessarily improve and financial circumstances will get better. The average income of many American families has declined. The unemployment rate is still over 9%. The expectations for economic growth among Americans have fallen to one of the lowest levels in history.

The Decline of the Real Estate Market

Recent studies by economists have shown the decline in the real estate market affecting all aspects of consumer spending. It is estimated that Americans reduce their spending by $20-$70 a year for every $1,000 decline in the equity in their home. During times of appreciation in real estate, there was a “wealth effect.” The wealth effect made consumers feel that they had liquidity and, therefore, they spent more money. Often more than they actually had. The down side of the wealth effect is, as home values have declined, consumer confidence has declined and there has been a negative reduction in the wealth effect. In other words, consumers feel they’re getting poorer when their houses go down in value and are less inclined to spend money.

Economy Will Eventually Recover

The prevailing view among the economists is that even though things do not look good right now, the economy will eventually get better and Americans will start spending again. Hopefully, appreciating real estate prices will spearhead the economic recovery.

Foreclosure Lawyers

The foreclosure lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo can help you if you have a foreclosure problem. Our foreclosure defense lawyers litigate defective mortgages, defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending and all other types of real estate related matters. We can explain the federal laws on foreclosure and how they affect you. We attend foreclosure court conferences for our clients.

In the appropriate situation, we will discuss foreclosure related bankruptcy issues, such as filing a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy with you. In bankruptcy situations, there is an automatic stay that goes into effect, ordered by the court, that stops foreclosure from moving forward. In some bankruptcy situations, we can eliminate second mortgages. At the end of the bankruptcy, we can assist you inre- establishing your credit. Feel free to set up a free consultation with us. We will discuss your foreclosure options with you.

Government Turning a Quarter Million Foreclosed Homes Into Rentals

Homes Into RentalsThe President is considering turning a quarter of a million homes taken over by government controlled agencies into rentals. Putting these homes on the market for sale will only further depress the real estate market. The Federal Housing Finance Agency would like to put 250,000 homes that are owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration on the market to be rented. These homes have been obtained by government agencies pursuant to foreclosure proceedings. Edward DeMarco, who is currently the acting director of the Federal Housing Agency, has stated that “renting these homes instead of selling them in foreclosure may reduce credit losses and help stabilize neighborhoods and home value.” It is estimated that homes placed on the market for sale in foreclosure sell for 20% less than their actual value.

Foreclosure Crisis Creates Demand In Rental Market

Since the housing crisis started, approximately three million former homeowners are now renting. This has reduced the inventory of homes available to be rented. Families that lose their homes in foreclosure have no choice but to rent. Their credit is ruined by the foreclosure proceedings, they generally have no money for a down payment and their only option is to rent. There are those who claim America is becoming a society of renters. The American dream of owning a single family home may become a broken dream. This dream emanated from the conclusion that owning a home would not only provide you with a stable place to live, but will allow you to develop equity. However, during a time of economic turmoil the value of single family homes has been going down. A home, instead of being a worthwhile investment in real estate for the past few years, has been a horrible investment. Single family homes have been declining in value for the last five years. It is estimated that it may be an additional five to ten years before single family homes start increasing in value. In a market where the value of real estate is going down, renting seems to be the logical choice. Why buy a home today that will be worth less in the future?

I think the Obama Administration is on the right track. I believe instead of foreclosing on homes and selling them at auction, the homes should be rented to prevent the continuing oversupply of homes to the real estate market. This will give the real estate market a greater opportunity to reach equilibrium between buyers and sellers. Down the road, when the real estate market recovers, the government can offer these homes to be sold to their renters or to other worthy individuals or families.

Foreclosure Defense Lawyers

Before your house falls into foreclosure, it is suggested you apply for a mortgage modification. If your mortgage modification program does not meet your needs, unfortunately your home may end up being foreclosed upon. Should you receive a Summons and Complaint in foreclosure, our law office can help you. We will attend foreclosure court conferences on your behalf and speak to the Judge about motivating your financial institution to give you a mortgage modification. We’ll also submit a formal written answer on your behalf. Defenses such as defective mortgages, predatory lending, defective foreclosure lawsuits and other real estate related legal defenses can be interposed on your behalf. Our law firm will use its extensive experience in handling these types of cases, to keep you in your home.

We will also discuss with you foreclosure related bankruptcy options. Filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the best route for you in dealing with your foreclosure situation. Why should you file bankruptcy and the types of bankruptcies available to you would be discussed upon your initial free consultation. Should you file bankruptcy you can sometimes eliminate second mortgages. Bankruptcy will stop foreclosure proceedings from moving forward and stop all debt collection activity against you. Call us for a free consultation.

We will discuss all of your foreclosure and bankruptcy options with you. Our phone numbers are 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802. You’ve just visited the Elliot Schlissel, Esq. foreclosure blog.

NY Foreclosure Law Firm Fined Two Million Dollars

NY Foreclosure Law Firm Fined Two Million DollarsSteven J. Baum, P.C. of Amherst, New York, has been fined two million dollars for inappropriate foreclosure legal practices. Steven J. Baum, P.C. is the largest foreclosure law firm in the state of New York. Steven J. Baum, P.C. has agreed, in addition to paying the two million dollar fine, to re-vamp its practices with regard to the handling of pleadings, affidavits and mortgage assignments in New York State and Federal Courts.

The Law Firm has agreed to implement a variety of internal controls regarding its processing and handling of foreclosure proceedings. They have agreed to review original promissory notes received from their clients or custodians of the notes prior to filing new foreclosure lawsuits. These actions will bring the firm in compliance with the order issued by Chief Judge Jonathan Lipman regarding attorneys representing lending institutions.

Mortgage Foreclosure Proceedings

US Attorney Preet Bharara, from the Southern District of New York, stated, with regard to the settlement, “in mortgage foreclosure proceedings, there are no excuses for sloppy practices that could lead to someone mistakenly losing their home.” She stated further that “homeowners facing foreclosure cannot afford to have faulty paperwork or inadequate evidence submitted and today’s agreement will help minimize that risk.”

Baum Law Firm Released from Civil Liability

The Baum Law Firm, upon payment of the two million dollar fine and the imposition of new internal procedures, will be released from potential civil liability under the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989. The Baum Law Firm acknowledges that it occasionally made inadvertent errors in its legal filings in state and federal courts, which it attributes to human error in light of the high volume of mortgages and foreclosures it handled throughout the State of New York in the wake of the national subprime mortgage crisis.”

It should be noted that this is a settlement. It is not a finding of wrongdoing by the Baum Foreclosure Law Firm. The Baum Law Firm has also agreed to have experienced attorneys supervising all aspects of the preparation of documents and reviewing of documents before they are filed with the courts. In addition, they are implementing a one to two-year training program for their attorneys to bring them in compliance with the rules regarding foreclosure proceedings in the state of New York.

Hopefully, this law firm will live up to its responsibilities in dealing with foreclosure proceedings. Taking a family’s home and putting them on the street is a sad end to the American dream. These proceedings should be handled in a manner that protects the homeowner’s rights and sees to it that homes aren’t wrongly foreclosed upon.

New York Foreclosure Defense Lawyers

The New York City and Long Island foreclosure defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo can help you if you have a foreclosure problem. Our foreclosure defense lawyers litigate defective mortgages, defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending and all other types of real estate related matters. We can explain the federal laws on foreclosure and how they affect you. We attend foreclosure court conferences for our clients.

In the appropriate situation, we will discuss foreclosure related bankruptcy issues, such as filing a Chapter 7 and a Chapter 13 bankruptcy with you. In bankruptcy situations, there is an automatic stay that goes into effect, ordered by the court, that stops foreclosure from moving forward. In some bankruptcy situations, we can eliminate second mortgages. At the end of the bankruptcy, we can assist you inre- establishing your credit. Feel free to set up a free consultation with us. We will discuss your foreclosure options with you.

A Thousand Days to Foreclose a Home

There is an old expression that courts have two speeds, slow and backwards. In the State of New York, that is certainly true if you’re involved in foreclosureThousand Days to Foreclose a Home proceedings. It is estimated that it takes approximately a thousand days to bring a case from start to finish in both Nassau and Suffolk counties in New York. The delays in foreclosure proceedings are caused by the courts being overwhelmed by the unprecedented number of homes going into foreclosure. There are more than twenty thousand homes tied up in foreclosure proceedings in Nassau and Suffolk counties at the present time. The high level of foreclosures continues to depress the real estate markets on Long Island.

Foreclosure Court Conferences

New York State has a statute that requires a court conference on all new foreclosure proceedings. At the court conference, the Judges and attorneys look into possibility of avoiding foreclosure. Mortgage modifications and other solutions to the foreclosure proceedings pending before the courts are discussed with the homeowners’ attorneys and the attorneys for the financial institutions. These foreclosure court conferences often result in negotiations leading towards mortgage modifications and/or other solutions to these problems.

Cases in New York are subject to a significant amount of scrutiny by the courts. The purpose of this scrutiny is to see to it that innocent homeowners are not improperly removed from their homes.

Saving Your Home, Foreclosure Defense Attorneys

We can save your home from foreclosure. We attend foreclosure court conferences on your behalf. We can submit an answer to your foreclosure proceeding that can include defenses involving defective mortgages, defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending and other real estate related defenses. We are knowledgeable about federal laws and foreclosure. We will provide you at the time of the initial consultation with all of your foreclosure options.

These options will include foreclosure related bankruptcies. The filing of either a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will stop foreclosures from moving forward. Filing a bankruptcy will also stop debt collectors and collection lawyers that may be harassing you. There are many bankruptcy myths that are untrue. Bankruptcy will not permanently destroy your credit. We will be able to help you re-establish credit after filing a bankruptcy.

Call us for a free consultation. We will discuss all foreclosure defenses and bankruptcy options with you at your initial free consultation. We appreciate your visiting our foreclosure blog.

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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