Foreclosure Side Effect

Frustration?  Anxiety?  Dizziness?  You could be experiencing any number of medical distresses…or you could be in home foreclosure.  Yoga is not going to make your legal problem go away.  Instead, foreclosure defense comes with a side effect of its own—time—which may help counteract the stressful side effects of home foreclosure. Time is a side effect of a Foreclosure Defense.  While the legal defense addresses the litigation issues of your case, you have the opportunity to pursue an alternative to foreclosure.  Foreclosure defense is not a denial of debt.  Instead, it asks the bank or loan servicer to prove their case.  While they are busy verifying the records and their authority to foreclosure, you have time to work out an alternative, like a mortgage modification or short sale.  The idea is to reach an outcome of best benefit to you before the lender can complete their case against you. Seek competent legal counsel to discuss your situation.  Sometimes there is no resolution; however, just knowing the steps of the foreclosure process may give you some stress relief.  Understanding the process, and being able to make informed decisions about an outcome reduces the element of the unknown.     Read More

Voting Rights & Home Foreclosure

Homeowners in foreclosure have rights, one of them is voting.  Even if your home is in a stage of foreclosure, you can still go to the polls. One of the common election myths is that homeowners who have a foreclosure suit filed against them are ineligible to vote.  Not true.  While colonial America required voters to have a certain amount of land holdings, registered voters today are eligible to vote regardless of their real estate ownership status, even if in mortgage default. Furthermore, because foreclosure is a lengthy process in Florida, homeowners can remain in their homes for months after receiving a foreclosure notice.  Our judicial procedure in home foreclosures in this state takes time, giving homeowners the opportunity to pursue an alternative (like short sale or mortgage modification), and also leaving the homeowner in place in their voting precinct so they can cast their ballot. (If you have moved out of your foreclosed residence with no intention of returning to live there, give the Supervisor of Elections your change of address so you can be assigned a new precinct for the next election.)   Read More

Sometimes Change Is Good

The history of homeownership has shortened from the 30-year mortgage model to the 3 to 5-year spell before the homeowner moves.  More change has come with the Short Sale trend, but that change is not necessarily all bad. A Short Sale is when the lender agrees to accept less than the mortgage amount owed. Would you rather have the full amount owed or just the change?  Your lender feels the same way, but in a situation where the house is worth less than what you owe, a Short Sale may be a way for the lender to get at least some return on the property, and allows you to get out from underneath a roof that is crushing you in mortgage debt. If you are facing home foreclosure, a Short Sale could be a welcome change of scenery on your financial future.  While even with a Short Sale you have to leave your credit on the altar for sacrifice, generally you can recover faster than if your credit report has “foreclosure” stamped on it. Seek competent legal counsel if you are served a foreclosure lawsuit in the midst of a Short Sale negotiation, so the legal aspect may be addressed, […] Read More

Sharks Happen…Even in Mortgage Modification

A man swims 24 miles of a 28-mile journey when a shark appeared and the man had to give up his attempt to be the first person to swim from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands.  Same thing can happen in Mortgage Modification—just when you reach the finish line of the trial payments, the great white fin of a foreclosure lawsuit appears. Best way to deal with a shark?  Keep it busy with another shark. You may not be able to out swim a foreclosure lawsuit, even when things are going well with your lender.  The water is fine, your trial payments are fine, you are waiting on your permanent modification paperwork…and then you get served a foreclosure lawsuit.  Not exactly what you were expecting and certainly not the resolution you had hoped for. How does this happen?  Sharks are born swimming. Just because you have negotiated a mortgage modification with your lender does not stop the legal case from proceeding against you.  The lending department and the legal department are two separate and parallel entities with their own guidelines and objectives.  They do not talk to each other. Or coordinate.  Yet both move forward on your case […] Read More

Coming Up Short? Short Sale in Home Foreclosure

What is a Short Sale in real estate and who would want one?  Certainly not the bank.  The bank who loaned the money to buy the house wants all that money, plus the interest agreed upon.  They want all of it, cutting no part of that amount short.  Regardless of what that house may be worth now, the agreement with the lender was to pay the whole amount.  So how does a homeowner get a short sale out of that? Not easily, and not without a sacrifice of credit, but it can be done. What if you are coming up short on making your mortgage payments?  The Short Sale of your home may be the best resolution, depending on your circumstances. A Short Sale is when the lender agrees to accept less than the mortgage amount owed. Again, the bank wants their money, but they do not want your house.  They do not want to open a branch office at your address, keep cold cash in your refrigerator, convert your garage to a drive through and give out lollipops.  Banks are in the business of money, not real estate.  While your home is held as collateral on the loan, the […] Read More

Houses Haunted by Zombie Debt

Zombie Debt is debt that has been dead for a while, but does not know it is dead, and walks the streets of residential neighborhoods. Once upon a time in 2007, a Bank foreclosed on a Home.  The Foreclosure Complaint was filed, a Judgment entered, but then the Foreclosure Sale got cancelled.  Meanwhile the Debt was sold to another company, who sold it off again, etc., until finally one of the mortgage debt-buyers decided to foreclose. A couple of problems: The Debt matured when the loan was accelerated, at which point the Statute of Limitations began to tick. The Statute of Limitations runs for five years in this kind of matter, and the Debt was accelerated in 2007. Time’s up. The Note and the Mortgage were merged into the Judgment. The Note and Mortgage no longer exist; the Judgment exists.   Zombie Debt works because people do not know better.  They fail to question what is happening and do not realize that they may have a legal defense. Foreclosure Defense is not going to bring your house back from the Debt, but it can help you deal with that Debt and undead Debt that comes back to haunt you.  Seek […] Read More

Walking Dead Foreclosure Plaintiff

Once upon a time a homeowner was sued for foreclosure on his home.  However, the plaintiff could not prove that he was the right party to sue for foreclosure—with purchases of the home loan by one company after another—and so the Judge dismissed the case. Twice upon a time the same homeowner was sued for foreclosure on the same property, but this case was filed by a new plaintiff.  Plaintiff #2 said he bought the loan and offered a dismissal of the case if the homeowner would give him the note.  Plaintiff #2 did not know he was already dead. Five years after the mortgage debt is matured, that debt is no longer eligible for a claim according to the Statute of Limitations.   In the first foreclosure case, the debt was accelerated, and therefore matured.  By the time Plaintiff #2 came forward to present his suit, the five-year Statute of Limitations had already run.  Thus the second foreclosure complaint was a burial suit, not eligible to be exhumed. The purpose of the Statute of Limitations is to clean things up.  If the plaintiff cannot get the foreclosure done in five years, something is wrong with his case.   Read More

Healing Time in Foreclosure Defense

Time heals all wounds…and some foreclosures.  A short sale does not happen in a day and a mortgage modification will not be completed inside a week.  Both of these can be alternatives to a home foreclosure, but you may need a legal defense to see them through. A Foreclosure Defense is not a denial of debt; instead, it asks your loan servicer to prove their case—to verify the facts of their authority to foreclose as well as the amount owed—and in doing so, gives you the opportunity to purse an alternative outcome.  The idea of Foreclosure Defense is to reach an outcome of best benefit to you before the lender can complete their case against you. Time is a side effect of Foreclosure Defense—not for the sake of remaining in the house payment-free as long as possible, but time to evaluate an alternative strategy.  You have time to review personal and financial factors with legal counsel, and time to pursue a plan to bring you the best benefit for your circumstances. A short sale does not stop a foreclosure lawsuit.   Keep in mind that your lender’s legal department and their financial department are two separate entities when negotiating a backsliding […] Read More

Monkey Wrench in Foreclosure

Once upon a time there was a man named Charles Moncky who invented a very useful tool known as the ‘Moncky Wrench,’ and he sold the patent to buy a house in Williamsburg, Kings County where he lives to this day.  That was a popular story of the previous turn of the century and has been completely debunked by patent and property records.  Meanwhile, Americans have added the term ‘monkey wrench’ into their vocabulary, and use the phrase, “throw a monkey wrench in the works,” meaning to disrupt a plan, possibly preventing the plan from succeeding.  Foreclosure Defense throws a monkey wrench in the foreclosure process. Foreclosure Defense is not a denial of debt.  Instead, it addresses the legal aspect—asking the lender to prove their case and verify their records—meanwhile the homeowner has the opportunity to pursue a foreclosure alternative, like a short sale or mortgage modification. A legal defense of your foreclosure provides time for you to pursue a different outcome.  Thus foreclosure defense increases your likelihood of success for obtaining your best result. Read More

The Big Bad Bank, The IRS, & Home Loan Forgiveness

Once upon a time, the Big Bad Bank huffed and it puffed and it threatened to foreclose on the home loan of Mr. Bacon.  Now Mr. Bacon had owned his house for 30 years and he really did not want to lose it, so when the Big Bad Bank offered him a payout he could handle, he took it.  The question is, does that $40,000 forgiveness go to the IRS? That is a very good question for the person who does your taxes.  Yes, a good deal for Mr. Bacon with the Big Bad Bank could have tax consequences with Internal Revenue Service.  Generally, if your lender forgives more than $600 of debt, they are required to tell the IRS.  It depends on your circumstances whether or not forgiveness from the bank is your best benefit. While “forgiveness” seems like a good thing with the lender, it may give you a loss with the IRS.  This question recently came up on the radio show I am on with my brother called, ‘Land Title Talk,’ which airs this morning at 8:00 am on 102.1 FM WFOY.  Listen and call in with your legal or real estate-related question.  Contact information is given […] Read More