Archive for: ‘January 2011’

Florida Churches Join Homeowners in Foreclosure Crisis

January 26, 2011 Posted by kingcade

Much of the recent news about Florida foreclosures has centered on homeowners facing foreclosure. But little has been said about the impact of the foreclosure crisis on businesses and religious institutions. Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported on the worrying increase in foreclosures on buildings owned by churches.

Florida and other states have seen a significant rise in the foreclosure rate for all properties, including churches and other buildings used for religious purposes. Between 2006 and 2008, fewer than ten religious groups lost property because of foreclosure. Between 2008 and 2010, nearly 200 faced that fate.

Many churches, like individual homeowners, became caught up in the real estate boom. They expanded too quickly and purchased property with high mortgage payments. That worked well for a short period of time. But now the economic recession has caused church attendance to decline. Those who still attend church are tithing less, which leaves the churches with less operating income.

Without the consistent source of weekly income, churches that once had plenty of money to keep up with the property payments are finding themselves behind on payments. As property values decline, those same churches are also underwater, owing more than the properties are worth.

As one pastor said, “I just told the bank to take [the property].” That pastor had tried to negotiate with his lender. He had tried to refinance, but because he owed more than the property was worth, refinancing was not an option. At the end, he felt that “there’s not really another choice but to walk away.”

This is the same situation that many individual homeowners have found themselves struggling with recently. Anyone who is facing foreclosure should know that they do have options. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you explore your options and make decisions that are in your best interests.

Source: Wall Street Journal, “Churches Find End Is Nigh,” Shelly Banjo, 25 Jan 2011

If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact foreclosure defense attorney, Timothy Kingcade at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Major Ruling Throws out more than 10,000 GMAC Foreclosure Cases

January 25, 2011 Posted by kingcade

A recent ruling in Maryland has thrown out more than 10,000 foreclosure cases managed by GMAC Mortgage, due to affidavits in cases signed by Jeffrey Stephan, the infamous GMAC “robo-signer,” who attested to the authenticity of foreclosure documents without any knowledge about them, as well as signing other false statements.

The University of Maryland Consumer Protection Clinic and Civil Justice, Inc. filed the class action lawsuit, arguing that any case using Jeffrey Stephan as a signer was illegitimate and must be dismissed. In court last Friday, GMAC agreed to dismiss every case in Maryland relying on a Stephan affidavit. They can re-file foreclosure actions on close to 10,000 homes, but only at their own expense, and subject to new Maryland regulations which require mandatory mediation between borrower and lender before moving to foreclosure. Civil Justice and Consumer Protection Clinic also want any cases with affidavits from Xee Moua of Wells Fargo, who has also admitted to robo-signing, thrown out.

Now GMAC has to go back and basically file the entire case all over again, meaning they have to give notice of foreclosure to the borrower, engage the borrower in modification options, and run through the whole process from the beginning. They cannot use the shortcut solution, thanks to the class action suit filed.

To read more on this story, visit:
http://news.firedoglake.com/2011/01/16/10000-gmac-foreclosures-stopped-in-maryland/#

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.

Banks Drop Hundreds of Foreclosures in Southwest Florida

January 24, 2011 Posted by kingcade

According to local attorneys and court records, banks in recent weeks have dropped hundreds of Southwest Florida foreclosure lawsuits in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties. Opinions vary sharply on whether this means banks are taking a breather before re-filing with stronger evidence, or just giving up for good on hopelessly flawed cases.

The exact amount of foreclosures being dismissed have not been calculated, but eight voluntary dismissals were filed last Tuesday alone by seven different banks including Bank of America, one of the largest filers of foreclosures in the area. Most of the mortgages in dispute were sold to Wall Street and sold in bundles to investors as mortgage-backed securities. However, so many mistakes were made in the process it’s unlikely the banks can win those cases.

This recent wave of voluntary dismissals may be a result of a Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling on January 7th upholding a judge’s decision two foreclosures were invalid because the banks didn’t prove they owned the mortgages, which were said to be improperly transferred into two mortgage-backed trusts.

To read more on this story, please visit:
http://www.news-press.com/article/20110119/RE/101190387/1076/Banks-drop-foreclosures-in-Southwest-Florida

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.

5 Rising Costs to Watch Out for in 2011 as You Plan Your Budget

January 19, 2011 Posted by kingcade

Budgeting: It is a word that is on everyone’s mind this year from federal and state government officials to individual households. Consumer confidence is at an extreme low during this economic recession as individuals attempt to get control of their finances, save money and reduce debt or even looking for ways to avoid filing for bankruptcy.  “Consumers are not throwing caution to the wind since there are tremendous headwinds, such as a high and persistent unemployment rate, a poor housing market, tight credit conditions, and increasing energy costs,” explained one economist with IHS Global Insight.  Although experts assure us that inflation is definitely under control, there are a few costs that will continue to rise in 2011 that will have a large affect on individuals. Five individual increases rise to the top of the list of everyday goods and services:

Food is one of the most essential needs in a household, but in 2009, the cost of groceries went up approximately 1.5 percent and is not expected to slow down. Major food producers have even begun raising food prices after dropping several discount options. Not only have food producers raised their prices, but 60 percent of restaurants surveyed by Nation’s Restaurant News said customers should expect a cost increase next time they visit.

You may have already noticed that it is getting more expensive to fill your car once again after the cost of gas seemed to waiver around a somewhat fixed point for a while. According to the Consumer Price Index, the overall cost of energy had already risen by 7.7 percent by the close of the year.

Citizens of every state should expect a change in taxes as state and government officials look to get their own budgets under control. One of the quickest ways is to increase taxes on products like cigarettes or even bottled water.
Major television and telephone service providers like AT&T are reportedly expecting to raise their monthly premiums.

And lastly, banks have had to restructure their business models as government regulations have forced them to find new ways to generate income. Several banks have already begun to consider raising fees associated with ATMs or checking accounts.

Source: The Wall Street Journal “The 7 things you’re paying more for than you think” Jennifer Waters 1/19/11

If you have any questions on this topic or are in need of a financial fresh start, please contact our experienced team of bankruptcy and foreclosure defense attorneys at (305) 285-9100. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

State Details Foreclosure Chaos – “Unfair, Deceptive and Unconscionable Acts in Foreclosure Cases”

January 14, 2011 Posted by kingcade

The state attorney general’s office recently gave a 98-page presentation detailing Florida’s foreclosure chaos at a conference for the Florida Association of Court Clerks and Comptrollers. The presentation included copies of allegedly forged signatures, false notarizations and witnesses. It also focused largely on assignments of mortgage, documents that transfer ownership of mortgages from one bank to another. One example in the presentation, noted a signature by someone named Linda Green and was said to appear on hundreds of thousands of mortgage documents from dozens of banks and mortgage companies, but in varying styles.

The presentation entitled, “Unfair, Deceptive and Unconscionable Acts in Foreclosure Cases,” stands as one of the first examples of what the state has compiled in its exploration of foreclosure malpractice, holding banks, mortgage servicers and law firms accountable for contributing to the foreclosure crisis by cutting corners.

To read more on this story, please visit:
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/money/real-estate/state-details-foreclosure-chaos-1164504.html

If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact foreclosure defense attorney, Timothy Kingcade at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.