Fannie Mae Easing Mortgage Rules

mortgage modification attorneysFannie Mae is the largest mortgage government entity in the United States. In an attempt to bring more people into the housing market, it is in the process of taking action to expand the availability of mortgages with low down payment requirements. The new program by Fannie Mae will require mortgage insurance from private organizations on top of the down payment made by the purchaser.

Fannie Mae is a government backed entity which guarantees mortgages. It is regulated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Since the onset of the financial crisis in the year 2008, more than 3/4 of all mortgages in the United States have had some type of government backed guarantee behind it. Fannie Mae’s current requirements only allow borrowers to borrow up to 80% of the purchase price of the home. Under the new proposed program, Fannie Mae will back programs with down payments as low as 3% of the value of the home. However, all of these loans will require private mortgage insurance with regard to the portion of the 20% of the cost of the home that is not made as a down payment. The purpose of this new program is to bring more borrowers who have not accumulated significant amounts of savings back into the housing market.

Raising The Risk of Future Foreclosure

Studies have shown prospective home purchasers who make down payments of less than 20% have significantly higher default rates. When these homeowners default, their homes go into foreclosure. Low down payment loans were part of the problem which caused the huge mortgage crisis in 2008, which is still playing out today.


Helping prospective homeowners come into the housing market with smaller down payments gives more and more Americans access to the American dream, the ownership of a single family home. However, this program must be careful not to create a new mortgage bubble which may cause a deluge of foreclosures in the future.

foreclosure advocate for homeownersElliot Schlissel is a foreclosure lawyer. He fights foreclosure lawsuits and helps keep homeowners in their homes.

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 45 years.  He can be reached at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802, 1-800-344-6431 or by email

New Mortgage Laws in New York State

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Elliot S. Schlissel is a foreclosure defense lawyer.  He can be reached at 1-800-344-6431 or by email at

Hurricane Sandy Buyouts Moving Forward

foreclosure defense attorneysIn the month of May 2014, New York Rising, the agency that is involved with utilizing federal funds to pay for damages caused by Superstorm Sandy, purchased 34 homes. The agency is now in the process of hiring an auction company to sell off some of the homes which were purchased, in addition to several hundred others. The homes sold will either be fixed up or totally rebuilt to make them resistant to future hurricanes.

New York Rising Buying More Damaged Homes

New York Rising is in the process of buying about 500 homes on Long Island. The average price to be paid for these homes is $360,000. There is an additional 500 homeowners who have submitted applications to have their homes purchased. Many of the homes that are being purchased by New York Rising will not be resold. These homes will remain vacant and the land will not be developed. These properties will be used as a buffer against future storms.

Michelle Mittleman, a lawyer who represents a Facebook group of Sandy victims, indicates although New York Rising is paying reasonable value for these homes, they are moving too slowly.

Barbara Brancaccio, a spokesperson for New York Rising, stated they have “moved aggressively to work with homeowners to ensure that we provide them with a fair price, and comply with federal regulations.”

homeowner advocates on long islandElliot Schlissel is a foreclosure lawyer. He represents homeowners whose homes are in foreclosure. He litigates foreclosure lawsuits, helps homeowners obtain mortgage modifications, and gets great satisfaction helping families stay in their homes.

Is Bankruptcy the Solution to Stopping Foreclosure Proceedings?

foreclosure assistance for homeownersThere is a common misconception that filing for a bankruptcy, whether it be a Chapter 13 or Chapter 7 bankruptcy, is a solution to being sued in a foreclosure lawsuit. This is generally not the case. Although under certain limited circumstances bankruptcy may be helpful to you, you should consult with a foreclosure lawyer before considering filing a bankruptcy. Although my office has been involved in filing more than 800 bankruptcies, in most cases involving foreclosure, we do not recommend the filing of a bankruptcy in a federal bankruptcy court is the solution to the foreclosure problem. Foreclosure defense has become a niche legal practice. The litigating of foreclosures in New York State courts is becoming a more and more specialized area. Foreclosure defense lawyers over the past 20 years have developed unique skills in defending foreclosure lawsuits which put the banks on their heels and keep homeowners in their homes.

The Automatic Stay

The filing of a bankruptcy will immediately stop a foreclosure from moving forward. However, the automatic stay granted by a bankruptcy court is only a temporary solution to the underlying problem of the foreclosure. Most homeowners whose homes are in foreclosure are not only looking for a temporary solution to the problem. They are looking for a permanent solution. The filing of a bankruptcy is not necessarily the best route to take.

Foreclosure Lawyers

Financial institutions have engaged in numerous fraudulent, unethical, improper practices. There have been many lawsuits by attorney generals in all 50 states as well as the federal attorney general’s office with regard to these improper, fraudulent practices. The banks have been fined more than $100 billion for their improper and fraudulent practices.

There are numerous federal and state laws regulating bank practices. There are also procedural laws to protect consumers in the State of New York with regard to foreclosure lawsuits. There is an entire body of case law that has been developed which can be utilized to stop foreclosure lawsuits in their tracks, and in some situations, get these lawsuits dismissed.

Mortgage Modifications

New York State has a law which requires all financial institutions to negotiate in good faith at foreclosure court conferences with regard to mortgage modifications. The law is designed to help consumers stay in their homes. Unfortunately, the success rate in obtaining mortgage modifications in New York State is very low. However, pressure can be placed on a bank and its attorneys at these conferences to force them to make reasonable offers with regard to mortgage modifications.

Litigating the Foreclosure Case

In a foreclosure lawsuit, every individual has a right to ask for a jury trial. Jury trials provide homeowners with a constitutional level of protection. During the course of these trials evidence of robo-signing, sham foreclosure affidavits, improper bank practices, violation of federal Truth in Lending Laws, violation of New York State Consumer Protection Laws, and violation of procedural laws involving the initiation of foreclosure lawsuits can be put into evidence. If properly presented, these foreclosure lawsuits can be dismissed.


Although the bankruptcy may be a solution to some issues related to foreclosure proceedings, it is generally not the way to go. Homeowners facing foreclosure should fight the foreclosure in the New York State court they are sued in. The best way to deal with this issue is hire an experienced, dedicated foreclosure defense lawyer to see to it your rights are protected and that the banks have acted properly.helping homeowners stay in their homes

Wrongful Foreclosures

foreclosure defense attorneys for homeownersThere have been a significant number of lawsuits brought by attorney generals in states throughout the country as well as the federal attorney general’s office involving numerous financial institutions acting inappropriately with regard to foreclosure lawsuits. Lenders such as Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, PNC Financial Services Group, Wells Fargo and GMAC mortgage company, have actually admitted to improprieties in the way these financial institutions handled the processing of foreclosure paperwork. These financial institutions and many others, including many mortgage servicing organizations, failed to verify the court documents they used to justify foreclosing on homes. In numerous situations, individuals referred to as “robo-signers” signed hundreds of documents which they did not read or were not familiar with. Far worse than that, many of these robo-signers were signing foreclosure documents for financial institutions they were not affiliated with.

Your Home

A family’s home is usually its most valued possession. No family should be forced from their home as a result of faulty bank practices. If your home has been foreclosed upon, is in the process of being foreclosed on, or is even being threatened with a foreclosure, it is important that you seek legal representation as soon as possible. There are numerous grounds to challenge foreclosures, numerous affirmative defenses, and potential lawsuits you may have available to you against the bank for financial damages. If you are the victim of a wrongful foreclosure lawsuit you owe it to yourself and your family to see to it your legal rights are protected.

Mortgage Servicing Companies

Many banks that make home loan mortgages do not service their loans. They either assign the loans to other financial institutions or they subcontract out the responsibilities to service the loans to mortgage servicing companies. Over the last 6 to 8 years, mortgage servicing companies have been overwhelmed with the large number of foreclosure cases they were required to service. Mortgage servicing is a high volume industry. The mortgage servicing companies sometimes hire employees with little formal training in handling these mortgages. In addition, many of them have inadequate supervision and have cut corners to make themselves more profitable. The unusually high number of mortgage defaults has added to this problem by overwhelming some of the mortgage servicing agencies. An example of the irregularities involved in servicing mortgages can be found with regard to Wells Fargo, one of the largest banks in the country, admitting to thousands of mistakes made in foreclosure documents. However, in spite of Wells Fargo’s admissions, they never took any action to stop those foreclosures based on mistakes and fraudulent documents from moving forward.


It was indicated earlier in this article the term robo-signer refers to individuals signing documents without authority and without reading these documents. During the course of depositions taken by foreclosure defense lawyers, some robo-signers have admitted to signing more than 10,000 foreclosure affidavits during a month. Most of these affidavits indicated the robo-signers actually personally reviewed the files and determined the paperwork they were signing was correct. During the course of depositions, these workers acknowledged there was virtually no time to even look at the files. They just simply signed the documents claiming to have reviewed files they never looked at.

Are You The Victim of Predatory Lending or
Improper Bank or Foreclosure Practices?

If you feel you are the victim of predatory lending or improper bank or foreclosure practices you should immediately retain a qualified law firm to investigate the situation. There are a variety of remedies available to you. You can even take legal action under certain limited circumstances to set the mortgage on your home aside. It may be that the mortgage loan against your home is unenforceable. If you feel you have grounds to challenge a mortgage or foreclosure practice, call our law firm for a free consultation. Our phones are monitored 24/7. We can be reached at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645, or 718-350-2802.assistance for homeowners

Strategic Default

foreclosure assistance for homeownersMortgage Basics

Individuals who take out a mortgage or refinance a mortgage generally execute two types of documents. The first is a promissory note. A promissory note is simply an “I owe you.” It creates a financial liability to repay the amount borrowed. The second item that is executed at the time of the closing is a mortgage. The mortgage is the document that secures the debt obligation. The mortgage provides the bank with a lien on your property. If you don’t make the mortgage payments the bank forecloses and sells your property at auction.

What Banks Do When You Don’t Make Payments

The first thing a bank does if you stop making your mortgage payments is they analyze the value of your home and its liquidation ability to pay the loan off. They then hire an attorney and the attorney files a foreclosure legal action on behalf of the bank.

Deficiency Judgment

If when your home is sold in the foreclosure sale, the amount received by the bank is insufficient to pay off the promissory note, a deficiency exists. A bank can bring a second lawsuit to obtain a judgment against you and force you to pay this deficiency amount. Here is an example. Your home is worth $300,000. But you owe $400,000 on it related to your mortgage. You fall behind and the bank takes legal action against you and eventually they sell your home. At the time of sale a speculator buys your home for $200,000 ($100,000 less than it is actually worth. This often happens because at foreclosure sales, speculators bid cash on homes that they know very little about other than an appraisal from the exterior and review of what other homes in the area sold for).

The bank receives only $200,000 from the transaction when you owe them $400,000. That leaves a deficiency against you of $200,000. The bank can sue you and obtain a judgment for that $200,000. One remedy you would have would be to thereafter file bankruptcy and eliminate the balance of the deficiency.

Strategic Default and How It Works

A strategic default involves taking into consideration whether your home is under water and it may never be worth the value of the mortgage. You simply stopped making your mortgage payments. Thereafter later on you negotiate a short sale, a mortgage modification, or a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

Strategic default means you are simply walking away from your mortgage. It takes place when a borrower decides he or she is going to intentionally not pay his or her mortgage because it no longer is financially practical. This usually occurs when the house is under water (worth significantly less than the amount of the mortgage).

Strategic default should not be undertaken without sound legal advice from an experienced attorney who has handled numerous transactions of this nature. There are a variety of pitfalls that can take place concerning a strategic default. If you are considering walking away from your home and/or mortgage because you can’t afford to pay it, feel free to call our office for a consultation. This is not a matter that should be taken lightly. Although a strategic default may be appropriate in some situations, there are many situations where it is not.

assisting homeownersElliot S. Schlissel is a foreclosure lawyer. He has helped scores of his clients stay in their homes and fight foreclosure proceedings. Elliot sues banks and other financial institutions who have broken laws, failed to obtain appropriate assignments, and who do not have appropriate standing to bring foreclosure lawsuits. His phones are monitored seven days a week. Call for a free consultation.

Uniondale Marriott Hotel on Long Island in Foreclosure

foreclosure assistance for homeownersOne of Long Island’s largest hotels has had a foreclosure lawsuit initiated against it. The Long Island Marriott Hotel and Conference Center located in Uniondale, New York is in foreclosure. The hotel is owned by the New York Islanders’ owner, Charles Wang.

The financial institution that loaned the New York Islanders and Charles Wang $103,000,000 in 2007 has brought a foreclosure proceeding in the Supreme Court in Nassau County located in Mineola, New York.

It is estimated the amount owed on the mortgage loan on the Marriott Hotel is more than $125,000,000. The hotel had been valued in the year 2010 at approximately $150,000,000. In a recent appraisal, it was valued at $63.4 million.

Mr. Wang had initially purchased the hotel in 2005 from Marriott. He took this action as part of his Lighthouse plan to revitalize the area around the Nassau County Coliseum. In 2007, Scott Rechler of RXR Realty purchased the hotel. He was a partner of Wang with regard to the project. The Lighthouse Project which was proposed to revitalize the area around the hotel never came to fruition. Eventually, Wang bought the hotel back from Scott Rechler.

Wang had proposed to Nassau County they fund the renovation of the Coliseum. However, when this was submitted through a referendum, the voters in Nassau County voted it down. In 2012, the New York Islanders announced they were moving to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and they would be permanently leaving Nassau County.

In 2013, Nassau County Executive Mangano entered into an agreement with Bruce Ratner, whom he had selected to renovate the Coliseum.


It is a sad state of events when the largest hotel in Nassau County is in foreclosure.

helping homeowners stay in their homesElliot Schlissel is a foreclosure attorney. He represents individuals in foreclosure lawsuits and mortgage modification applications throughout the Metropolitan New York area. He has been helping homeowners stay in their homes and fight foreclosure lawsuits for more than 45 years.

Reducing Your Mortgage

foreclosure defense lawyerLet’s assume for the purpose of this article you own a house and you have a mortgage on your house. Your mortgage may be a 15 year mortgage or it may be a 30 year mortgage. Is there a way you can reduce the term of the mortgage from either the 15 year period or the 30 year period? The answer to that question is yes.

Reducing Your Mortgage Payments

One of the most well known ways of reducing your mortgage payments is to make 13 mortgage payments per year instead of 12. This theory of making an additional mortgage payment once a year has been around for a considerable period of time. What is the best time to make the additional mortgage payment? Experts recommend the additional mortgage payment be made in the month of January. It is estimated if you have a 30 year mortgage and you make 2 payments in the month of January of each and every year, you will reduce the term of your 30 year mortgage to 26 years.

So, how do you find the money to make this extra payment? If you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah in the month of December, you may be deeply in debt by the month of January. There are two ways of accumulating funds to make this extra mortgage payment. The first is, if you receive a bonus, utilize the bonus to make the extra mortgage payment. The second method is file your tax return early, get your refund quickly and use your tax refund for that extra January mortgage payment.

Lowering Interest Rates

Interest rates on home mortgages fluctuate based on numerous economic factors. You should be aware of the interest rate you are paying on your mortgage. Periodically you should review newspapers or online websites and determine what the current interest rates are. If the current interest rate is more than a point and a half lower than what you are currently paying on your mortgage you should consider refinancing. Over the long run refinancing your mortgage payments may save you tens of thousands of dollars.


homeowner advocatesAlmost all homeowners who purchase a home borrow money from financial institutions for the acquisition of their home. Once the money is borrowed, the mortgage payments start. It is prudent to make those mortgage payments end as quickly as possible.

Methods of Avoiding Foreclosure

Everyone who buys a home expects to be able to make their mortgage payments. Unfortunately, there are numerous hardships and problems in one’s life that may cause you to fall behind in making your mortgage payments. A death in the family, the loss of a job, a divorce, a disability or medical problem are just a few of the hardships that can occur that can cause you to fall behind on your mortgage payments.

Foreclosure is the start of proceedings to take back a home for non-payment of the mortgage. There are a number of strategies that can be utilized by a homeowner to avoid having their home being foreclosed.

Loan Forbearance Agreement

A loan forbearance agreement is a temporary arrangement between the homeowner and the bank. The purpose of the forbearance agreement is to give the homeowner a reasonable period of time to catch up on his or her mortgage payments. This gives the homeowner time to catch his or her breath! If the homeowner makes the agreements under the forbearance agreement they can become up to date on their mortgage.

Loan Modifications

The Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) was created by President Obama during his first administration. It still remains in effect in his current second term as President of the United States. This is a federal program that virtually all financial institutions are part of. The benefit of this program is it gives the homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage a chance to reduce their mortgage payments. The unfortunate part of the program is that it is an extremely poorly managed program by the individual banks and only approximately 1 in 5 people who apply for mortgage modifications are successful in obtaining them. In addition to President Obama’s mortgage modification program, many banks have their own internal mortgage modification programs. In theory, mortgage modification programs take into consideration the home’s current value, interest rates and the ability of the homeowner to make payments under this program.

Negotiated Short Sale

A negotiated short sale is a transaction where the homeowner contacts the bank and advises the bank they would like to sell the house which is currently under water (currently worth less than the amount of the mortgage). The bank, in a short sale, appraises the house and in the appropriate situation agrees that the house can be sold for less than the amount of the mortgage and the bank will satisfy the mortgage for less than they are owed. The writer of this article is not a big proponent of short sales. Short sales should only be undertaken at the end of the foreclosure process to avoid a deficiency judgement.


In the event you file a bankruptcy, you obtain a stay from a Federal Court that prevents a lender from moving forward with a foreclosure lawsuit in a New York State Court. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy you enter into a plan to become current with your mortgage over a period of up to 5 years. In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy you eliminate the personal loan obligation portion of your debt. Therefore if the bank forecloses on your home, all they are entitled to receive is what they obtain from the sale of the house. They will not be able to obtain a deficiency judgment against you.assistance for homeowners

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The information you obtain at this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your particular legal issue. This is attorney advertising.

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