Recent Settlement Checks from Banks for Consumer Protection Violations
As we have stressed over and over again, if you are facing a Florida foreclosure, you need a foreclosure lawyer that is not afraid to sue the banks. Here are 7 settlement checks that we have received last week for our foreclosure clients. These checks are for either the bank contacting our client when we told them not to do so or for the servicer’s failure to identify the owner of the loan, as well as their address and phone number. Our approach is to sue the banks for these consumer protection violations because it is not uncommon after the bank starts stroking these checks to start paying attention to our clients and offering real modifications. Our attorneys routinely sue banks and servicers for violating the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act and the Truth in Lending Act. So, even if the bank does not agree at that point to a principle reduction, the homeowner is receiving a check from the bank while they are in foreclosure! The banks moan and complain, but hey, even they have to play by the rules. Unfortunately, not enough foreclosure lawyers in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach take them to task.
Result of Today’s Trial Against Chase Home Finance LLC
We had many people following our foreclosure trial against Chase Home Finance LLC today, so i wanted to give the final update on my blog. Here’s what went down in Miami-Dade Circuit Court this morning. Actually, I’ll back up to yesterday. The bank called us up yesterday afternoon to see if we would simply agree to a final judgment of foreclosure if they let the client stay in for another 90 – 120 days. Yeah right, offer rejected.
So trial was set for 8:45 this morning. The courtroom was a zoo. There were about 90 foreclosure trials set for this morning. In the vast majority of cases, the foreclosure defense attorneys agreed to the foreclosure in exchange for a 90 – 120 day sale date. In my humble opinion, defense attorneys need to push more of these cases to trial. I think many of these cases can be one. (My hat’s off to a young attorney who actually did her first trial ever this morning for a foreclosure client. She lost, but put up a good fight).
So, the bank’s attorney came up to me this morning and asked again if I would agree to the foreclosure and my response was the same, a resounding – NO! We actually has a really good defense and I believe we would have prevailed. The case was called and the bank asked for a continuance to postpone the trial. The judge denied that request and put us at the end of the docket for trial. The end of the docket finally came after a couple of hours. The case was called for trial and the bank again requested to postpone the trial and the judge again denied that request. So, the bank took a dismissal rather than go to trial and prove its case.
I guess I wasn’t the only one who thought I had a good case.
Our foreclosure lawyers are available for free consultations in our offices located in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach.
Bank of America Fraud Appeal
This client had a foreclosure action pending against him. He never got a lawyer and the bank just steamrolled right over him. They doctored an assignment of mortgage and forged a notary certificate. The client came to us just weeks before his sale. We were able to get the sale cancelled and the case is now pending in the Fourth District Court of Appeals. Not to mention that the client is still in his home almost 3 years after it was to be sold. As far as I know, this is the first appeal in Florida dealing directly with fraud in a foreclosure action as well as the first appeal to address whether a securitized trust must comply with the pooling and servicing agreement in order to have standing to sue for foreclosure.
Client was faced with a foreclosure sale on her homestead property 16 days from the day she retained Loan Lawyers to attempt to save her house through a cure and maintain in a bankruptcy case. This allows the homeowner to pay the arrears over a 60-month period while making their regular mortgage payment. However, client had previously filed a total of three bankruptcy cases in the two years preceding this potential case – each of which was dismissed.
Understanding that much had to be done in the 16 days leading up to Debtor’s sale, Loan Lawyers immediately filed two emergency motions, one to re-open Debtor’s most recent filing and a second seeking to shorten the prejudice period prohibiting Debtor from instantly filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Generally, when a case is dismissed, its dismissed with a 180-day prejudice period. This is to prevent serial filings and to deter people from abusing the bankruptcy courts. Debtor had faced many personal situations which impaired her ability to successfully move forward with this dismissed case and Loan Lawyers thoroughly explained Debtor’s situation. Loan Lawyers further stressed that the foreclosure sale was scheduled on Debtor’s primary and only residence. Fortunately, both motions were granted and Debtor was permitted to instantly file a fourth bankruptcy case.
Debtor’s sale date was not yet cancelled, however. The Bankruptcy Code holds that a second (or third) bankruptcy case filed within a year is filed in bad faith and it is up to the Debtor to prove otherwise. As the debtor had three active cases within a one-year period, and fourth overall, the filing of Debtor’s case did not impose an automatic stay and her mortgage lender was free to move forward with the sale date despite a filed bankruptcy. To correct this situation, Loan Lawyers filed a Motion to Impose the Automatic Stay and made similar arguments in hopes of having Debtor’s motion granted. Debtor’s motion was granted and her sale date was ultimately cancelled.
This is just one case that outlines the risks associated with multiple bankruptcy filings. On your first filing, the Court affords you all of the benefits of a bankruptcy automatically, such as the automatic stay and any necessary extensions to complete your documents. However, should this first case be dismissed and multiple cases are necessary, the Court increases the burden on the Debtor to provide why they are a Debtor who should benefit from the bankruptcy system. This leads to a stressful situation that is full of additional expended time and costs. It is important to discuss your first case with an experienced attorney to avoid any potential issues and to have the case progress correctly the first time.
Bombshell TILA Order – The First Time in the Country a Court Has Found a Private Cause of Action Against a Loan Owner for a Service
This is a huge opinion with huge implications. We sued Fannie Mae on a two count complaint. I will address both counts, but I will start with the most significant, Count II. We sued Fannie Mae in Count II for the servicer’s (Seterus) failure to respond to a pay-off request. We sued for a violation of Regulation Z, section § 226.36(c). We argued that liability and private cause of action rests in 15 U.S.C. § 1639(l)(2) which states “The Bureau, by regulation or order, shall prohibit acts or practices in connection with mortgage loans that the Bureau finds to be unfair, deceptive or designed to evade the provisions.” Well, a violation of § 226.36(c) has been found by the Board to be unfair. Therefore, there should a private right of action. This argument gets fairly technical so I won’t bore you with the gory details, but you can click the link at the end of this post and read the order for yourself. There has never been a court in this country that has found a loan owner liable for this violation of this section until this TILA lawsuit filed by Loan Lawyers. This is a huge opinion and should open the floodgates to further litigation against the banks who continue to ignore the law and violate borrower rights. Will other lawyers start to sue banks for TILA violations???? Hello…wake up my legal brethren and start standing up for your clients’ rights!
On to Count I. This count was unfortunately dismissed, but we have filed a motion for reconsideration and we expect that the court will reverse itself on this issue. We sent a request to Seterus asking for the name, address, and phone number of the master servicer. The response that Seterus sent said that Fannie Mae “contracted with Seterus to collect payments and respond to inquiries regarding the loan.” However, the response did not state that they were the master servicer. The court found that the language used was sufficient to show that Seterus was the master servicer of the loan. The basis for our argument is that the MERS print-out stats that Seterus is the sub-servicer not the master servicer. Also somewhat of a technical argument and one which we expect to prevail on. So, did Fannie Mae mislead the court into believing that Seterus was the master servicer? We’ll find out one way or another and if so, Fannie Mae will be in a lot of trouble with the court.
If you are in foreclosure and paying a lawyer to represent you, ask yourself “Is my lawyer looking for violations of TILA and other consumer protection statutes and willing to sue the bank on a contingency fee basis?” If the answer is “no”, its probably time to look for a lawyer who is not afraid to fight the bank in court and take your case all the way.
Our foreclosure lawyers offer free consultations in Fort Lauderdale / Plantation, Delray Beach, North Miami Beach, and Coral Gables. We offer affordable payment plans and all of our plaintiff consumer cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, so there are no fees or costs unless we are successful in obtaining a recovery for you.
Your house is too important to trust to someone who is not properly equipped and trained to represent you in foreclosure proceedings. Our foreclosure attorneys have the skills and experience to effectively fight for you. We handle cases in all Florida counties, not just Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach. Call us today at 1-888-FIGHT-13 to schedule your FREE consultation with one of our lawyers.
Saved Our Client’s House with Aggressive Pleading!
Saved Our Client's Home
D.H came to Loan Lawyers seeking foreclosure defense against his Lender. He was facing foreclosure of his homestead by the lender. This was the second time the lender filed a foreclosure action. Our office immediately jumped into the case and litigated the file. We filed a very aggressive Answer with multiple Affirmative Defenses which immediately caught the attention of the opposing counsel. The opposing counsel attempted to obtain a quick judgment by filing a Motion for Summary Judgment. We filed a very aggressive opposition and an affidavit in support of our opposition and the Lender immediately cancelled their Motion for Summary Judgment hearing because they wanted time to sort it out! We effectively saved our client’s home by drafting well thought out and an aggressive opposition to the Banks motion.
The key to defending against these motions in very bank friendly area, is to not leave any stone unturned. Substantive and procedural issues need to be analyzed and articulated in an opposition to the Banks case in chief. We immediately asked our client to come to the office and drafted an Affidavit in Support of our Motion for Summary Judgment. The plan is to file the Motion immediately, while the Bank ponders their own motion, with the hope of entering Judgment for our client. With an aggressive and strategic approach, we plan to dismiss this case and save our clients home.
Loan Lawyers has saved over 1,500 homes in South Florida from foreclosure, eliminated over $100 million dollars in mortgage principal and consumer debt, and collected millions of dollars on behalf of our clients due to bank, loan servicer, and debt collector violations. Contact Loan Lawyers to find out how we may be able to help you. Results may not be typical. You may not have as beneficial a result.
Saving Client’s Home by Settling His Homeowner Association (HOA) Foreclosure Case
Client was facing foreclosure from his HOA for failure to pay past due assessments. We defended this foreclosure, filed the appropriate Answer and Affirmative defenses, and filed a Motion for Mediation. Our client did in fact fail to pay his home owners assessments, but it was obvious the HOA did not want to litigate against our firm and agreed to attend the mediation. At the mediation, we successfully negotiated a huge reduction in what the HOA claimed was due and owing. Our client was very happy and continues to live in his house due to our hard work. If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure by a HOA, please contact us immediately. There is a lot of work that has to occur right off the bat in order to properly posture the case to either dismiss the HOA’s foreclosure case or enter into a very favorable settlement with the HOA in lieu of a foreclosure judgment.
Broward County Judge Allows Loan Lawyers To Pursue Punitive Damages Against Bank Of America
Congratulations to our associate Chezky Rodal. He is suing Bank of America in Broward County, Florida for debt collection violations and the court is allowing him to pursue punitive damages. Our clients were paying their mortgage on time every month. Bank of America started sending letters that they were accelerating the mortgage and was about to put them into foreclosure. They sent proof that they made all of their payments to the bank who completely ignored the fact that the clients had cancelled checks. The foreclosure threat was always hanging over our clients’ head. This went on for about one and half years. Our clients made over 700 calls to Bank of America to get this resolved. Finally, Bank of America admitted they were wrong.
This situation was a nightmare for our client. Imagine being threatened with foreclosure when you never missed a payment and then having to call the bank multiple times every day for one and a half years to get it resolved. In the meantime, one of our clients suffered very significant life-threatening health issues. While she was suffering from a horrible disease and trying to recover this ordeal was really taking a toll. It also took a toll on her husband and son who were praying for their matriarch to be healthy all while trying to stop the threats of foreclosure from the bank. They decided to seek legal help and came to Loan Lawyers, LLC to sue Bank of America for them.
There are generally two types of damages, compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages are ordinary damages that result from a party breaching some duty. For example, in this matter, we are seeking compensatory damages for our clients’ pain and suffering. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are intended to punish a party. These damages are reserved for the most egregious of cases. In fact, in Florida, you can not seek punitive damages with the court first determining that there exists a basis to do so. The court determined in this case that if the jury rules in our favor for the debt collection violation, they will then consider whether Bank of America’s conduct was so egregious that they should be punished. The jury will have to determine what amount of money will punish Band of America. We will actually get to put the net worth of the bank into evidence so the jury can determine what amount of money it will take to punish them. Bank of America reports about $179 Billion in equity.
If you have been victimized by any bank, creditor, debt collector, or any other lender, we want to know about it. We sue banks for various debt collection and Truth in Lending Act violations. All of these cases are handled on a contingency fee basis, so there’s no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we are successful in recovering compensation for you. You may have a case worth tens of thousands of dollars or more and you don’t even know it.
At Loan Lawyers, our mission is to fight for those in debt. We provide aggressive legal representation so that those in debt can stand up against banks, debt collectors, and big corporations. Call us today is you are being harassed. We handle these cases statewide and offer free consultations in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach with our lawyers who sue banks and debt collectors. (844) 344-4813
Score Another One for the Good Guys. Bank’s Motion to Dismiss Our TILA Claim Denied.
We scored another victory in our continuing quest to hold banks responsible for Truth in Lending Act violations. In this case, we requested the name, address and phone number of the owner or master servicer of the mortgage loan. The servicer responded with the name of the owner, but the address and phone number of the servicer. A borrower has the right to know how to to contact their loan owner directly, but the servicer in this case tried to pull a fast one by giving their address and phone number instead of the owners.
The bank made several arguments on why our TILA lawsuit should be dismissed. First, they argued that they complied by providing the address of the servicer. The court did not by that argument. Next, they argued that the loan owner can not be responsible for the servicer’s misdeeds. This is an argument that they make in every case and has been denied once again. Lastly they argued that the Truth in Lending Act is unconstitutional. This was likewise denied.
Florida homeowners: You have rights, start exercising them. Show the banks you mean business and you are not afraid to sue them if they violate the law. At Loan Lawyers, we sue banks throughout the State of Florida for Truth in Lending Act violations and debt collection violations, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Florida Consumer Protection Practices Act. We file these cases on a contingency fee basis, so there’s no fees or costs unless we are successful.
Call us today to schedule a free consultations with one of our attorneys in Fort Lauderdale / Plantation, Delray Beach, North Miami Beach, or Coral Gables.