Another Incredible Result!
A husband and wife, Bob and Lucie T. (real names withheld for privacy), came to Loan Lawyers for a foreclosure trial that was schedule for their home. Their home was worth several million dollars and the clients had about $1,000,000 personally invested in the home. The foreclosure case had been pending for approximately 5 years at that point. The clients were represented by another law firm, but did not feel confident that they had the requisite knowledge or experience to defeat the bank at trial. Their entire life savings was riding on this case and they wanted to make sure they found the best firm they could to fight for their rights.
Unsatisfied with the defenses filed by the previous attorney, we amended the affirmative defenses, got copies of what we needed to defend the case, and geared up to take the case to trial. Having prepared thousands of foreclosure cases for trial, we put our experience to work and after countless hours of digging through thousands of pages of documents from the securitized trust that claimed to own the mortgage, we uncovered several problems that would prevent them from winning the foreclosure case.
The big trial day came in Broward County, and the securitized trust brought one of their best witnesses to trial and sought a $4.5 million foreclosure judgment. As you can imagine from the size of the loan, the trust brought out the big guns and did everything they could to win the case. Despite their valiant efforts to wine the case, they simply were not good enough to defeat Loan Lawyers. In order to foreclose on a property, the plaintiff must establish that it had standing (i.e. the legal ability) to foreclose on the property on the day the initial foreclosure complaint was filed with the court. Loan Lawyers out maneuvered them and we were able to prevent the trust from proving their case in court.
Ultimately the judge found that the securitized trust failed to establish that it had standing to foreclose on this house. The court entered judgment in favor of Loan Lawyers’ clients, thus denying the $4.5 million foreclosure for the trust, and resulting in Bob and Lucie getting to keep their home. Furthermore, as a result of winning our clients case at trial, Loan Lawyers is currently in the process of recovering all of their attorney fees from the trust, resulting in not only a tremendous success for our clients, but one that in the end didn’t cost them a penny to hire us to fight for their rights.
Another Loan Lawyers Trial Win
Gina Carvalho and Julio Rameriz-Sanchez are previous clients who have both an investment property and their primary residence. The bank filed a foreclosure action back in 2009. However, we were able to have a final judgment entered for the clients in 2014. The bank refiled their foreclosure action and picked a default date in 2011, so as to stay within the 5 year statute of limitations.
The case proceeded through litigation without any major issues and was set for trial. After reviewing the pleadings, and plaintiff’s trial exhibits, we discovered a major issue with the banks allegations. With the recent Bartram opinion, several statements from the Court hold that a refiled complaint must allege a default date subsequent to the dismissal of the prior action. In this case, because the default date was during the pendency of the prior action, the loan was fully accelerated until the prior case was dismissed, which means the borrower couldn’t have failed to make the 2011 payment when no payment was due. The bank would have picked a default date that our client couldn’t have defaulted on by operation of law, meaning the bank failed to state a cause of action.
At trial, we raised some other minor issues, such as proof of mailing the demand letter and the witness’s knowledge of the policies and procedures of his client and their third party vendors. We were able to win the trial and secure a final judgment for the clients with the Bartram argument.
Our Foreclosure Attorneys Score Another Principle Reduction in South Florida
Another great job in the hands of our foreclosure attorneys!
We Got a Client’s Principle Reduced From $171,609.65 to $73,500.00. That Equates to an Almost 68% Reduction in Principle!
This is the difference having an experienced litigation and foreclosure attorney may make for you.
One of the biggest problems with loan modification is that if your home is significantly upside down, meaning you owe more than its worth, if the bank does not agree to reduce principle, but simply lowers your interest rate, you are essentially renting your home from the bank. It could be 20 years before your home is worth what you owe, especially in South Florida. Agreeing to anything the bank puts in front of you may cost you tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousand of dollars. If you lost your home and bought a new one in 5 years, by the time 20 years comes around, you will have a home with substantial equity in 20 years and will be a good position for retirement. If you agree to just a interest rate reduction, but you owe 2 or 3 times what the home is worth, maybe you will break even in 20 years, but most likely won’t have any equity. You will not be as good of a position for retirement. Further, you won’t be able to sell your home until you are at least even, so you are stuck with this house for 20 years.
This is where an experienced foreclosure attorney comes in. At Loan Lawyers, we can discuss all of your options with you in our offices located in Broward (Fort Lauderdale / Plantation), Miami-Dade (North Miami Beach / Coral Gables), or Palm Beach (Delray Beach). You have nothing to lose, but a lot to gain, so call us today for your free consultation so that we can discuss how to save your home.
Another Loan Lawyers Trial Win
A Client came to our firm in July 2013 for help due to not being able to make their mortgage payments. The client previously secured a loan modification before the start of the foreclosure; however they eventually defaulted and could no longer make the payments, and therefore were not a candidate for another modification. The Client’s only hope at saving their house was for us to take the case to trial. Once the trial started and the bank put on their case and provided their trial exhibits, we discussed the case with the client since it wasn’t looking very good. Because of the prior modification, it appeared that the standing defenses we would want to raise wouldn’t go very far. Having a dismissal granted would turn on whether the Court found that the modification created standing for the Plaintiff.
Another Loan Lawyers Win for Our Clients
A client came to our office and was beleaguered by 16 years of litigation surrounding her foreclosure matter. She came to our office with a hearing scheduled to reset her sale and to have the final judgment amended. Thank G-D, after reviewing her file it struck me as odd that there would be an amendment to a judgment which was near 16 years old. When researching further it appeared that the Plaintiff and their counsel had in fact perpetrated a fraud upon the Court for years and the Court had no idea. Our client had in fact cured all of the prior defaults and rather than dismiss the case, the bank simply thought it was good practice to rest on a prior judgment and just amend it from time to time.
Nevertheless, we filed a motion to dismiss and our motion was granted over vehement objection by the Bank and their attorneys. There were no more judgments, no more sales, and no more games. The 16 year battle was now over. Moreover, we now have motions for sanctions against the Bank and their counsel pending. Stay tuned!
Another Order Denying Wells Fargo’s Attempt to Dismiss Our Claim for TILA Damages
In this case, we sued Wells Fargo as trustee for a mortgage backed security for failure to properly respond to a 1639(f)(2) request. Every borrower has a right to request the name, address and phone number of the loan owner or master servicer from the company servicing the loan.
TILA however imposes the liability for the failure to properly respond on the loan owner, but it does not state so explicitly. Wells Fargo and other banks have alleged that since the obligation is on the servicer, and not the loan owner, then the loan owner can not be held responsible for the servicer’s actions. The attorneys at Loan Lawyers have been spearheading the effort to have the loan owners vicariously liable and most Federal court that have decided this issue have decided it in our favor. This case is the latest example. Of the seven Federal cases to have addressed this issue in Florida, Loan Lawyers has been involved in 6 of them. There simply are not enough lawyers taking the banks to task for TILA violations.
I this case, we also sued the loan owner for the failure to provide a payoff statement within 5 days under Regulation Z. The court did dismiss this claim because it found that this only applies to “high cost home loans” as defined by Federal law. This is a case of first impression, meaning that this claim has not been made in Florida Federal court before. We are always trying to forge new ground. Our TILA suits moves forward however and we look forward to a successful result for our client.
There are other TILA regulations going into effect next year that we are also gearing up for. We plan on being the first in the country to pursue banks for their inevitable violations of these provisions as well. More on that next year.
Congratulations to Loan Lawyers attorney Chezky Rodal for obtaining another great ruling on vicarious liability. This case should finally put the nail in the coffin on this issue.
IT ALSO GIVES FURTHER CREDENCE THAT HOMEOWNERS HAVE RIGHTS TOO! ITS TIME TO STAND UP FOR THEM AND END THE ERA OF BIG BANKS PUSHING BORROWERS AROUND AT WILL.
As part of our services to client who are facing foreclosure in Florida, our lawyers look for various consumer protection violations, such as Truth in Lending Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Florida Consumer Protection Practices Act, the Telephone Consumer’s Protection Act, and others. Call us today to schedule your free consultation in Broward, Miami-Dade, or Palm Beach.
Another Principle Balance Reduced on a Florida Mortgage in Foreclosure
Here is another principle reduction that our foreclosure lawyers obtained. The home was put into foreclosure in 2008. We have fought the bank for 4 years, so the homeowner lived in the house without paying a mortgage for 4 years and we obtained another great result. Any lawyer who is really helping homeowners should be able to show you results like this. If not, then they are not getting it done.
The balance on the mortgage as of 2/1/12 was $238,000 and at the time of this settlement is was approximately $300,000.
THE NEW PRINCIPLE BALANCE IS $110,000.
The interest rate went from 7% to 3.84%. This is definitely another happy client. Plus, we are pending a settlement on a Truth in Lending Act lawsuit that is ongoing.
There is never a guarantee for a principle reduction for your home, but if you have an aggressive law firm representing you that will sue the bank when necessary, then you have a much better chance. Our foreclosure lawyers offer free consultations in Broward (Fort Lauderdale / Plantation), Palm Beach (Delray Beach), and Miami-Dade (Coral Gables, North Miami Beach).
Settlement Check Secured
A client came to our office with a letter from Chase specifying that there was an adjustment due on his loan in the amount of $184.78. The letter was deficient as to the reasons for the adjustment and whether it was a debit or a credit, a one-time adjustment or a monthly adjustment. The client was fearful that he may end up owing Chase more money than he originally believed was owed. We sent a request for information to Chase to inquire about the adjustment. Chase failed to provide a response indicating why there was an adjustment and how it came to be. We sued Chase under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, 12 U.S.C. § 2605. As a result, we were able to determine what the adjustment was for and ensure that the client was not being overcharged for any purported amounts due. In addition the client walked away with a nice settlement check, and the best part of it all was that we handled the case on a contingency fee basis, so it didn’t cost the client anything. Another win win situation!
Another Successful Case!
Foreclosure Cancelled and Mortgage Invalidated
Clients Fred and Mary R. (real names withheld for privacy) came to Loan Lawyers regarding a house they inherited from their parents. The bank had just filed a foreclosure action against the property. This was not a typical foreclosure case however, it was a complex mix of foreclosure, probate, and property law. During the father’s lifetime, he signed his interest over to one of the children, but the mother did not. This child took a loan out on the house, but none of the other siblings signed the mortgage. Sometime thereafter, the mother died and then about two years later the father died. This situation created huge mess for the title of the property.
Trial was set in Miami-Dade County on the foreclosure case. The siblings raised the homestead defense as provided for in the Florida Constitution. The bank argued that when the mother died, her interest in the property reverted to the father who already transferred his interest to one of the children, and since he is now the sole owner and signed the mortgage, there is no homestead defense.
We successfully argued that the original transfer from the father to one of the children did not transfer all of the father’s interest, but only a life estate. This is a very obscure provision of the law. This means that the father only transferred the interest to the child while he was alive but that when he died, the interest reverted back to the father’s estate, in which all of this children share. Therefore, the mortgage signed by one child only is void. The court agreed with our argument and not only did not foreclose on the home, but even went a step further and invalidated the mortgage.
So, what about the fact that one of the children signed a promissory note? Even though the mortgage is invalid and the bank cannot take the home, the debt should still be there. Loan Lawyers was even successful in arguing that the debt itself was not collectable because the bank did not present an original note to the court and did not meet its burden to re-establish the note under Florida law. This was a nice bonus for this client as well. Without hard work, novel research, and exemplary trial skills to pull it all together, these clients would have lost their home.