Articles Posted in Foreclosure Defense

Published on:

A mortgage servicer called a “furnisher” for purposes of credit reporting is responsible for updates to a borrower’s credit report.  Many times following a foreclosure, there is a limited time for the lender to seek a deficiency judgment.  Here is Florida it is one year.  If a year goes by, and the lender fails to seek a deficiency judgment then it waives the amount it is still owed after the foreclosure sale of a home.

Here’s the good news:  If a lender fails to report a deficiency as having been eliminated, discharged or abolished, it is then reporting inaccurate information.  This inaccurate reporting opens the door to the furnisher’s liability under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 1681 et seq., (the “FCRA”) per the Ninth Circuit (California) in a recent case.  Gross v. CitiMortgage, Inc., 20-17160 (9th Cir. May 16, 2022).

This case is being compared to a leading contempt case, where the Supreme Court in Midland Funding  LLC v. Johnson, 137 S.Ct. 1407, (2017) found that a debt collector who filed a proof of claim in a bankruptcy that was obviously barred by the statute of limitations did NOT engage in false, deceptive, misleading, unconscionable, or unfair conduct so there was no violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  While this decision involved a different set of circumstances and a different law, it is clear that these two views could be considered as inconsistent.

Published on:

forbearance-optionsThe CFPB stated today “[w]e are at really an unusual point in history.  I don’t think anybody has ever before seen this many mortgages in forbearance at one time that are expected to exit forbearance all at one time.”

No kidding.  This may be the calm before the storm type of thing if mortgage servicers don’t get it right when all these forbearances end.

Living in Florida sometimes it seems like the pandemic is firmly in our rearview. While we are still working from home, it’s mostly because we want to be part of the solution, and can get our work done with our cloud server.  But people are out and about pretty regularly now.

Published on:

bidenToday, President Joe Biden is extending a moratorium on home foreclosures for federally backed mortgages until June 30, after previously setting the expiration date at the end of March. Biden also announced the expansion of a mortgage relief program, pushing the window to request mortgage forbearance until the end of June.

You can check our resources page under “Foreclosure Related” to see if your mortgage is federally backed here.  Just type in your property address under Freddie, Fannie or MERS to discover who owns your mortgage.

For those who have private loans, there is no mandated federal moratorium.  You may be covered under a local or state moratorium though.

Published on:

facemask-mortgage-relief-covidSome creditors and loan servicers are jumping the gun in pursuing foreclosures, HOA liens, COA liens.  The federal government is also taking the position that it’s okay to pursue cases already in litigation.  We had to file a motion to abate arguing that the moratorium preventing involuntary collection activity includes cases already in litigation — which is well supported by case law.

None of these things should happening while the moratoriums are still in place.  For mortgages and tenant evictions in Florida, that means we are in a holding pattern until July 2 when the foreclosure and eviction moratorium is set to expire.  This includes actions on other liens as well.  Florida Statute Section 702.09 defines mortgages to include HOA and COA liens so they have to put things in park, same as other traditional mortgages.

It also appears that certain banks are not honoring mandatory forbearance requirements — if you have received any messages, letters or phone calls re: SPECIAL FORBEARANCE options, please reach out to us asap to help make sure that this goes smoothly.

Published on:

CARES-ACT

Webinar: Why you should care about the CARES Act

May 20, 2020 at Noon

 

The Tampa Bay Bankruptcy Bar Association will be hosting a FREE Webinar via Zoom on May 20, 2020 from 12:00 to 1:30pm. Why you should care about the CARES Act and its impact on Student Loans, Foreclosure, Collection, and Consumer and Business Bankruptcy. Christie Arkovich, Jake Blanchard, Nicole Mariani Noel and Chapter 13 Trustee, Kelly Remick, will discuss provisions of the stimulus bill that expand or create options for Debtors in Chapter 13 cases as well as Small Business Debtors under Subchapter V and many more. Panelists will also discuss foreclosure, forbearance, collection and student loan impacts. No cost to attend. This will be a live webinar and will not be recorded. Register here.

Couldn’t come at a better time now that things are hoppin’ a bit more!  I encourage our colleagues to register for local insight to help represent our clients the best we can in these trying times

 

Published on:

One of our clients had a sale date on March 25, 2020 that was moved to May 20, 2020.  While our clients had already moved out, they are very appreciative of the additional time to safely remove their belongings.  There is a lot more relief to come!

This benefits the mortgage companies too in that it keeps their employee and contractor activity to a minimum to turn around this property during our Safer at Home period of time.

“HUD issued letter dated March 18, 2020, “to inform mortgagees of foreclosure and eviction moratorium for all FHA-insured Single Family Mortgages for a period of 60-days.” The letter can be found at:

Published on:

mortgageHow do I make my mortgage payments for the next three months?

When people asked and learned that I am able to work from home, they are a little envious. What they don’t understand is that one cannot “work from home” indefinitely. At some point, there will be no work to work from home. There will be no new clients, no new orders, and the pipeline of work will stop.  Hourly workers, contract workers, and salaried workers alike are on the same boat; our income will be greatly reduced or terminated altogether. While some of us have savings, few have sufficient savings to last us several months and our housing expense will be first and foremost on our list of concerns. If you have lost income due to COVID-19, there are things you can do to qualify for relief from your mortgage payments.

Federal regulators, through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are ordering lenders to offer flexibility to homeowners; about one half of the home loans in the country, those guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie, will be affected by this policy. However, the entire mortgage industry is expected to follow suit. Forbearance from mortgage payments could last up to 12 months, depending on the borrower’s particular situation, according to Mark Calabria, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.  While this type of relief is neither debt forgiveness or free money, it will keep you from falling into the trap of default and foreclosure.

Published on:

error-not-foundIf you happen to have Ocwen as a mortgage servicer (or former servicer), you may have an excellent reason to challenge their books.  Check out this quote from an Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals case out this week in University of Puerto Rico Retirement System et al v. Ocwen et al.

“Unfortunately for Ocwen, REALServicing didn’t really work—the software, as it turned out, was incapable of properly tracking borrowers’ accounts and payments, and it recorded inaccurate information about interest, late fees, escrow accounts, or completed payments for up to 90% of the loans in the system.”

90% of their loans were not properly accounted for!  Wow that’s pretty bad!

Published on:

reverse-mortgageReverse mortgages are a great way to provide retirement funding but they do come with traps for the unwary.  In a recent Forbes article, “Additional Risks of Reverse Mortgages,” complaints to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau remain high.  Areas of concern include servicers that:

  • make it difficult to coordinate payment;
  • act as if property taxes and other homeowner obligations are not met;
Published on:

foreclosureIn a recent case, Harbin v. Roundpoint Mortgage Co., No. 18-11713 (11th Cir. Dec. 17, 2018), the Eleventh Circuit confronted a situation where a borrower applied for a loan modification and was told that the foreclosure sale was “temporarily postponed.”  This borrower decided not to file bankruptcy to stop the foreclosure when she was told this by her mortgage company.  Who wouldn’t?  When the sale went through anyway, she sued.  The appellate court held that the borrower “reasonably could have believed . . . that the foreclosure had been ‘suspended temporarily'” and that the statement was ‘material’ because it was the key to [the borrower’s] decision whether to file for bankruptcy before the June 3 sale.”

Beware out there – consult with a foreclosure defense attorney or a bankruptcy attorney to make sure you know what’s going on with your home if it is in foreclosure — and the various options on how to keep your home.

To Schedule a Consultation
Contact Information