Foreclosure Sale – Not the Only Outcome to Missed Mortgage Payments

The average home foreclosure in St. Johns County takes six to eight months (according to St. Johns Housing Partnership)…but it does not have to.  Just because a homeowner is facing foreclosure does not mean a foreclosure sale is the only possible outcome.  There may be alternatives available to the homeowner, and the faster a homeowner acts, the better chance they have of keeping their home. Sometimes just knowing the steps of the process may give the homeowner stress relief.  Understanding the process, and being able to make informed decisions about an outcome reduces the element of the unknown.  St. Johns Housing Partnership has an online presentation on the basics of home foreclosure at http://www.sjhp.org/what-we-do/keep/foreclosure-process-in-st-johns-county. No one should go through foreclosure alone.  While a foreclosure alternative may be available, the homeowner may need a third-party professional involved in order to complete a resolution.  A HUD Certified Counselor or an attorney may be needed to help the homeowner pursue and ending that brings them the best benefit.  Furthermore, that professional can help the homeowner navigate the process and give more specific information regarding options at each choice point.   Read More

Lien State is a Homeowner Advantage

September data from RealtyTrac show that Georgia has a lot fewer home foreclosures than Florida.  Part of the reason is because Georgia is a Title Theory State where the mortgage lender holds the title and can complete a non-judicial foreclosure in as little as 60 days.  Florida is a Lien State, which means the homeowner holds title (even in the foreclosure process) and has greater opportunity to mount a foreclosure defense. The problem with Georgia is that non-judicial foreclosure is a shortcut of due process and gives the oversight to the lenders.   It is just the clerk and an attorney; there is no judge. Back when banks were writing mortgages for anyone who could breathe, the paperwork was not done correctly.  The sheer mass of business introduced mistakes which were inherited into the mortgage crisis marathon, inviting fraud at every complexity. Lenders have admitted to creating a whole bunch of bad documents, and then there were people signing documents who did not know what they were signing.  The right people need to be foreclosing.  A foreclosure defense asks the lender to prove their case—verify the information and show that they have the proper authority. Florida’s foreclosure process is more homeowner-friendly, […] Read More

Staple of Foreclosure Defense

Just because the Lender’s Lawyer stapled the Business Record to the Affidavit does not mean the documents match.  Sometimes I do not think the Plaintiffs’ Attorneys read these things.  They just think the Business Record is allonge for the ride, but in a Foreclosure Summary Judgment, Business Records ARE the ride. The purpose of a Summary Judgment is to avoid a trial.  It moves things along without slowing up for witness testimonies.  Without witnesses, however, the Plaintiff has to rely on Business Records to prove his case—that he owns the loan, has authority to foreclose on the property, and what amount is owed, etc. According to the Rules of Evidence for Summary Judgment, affidavits do not cut it.  Affidavits are out-of-court documents used to prove a statement.  The Lender cannot simply say that the Borrower owes money and write that down on an affidavit as evidence.  How do you cross examine a piece of paper that the Lender swears is true? A Business Record is also an out-of-court document, but it is an exception to the Rules of Evidence for Summary Judgment.  A Business Record is not hearsay because it is created in the normal course of business and not […] Read More