Real Estate Between Friends

Little Bo-Peep and Mistress Mary were best friends.  When Bo-Peep’s sheep ran off, she sold her cottage to Mary for $100,000 in a cash deal, done quickly so Bo-Peep could go find her sheep, and Mary could plant her garden.  Silver bells and cockleshells were just coming up when Mistress Mary was served a Lis Pendens.  She was quite contrary then! What is a little real estate between friends? Since Bo-Peep had owned the place for years and they were such good friends, Mistress Mary had bought it with a Quit Claim Deed, paid cash, and not bothered with title insurance or even a title search. Turns out the lawsuit was from two owners ago; Bo Peep did not even know about the problem.  Mistress Mary had taken on the $100,000 risk at the purchase; furthermore, without title insurance, she did not have a policy to financially protect her investment.  It was such a mess not even Mother Goose could sort it out.  If only Mistress Mary had had a Warranty Deed, at least she could have sued her friend, Bo-Peep!   Do not let friendship pull the wool over your eyes.  There are certain things you can do to […] Read More

Foreclosure-Investment Feedback Loop

One man’s foreclosure is the same man’s misplaced fortune.  You could be foreclosing on yourself.  With investments made on mortgage-backed securities, the same return that is performing badly could be based on your lack of house payments.  It is a double loss to the invested homeowner:  loss of house and loss of investment.  What goes around comes around to feed on itself.   And it is difficult to dip into your investment account to help pay your mortgage when you (and others) have not been paying into that account via your mortgage payment.   Misery loves company—you might prefer another option.  A foreclosure lawsuit does not necessarily beget a foreclosure.  If you are looking at a lis pendens, (whether or not you have a bankrupt investment) seek your legal choices.  You may have defenses available which could lessen your losses.  What do you have to lose?   If you are losing your house and your investment fund, a little legal advice is not going to set you back significantly…and it could help you hang onto as much credit as you can.  The answer is always ‘No’ if you do not ask the question.  Ask what you can do to get out of the […] Read More

Foreclosure News in Florida

The good news:  the top 10 foreclosure beach towns cited by Realty Trac this month include only two Florida cities, and neither of them is in northeast Florida. The other news:  St. Johns County has increased intensity on the June Foreclosure Rate Heat Map, coming close to the level of neighboring Clay County, where one in every 298 housing units is in foreclosure.  (That is good news if you are looking to buy foreclosed properties, but bad news if you are looking at a lis pendens.) No matter where you are on the map, if you are facing foreclosure, competent legal counsel may be able to relieve distress.  There are a number of legal options available, depending on where you are in the process.  A good foreclosure defense attorney can help you evaluate your situation and which option will bring you the best benefit. Sometimes there are no solutions, and sometimes just knowing what could happen next in the legal process can help you prepare and deal with outcomes as they occur. Read More

Countdown to Foreclosure

T Minus 9 Minutes and Holding was the final “go/no-go” point for a space shuttle launch.  The countdown to foreclosure is similarly detailed and lengthy, but it does not necessarily have to send your financial future out of this world. Lis pendens is not NASA-speak for “Get out,” but it is nearly Latin for take action for the best possible outcome.  You can sit still and let inertia take its place, while your lender takes your house and leaves you with the worst possible credit, or you can seek competent legal counsel for a Foreclosure Defense. Foreclosure Defense optimizes orbital time around the inevitable.  It addresses two parts at once.  Part One is the legal defense, questioning the lender to ensure you are dealing with the proper party owed, the proper amount, etc.  Part Two is a proactive pursuit of the best benefit available given your circumstances.  Part One also adds oxygen into the process, giving Part Two room to breath.  In other words, while the lender is gathering discovery documents for his claims, you work towards a short sale or loan modification or some other alternative landing site where your credit will have the greatest gravity. Yes, you are […] Read More

Foreclosure – Top Ten Things NOT To Do

So you have been served a foreclosure complaint with a court summons.  Here is a list of the top ten things NOT to do if you receive a lis pendens. 10.  Get the matches.  – No, that looks suspicious and could put you in criminal court instead of dealing with just a civil case. 9.  Put all your drugs in the toilet and Flush!  Flush!  Flush!  – Nobody asked you to clean out your locker; besides, you may need those drugs. 8.  Spend all your remaining money on lottery tickets.  – That might work, but you have a better chance of being struck by lightning. 7.  Stop mowing the lawn.  – Upkeep your house even during foreclosure proceedings.  You still live there, and it will help the sale value of the property if you short sell it. 6.  Stop talking to your lender.  – In a freak reversal of intuition, keep talking with your lender, keep trying to work out a deal.  Even if that lender has sent you a foreclosure lawsuit, continue to seek a modification. 5.  Quit your job.  – Keep working as a source of income and a basis of credit.  Your credit score is going to […] Read More