Archive for: ‘September 2010’

Florida Legislature’s Proposed Answer to the Foreclosure Crisis

September 20, 2010 Posted by kingcade

A recent article in the New York Times reported on the Florida Legislature’s new effort to cut the number of foreclosures throughout the State of Florida. Earlier this year, Florida provided $9.6 million in funding to set up “foreclosure-only” courts across the state. These courts would be staffed by retired judges to accommodate the record-setting number of foreclosures in Florida. The goal of the program, which began in July, is to reduce Florida foreclosures by 62 percent within a year.

However, this new program has come under much scrutiny. Lawyers representing troubled borrowers contend that many of the retired judges called in to oversee these foreclosure cases are so focused on cutting the caseload that they are unfairly favoring financial institutions at the expense of homeowners.

In the article, Chief Judge Victor Tobin in the 17th Judicial Circuit defends the new plan, saying that “There are more assets devoted to those three foreclosure divisions in Broward County than to any other division in the building in terms of case managers and that sort of thing to help the general public. The people who come in get fully, fully heard.”

Florida’s foreclosure mess is made even more complicated by what analysts and lawyers involved in the process say are “questionable practices” by some law firms that are representing banks. Such tactics, these people say, have drawn out the process significantly, making it extremely lucrative for the lawyers and more draining for troubled homeowners. Even a few South Florida law firms have come under such scrutiny regarding their questionable practices when handling the influx of foreclosure cases. Labeled as “foreclosure mills” in the article, often times these firms refuse to work with borrowers and are very aggressive about pushing cases through the courts, even when there are questions about the documentation.

Nevertheless, Florida law requires that before a financial institution can foreclose on a borrower, it must prove to the court that it actually has the standing to do so. Florida law also requires that banks argue their cases before a judge if they want to recover property from borrowers in default, and 471,000 such cases were pending in Florida at the end of July, according to the Florida State Courts administration.
The Florida Supreme Court has recognized the need to hire retired judges on a “temporary” basis and has ruled this as constitutional. However, with these “repeated and consecutive” foreclosures, these may not always qualify as “temporary” and could eventually be in violation of the Florida constitution.

To read more on this story, visit:
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/business/05house.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3

Foreclosure defense attorney, Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Florida Foreclosure Filings are Down According to a National Study

September 17, 2010 Posted by kingcade

The nation has seen a drop in foreclosures and Florida is feeling it, too!  According to California-based RealtyTrac, an online site focused on distressed real estate, the number of Florida foreclosures has decreased by 8.7 percent in July. The counties of Tampa Bay have seen the largest annual drop at close to 24 percent.

In a national ranking, Florida is number three for foreclosure filings, close behind is Arizona at number two, and Nevada at number one. All three states have seen a significant drop in filing rates. California, placing number four, has seen a decrease of more than 54 percent.

To read more on some of the latest trends in foreclosure filings, visit:

http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/stories/2010/08/09/daily47.html?s=industry&t=printable

http://www.realtytrac.com

Foreclosure defense attorney, Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100.  You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

-Timothy Kingcade

The Importance of Hiring an Experienced Attorney when Facing Foreclosure and President Obama’s Mortgage Rescue Plan Explained

September 14, 2010 Posted by kingcade

Every state has different laws on foreclosure. In the State of Florida, you have only twenty (20) days to respond to a foreclosure notice. That is why it is imperative that you hire an experienced attorney that can help save your home or at least allow you to reside in it for another year if necessary.

Almost all mortgages in the State of Florida have the right of “reinstatement.” This means that, if at any time during the foreclosure litigation process the borrower comes up with the money for the late payments or can make a deal with the bank to cure late payments, legally the bank must dismiss the foreclosure action.

Today, many homeowners are unable to meet their monthly mortgage payments as low introductory rates (sub-prime) turn into the regular monthly interest rate (primary).  As a result of the housing market crashing, many properties are no longer worth their original costs, leaving homeowners stuck with homes worth less than their actual mortgages. These have been labeled “underwater” homeowners. More than 15 million people are lumped into this category.

To turn things around, President Obama and financial delegates have come up with a foreclosure rescue plan to help the unemployed and “underwater” homeowners remain where they are and help stabilize the real estate market. The plan is to reduce the principal, rather than reduce interest payments or give other forms of aid. Mortgage payments will be cut to no more than 31% of monthly income for 3 to 6 months. Mortgages will also be reduced to reflect the current property values. Then the homes will be refinanced into the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

The requirements to qualify for Obama’s Mortgage Rescue Plan include:

-Having secured your mortgage by January 1, 2009
-Having a primary mortgage of less than $729,500
-Must live on the property
-Must fully document income with tax returns and pay stubs
-Sign a financial hardship statement
-Go for credit counseling if total household debt totals more than 55 percent of income

Several issues have complicated the execution of this plan: namely, the cooperation between banks and investors. Because investors acquired most mortgages as security bundles during the housing boom, many are not willing to go lower. The banks and investors must agree and approve all loan restructurings for this plan to be successful.

To learn more about Obama’s Mortgage Rescue Plan, visit:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/classified/realestate/foreclosure/orl-foreclosures-foreclosure-laws-story,0,5000373.story

http://www.neighborhoodlink.com/article/Homeowner/Obama_Loan_Mod_Plan_Explained

http://www.cnbc.com/id/2951098/New_Mortgage_Plan_Who_Qualifies_and_How_It_Works

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/27/obama-foreclosure-plan-givesloan-break-jobless/

http://money.cnn.com/2010/03/25/news/economy/foreclosure_prevention_unemployed_underwater/index.htm

Many people feel extremely overwhelmed when they get sued for foreclosure–they move out of the house or sign the house over, not knowing that by hiring an attorney and fighting this action it is very possible to save the house, even without filing bankruptcy.  If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

-Timothy Kingcade