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Mandatory Foreclosure Settlement Court Conferences

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Elliot S. Schlissel is a foreclosure lawyer representing homeowners throughout the Metropolitan New York area for more than 20 years. He regularly sues banks to set aside mortgages and help keep his clients in their homes.  He and his associates can be reached at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or by email to schlissel.law@att.net.

Mortgage and Foreclosure Schemes to Be Aware Of

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Elliot S. Schlissel is a foreclosure lawyer.  He has been representing clients in foreclosure lawsuits and mortgage modifications for more than 35 years.  He can be reached at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802, 1-800-344-6431 or by email schlissel.law@att.net.

How to Reduce Mortgage Payments

To view today’s video blog, please click on the link below:

http://youtu.be/FUldQvJ2NWQ

Elliot S. Schlissel is a foreclosure defense attorney.  He can be reached at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or by email to schlissel.law@att.net.

Negotiations with Bank Does Not Stop Foreclosure Lawsuit

foreclosure defense attorneysA foreclosure lawsuit was brought by Citi Mortgage against Vatash. Vatash submitted an answer with affirmative defenses to the summons and complaint served by Citi Mortgage. Citi Mortgage moved for summary judgment. In their application they sought to dismiss the answer brought by Vatash. Vatash claimed, in his answer, Citibank lacked standing to bring this foreclosure action. He also claimed Citibank’s motion was inappropriate because he was involved in discussions with Citi Mortgage concerning a loan modification. He took the position since loan modification discussions were ongoing, Citibank had no right to move forward with the foreclosure case.

Standing Argument Dismissed

Justice Thomas Whelan sitting in a Supreme Court Part in Suffolk County, ruled Vatash’s argument that Citi Mortgage didn’t have standing was procedurally defective. The ruling was based on the allegation that Vatash failed to assert lack of standing in his answer or in a pre-answer motion to dismiss. In addition, the court took the position the argument even if it had been submitted appropriately in the answer, was substantively without merit. The court held Citi Mortgage was the owner and holder of the note and mortgage upon its merger with the original financial institution which made the loan.

The court ruled in favor of Citi Mortgage’s application for summary judgment (an application to grant a judgment without the need for a trial because there are no issues of fact). The court took the position the opposition papers submitted by Vatash did not create an issue of fact or an adequate defense.

Negotiations Do Not Stop Foreclosure Cases from Moving Forward

The Court specifically held the fact that Vatash was engaged in negotiations and/or discussions with Citi Mortgage is not a defense to the foreclosure lawsuit. Citi Mortgage’s motion for summary judgment was granted.

Conclusion

There are a number of important issues which were dealt with in this case. To start with, a lack of standing argument must be plead in the answer to the Summons and Complaint. Secondly, discussions with a bank concerning mortgage modifications or other ways of resolving the case have no impact on the foreclosure lawsuit moving forward.

helping homeowners stay in their homesElliot Schlissel is a foreclosure defense lawyer. His office has represented homeowners for more than twenty years on mortgage foreclosure lawsuits throughout the Metropolitan New York area.

City Seeks To Save Homes Through Eminent Domain

mortgage modification lawyerThe City of Richmond, California has come up with a unique plan. The city sent notices to the institutions holding more than 600 underwater mortgages. The city asked these institutions to sell the mortgages to the city. The city offered to buy the mortgages for 80% of the fair market value of the homes. The City intended on writing down the mortgages for the purpose of helping the homeowners refinance their properties.

Investment Group Brings Lawsuit To Stop The City

An investment group filed a lawsuit in a Federal Court in California. They seek to prevent the City from using Eminent Domain to seize mortgages of local residents who owe more than the value of their property. The investment group claimed “the purpose of the lawsuit is to protect retirees and save them from an unlawful and unconstitutional seizure of private property and to prevent severe damage to the country’s home mortgage market.” The investment group requested the court stop Richmond, California from moving forward with its program and to declare its plan to seize mortgages as being unconstitutional. The City of Richmond claimed the lawsuit is without merit and their plan is appropriate.

Since the case is in its infancy, we’ll see how things work out in the future. However if the city is willing to seize its resident’s underwater mortgages, make a deal with the institutions holding those mortgages to pay them a fair amount for the mortgages and thereafter the homeowner’s refinance their homes for a lesser amount, it looks like a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Foreclosure Defense Lawyer

assistance for homeownersElliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is a prominent foreclosure lawyer representing homeowner’s against financial institutions throughout the metropolitan New York area. Elliot and his associates aggressively litigate foreclosure lawsuits and assist their clients in obtaining mortgage modifications.

Part III: Bank Of America Had Been Sued For Improperly Handling Mortgage Modifications Before

mortgage modification attorneysIn 2012, Bank of America settled a lawsuit brought by a former employee of a contractor who worked with the bank. This employee had accused Bank of America of mishandling HAMP applications. The Bank has also settled two major Federal lawsuits related to improper foreclosures practices.

Consolidation of Lawsuits

The pending lawsuit against Bank of America is part of a consolidation of 29 separate suits brought against the bank. The lawsuits come from across the country and have been certified as a class action. The lawsuit deals with homeowners who received trial modifications, and made all of their payments on a timely basis. However these homeowners did not receive timely responses from the bank as to whether they would be given a permanent mortgage modification. Pursuant to the HAMP program, the initial trial period was supposed to last for three months. However with Bank of America, it often lasted much longer. The problem was that Bank of America, as well as other banks, refused to properly fund their mortgage servicing operations under the HAMP program. Unfortunately there was not sufficient government oversight of these programs to pick up these problems right away.

It is estimated there are 800,000 mortgages that would have qualified for HAMP mortgage modifications if Bank of America and other large financial institutions had properly funded the HAMP program and supervised the program in the manner in which it was intended. This program was intended to help homeowners during the mortgage crisis in America. Unfortunately, since it was a voluntary program that was underfunded, it did not accomplish its goal!

The Purpose Of The HAMP Program

The purpose of the HAMP program was for the government to give cash incentives to financial institutions to modify home mortgages pursuant to specific standards. This was supposed to provide a streamlined process to help the 4 million homeowners having difficulties in the United States. Instead of accomplishing its goal, Bank of America utilized this program as a means, pursuant to statements of former employees, to obtain as much money as possible from the struggling homeowners and then foreclose their homes. Under the program, buyers were supposed to make trial payments for three months. However in many instances, the trial payments lasted for as long as a year and sometimes even longer. After making as much as a year or more of trial payments, instead of the mortgage modification becoming permanent, the homeowners were denied mortgage modifications. To make matters worse, they then found they owed the difference between the amount of the payments under the trial modification and their original mortgage payments. The Bank of America employees, in statements they had given stated that many of them were given no training whatsoever with regard to the requirement of the HAMP program.homeowner advocates

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.

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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