Monday, March 21, 2011

Process for Stopping Foreclosure and Asserting your Legal Rights to Save Your Property

Our goal is to assist consumers in defending their homes from foreclosure and asserting their legal rights to keep them in their homes and to obtain favorable modifications of their loans or to assist consumers in litigating their claims in State and Federal Court. To achieve this goal we use a step-by-step process, outlined below:
Step 1—The first step is for the homeowner to compile all of their mortgage loan documents, including their closing loan package of documents, any and all correspondence they have had with their lender or servicer, any court papers served upon them, if applicable, and any other loan papers that they have. Once all of the papers are compiled, we will review the papers and do a case assessment regarding the strengths and weaknesses of their particular case.
Step 2—After doing the case assessment, the next step is that we send out, on the consumer’s behalf, what is known as a Qualified Written Request (QWR) under RESPA, which allows the consumer to obtain a wealth of information regarding their loan. Once the QWR is received, the lender has 20 days to acknowledge receipt of the request and 60 days to supply all of the required information. Sending out the QWR stops any further action from being taken until the lender complies with the QWR. If the lender does not comply with the QWR, it is a RESPA violation.
We can also send out a Verification of Proof of Claim notice pursuant to the U.C.C. requiring the lender to verify the mortgage debt and providing for a default if the lender fails and refuses to verify the debt within the time period required.

Step 3—Once the QWR is sent out, we recommend that the consumer have their loan documents audited by an independent, professional forensic mortgage loan auditor. The loan auditor will review all of the documents and will summarize any and all violations found and will document the lender’s compliance or non-compliance with RESPA, (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) TILA (Truth in Lending Act), the FACTA act, HOEPA and other Federal and State laws.

Step 4—Once we have obtained the results from the QWR and the Forensic Mortgage Loan Audit, we use them to document the lender’s non-compliance and violations of the law. Using these violations as leverage, we will then either negotiate an acceptable loan modification agreement with the lender, or we will threaten to sue for the violations. An acceptable loan modification includes the following parameters: 

a) Reducing the mortgage loan amount down to the fair market value of the property.
b) Lowering the interest rate to 5% or below, if your interest rate is higher than 5%
c) Lowering the monthly payment.
d) Stretching out the term of the loan back to 30 or even 40 years to keep the monthly payment affordable. If the lender agrees to these terms, we recommend that the consumer accept the loan modification agreement. If the lender fails or refuses to negotiate in good faith, then the file is referred for litigation.
Step 5—If the case is going to be litigated, the consumer has the option of representing themselves or hiring an attorney. If the consumer opts to start the litigation pro se, by representing themselves, we assist with legal document preparation of all of the necessary court papers. If the consumer is sued judicially for foreclosure by the lender, we will help the consumer defend the foreclosure and also to assert their defenses and counter-claims. Ultimately, the case may be removed from State Court, where the foreclosure was filed, to Federal Court to litigate all of the consumer’s Federal and State claims. If the lender forecloses on the property non-judicially, we will draft appropriate Court papers to sue the lender in State or Federal Court and will assist the homeowner in litigating the case. At any time the consumer feels that they are in “over their head” and are unable to continue to represent themselves, we will assist them in retaining the services of an attorney. For pro se litigants, we charge $50. per hour to draft legal documents, which is far more cost effective than retaining legal counsel, which can be done when necessary.
Our ultimate goal is to keep the consumer in their home for as long as possible without having to pay a monthly mortgage payment. We recommend setting some money aside in an escrow account, which gives the consumer flexibility in resolving the case at the end of the process. If the violations are numerous and serious enough, the consumer may be able to get the mortgage eliminated altogether, or may be entitled to rescind the loan or obtain substantial damages from the lender.
After the mortgage situation is resolved, we will assist the consumer in restoring their credit.
We also offer a non-judicial, administrative remedy process to eliminate additional debts through the administrative process. Our goal is to assist the homeowner in retaining their home, eliminating their mortgage, and help them become debt free.