Posts Tagged: ‘robo-signing’

Zombie Foreclosures: What Homeowners Need to Know

June 9, 2016 Posted by kingcade

If you are facing foreclosure, it’s a good idea to not move out of your home too quickly- you could be haunted by what’s called a “zombie foreclosure.”  Some homeowners quickly pack up and leave after receiving a foreclosure notice because they assume the bank will take over the property immediately.  However, in some cases, the bank does not always move so fast.  While the bank is finishing up the foreclosure process, the home can sit vacant for months while still in the homeowner’s name.

A zombie foreclosure can lead to devastating consequences for the homeowner.  Oftentimes, these occur in low-income areas where the lender is not too anxious to assume the responsibility and upkeep of the property, along with paying the taxes.  If squatters occupy the property or it falls into severe disrepair, the bank may ultimately wash its hands of the property.

Other times, the property may have been part of the robo-signing scandal and the foreclosure cannot be completed, the sale was never held, the paperwork was lost, or the title was never officially transferred into the new owner’s name.  All of these circumstances result in the title remaining in the foreclosed homeowner’s name.

The states with the highest number of zombie properties include Florida, Illinois, New York and New Jersey, according to RealtyTrac.  Zombie foreclosures can spell disaster for homeowners.  Since the title is never transferred out of the foreclosed homeowner’s name, they are on the hook for certain debts and expenses like property taxes, HOA dues and maintenance fees for upkeep of the property.  These  debts can go unpaid for years, without the homeowner even knowing they have a legal obligation to pay them, further damaging their credit.

If you leave your property and the title is never transferred out of your name, the following things can happen (among others):

  • The tax collector can come and collect from you back property taxes;
  • The HOA may file a lawsuit to recover unpaid dues;
  • You can incur fines for not complying with housing codes and ordinances;
  • You can incur bills for yard maintenance, repairs, trash and graffiti removal, etc.

So how can homeowners avoid a zombie foreclosure?  Remain in your home for as long as possible during a foreclosure.  You will be less likely to become a victim of a zombie foreclosure if you stay through the entire foreclosure process and wait for an official notice to vacate before moving out.  Confirm the title has been transferred out of your name.  You can do this by going to the county recorder’s office where the property is located to make sure a new deed has been recorded.  You can also check your local county recorder’s website.  It is important to do this because in some cases the bank is not legally required to inform you that the foreclosure has stopped.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami 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 website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/zombie-foreclosures.html

 

Florida Borrowers entitled to $40 Million from SunTrust Mortgage Abuse Settlement

June 19, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi joined 48 other state attorneys general, the District of Columbia and other federal agencies in reaching a $550 million nationwide settlement with SunTrust over mortgage and foreclosure abuses.

The civil charges accuse SunTrust of improper documentation of loans, lost paperwork and robo-signing. Approximately 8,421 Florida borrowers who had SunTrust loans or lost their homes from 2008-2013 to foreclosure, can apply for a portion of the $40 million designated to the state. This money could take the form of a cash payout, principal reductions or refinancing of underwater mortgages.

SunTrust has the responsibility to contact borrowers and has agreed to the following terms:

• Making foreclosure a last resort and evaluating homeowners for other loss mitigation options, first.
• Restricting foreclosure while the homeowner is being considered for a loan modification.
• New procedures and timelines for reviewing loan modification applications.
• Providing homeowners with the right to appeal denials.
• Requiring a single point of contact for borrowers seeking information about their loans.
• Maintaining adequate staff to handle calls.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami 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 website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:
http://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/blog/morning-edition/2014/06/florida-borrowers-to-collect-40-from-suntrust.html?ana=e_sflo_rdup&s=newsletter&ed=2014-06-18&u=um2Eyo72dYSImvglWn/0xO6wsIE&t=1403093430

Big banks meet obligations of robo-signing settlement, Homeowner relief falls short

March 20, 2014 Posted by kingcade

Big banks are cheering now that they have fulfilled their obligations under the National Mortgage Settlement. However, new reports reveal the $20 billion “robo signing” deal has fallen short, leaving many struggling borrowers underwhelmed.

While the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development said in 2012 that a million homeowners would see reduced mortgage principals or refinanced loans, data show only 630,000 homeowners across the country have seen any sort of relief.

In Florida, approximately 120,000 homeowners were offered $9.2 billion in relief, the nation’s second-highest level of assistance behind California. However, much of this money went toward short sales or second-mortgage forgiveness- relief, which did not help distressed borrowers stay in their homes.

Nearly $3.5 billion went toward eliminating second-loan debt that the lenders likely would have never collected. Banks earned another $3.5 billion in credit though short sales, by approving sales of distressed homes for less than the homeowners owed. Investors are the ones who largely benefited from banks’ focus on short sales. Approximately 11,000 of the 120,000 Florida homeowners offered settlement aid were allowed principal forgiveness.

Click here to read more on this story.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami 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 website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Foreclosure Compensation Checks Arrive, Some Homeowners Angered

May 16, 2013 Posted by kingcade

Millions of American homeowners who have struggled with foreclosures are now receiving checks in the mail for compensation from the companies that serviced their mortgage- part of the government’s efforts to resolve the foreclosure crisis. But some homeowners are claiming these checks are an insult, that neither punish the banks nor helps homeowners recover.

A Seattle homeowner said she recently received a check for $300. “It was more than pathetic. It was insulting,” she said. The struggling homeowner claims she spent more money on postage providing government agencies with detailed descriptions of what had happened in her case. The compensation payment checks, which range from $300 up to $125,000, are part of the Independent Foreclosure Review Payment Agreement announced in January between federal regulators and 13 mortgage servicing companies, which were subject to enforcement actions for “deficient practices in mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing.” Deficient practices have included errors and misrepresentations and the “robo-signing” of documents.

The recipients of the checks are mortgage loan borrowers whose homes were in any stage of a foreclosure process during 2009 or 2010, and whose mortgage servicers were among the 13 companies, or their subsidiaries or affiliates. The 13 servicers are: Aurora, Bank of America, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, MetLife Bank, Morgan Stanley, PNC, Sovereign, SunTrust, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo. Compensation payment checks, which began going out April 12, have so far been sent to 3.7 million homeowners. In all, 4.2 million eligible mortgage loan borrowers will receive them.

Click here to read more on the foreclosure settlement checks, which are angering many struggling homeowners.

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well-qualified Miami foreclosure defense attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Miami 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 website, www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Another Robo-signing Law Firm Brought to Justice

November 3, 2011 Posted by kingcade

One of the largest foreclosure mills in the country, Steven J. Baum, P.C., in Amherst, New York is required to pay $2 million and make significant reforms as a result of a settlement agreement reached on October 6, 2011. Most significantly, Baum employees may no longer sign mortgage assignments as officers of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”).

Tens of thousands of homeowners have lost their homes in cases where Baum employees signed mortgage assignments as officers of MERS. In most cases, these employees assigned mortgages to mortgage-backed trusts so that the trusts could foreclose; even though such transfers did not take place on the dates and in the manner set forth on the Baum assignments.

These Baum Assignments appear throughout the New York courts, but often in the Courts of other states as well. Two million is also the amount paid by the Law Offices of Marshall Watson in Florida, whose associates engaged in similar practices of signing as MERS officers, assigning mortgages after foreclosure actions were initiated.

This is a first-of-its-kind settlement and further relief may be forthcoming, from both criminal prosecutions, the NY Bar, and from private class action and RICO lawsuits brought by private litigants.

To read more on this story visit: http://frauddigest.com/fraud.php?ident=4729

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 this topic or 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.