Archive for: ‘March 2011’

A Borrowers’ Bill of Rights

March 24, 2011 Posted by kingcade

Recent “robo-signing” and foreclosure scandals suggest that for thousands of homeowners, fairness and competency have not been so readily available. According to witnesses at recent congressional hearings, borrowers with on-time payment histories who sought loan modifications frequently were told they needed to stop payments for two to three months before they would be eligible to even discuss changes to their loan terms. When these individuals and businesses applied for modifications, they were sent foreclosure notices because they were in default.

It’s also suggested that servicers “pyramid” late fees and sloppy documentation, have had an increasing affect on borrowers’ debts to the point where foreclosure has become inevitable.
Some of the most blatant errors involve property insurance records. According to the National Consumer Law Center, $30,000 in fees were added to one homeowner’s principal balance by a bank during the seven months it took to process the modification request. It is reported abuse such as this that’s led to hundreds of lawsuits against banks and servicers that are clogging court calendars nationwide. This has prompted state attorney generals to negotiate a national settlement with the 14 biggest banks and servicers.

The draft proposal calls for billions of dollars in penalties from the banks along with additional billions in principal reductions for distressed and underwater borrowers. The core of the agreement would essentially amount to a new mortgage servicing bill of rights for borrowers. It sets out minimum standards and operating procedures that would govern how homeowners are treated in the future.

Below is a quick overview of the proposed “borrowers’ bill of rights”:

• Servicers would be required to employ enough trained loss-mitigation staff to deal with all borrower inquiries and request for loan modifications

• Servicers would be required to identify the bank or investor that is the legal owner of the mortgage

• Servicers will have to provide mortgage customers with a “single point of contact” – a designated employee, with a name and contact information – for their loan modification requests

• Dual-tracking of modifications and foreclosures would be banned

• Servicers would be prohibited from advising on-time customers to default, or discouraging borrowers from seeking help from non-profit counseling organizations.

• “Force-placed” insurance practices would be severely limited, including prohibitions on obtaining high-premium policies from subsidiaries, affiliates, the lender or servicer

If the proposed settlement occurs, it could give significant new protections to homeowners and borrowers, even for those that never had a payment problem or a need to modify their mortgage terms.

To read more on this story, visit:
http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/03/20/2119880/a-borrowers-bill-of-rights.html

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.

Filing for Bankruptcy Could Save your Home

March 15, 2011 Posted by kingcade

By the time a foreclosure notice arrives, many struggling homeowners figure they are out of options. However, there is one step many often overlook: filing for bankruptcy. The impact of filing for bankruptcy- especially on your chances of getting a loan- may not be as dire as many consumers assume. In fact, homeowners facing foreclosure may be able to improve their credit by filing for bankruptcy.

In the eyes of lenders, by filing for bankruptcy, you are making an attempt to pay back what is owed and keeping up with your payments. That help can make a big difference for homeowners struggling to deal with a lending industry which is overwhelmed by the mortgage mess.
Bankruptcy automatically stops the foreclosure process, giving the struggling homeowner and the court time to try and get back on track with your mortgage payments. Even if you fail to save your home, the consequences of a bankruptcy filing may be less severe than foreclosure. In fact, bankruptcy laws were established to provide an orderly process for people in financial trouble to reorganize their debts, start fresh and rebuild their lives.

Many of the individuals that come into my office are not living extravagant lifestyles; instead, they are forced to take drastic steps because of a change in circumstances, whether it’s the loss of a job or a divorce.  A bankruptcy filing will not guarantee that you will be able to keep your home. However, it does stop the foreclosure process and will buy you time while the court reviews your finances and attempts to work out a payment plan with lenders.

To read more on this story, visit:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41787682/ns/business-personal_finance/

If you have any questions on this topic or are in need of a financial fresh start, please contact our experienced team of bankruptcy 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.

Miami-Dade to get new Foreclosure Mediators

March 9, 2011 Posted by kingcade

The State’s largest foreclosure mediation program is coming under new leadership, after its original managers lost a bid to continue heading up the Supreme-Court mandated process. Oasis Alliance, which won the contract through an open bidding process, will begin transitioning to replace The Collins Center on March 28.

Like many foreclosure prevention programs that have surfaced in the wake of the housing collapse, court-ordered mediation has not been able to meet the expectations of its creators. A recent report from the Office of the State Courts Administrator found that only 6 percent of distressed homeowners eligible for mediation worked out a resolution with the bank. In Miami-Dade County, that percentage is 5.6 percent.

The main roadblock has been getting borrowers to show up at the negotiation. Homeowners were reached in only about half of cases eligible for mediation in Miami-Dade, the report found. Of the borrowers that actually attended mediation, 32 percent reached an agreement with their lender.

Miami-Dade County’s multilingual population, large geographical area and battered housing market make it a particularly difficult region for managing foreclosure mediations. There are about 70,000 unresolved foreclosure cases in Miami-Dade County court, compared to about 15,000 in the judicial circuit where Oasis is currently operating.

To read more on this story, visit:
http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/03/04/2098336/collins-dumped-as-foreclosure.html

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.

Rising Gas Prices Could Lead to an Increase in Foreclosures

March 7, 2011 Posted by kingcade

Rising gasoline prices are making a bad situation even worse, particularly in the area of Homestead, FL., where many residents drive some 30 miles to work in Miami. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reports Homestead having one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation for the past two years. So while the foreclosure problem is starting to subside in many cities, the problem in places like Homestead could grow.

Data prepared for The Wall Street Journal by CoreLogic Inc. showed that in two Zip Codes in the Homestead area, 33032 and 33033, more than 44% of all mortgages were three months or more delinquent as of November. Those were the highest rates in the country. The communities in the two Zip Codes are filled with modest, middle-class homes, many built from 2004 to 2006. Some of those homes are now empty after the owners left or were evicted. Some of those still around are considering leaving. Of Homestead’s 21,300 mortgages, nearly 9,000 are severely delinquent, with 6,100 homes in a state of foreclosure and more than 900 owned by the bank and likely empty, CoreLogic said.

This trend is causing many families to reconsider the total cost of living far away from urban centers, not just the cost of the home.

To read more on this story, visit:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703409904576174592380635086.html?KEYWORDS=foreclosure

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.