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Foreclosure Action Dismissed: Bank Had No Standing

Foreclosure Action Dismissed: Bank Had No StandingIn a case in Orange County before Justice Maria Vasquez-Doles a plaintiff moved for summary judgment claiming there were no questions of fact and that a trial was not necessary in this foreclosure case. They requested an appointment of a referee to compute the amount which was owed. In addition, they wanted a default judgment against non-appearing defendants. The original note and mortgage was between Home Funds Direct and the homeowners. It was claimed the homeowners defaulted by not making timely mortgage payments. US Bank Trust moved for summary judgment. The defendants argued US Bank Trust did not have standing to bring the lawsuit. They claimed MIRS was never authorized by the original lender to assign the note and mortgage to US Bank Trust. The defendants claimed the note was in the possession of “a custodian Wells Fargo Bank” not US Bank Trust.

The Judge’s Decision

Justice Vasquez-Doles found US Bank Trust had not met its burden of proof to show it had standing to bring the foreclosure lawsuit. She found they failed to establish a prima facie case that US Bank Trust was in possession of the note because Wells Fargo continued to possess the original note. She also found US Bank Trust could establish the standing by showing the note was assigned to them, but they failed to do this. She also pointed out there is no endorsement to MIRS on the note giving it authority to assign the note. The evidence presented in the case was there was no evidence indicating MIRS had a right to assign the note. MIRS also could not transfer something it did not have possession of. Although US Bank Trust could have established physical delivery of the note to them, they did not undertake to do this in this case. Justice Vasquez-Doles therefore dismissed the case.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel is a foreclosure lawyer representing homeowners throughout the Metropolitan New York area for more than 35 years. He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure Issues

Mortgage-Foreclosure-IssuesReverse mortgages are made to homeowners aged 62 or older. They allow the homeowners to access the equity in their home to pay their bills while allowing them to continue to live in their homes. In situations involving reverse mortgages the homeowner no longer makes monthly payments. The amount owed to the financial institution gets charged against the homeowner’s home equity and these loans are usually insured by the Federal Housing Administration. The reverse mortgage is not due and payable until the homeowner’s death.

Taxes and Insurance on the Home

Although the homeowner does not have to make mortgage payments, the homeowner is usually responsible for paying the property taxes, school taxes and maintaining their homeowner’s insurance. The failure by homeowners to pay these expenses can cause the financial institution that provided the reverse mortgage to bring a foreclosure lawsuit based on the homeowner’s non-compliance with the conditions involved in the mortgage.

Reverse Mortgage Foreclosure Default

New legislation requires reverse mortgage defaults now have to receive a 90 day preforeclosure notice under the Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law Section 1304. The amendment to this law causes financial institutions to participate in mandatory settlement conferences with regard to working out alternatives to foreclosing on the home regarding reverse mortgages.

The new reverse mortgage law indicates a list of the items that can trigger a reverse mortgage foreclosure. These include:

  • failure to include a required certificate of occupancy on an annual basis
  • death of the named borrower
  • failure to pay real property taxes
  • failure to maintain homeowner’s insurance
  • failure to pay water bills and sewer bills
  • failure to make required repairs
  • failure to occupy the home as a principal place of residence

Conclusion

This new legislation provides homeowners who have reverse mortgages many of the same protections homeowners who have conventional mortgages have. In addition, it provides them with notice as to any of the possible items which could cause their home to go into foreclosure.

schlissel-headshotElliot S. Schlissel is a foreclosure lawyer representing homeowners throughout the Metropolitan New York area for more than 35 years. He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

Sue the Mortgage Loan Servicing Company

Loan-Servicing-Company

Loan servicing companies can be sued. Loan servicing companies can make errors that have a negative impact on mortgage holders. Loan servicing companies can inaccurately calculate the amount due and owing by the homeowners. Sometimes they do not properly review mortgage modifications submitted by the homeowners. Upon request sometimes they provide inaccurate loan reinstatement information.

Good Faith

Mortgage holders are supposed to act in good faith. New York Civil Practice Law and Rules Section 8408 defines what is considered “bad faith” by a mortgage company.

Loan Servicing Companies

Loan servicing companies often hire inexperienced poorly paid individuals to act as their customer service representatives concerning the submission of mortgage modification applications. Sometimes they do not appropriately train their personnel with regard to the issues faced by homeowners submitting mortgage modification applications.

The process of submitting a mortgage modification usually involves the submission of information to the loan servicing company. Their customer service representatives therefore input the data into a computer program called an algarhythm. The algarhythm actually determines whether the homeowner qualifies for a mortgage modification. If the data is not properly put into the computer program the decision to deny a homeowner a mortgage modification can be based on an error made by the data processing person who inputed the data.

Foreclosure Defense Attorneys

Foreclosure attorneys experienced with the mortgage modification process are often able to help homeowners who have in the past had problems obtaining mortgage modifications.

schlissel-headshot

Elliot S. Schlissel is a foreclosure lawyer representing homeowners for more than 3 decades. He can be reached at 800-344-6431 or e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

Stopping the Foreclosure Sale

Stopping the Foreclosure Sale

At the end of the foreclosure process in New York the home is scheduled to be sold by a court appointed referee. If you find yourself in this situation what do you do? The homeowner usually receives notice approximately 30 days before the house is sold. In some situations the homeowner only has several weeks to stop the foreclosure sale.

Legal Action to Stop the Foreclosure Sale

There are two avenues a homeowner can proceed to stop their families’ home from being sold. The first option is to bring an emergency order to show cause in the state court where the foreclosure case is pending. When this order to show cause is brought it requests the judge enter a court order stopping the foreclosure sale from going forward. However, it should be noted this is discretionary with the judge and the judge can turn down this application.

The second route to stopping a foreclosure sale is to file a bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court. The filing of a bankruptcy, whether it is a Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, guarantees the federal court will issue a stay ordering the state court, where the foreclosure is pending, to stop the sale from Elliot Schlisselmoving forward. After the bankruptcy is filed the attorneys for the homeowner serve the court order from the federal court on the attorneys for the financial institution and the referee appointed by the court to sell the home.

Chapter 13 and Chapter 11 Bankruptcies

Chapter 13 and Chapter 11 bankruptcies involve the reorganization of the debt of the homeowner. Plans are established to allow the homeowner to catch up on the mortgage arrears over a period of five (5) years or less. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy is also known as a straight bankruptcy. It simply eliminates or discharges the mortgage debt completely.

The best way to evaluate whether to proceed with an order to show cause in state court or one of the three (3) potential bankruptcy filings is to meet with a foreclosure lawyer as soon as you receive notice your home is going to be sold at auction. At a minimum an experienced foreclosure defense lawyer will be able to provide you with peace of mind and explain how the legal process is working in your case.

Foreclosure Strategies

deal with a foreclosure

The best way to deal with a foreclosure is to take aggressive legal action when the foreclosure lawsuit is started and at the same time actively participate in the mortgage modification process. By both fighting the lawsuit, suing the financial institution to set the mortgage aside and working with the financial institution and their attorneys regarding a mortgage modification provides the best possibility of successfully seeing to it the homeowners to continue to live in their homes.

Mortgage Modification

The homeowners can apply for a mortgage modification before they are sued in foreclosure. If the homeowners finds themselves in financial difficulty they should immediately apply for a mortgage modification and submit a hardship letter to the bank explaining their financial difficulties. A mortgage modification can reduce monthly mortgage payments the homeowner has to make and in addition arrears owed to the financial institution can be placed at the end of the mortgage.

Litigating the Foreclosure Lawsuit

When served with the summons and complaint in a foreclosure lawsuit the homeowners should immediately retain competent experienced foreclosure defense lawyers. The attorneys for the homeowner should put in an answer including numerous affirmative defenses and counterclaims seeking to set the mortgage aside. Discovery applications requesting the financial institution to turn over all relevant documents related to the application, underwriting and processing of the mortgage should be instituted.

Foreclosure Sale

If the homeowner’s home is listed for sale in a foreclosure, the homeowner has 2 options. An emergency order to show cause can be brought to the court where the foreclosure is pending requesting the foreclosure sale be stopped. Another route the homeowner can take is to file a bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court. The filing of a bankruptcy causes the federal court to issue an automatic stay of all foreclosure proceedings. This stops the foreclosure in the state court. The bank’s lawyers and the referee appointed to sell their home are ordered to stop taking any legal action to move forward with regard to the sale of the homeowner’s home.

Types of Bankruptcies

There are basically three (3) types of bankruptcies the homeowner can utilize. Chapter 13 and Chapter 11 bankruptcies set out plans that keep the homeowners, if they have the appropriate cash flow, to become current on their mortgage. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy simply eliminates all of the homeowner’s debt.

Don’t Give Up

It is said that God helps those that help themselves. Sometimes homeowners when faced with foreclosure become depressed. They assume there is nothing they can do and they take no action. This Attorney Elliot Schlisselis the wrong approach. Faced with their home going into foreclosure homeowners should hire competent foreclosure defense counsel. Our office has helped hundreds of homeowners throughout the Metropolitan New York area continue to stay in their homes. We can be reached for a free consultation at our offices in Nassau, Queens and Suffolk Counties at the following phone numbers: 516-561-6645, 718-305-2802 or 631-309-8262. We can be e-mailed at Elliot@sdnylaw.com. We have been keeping homeowners in their homes for more than 3 decades!

Representing Yourself in a Foreclosure

Representing Yourself

My office has been representing homeowners in foreclosure cases for more than 35 years. Often homeowners come to me and they tell me they have been representing themselves in a foreclosure. When I ask them how they are doling, they say well we were doing fine. This means the homeowner has hit a brick wall. If you need an operation would you engage in surgery on yourself? No homeowner should ever represent themselves in a foreclosure. At a minimum they will be greatly outmatched. Financial institutions have unlimited money to hire lawyers. Lawyers who engage in foreclosure practice sue hundreds of homeowners in multiple courts throughout the Metropolitan New York area. They have extensive experience in litigating foreclosure lawsuits.

The Stubborn Homeowner

In spite of what I have indicated above, our office sees quite a few homeowners who have been litigating their own cases. A large majority have done a poor job. However, occasionally I run into bright, articulate homeowners who are actually doing a good job in representing themselves in the foreclosure lawsuit. For those homeowners I ask them several questions. How to do you plan on questioning yourself if you are on the witness stand? Can you explain to me how you can establish the foundation for presenting evidence to the court? When I ask these questions the homeowners are usually dumbfounded.

Foreclosure Defense Lawyers

Most lawyers are not familiar with the process of defending foreclosure lawsuits. The defense to a foreclosure lawsuit involves specialized pleadings. The best defense to a foreclosure case would be to prove the homeowner has made the payments. However, this is almost never the case. The defenses to foreclosure lawsuits usually deal with sophisticated statutory defenses. Truth and Lending Laws violations, violations of state and federal banking laws, failure to provide proper notice, failure to serve a summons and complaint in conformity with statutory requirements, failure to act in good faith with regard to foreclosure mortgage modification conferences, failure to provide the appropriate documents at the closing and the list of legal defenses goes on and on.

Hire an Experienced Foreclosure Defense Lawyer

Only attorneys with intimate knowledge of the underwriting process of mortgage loans, the regulatory requirements financial institutions need to comply with and knowledge of the ins and outs of foreclosure cases can provide a specialized level of representation for homeowners. The banks hire experienced attorneys to bring their foreclosure actions. Homeowners should not rely on just any attorney to represent them. They should only hire experienced foreclosure defense lawyers with a track record of successfully representing homeowners.

Before hiring a foreclosure defense law firm ask them how many articles he or she has written regarding foreclosure cases. Our law office has been diligently litigating foreclosure lawsuits and Attorney Elliot Schlisselhelping homeowners obtain mortgage modifications for more than 30 years. We have kept hundreds of homeowners in their homes. We are available for free consultations. We pride ourselves in keeping our clients in their homes. We can be reached for a free consultation at our offices in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens Counties at: 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or 631-319-8262. You can also e-mail us at Elliot@sdnylaw.com.

Penalizing Banks for Foreclosure Irregularities

Wells Fargo and Company, the fourth largest bank by assets in the United States, Bank of America, the largest lender in the United States and Citigroup the third largest

8lender in the United States expect to be sanctioned by the United States government for bad foreclosure practices.

These banks are accused by federal regulators of abusing borrowers and illegally foreclosing on homes. A federal probe has been underway for many months. Federal investigators have found widespread deficiencies in the manner in which home loans are serviced, payments are collected, how loan modifications are processed and the foreclosure process itself on loans.

Banks to Be Penalized

Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Citibank have all been accused of improper and illegal foreclosure practices. There have been reports that federal regulators may demand as much as thirty billion dollars from some 14 mortgage companies regarding improper foreclosure and mortgage practices.

Bank of America is responsible for the most mortgage loans in the United States. It handles 2.1 trillion dollars in home mortgages. Bank of America besides being investigated by federal regulators has been subject to a variety of private lawsuits concerning their mortgage foreclosure practices. Bank of America had temporarily suspended all foreclosure proceedings in 2010 to conduct a review and investigation of its foreclosure and mortgage practices. Bank of America has recently re-instituted foreclosure proceedings. They claim they have dealt with all of their internal problems concerning the processing of mortgages and handling of foreclosure.

Long Island Foreclosure Defense Lawyers

If your home is in foreclosure or you need a mortgage modification we can help you. The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo have been assisting consumers and homeowners with problems concerning debts to financial institutions for more than two (2) decades. We prepare mortgage modification documents. We can help deal with mortgage modification programs that fail to meet the consumers needs. If you are in foreclosure, we will attend foreclosure court conferences on your behalf.

We litigate defective foreclosure lawsuits, predatory lending issues, defective mortgages, bad faith on behalf of financial institutions, and other related real estate proceedings.

In situations where we feel a filing of a Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is appropriate we file these proceedings with the United States Bankruptcy Court on behalf of our clients. We also assist our clients in reestablishing credit after filing for bankruptcy. We can help stop foreclosure in its tracks. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802.

Suing Large Financial Institutions

foreclosure defense attorneyThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is reviewing new regulations which will put the brakes on a contentious practice called mandatory arbitration. Under mandatory arbitration rules, consumers must take disputes they have with financial institutions to third party mediators. This prevents them from going into courts and presenting their issues to judges. Consumer advocates feel this practice benefits large financial institutions, credit card issuers and financial service providers to the detriment of consumers.

Fine Print in Consumer Contracts

Most Americans are unaware that there is fine print in many consumer contracts which requires they submit complaints concerning issues, such as disputed charges on financial accounts, to arbitration. Consumer advocates claim arbitrators are often biased and rule against consumers. It should be noted, in many situations, rulings by arbitrators are not appealable.

Arbitration Process

The arbitration process started out as a good idea. Its intent was to give consumers an inexpensive way to challenge bank practices. However, financial institutions have manipulated the arbitration process. When they feel an arbitration firm does not rule in their favor on a regular basis, they shop around for other arbitration companies. This gives arbitration companies a reason to rule in favor of banks so they will hire them again and again.

George Slover with the Consumer’s Union, the public policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports Magazine, stated “this proposal is a tremendous step towards cleaning up a system that has heavily favored companies over consumers who were wronged.”

The new proposal before the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau does not create a complete ban on arbitration. It proposes new rules which would allow unhappy consumers to start lawsuits against banks or other financial institutions as a group, through class actions, if they feel it is appropriate instead of submitting to arbitration.

foreclosure defense lawyerElliot S. Schlissel is a foreclosure lawyer representing consumers throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He litigates foreclosure cases against financial institutions. His goal is to keep his clients in their homes.

Foreclosure Defense Advice for 2016

foreclosure attorney New YorkIn many parts of the country, the real estate crisis which has caused the high rate of foreclosures is easing. Unfortunately, this is not the case in the Metropolitan New York area. There is expected to be a large flow of new foreclosure cases coming into the courts in 2016. Here is my New Year’s advice for foreclosures which start in the year 2016.

Don’t Ignore the Foreclosure

In my decades of representing homeowners whose homes go into foreclosure, I am shocked by the number of homeowners who simply put their heads into the ground and ignore the fact that their financial institution is taking legal action against them. There are many things that can be done to stop foreclosures from moving forward, to obtain mortgage modifications, to get banks to pay attention to your situation, to tie cases up in court and to challenge the appropriateness, the standing, the basis of the lawsuit and to move to set the mortgage aside. Do not be an ostrich if your home is going into foreclosure. Obtain the legal services of a competent, experienced foreclosure defense attorney.

Look Into Your Legal Options

As stated in the prior paragraph, ignoring the situation is not a smart option to take. If you haven’t applied for a mortgage modification, apply for one. God helps those who help themselves. The worst that can happen is you will get turned down.

Disaster Situations

If you have been subject to a natural calamity or disaster, which has caused a hardship for you or your family, contact your lender and put them on notice of the situation. They may be able to provide you with a forbearance agreement to help you get on your feet.

Refinancing the Loan

If your mortgage loan is not working out for you, before you fall far behind look into the possibility of refinancing your mortgage. Don’t wait until you are many months behind to consider this option. By then it will be too late!

Sell Your Home

If your home has equity in it, and you can’t afford it, selling your home is an option. You can sell the home and keep the equity which exists in your home. Although many homes are going into foreclosure in the Metropolitan New York area, real estate values are increasing. Your home may be worth more than you think it is worth. This is something you should look into.

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy should be the last option you look into, not the first. There are two types of bankruptcies a homeowner can file. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is a repayment plan which can help you become current on your existing mortgage over 5 years. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy eliminates the personal obligation on your debt. The filing of either of these bankruptcies creates an automatic stay received from a federal court. This stops foreclosure lawsuits from going forward during the pendency of the bankruptcy.foreclosure defense lawyer

Defective Foreclosure Lawsuits

foreclosure lawyer New YorkHas the bank initiated a foreclosure action against you? How do you know the bank has acted appropriately with regard to fulfilling their obligations as a financial institution? The question then becomes, is the foreclosure lawsuit defective?

There are a variety of reasons that a bank’s foreclosure proceeding against you may be defective. The first issue is whether the bank has all of the proper documents to have legal standing to foreclose on your property. Another issue is how significant misrepresentations, predatory lending issues, or issues involving sub-prime mortgages affected your case.

Exposing Defects in Foreclosure Cases

How do you expose a defect in a foreclosure case? To start with, all of the documents related to the mortgage need to be reviewed. In addition, a detailed Answer to the Summons and Complaint needs to be filed with both the court and opposing counsel. Numerous affirmative defenses concerning potential defects in the case need to be alleged. Thereafter a document demand must be made seeking copies of all of the documents the bank has in its file related to this matter. In addition, interrogatories or bills of particulars can be served on the bank asking a variety of questions concerning the origination of the mortgage, the term of the mortgage and various issues pertaining to the mortgage.

Sloppy Paperwork by Banks

When the real estate industry was booming in 2006 through 2009, banks became overwhelmed with the number of applications being submitted to them. In many situations, their paperwork was sloppy, unprofessional, improperly handled, involved misstatements, false statements, and applications submitted by mortgage brokers that did not reflect the financial circumstances of the prospective mortgagor. Underwriters often lost documents concerning mortgage applications. They also misplaced documents or simply incorrectly handled the underwriting of the mortgage. It is the job of the foreclosure defense attorney to bring all of these problems to light when a bank seeks to foreclose against the homeowner. It is then presented to a judge with the hope the judge will carefully review the situation and reach the conclusion the bank has acted improperly.

Legal Rights and Options

So how do you protect your legal rights? What are your options? The only way you will find an answer to these questions is to consult with an experienced, dedicated foreclosure defense attorney. You can call our office for a free consultation. Our phones are monitored 24/7. Our office phone numbers are 516-561-6645 and 718-350-2802.New York foreclosure defense lawyer

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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