When to Retain a Good Foreclosure Defense Attorney in New York

A homeowner should consult with an experienced foreclosure defense attorney right after receiving foreclosure papers.  The earliest stages of the case are the most crucial times to assert and preserve a homeowner’s legal rights for the remainder of the case. It is far more difficult for a foreclosure defense attorney to repair a “damaged” case than to handle the case correctly from the beginning.

Still, a homeowner who does not hire a foreclosure defense attorney at the beginning of the case is not doomed to lose the home.  Retaining a skillful and experienced foreclosure defense attorney at practically any time will maximize the homeowner’s chance of saving the home.  This applies even after a Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale has been entered.

The LeNoir Law Firm takes on difficult foreclosure cases at all stages of the foreclosure process with the intent to win the case and save the home. If you have received foreclosure papers, please call us for a free initial legal consultation.

LENOIR LAW FIRM, PLLC
2753 Broadway, Suite 251
New York, New York 10025
Office: 212-531-0284
Email:
info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com
Blog: www.DebtInversion.com/blog

Important information:  This is legal advertising.  It contains no legal advice and makes no representation as to the outcome of any legal matter. The information on this blog and website may not apply to your individual situation and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, Attorney Blog | Comments closed

How New York Homeowners Win Foreclosure Cases

There are two strategies that a New York homeowner can use to win a foreclosure case and avoid the loss of a home:

1.  Retaining a Good Foreclosure Defense Lawyer:  Hiring an attorney with a long, proven record of winning foreclosure cases maximizes a homeowner’s chance of winning a foreclosure case. A good foreclosure defense lawyer:

  • Knows and aggressively enforces the complex and constantly changing laws that protect homeowners’ rights in foreclosure litigation.
  • Wins cases utilizing unique defenses and counterclaims available only to homeowners in foreclosure actions.
  • Comes equipped with an arsenal of legal weapons and time-tested strategies to handle any circumstance that may occur in a foreclosure case.
  • Skillfully avoids the numerous, invisible dangers and pitfalls that cam cause a homeowner to lose a foreclosure case unnecessarily.
  • Maximizes a homeowner’s chances of winning the dreaded, deadly summary judgment motion. The winner of the summary judgment motion usually wins the foreclosure case.  Opposing a summary judgment motion is extremely complex and should not be attempted by amateurs.

2.  Relying on Sheer Luck: An extremely small percentage of homeowners win foreclosure cases and keep their homes through sheer luck.  The other winners are usually represented by experienced foreclosure defense attorneys.

If a homeowner is self-represented, the homeowner is relying on sheer luck to win the foreclosure and save the home.  If a homeowner hires an attorney inexperienced in foreclosure defense, the homeowner is also relying on sheer luck to win the case. The attorney may not know to handle the most important parts of the case (such as the summary judgment motion) and may cause irreparable damage to the homeowner’s legal rights early in the case.

It is extremely rare for homeowners to win foreclosure cases through sheer luck. Hoping for luck is simply not a sound foreclosure defense strategy.  To have a realistic chance of winning a foreclosure case, there is no alternative to hiring a strong foreclosure defense lawyer.

Sheer luck in foreclosure cases appears in many forms but few are prevalent. The most common situation is when a case is dismissed by the Court based upon a legal technicality.  For example, the Court may order the bank’s attorney to do something (such as making a summary judgment motion) by a deadline or the case will be automatically dismissed.  If the bank’s attorneys miss the deadline, the case is dismissed and the homeowner wins.

The LeNoir Law Firm has over 22 years of experience litigating cases in New York, mostly in the area of foreclosure defense.  If you have received foreclosure papers, we encourage you to call the LeNoir Law Firm today for a free initial consultation.

LENOIR LAW FIRM, PLLC
2753 Broadway, Suite 251
New York, New York 10025
Office: 212-531-0284
Email:
info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com
Blog: www.DebtInversion.com/blog

Important information:  This is legal advertising.  It contains no legal advice and makes no representation as to the outcome of any legal matter. The information on this blog and website may not apply to your individual situation and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, Attorney Blog | Comments closed

The Top 5 New York Foreclosure Defenses

The following are the Top 5 New York Foreclosure Defenses as rated by the LeNoir Law Firm.  The rankings are based solely upon the preferences of the LeNoir Law Firm.  This blog post contains no legal advice and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

Top 5 NY Foreclosure Defenses – No. 5: The foreclosing bank failed to comply with federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) requirements before starting the foreclosure action.

When it applies:   Federal regulations may require a bank to attempt to modify a homeowner’s mortgage under the HAMP program before the bank can start a foreclosure action.   The defense of failure to comply with HAMP requirements applies when a single family home is owner-occupied and the homeowner(s) applied for a HAMP modification but the bank filed a foreclosure action anyway.  If the defense applies, the foreclosure case must be dismissed because the bank failed to satisfy the requirements of HAMP as a “condition precedent” to foreclosure.

A “condition precedent” to foreclosure is anything that a foreclosing bank must do before a homeowner is required to respond to a foreclosure complaint.  If the bank fails to satisfy a condition precedent to foreclosure, the foreclosure action must be dismissed.

Why we like it:  Failure of the bank to comply with HAMP requirements (or any other condition precedent to foreclosure) is a complete defense to foreclosure.  Even if the bank can prove that it has standing to foreclose (see below) and the homeowner defaulted in making mortgage payments, the case still must be dismissed if the bank failed to comply with HAMP requirements.

If the foreclosing bank failed to comply with HAMP before starting the foreclosure action, the foreclosure case must be dismissed and the bank has to start the foreclosure process all over again.  The bank must again satisfy every condition precedent to foreclosure, and if it does not, the case must be dismissed again.

Eventually the time to foreclose may expire and the bank will forever lose its right to enforce the mortgage through a foreclosure action.  At that time, the homeowner may file a quiet title action to have the mortgage discharged (eliminated).  If the homeowner wins the quiet title case, the home may be sold without paying the former mortgage debt.  The homeowner receives the full sale proceeds instead of the bank.

Top 5 NY Foreclosure Defenses – No. 4:  The foreclosing bank failed to properly serve upon each homeowner a Help for Homeowners in Foreclosure Notice in the proper form with all required attachments.

When it applies:  Proper service of a Help for Homeowners in Foreclosure Notice along with the summons and foreclosure complaint is a condition precedent to foreclosure.  The strict standards that apply to the personal service of the summons and foreclosure complaint upon the homeowner also apply to the service of the Help for Homeowners in Foreclosure Notice.

Why we like it:   Failure to properly serve a Help for Homeowners in Foreclosure Notice in the required form with all attachments as a condition precedent to foreclosure is a complete defense to a foreclosure action.  As with the HAMP defense, even if the bank can prove that it has standing to foreclose (see below) and the homeowner defaulted in making mortgage payments, the foreclosure case must be dismissed if the bank cannot prove that the Help for Homeowners in Foreclosure Notice in the prescribed form with all required attachments was properly served upon the homeowner along with the summons and foreclosure complaint.

The Help for Homeowners in Foreclosure Notice must be served according to the strict requirements that apply to the service of the summons and foreclosure complaint.   A crucial difference, however, is that a challenge to the service of the summons and complaint must be made early in a foreclosure case.  If the homeowner’s attorney challenges service of the summons and complaint and the bank cannot prove proper service, the foreclosure action will be dismissed relatively soon after it is started.  The bank can re-start the foreclosure action without losing much time.

In contrast, there is no fixed time limit for the homeowner’s attorney to make a motion to dismiss for the bank’s failure to serve the Help for Homeowners in Foreclosure Notice.  The motion to dismiss could be made years after the case is started.

As with the HAMP defense, if the bank fails to serve the Help for Homeowners in Foreclosure Notice according to the strict requirements that apply to service of a summons and complaint, the foreclosure action must be dismissed for failure to satisfy a condition precedent to foreclosure.  The case will have to be re-started, often more than once, and eventually the time to foreclose may expire and the homeowner may be entitled to quiet title discharging the mortgage lien.

Top 5 NY Foreclosure Defenses – No. 3:    The foreclosing bank failed to mail a Notice of Default to each homeowner a sufficient amount of time before it filed the foreclosure action.

When it applies:  Most mortgages require that each homeowner be served with a Notice of Default at least 30 days before a foreclosure action may be filed.  If a 30-day Notice of Default is required by the mortgage and the bank fails to mail the Notice of Default at least 30 days before filing the foreclosure action, the case must be dismissed because the bank failed to satisfy a condition precedent to foreclosure.

Why we like it:  Service of a Notice of Default, when required by the mortgage, is a condition precedent to foreclosure.  All of the advantages of the 5th and 4th defenses (above) based upon failure to satisfy a condition precedent apply equally to the defense of a bank’s failure to serve a Notice of Default.

We like this defense better than the 4th defense because proving proper service of the Help for Homeowners in Foreclosure Notice is easier for the bank.  The Help for Homeowners in Foreclosure Notice is served along with the summons and foreclosure complaint by a licensed process server who executes an Affidavit of Service to prove that the Notice was served.  The process server is normally available to testify that the Notice was served properly.

In contrast, the person who mails the Notice of Default never (in our experience) executes an Affidavit of Service because until recently most New York judges did not require an Affidavit of Service to prove service of a Notice of Default.  This made no legal sense and many New York judges now require an Affidavit of Service of any notice that must be served as a condition precedent to foreclosure.  When the judge requires an Affidavit of Service of a Notice of Default, the case must be dismissed because the bank never has it.  This is a fantastic defense to foreclosure that can set a foreclosing bank back many years and pave the way for an eventual quiet title action to discharge the mortgage.

Top 5 NY Foreclosure Defenses – No. 2:  The foreclosing bank failed to serve two copies of a 90-Day Pre-Foreclosure Notice upon the homeowners by regular and certified mail at least 90 days before filing the foreclosure action.

When it applies:  Service of two copies of a 90-day Pre-Foreclosure Notice by regular and certified mail is required when (1) the home is owner-occupied, and/or (2) the mortgage loan is a “high cost”, “subprime” or “nontraditional” home loan.  If a bank is required but fails to mail the 90-day Pre-Foreclosure Notices by regular and certified mail at least 90 days before filing the foreclosure action, the foreclosure action must be dismissed because the bank failed to satisfy a condition precedent to foreclosure.

Why we like it:  All of the advantages of the defense of failure to serve a Notice of Default as a condition precedent to foreclosure apply equally to the defense of failure to serve two copies of a 90-Day Pre-Foreclosure Notice.  However, we prefer the defense of failure to properly serve 90-Day Pre-Foreclosure Notices for two reasons.  First, service of the 90-Day Pre-Foreclosure Notice is required by law, whereas a Notice of Default is only necessary if required by the mortgage.

Second, judges have begun to require banks to prove that a loan is not a “high cost” loan according to a complicated formula set by law.  If the bank cannot apply this formula and prove that the loan is not a “high cost” loan, the 90-Day Pre-Foreclosure Notice is required.   If the home is not owner-occupied, the bank may have neglected to serve the 90-Day Pre-Foreclosure Notices and the foreclosure action should be dismissed due to failure to satisfy a condition precedent to foreclosure.

Furthermore, after serving the 90-Day Pre-Foreclosure Notices the bank must file a report of the service with the New York State Department of Financial Services as a condition precedent to foreclosure.  If the bank properly serves the 90-Day Pre-Foreclosure Notices but fails to file the required report, the case should be dismissed for failure to satisfy a condition precedent.  Additionally, the content of the report may be inaccurate, either by mistake of the filing bank (actually the mortgage servicer) or the Department of Financial Services.  The inaccuracies may provide a basis to challenge the service of the 90-Day Pre-Foreclosure Notices and/or the truthfulness of the report that the bank filed.

Top 5 NY Foreclosure Defenses – No. 1:  The foreclosing bank lacks standing to foreclose.

When it applies:    In every foreclosure action, the foreclosing bank must have standing to foreclose.  A bank only has standing to foreclose if it is the owner of the mortgage loan on the date that the foreclosure action is filed.  If the homeowner’s attorney asserts lack of standing to foreclose as a defense in the Answer to the foreclosure complaint, the bank must prove that it has standing to foreclose.  If the bank cannot prove that it has standing, the foreclosure action should be dismissed.

Why we like it:   The defense of lack of standing to foreclose is unique because the homeowner’s attorney does not have to prove the defense.  If the homeowner’s attorney properly raises the defense of lack of standing in the Answer to the foreclosure complaint (or in a motion to dismiss), the bank has the burden to prove standing to foreclose as part of its foreclosure claim.  However, if the homeowner’s attorney does not properly raise the defense of lack of standing, the defense is lost and the bank can foreclose and sell the home without ever owning the mortgage loan.

Standing to foreclose is the most litigated issue in foreclosure law.  The mortgage foreclosure fraud crisis (“foreclosure-gate”) centered around the issue of whether certain business entities had standing to foreclose.  The complex issue of standing to foreclose will be discussed extensively in a future blog post.

After receiving foreclosure papers a homeowner should retain a foreclosure defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure that each defense to the foreclosure case is asserted properly and on time.  If a defense to foreclosure is not properly asserted, the home may be lost to a bank that may not own the mortgage loan.

LENOIR LAW FIRM, PLLC
2753 Broadway, Suite 251
New York, New York 10025
Office: 212-531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com
Blog: www.DebtInversion.com/blog

Important information:  This is legal advertising.  It contains no legal advice and makes no representation as to the outcome of any legal matter. The information on this blog and website may not apply to your individual situation and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, Attorney Blog | Comments closed

Quiet Title Actions Based Upon Expiration of Time to Foreclose

In a previous post we discussed the New York Mortgage Foreclosure Statute of Limitations, under which the owner of a mortgage loan has up to six years from the date that a mortgage is accelerated to file a foreclosure action.

When a mortgage is accelerated, all past, present and future payments of principal and interest become immediately due and payable and can be recovered from the homeowner through a foreclosure action. Acceleration of a mortgage occurs either when a mortgage foreclosure action is filed, or less commonly, when a “notice of acceleration” stating that the mortgage has been accelerated is mailed to the homeowner.

Six years after a mortgage is accelerated, the time to file a mortgage foreclosure action expires (with occasional exceptions).   If the bank has not won a judgment of foreclosure and no mortgage foreclosure action is pending at that time, the homeowner may file a quiet title action to discharge (remove) the mortgage lien from the property.  For example, as of today November 6, 2015, a homeowner may sue for quiet title if a foreclosure action was commenced (or a notice of acceleration was mailed) any time before November 6, 2009.  One year from today, mortgages accelerated before November 6, 2010 will be dischargeable through quiet title actions.  And so on.

When a homeowner wins quiet title, the property can be sold without paying the mortgage debt. The homeowner keeps the sales proceeds instead of the bank.  Debt Inversion accomplished.

If the time to foreclose upon your mortgage has expired, no judgment of foreclosure has been awarded, and no mortgage foreclosure action is currently pending, it is important to consult with an attorney experienced in mortgage litigation to determine whether you have a valid quiet title claim.

LENOIR LAW FIRM, PLLC
2753 Broadway, Suite 251
New York, New York 10025
Office: 212-531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com
Blog: www.DebtInversion.com/blog

Important information:  This is legal advertising.  It contains no legal advice and makes no representation as to the outcome of any legal matter. The information on this blog and website may not apply to your individual situation and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, 2. Quiet Title Lawsuits, Attorney Blog, Debt Inversion | Comments closed

Summary Judgment Motions in New York Foreclosure Actions

At some point in virtually every New York foreclosure action, the bank’s attorneys make a “motion for summary judgment” against the homeowner. A motion for summary judgment is supposedly a “trial on papers.”  It is actually an inadequate substitute for a trial that deprives the homeowner of his or her day in court. The homeowner’s attorney is denied the opportunity to cross-examine the bank’s witnesses and expose their lack of the knowledge of the facts underlying the bank’s foreclosure claim.

In a motion for summary judgment, the foreclosing bank must establish all facts necessary to prove its foreclosure claim and disprove all of the homeowner’s defenses and counterclaims through admissible evidence.  The “admissible evidence” submitted by the bank normally includes an affidavit from an employee of the current mortgage loan servicer (not the foreclosing bank) that would be inadmissible at a trial where live testimony is required.

Banks almost never prove entitlement to summary judgment in foreclosure actions because they cannot obtain affidavits from all of the witnesses necessary to prove the foreclosure claim.  By the time a foreclosure action is commenced, the mortgage loan has usually had multiple loan servicers.  Each servicer has made its own business records regarding the loan.

The employee of the current servicer who signs the summary judgment affidavit will only have knowledge of the business records made by the current servicer.   To prove a foreclosure claim, the bank must produce witnesses with knowledge of all relevant business records made since the date the loan was made.

Employees and former employees of previous loan servicers who remember how business records concerning the mortgage loan were made during the time periods when their employers serviced the loan have disappeared or are unwilling to testify, making it impossible for the bank to establish its entire foreclosure claim through admissible evidence. This means that in almost all residential foreclosure cases, the judge should deny the bank’s motion for summary judgment.

Yet judges grant the overwhelming majority of banks’ motions for summary judgment.  In future blog posts we shall explain why judges grant these motions and how LeNoir Law Firm protects its clients from losing their homes without the benefit of a trial.

LENOIR LAW FIRM, PLLC
2753 Broadway, Suite 251
New York, New York 10025
Office: 212-531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com
Blog: www.DebtInversion.com/blog

Important information:  This is legal advertising.  It contains no legal advice and makes no representation as to the outcome of any legal matter. The information on this blog and website may not apply to your individual situation and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, Attorney Blog | Leave a comment

Judge Denies Foreclosure Against Deutsche Bank’s Forgery Victim

We previously wrote about mortgage foreclosure fraud committed against our client, homeowner Dominic Codio, when Deutsche Bank used a forged, fake promissory note to attempt to prove ownership of Mr. Codio’s mortgage loan.  Deutsche Bank’s attorney brought the fake note to our office and told Mr. Codio and S. John LeNoir, Esq. that it was the original promissory note bearing Mr. Codio’s original signature and his initials on every page except the signature page.

Of course Mr. Codio immediately recognized that the signature and initials had been forged.  We retained a questioned document examiner (handwriting expert) who performed a thorough analysis and confirmed that the signature and initials were not Mr. Codio’s.

Deutsche Bank’s attorneys later made a motion for summary judgment requesting the right to foreclose upon Mr. Codio’s home.  The Court denied the motion because Deutsche Bank had failed to prove ownership of Mr. Codio’s mortgage loan, citing forgery of Mr. Codio’s signature on the fake note.  The Court’s full decision is attached.

We again thank Mr. Codio for allowing us to write freely about his case.  We shall keep you updated of any further developments.

LENOIR LAW FIRM, PLLC
2753 Broadway, Suite 251
New York, New York 10025
Office: 212-531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com
Blog: www.DebtInversion.com/blog

Important information:  This is legal advertising.  It contains no legal advice and makes no representation as to the outcome of any legal matter. The information on this blog and website may not apply to your individual situation and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

 

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, Attorney Blog | Leave a comment

Important Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations Defense in a New York Foreclosure Case

THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS DEFENSE IN A NEW YORK FORECLOSURE ACTION

A statute of limitations is a law that sets the time in which a legal action may be brought.  Failure to start a legal action within the prescribed time period usually means that the plaintiff (the party bringing the lawsuit) has permanently lost the right to sue.

The statute of limitations in a residential foreclosure case in New York is six years after service of a “notice of acceleration” upon the homeowner.  A notice of acceleration is a demand for immediate payment in full of all principal and interest payments due under the mortgage.  A notice of acceleration must be served either before the foreclosure action is filed, or if the mortgage allows, it may be included in the foreclosure complaint.

The statute of limitations defense is rarely an issue in a bank’s first attempt at foreclosing on a property.  The notice of acceleration is typically served shortly before the foreclosure action is commenced or included as a clause in the foreclosure complaint that is served upon the homeowner.

The statute of limitations defense becomes important when a bank commences a foreclosure action within the six-year time limit, but the action is dismissed “without prejudice” after the six years have expired.

If an action is dismissed “without prejudice” the bank may bring a second foreclosure action even if the statute of limitations has expired (see below).   A dismissal without prejudice typically occurs for a technical reason such as the bank’s law firm missing a deadline, not responding to a motion, or failing to appear on a court date.

In contrast, if a foreclosure action is dismissed “with prejudice” the bank may not bring a second foreclosure case and the homeowner is free to keep the home indefinitely without making mortgage payments.  A dismissal with prejudice usually occurs when the judge applies the law to the facts of the case and finds that the bank has no right to foreclose.

To determine whether the bank can proceed with a second foreclosure action after the first action has been dismissed without prejudice, it is necessary to consider both the statute of limitations defense and its exceptions.

IMPORTANT EXCEPTIONS TO THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS DEFENSE

Even when more than six years have passed since service of the notice of acceleration, the bank may still foreclose in the following situations:

1.  After dismissal of a foreclosure action without prejudice, New York law gives the bank six months to start another foreclosure action even if the six-year time limit set by the statute of limitations has expired or will expire within the six months. The homeowner’s best option is usually to wait and hope the bank will not start another foreclosure case within the six months.

2.  If a foreclosure case is dismissed without prejudice because the bank’s attorneys failed to do something (such as appearing in court or responding to a motion to dismiss the case), the bank has a year to make a motion to “vacate the dismissal,” which means to reopen the case.

The statute of limitations defense only applies when a new foreclosure action is filed.  Since the bank is asking the judge to reopen the original foreclosure case, the statute of limitations defense does not apply.  To win a motion to vacate the dismissal, the bank must show a reasonable excuse for not doing what it failed to do and a meritorious foreclosure case.  The judge usually grants the motion to vacate the dismissal unless it is clear that the bank has no right to foreclose.

3.  Even if the six years set by the statute of limitations and the six months to start a new action after a dismissal without prejudice have expired, a bank may still file a new foreclosure action. Unless the homeowner’s attorney includes an “affirmative defense” in the Answer to the Foreclosure Complaint stating that the action is barred by the applicable statute of limitations, the statute of limitations defense is lost and the bank can foreclose upon the property even though it started the second foreclosure action too late.   This is another important caveat for any attorney who practices foreclosure defense litigation.

The second and third exceptions to the statute of limitations defense are just two examples of the many deadly pitfalls encountered throughout a foreclosure case.  Such hidden dangers are a compelling reason to retain an attorney experienced in foreclosure defense litigation (not just applying for loan modifications) immediately after becoming aware of a foreclosure action.   If the homeowner delays, the home may be lost unnecessarily.

LENOIR LAW FIRM, PLLC
2753 Broadway, Suite 251
New York, New York 10025
Office: 212-531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com
Blog: www.DebtInversion.com/blog

Important information:  This is legal advertising.  It contains no legal advice and makes no representation as to the outcome of any legal matter. The information on this blog and website may not apply to your individual situation and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

 

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, 2. Quiet Title Lawsuits, Attorney Blog | Comments closed

This Is Your Mortgage Servicer Calling

QUESTION:  After the bank’s attorneys started a foreclosure action to take my home, the mortgage loan servicer started calling me several times every day.  So far I have avoided their calls.  Should I speak to them? 

ANSWER:   No.  A mortgage loan servicer is nothing more than a debt collector, and speaking with debt collectors can only hurt you.  When dealing with collectors, it is important not to seem interested in resolving the debt.  If you seem interested, they conclude that you have something to lose and focus on you.  You want to make a debt collector think you are broke and don’t care what happens.  This causes them to conclude they are barking up the wrong tree and to leave you alone.  Nothing works better than refusing to speak to them.

Harassment by the servicer is one of the methods that foreclosure attorneys use to gain a psychological advantage and measure the “borrower.”  The debt collector for the servicer cannot resolve the foreclosure case.  The case is in court and legal decisions are being made by attorneys.  However, the servicer can still call you constantly and try to make recordings of harmful statements for the bank’s attorneys to use against you at trial.

In a foreclosure case it is important for the homeowner’s attorneys to demonstrate that they are prepared to take the case to trial.  Only the prospect of losing at trial will cause the bank’s attorneys to make an advantageous settlement offer.  Otherwise, they will litigate the case as far as they can, making plenty of money while causing you to run out of money to fight them.  The servicer’s job is to help the bank’s attorneys take your home.  Don’t talk to them.

LENOIR LAW FIRM, PLLC
2753 Broadway, Suite 251
New York, New York 10025
Office: 212-531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com
Blog: www.DebtInversion.com/blog

Important information:  This is legal advertising.  It contains no legal advice and makes no representation as to the outcome of any legal matter. The information on this blog and website may not apply to your individual situation and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, Attorney Blog | Leave a comment

Deutsche Bank National Trust Company attempts foreclosure using a forged promissory note.

In the pending mortgage foreclosure case of DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST COMPANY v. DOMINIC CODIO, et al. (Kings County Supreme Court, Index No.  6839/2010), the law firm of Knuckles, Komosinski & Elliott LLP representing foreclosure plaintiff Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, brought to our office a document that their attorney Fincey John, Esq. claimed was an original promissory note that our client Dominic Codio, the homeowner, had signed when he received a mortgage loan.  Mr. Codio, who was present for the inspection of the document, immediately recognized that his signature and initials at the bottom of each page had been forged and the document was a fake.

Mr. Codio has graciously allowed us to write about his case as a public service to other New York homeowners who are losing their homes to banks and mortgage trusts that submit false, forged and fraudulent documents to courts to prove ownership of mortgage loans that they do not own.   To put it bluntly the banks and mortgage trusts are stealing the homes of people who owe them no money — and getting away with it.

Under New York law a bank or trust must prove ownership of the mortgage loan upon which it is trying to foreclose, which means that the bank must produce the original, properly endorsed promissory note that the homeowner signed.  Without the original promissory note showing an unbroken chain of endorsements transferring ownership of a mortgage loan from the original lender to the bank or mortgage trust currently claiming to own the loan, the homeowner should prevail in a foreclosure (or quiet title) case.

One of the first things our law firm does in a foreclosure or quiet title case is to demand to see the original promissory note.  The law firm representing the bank or mortgage trust usually resists showing it to us at first, but they know they will need to produce the original, properly endorsed promissory note if they want to win at trial.  They also know that if they do not allow the homeowner’s law firm to inspect the original promissory note, the court will probably not allow them to introduce the promissory note as evidence at trial and they will lose the case.  After a frank discussion of the consequences of not allowing us to inspect the original promissory note, the attorneys for the bank or mortgage trust have always agreed to let us inspect the document and make photocopies and/or color scans of the document for our files.

Whenever possible, we have our client present when we inspect the document because the client is the only person in the conference room who saw the original promissory note when it was signed and initialed at the bottom of each page.  Clients can easily tell if their own signatures and initials have been forged and they can spot differences between the original document they signed and the document being presented.

After Mr. Codio informed us that his signature and initials had been forged, we contacted handwriting analyst Roger Rubin, a preeminent expert in his field who has been qualified as an expert witness in well over a hundred New York lawsuits and arbitrations.  He has helped the US Department of Justice solve crimes using handwriting analysis, taught handwriting analysis, and amassed other impressive credentials as detailed in Roger Rubin’s attached Curriculum Vitae.

Mr. Rubin compared the signatures and initials on the document presented as the original promissory note with a variety of other samples of Mr. Codio’s signature that were obtained from official documents, from a copy of the original promissory note filed by the original lender, and from other handwriting samples that Mr. Codio provided.

As detailed in Roger Rubin’s attached report, Mr. Rubin concluded that none of the signatures or initials on the document that Deutsche Bank National Trust Company’s attorney presented to us as the original promissory note had been written by our client Dominic Codio.

We now have undisputed expert proof that all of the signatures and initials on the document presented by plaintiff’s attorney Fincey John, Esq. as the original promissory note are not those of Mr. Codio, which means that Deutsche Bank National Trust Company is trying to foreclose upon Mr. Codio’s home using a forged, fake promissory note.

Last month (4/13) during routine discovery, we were shocked to learn that plaintiff’s attorneys Knuckles, Komosinski & Elliott LLP had not hired a handwriting expert and did not intend to retain an expert, even though they were notified four months earlier (12/12) of Mr. Rubin’s expert findings that the signatures and initials on the document Fincey John, Esq. presented as the original promissory note were not those of Mr. Codio.

Although Dominic Codio has pledged his full cooperation with any handwriting expert that Knuckles, Komosinski & Elliott LLP wishes to use, so far they have not accepted his generous offer and have neglected to hire a handwriting expert to investigate the undisputed expert evidence that they are attempting to foreclose upon Mr. Codio’s home using a forged instrument.  We hope they will eventually agree to investigate whether their law firm is facilitating a fraud on Mr.Codio, our firm, and the Court.

Thanks to Dominic Codio for allowing us to share his story.  We hope that the time, effort and expense that he has been forced to invest in defending against this undisputedly fraudulent foreclosure attempt will not go to waste if other homeowners benefit from learning about Mr. Codio’s ordeal.

Expect to see updates as this important case develops.

LENOIR LAW FIRM, PLLC
2753 Broadway, Suite 251
New York, New York 10025
Office: 212-531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com
Blog: www.DebtInversion.com/blog

Important information:  This is legal advertising.  It contains no legal advice and makes no representation as to the outcome of any legal matter. The information on this blog and website may not apply to your individual situation and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, 2. Quiet Title Lawsuits, Attorney Blog | Leave a comment

LeNoir Law Firm Quoted in National News on Million Dollar Fashion Week Slapping Lawsuit

The other day a reporter named Natalie Wolchover from LifesLittleMysteries.com called and asked me whether a person could be sued for $1 million dollars for slapping someone.  We ended up having an interesting conversation.  She wrote a blog post that ended up in national news.  Click here to read the article on Yahoo News.  Or click here for a PDF.

LENOIR LAW FIRM
2753 Broadway, Suite 251
New York, New York 10025
Office: 212-531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com
Blog: www.DebtInversion.com/blog

Important information:  This is legal advertising.  It contains no legal advice and makes no representation as to the outcome of any legal matter. The information on this blog and website may not apply to your individual situation and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

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Ever wonder why banks choose not to take advantage of federal mortgage loan modification programs?

Insider dealing at the expense of homeowners and taxpayers continues, and the financial incentives for most types of mortgage-related fraud will be unaffected by the recent $26 billion dollar federal/state foreclosure fraud settlement.

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Most New York Home Mortgages May be “Unforeclosable” under a 2011 Appellate Court Ruling

A recent New York Appellate Court ruling may mean that the majority of home mortgages in New York State are “unforeclosable,” and that homeowners may keep their homes without making mortgage payments.

In the majority of New York foreclosure cases, the infamous electronic mortgage registry known as Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) executes an “assignment” document that supposedly transfers ownership of the mortgage to the foreclosing bank shortly before the bank starts the foreclosure. 

However, in the foreclosure case of Bank of New York v. Silverberg (2d Dept. 2011), a New York appellate court dismissed the case on the basis that the alleged “assignment” of the mortgage by MERS was invalid.  The court ruled that MERS had no right to assign The Silverbergs’ mortgage because MERS did not hold (own) the promissory note for the underlying mortgage loan.  

The appellate court’s ruling was based upon the fundamental rules of property law that: (1) a mortgage cannot be assigned unless the underlying promissory note is also assigned; and (2) only the holder of the promissory note may assign it to another party. 

MERS does not own or possess the promissory notes for any of the mortgage loans that it purportedly ”assigns” to banks in preparation for foreclosures.

The benefits of the Silverberg case to homeowners facing foreclosure can hardly be overstated.  Under the Silverberg decision, practically all foreclosure cases involving faulty ”assignments” of mortgages by MERS are required to be dismissed for lack of standing.

The Silverberg case is THE law governing foreclosures of homes located in the following New York counties:  Kings (Brooklyn), Queens, Nassau, Suffolk, Richmond (Staten Island), Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam and Dutchess. 

Although the Silverberg case is only required to be followed by courts in these counties, its sound reasoning may persuade judges elsewhere to grant motions to dismiss for lack of standing when an invalid MERS “assignment” is involved.  To quote the court in Silverberg  (see Page 9 of the attached decision):  

MERS purportedly holds approximately 60 million mortgage loans . . . and is involved in the origination of approximately 60% of all mortgage loans in the United States . . . This Court is mindful of the impact that this decision may have on the mortgage industry in New York, and perhaps the nation.  Nonetheless, the law must not yield to expediency and the convenience of lending institutions. Proper procedures must be followed to ensure the reliability of the chain of ownership, to secure the dependable transfer of property, and to assure the enforcement of the rules that govern real property.

Contact the LeNoir Law Firm to find out whether your home mortgage may be “unforeclosable.”

LENOIR LAW FIRM
2753 Broadway, Suite 251
New York, New York 10025
Office: 212-531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com
Blog: www.DebtInversion.com/blog

Important information:  This is legal advertising.  It contains no legal advice and makes no representation as to the outcome of any legal matter. The information on this blog and website may not apply to your individual situation and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, 3. Debt Collection Defense, Attorney Blog | Leave a comment

New York City Council, US Supreme Court May Determine the Legality of MERS

A resolution was introduced in New York City Council this week, “calling on the New York State Legislature and the Governor to enact legislation that would prohibit lenders from concealing mortgage assignments through the use of the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc., known as MERS.”   The controversial MERS electronic mortgage trading system has emerged as the epicenter of the national foreclosure fraud epidemic.

We think the NYC Council resolution will pass and lead the way to strong anti-MERS legislation in New York State.   Few New York politicians will risk political suicide by voting to keep residential mortgage transfer records secret from their angry constituents.

In other news the United States Supreme Court was asked for the first time to consider a number of issues relating to foreclosure fraud and the dubious legality of the MERS system.

In the case of Jose Gomes v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. a California appellate court ruled that MERS had the right to foreclose on San Diego homeowner Jose Gomes without allowing Gomes to question if Countrywide (on whose behalf MERS was allegedly acting) actually held the note on his house.

Mr. Gomes’ attorney filed an urgent request to the United States Supreme Court (a Petition for Writ of Certiorari) to hear Mr. Gomes’ final appeal before he loses his home.  Unfortunately for Mr. Gomes, his final appeal to the nation’s highest court may never be heard.  The Supreme Court gets to pick and choose which cases it will decide.

If the Supreme Court decides not to hear the Gomes v. Countrywide case, Mr. Gomes will lose his home to a foreclosing bank that has not proved it owns Mr. Gomes’ mortgage and promissory note.  To make matters worse, Mr. Gomes may be sued again for the same debt if the real owner of his mortgage shows up later and demands the money owed.

Frankly, we have more faith in New York City, and even Albany, than in the Roberts Supreme Court to protect the rights of homeowners against illegal foreclosures.

LENOIR LAW FIRM
461 Central Park West
New York, New York 10025
Office: 212-531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com
Blog: www.DebtInversion.com/blog

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Brooklyn’s Own Supreme Court Justice Arthur Schack Breaks New Ground (Again)

In a recent ruling dismissing a foreclosure case, Justice Arthur Schack of Supreme Court, Kings County (Brooklyn) relied on a scathing investigative report on foreclosure fraud and robo-signers produced by two top investigators in the Florida Attorney General’s Office.  Both investigators have been forced to resign, apparently because they knew too much. 

Justice Schack is known for his continuing investigation of foreclosure fraud and “robo-signers.”  He routinely dismisses improperly brought foreclosure cases “with prejudice,” meaning the cases cannot be re-started.   

Click here to read the full story in the Palm Beach Post.

LENOIR LAW FIRM
461 Central Park West
New York, New York 10025
Office: 212-531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com
Blog: www.DebtInversion.com/blog

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, Attorney Blog | Leave a comment

Why the Federal Government Refuses to Prosecute Top Bank Executives

“As Wall St. Polices Itself, Prosecutors Use Softer Approach”
New York Times, 7/7/11

The title of this New York Times article is misleading because Wall Street has never policed itself and never will.  The article itself (which had a different title yesterday) does an excellent job of explaining how the federal government arrived at its policy of not prosecuting a single top executive of the major banks that made billions of dollars through the criminal practices that caused the nation’s financial, housing and mortgage fraud crises. 

Under its new policy the Justice Department routinely signs ”nonprosecution” and “deferred prosecution” agreements with major banks and corporations in the course of settling corporate “white collar” criminal cases. The executives who orchestrated the crimes agree that their corporation will pay money to the government in exchange for immunity from prosecution of the executives.  If the government wants to reach a monetary settlement, it must strike a deal with the criminal executives. 

A more rational approach would be for the government to prosecute the executives who participated in the corporate crimes as a deterrent to other wayward executives.  That was the federal government’s policy before it was changed to protect politically connected bank and corporate executives from prosecution. 

It is said that prison is the only consequence that the extremely wealthy fear.  The federal government’s current policy leaves millionaire and billionaire corporate executives feeling “prison proof” and free to commit more crimes to become wealthier. 

Let’s hope that New York State’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has undertaken a massive investigation of the crimes committed by the major banks and their executives, will teach these arrogant white collar criminals otherwise. 

LENOIR LAW FIRM
461 Central Park West
New York, New York 10025
Office: 212-531-0284
Email: i
nfo@DebtInversion.com
Web:
www.DebtInversion.com
Blog:
www.DebtInversion.com/blog

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Revolution Comes from the Bottom Up – Never from the Top Down

“Big Banks Easing Terms on Loans Deemed as Risks”
New York Times, 7/3/11

JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America would not have given these homeowners the time of day if individual homeowners across the country hadn’t taken them on, by insisting these banks prove ownership of the mortgages and promissory notes on their homes.

Often the banks cannot prove ownership.  They are granting these “generous” loan modifications to avoid having more delinquent mortgages and losing more foreclosure cases for lack of standing to foreclose. 

Don’t settle for a loan modification just because a bank gives it to you without asking first.  A generous bank is an oxymoron.  You may already own your home free and clear of any mortgage.  You may owe the bank nothing. 

In fact, another bank may own your mortgage and promissory note.  That bank may sue you later even if you make all “modified” payments to the first bank.

Don’t become another victim of mortgage fraud by JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America or another major bank.  If a bank gives you a deal that sounds too good to be true, contact the LeNoir Law Firm to learn your legal options.

LENOIR LAW FIRM
461 Central Park West
New York, New York 10025
Office: 212-531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com
Blog: www.DebtInversion.com/blog

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, Attorney Blog | Leave a comment

“Reckless Endangerment: How Outsized Ambition, Greed, and Corruption Led to Economic Armageddon,” a video interview by Democracy Now!

“I think that there is a genuine sense out there that there are two sets of rules, one for big and powerful institutions that are deemed to be too politically interconnected or powerful to fail, and the rest of us, Main Street,” says our guest Gretchen Morgenson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning business reporter who has written extensively on how the U.S. government has failed to prosecute any of the top figures who played a role in the economic crash.

LENOIR LAW FIRM
461 Central Park West
New York, New York 10025
Office: 212-531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com
Blog: www.DebtInversion.com/blog

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Thank you, Mr. Schneiderman

NYS Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has served subpoenas upon New York State’s largest foreclosure law firm.

Thank you, Mr. Schneiderman. Please serve subpoenas upon the rest of the large and medium-sized foreclosure firms known to have filed  “inaccurate” documents.  Private attorneys do not have your criminal investigative powers and cannot discover, or at least prove, all of the frauds perpetrated against our clients.

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, Attorney Blog | Leave a comment

A lawsuit against a mortgage loan servicer is a personal injury action.

Interesting article in The Huffington PostFacing Foreclosure Without Missing A Payment:  One Couple’s Housing Nightmare 

When you finally enter the mortgage loan servicer’s consciousness as a potential threat, they can be incredibly efficient at correcting your account and restoring your credit. It sounds like the couple had a good lawyer.

Now they can sue the loan servicer for their pain and suffering, lost income, damage to credit, etc.  The couple had no contract with the servicer, so a lawsuit against the servicer would essentially be a personal injury action, for which they can recover much larger damages than breach of contract.

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What is Foreclosure Fraud and How Does It Affect Home Owners and Buyers?

Mortgage foreclosure fraud causes two terrible things to happen: (1) a home owner may be foreclosed upon by a bank that doesn’t own the mortgage and promissory note; not only is the person’s home stolen, but the real owner of the promissory note can sue the former home owner later for the full amount owed on the mortgage; (2) banks selling foreclosed homes may not actually own them because the foreclosure was fraudulent; this means that 20 years down the road when the person wants to sell the home, they may find out that they never owned it, or worse yet, the real owner could show up after the sale and sue to get their property back.

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How and Why Debt Inversion Works

Debt Inversion is a proprietary legal practice of the LeNoir Law Firm designed to turn debtors into creditors by defeating debt collection actions and aggressively suing debt collectors, creditors and the three national credit reporting agencies for violations of your legal rights under federal and state debt collection laws, credit reporting laws and criminal laws. Successful debt inversion allows you to recover monetary damages greater than your debt, so that you make a profit.

The LeNoir Law Firm employs a comprehensive, three-part approach to successful debt inversion:

PART 1: ADVISE

We conduct a complete examination of each new client’s legal and financial circumstances to determine which legal services and strategies will be most beneficial. In certain cases we advise the client that the best strategy is to ignore the debt collectors and do nothing at all — at least for the time being.

If you ignore a debt collector, and the debt collector doesn’t sue you (most don’t), the debt disappears from your credit report, as if it never existed, exactly seven years from the date of your last payment.

Of course, ignoring collectors’ letters and phone calls does not prevent you from suing them for monetary damages for violations of your legal rights. See “Attack” below.

Just as importantly, we warn our clients against debt “solutions” that usually do more harm than good. These include Bankruptcy, Home Refinancing, Debt Settlement, “Credit Repair” and Credit Counseling.

In addition to wasting your scarce money, these strategies can have extremely undesirable consequences such as causing you to lose your home; extending the time period the debt owner has to sue you (the statute of limitations); or lengthening the amount of time that the debt will remain on your credit report.

For example, if you file for bankruptcy, the bankruptcy can remain on your credit report for over 15 years from the date you file. See Bankruptcy. This means that a bankruptcy filed in 2011 can remain on your credit report until 2026 or later.

PART 2: DEFEND

After analyzing the client’s financial and legal circumstances, we take care of matters that require immediate attention, such as eliminating default judgments, termination of wage garnishments, and removal of liens on real estate, financial accounts and other property.

Once the case is on track, we defend our client by forcing the attorneys for the creditor or debt collector that owns the debt (“the collection attorneys”) to produce all documents and witnesses necessary to prove the amount they claim is owed.

Producing all of the necessary paperwork and witnesses is usually impossible or not worth the effort for the collection attorneys, especially since most defaulted debts have been sold from one debt buyer to the next.

The current owner of your account has no power over the employees of the previous owner; nor does it have access to the previous owner’s business records. This means that the collection attorneys must subpoena the records and employees of all of the previous owners of the debt — something they almost never do.

Even if the collection attorneys disregard their usual business practices and serve all of the necessary subpoenas, inevitably one or more of the previous debt owners will have lost or destroyed its records of the client’s account; or employees who kept records of the client’s account for previous debt owners will no longer be employed by them; or one or more of the previous owners of the debt will ignore the subpoena.

This means we win the case because the debt collection attorney is unable to produce the documents and witnesses necessary to prove its client’s case.

In those extremely rare cases in which a collection attorney is able to produce all necessary documents and witnesses and prove in court that you owe the amount claimed, assembling everything they need takes quite a long time.

This allows you to avoid a judgment against you and/or stay in your home much longer than if you did not put up a fight.

In fact, the debt collection business relies on people not fighting back. If everyone put debt collectors to their proof as we do, they would all be forced out of business.

PART 3: ATTACK

Lawsuits for Illegal Debt Collection: All debt collectors break federal and state debt collection laws, credit reporting laws and criminal laws that have been enacted to protect unsophisticated debtors from overly aggressive debt collectors. When debt collectors violate your legal rights, federal law allows you to recover up to $1,000 or your actual damages, plus legal fees and court costs.  You may be able to recover additional amounts under state laws.

Lawsuits for Illegal Credit Reporting: We sue the three national credit reporting agencies; creditors and debt collectors who provide false information to credit bureaus; and companies that misuse information provided by credit bureaus, for violations of federal credit reporting laws. You can recover up to $1,000 or your actual damages for each violation, plus punitive damages, attorney’s fees and court costs.

If you win the lawsuit (or obtain a favorable settlement) and collect monetary damages greater than your debt, if any, you make a profit. This joyful experience is known as Debt Inversion.

Debt Collection Crimes: Many violations of debt collection laws are also violations of federal and New York State criminal laws. In cases of serious misconduct, we refer the creditor or debt collector to federal or state authorities for criminal prosecution, in addition to suing them.

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, 3. Debt Collection Defense, Attorney Blog, Debt Inversion | Leave a comment

Great idea. Too bad they didn’t think of it ten years ago.

“Federal officials studying how to protect housing market”,  Washington Post, 1/18/11

“Currently, banks can pool mortgage loans together into an investment and sell that to investors around the globe, passing on all the risk associated with the loans. But a report released by the Treasury Department, as required by the Dodd-Frank law overhauling financial regulation, endorsed the law’s prescription that banks be forced to hold on to a portion of the investment, making it difficult for a bank to ignore the risks associated with lending.” 

Once again the federal government is fighting yesterday’s war.  The housing and mortgage-backed securities markets have already collapsed and banks will only lend to people with stellar credit.  The proposed regulation will not protect against any current risk, but it may come in handy during the next real estate bubble.

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Collection Law Firm Mel S. Harris & Associates Sued for Racketeering in Federal Class Action for Using Robo-Signers and “Sewer Service”

“To get judgments against the borrowers, the judge said, a single Mel Harris employee named Todd Fabacher signed 40,000 affidavits attesting to the accuracy of debt claims.

Assuming 260 business days a year, Fabacher had to have personally (and purportedly knowledgeably) issued an average of twenty affidavits of merit per hour, i.e., one every three minutes, over a continuous eight-hour day.”

Read the Full Article in Forbes

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Complete 185-Page Deposition of Internationally Infamous Robo-Signer Beth Cottrell

Beth Cottrell is one of the thousands of “Vice Presidents” of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS).  All large mortgage banks including  Bank of America, JP Morgan/Chase, Citibank, GMAC, etc.  are “members” of MERS.  Any MERS member bank is allowed to appoint any employee it wishes, regardless of inexperience or incompetence, to sign documents prepared by the bank, not as a bank employee but as a “Vice President” of  MERS.   As a Vice President of MERS working for Chase, Ms. Cottrell distinguished herself as one of the world’s most prolific robo-signers.  She was deposed on May 17, 2010 in the case of Chase Home Finance, LLC v. Judith Koren, et al., Circuit Court of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, Palm Beach County, Florida, Case No. 50-2008-CA-01687.

During her deposition Ms. Cottrell admitted to executing 18 thousand documents per month without any personal knowledge of the contents of what she was signing.    In the first page of her deposition testimony, she identified herself as an “Operation Supervisor” for Chase Home Finance.  She did not mention her position as Vice President of MERS, a title under which she had blindly executed hundreds of thousands of documents later used by Chase as evidence in foreclosure cases.

The deposition of Ms. Cottrell is long, so it has been divided into two PDFs, both of which can be downloaded below.  It contains a fascinating story — a must for everyone’s holiday reading list.

Beth Cottrell Deposition – Part 1

Beth Cottrell Deposition – Part 2

LENOIR LAW FIRM
461 Central Park West
New York, New York 10025
Office: 212-531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com

Important information:  This document and any attachments contain no legal advice and make no representation as to the outcome of any legal matter.  The information in this legal advertisement may not apply to your individual situation and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, Attorney Blog | Leave a comment

Bank Executives Flock to Washington to Force Lawmakers to “Legalize” MERS

Designed by the major banks to track the rapid trading of mortgages between themselves, Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) has emerged as the epicenter of the current nationwide mortgage foreclosure crisis.   Since MERS was “discovered” by the media in recent months — which has prompted investigations by all 50 states’ attorneys general — foreclosures nationwide for mortgages traded on the MERS system have ground to a halt.   The problems in foreclosing on these mortgages are expected only to get worse as more details emerge about the rampant fraud perpetrated on homeowners and buyers of foreclosed properties through a criminal conspiracy involving MERS and the major banks.

The privately-owned MERS system has managed to stay under the radar for years by keeping its internal operations secret from the public.  Homeowners are denied access to MERS records of the trading of their own mortgages.  MERS only allows the bank currently servicing a mortgage loan to access the MERS records for that loan.   Not even other members of MERS are allowed to see the MERS records for mortgage loans that they are not servicing.

With all of the recent attention on MERS and its role in the massive foreclosure fraud crisis, the banks that own MERS know that they will not be able to keep its internal operations secret much longer.   It’s only a matter of time until the full extent of the illegal activities conducted by MERS through its member banks will become public knowledge.

Judges that have turned a blind eye to patently fraudulent foreclosure documents for years, are being forced to examine the affidavits, assignments and other documents presented by attorneys for large banks, and to dismiss foreclosure actions that have been tainted by MERS fraud.  Additionally, attorneys in New York and many other states are now being forced to swear under the penalties of perjury that they have reviewed all documents and information pertaining to a foreclosure action and investigated any irregularities, and that the documents and information being presented to the court are complete and accurate to the best of their knowledge.

This combination of circumstances has created a perfect storm in which banks and foreclosure attorneys have become fearful of bringing foreclosure actions on the vast majority of mortgages that are registered with MERS.  Not only do the banks and foreclosure attorneys risk prosecution for fraud (and disbarment for the attorneys), but every foreclosure that is thrown out of court for fraud sets additional negative legal precedent, and reporting of these cases increases public awareness of MERS fraud.  Increased awareness of MERS fraud has caused many homeowners facing foreclosure to hire foreclosure defense attorneys to challenge the rights of the banks to foreclose — which is creating more negative legal precedent for foreclosing banks.

Furthermore, increased awareness of MERS fraud by people considering buying foreclosed properties has made them reluctant to buy for fear of not receiving clear title to the properties, since the banks selling the properties may not be the rightful owners.  In fact, major title insurance companies are refusing to insure titles on foreclosure properties whose mortgages were traded through MERS.   Without title insurance, even people who want to buy a foreclosed “MERS property” are not able to get a mortgage.  As a result, banks are holding an increasing inventory of foreclosed properties that they are unable to sell.

Faced with the disastrous consequences of further criminal investigation, civil litigation, and additional publicity regarding the MERS system, the major banks have decided that the simplest way to resolve their problems is to “change the law” and “legalize MERS” as the official national registry of the trading of mortgages between banks.  As a quasi-governmental agency with federal approval, MERS would become largely immune to the current attacks on its practices.

For banks and other large corporations, “changing the law” has become a rather simple endeavor since the Roberts Supreme Court ruled that corporations may contribute as much as they desire to any candidate’s political campaign.  In the past two weeks the major banks have sent droves of lobbyists and bank executives, armed with hundreds of millions of dollars in potential campaign contributions and other rewards, to meet with legislators and their staff members.

The meetings have two main purposes.   First, the lobbyists and bank executives are briefing legislators with strategies to rationalize supporting the extremely unpopular MERS system without committing political suicide.   Second and more importantly, the major banks are reminding legislators that banks have unlimited spending power to have them thrown out of office by donating as much as necessary to the campaigns of their opponents.   On the other hand, if the legislators cooperate with the banks, the money will be spent to keep the compliant legislators in office until the banks need them to cover up their next massive fraud.

Presented with an offer they can’t refuse, legislators will vote for the interests of the banks.  Once the issue of the legality of MERS is behind them, banks will be free to resume foreclosures based upon fraudulent MERS records without reprisal.  The foreclosure fraud crisis might be mostly over for the banks, but foreclosure fraud would continue to have the same disastrous effects on owners of homes in foreclosure and buyers of foreclosed properties.

The new legislation would violate longstanding principals of property law governing the physical assignment, transfer and recording of mortgages and other property interests.  Additionally, the new law would create numerous conflicts with the property laws of all 50 states that would take years, hundreds of lawsuits, and heaps of blackmail and bribery to resolve.

One thing is certain:  Without lively public discussion of what banks are doing, they will succeed effortlessly in robbing the public once again, and the politicians they control will suffer minimal repercussions from voters.

Please write or email your Senator and Representative, as well as President Obama, and tell them that if they vote to “legalize” MERS, you will vote for their opponents in the next election.   Anyone with other ideas of how to stop the impending legislative whitewash of the MERS conspiracy is encouraged to leave a comment.

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The Nation’s Most Notorious Robo-Signers: Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Arthur Schack kicks out foreclosure cases and names names.

What do you get when you cross a Mafia don with a bond salesman? A dealer in collateralized debt obligations (C.D.O.’s) — someone who makes you an offer you don’t understand.

-Paul Krugman, Just Say “AAA”, New York Times

Read the article in STOPForeclosureFraud.com.   We have nothing to do with this site but liked the article.

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, Attorney Blog | Leave a comment

New York Debt Collection Defense and Counterclaims

In New York, a debt collection action is neither simple nor cut-and-dried.  If the collection action is properly contested, it is frequently possible to win the case and owe no money.  It is sometimes possible to force the collector to pay money to you.

To illustrate how difficult it can be for an debt collector or alleged creditor to collect a debt in New York, we will describe our overall approach to defending clients against debt collections.  Our strategy for defeating debt collection actions, part of our overall legal strategy of Debt Inversion, involves a combination of:  (1) forcing the debt collector or alleged creditor to prove its entire claim against our client, (2) using specific defenses against debt collection lawsuits, and (3) bringing counterclaims (lawsuits) against the debt collector or creditor, and third-party claims (lawsuits) against companies that were not originally involved in the debt collection lawsuit.

The following information is for illustrative purposes only and not intended to substitute for the advice of a licensed attorney. To have any chance at successfully defending against a debt collection, you generally must hire a licensed attorney.

Forcing the debt collector or alleged creditor to prove its entire claim and defeat all defenses: 

In any debt collection action, we force the debt collector or alleged creditor to prove its entire claim against our client and defeat any defense we assert (see below).  If the debt collector or alleged creditor fails to prove its entire claim, it cannot legally obtain a monetary judgment against our client.  This means we win the case and you owe nothing.

For more information on how we force debt collectors and creditors to prove their claims against our clients, please see the Debt Inversion section of our website. 

Defenses against debt collection lawsuits: 

In this section we list some defenses that we use to defend our clients against debt collectors.  We have not attempted to translate the legal terminology into plain English or to explain the legal concepts behind each defense, because it would double or triple the length of this section.  The point we wish to make is that many excellent defenses are available, but they are complicated and should only be used by a licensed New York State attorney who understands them completely. 

  • The Court lacks personal jurisdiction over the homeowner due to improper service of the summons and complaint.
  • The plaintiff lacks legal standing to bring the action.
  • The plaintiff does not own the alleged debt.
  • The plaintiff did not pay fair and adequate consideration for the alleged debt and plaintiff would be unjustly enriched if plaintiff were to receive the relief requested.
  • The amount plaintiff claims to be due on the alleged debt is incorrect.
  • The complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
  • Plaintiff’s claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the applicable statutes of limitations.
  • Plaintiff’s claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the applicable principles of waiver, ratification, latches and/or estoppel.
  • Plaintiff’s claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the doctrine of unclean hands.
  • Plaintiff lacks standing because it has no business relationship with the alleged debtor.
  • The alleged debtor’s defense is based upon documentary evidence.
  • Plaintiff is not the real party in interest. 
  • The plaintiff is not legally authorized to bring the action. 
  • The plaintiff does not own the alleged debt.
  • The alleged debt was not duly assigned, transferred or sold to plaintiff.
  • Plaintiff lacks standing to commence the action because the alleged credit agreement was not with the same entity that commenced the lawsuit.
  • Plaintiff and/or its predecessor(s) in interest failed to respond to the defendant’s request for validation of the alleged debt.
  • Defendant never borrowed any money from plaintiff and does not owe any money to plaintiff.
  • Defendant never entered into any contract or agreement with plaintiff to borrow or repay money.
  • Defendant never agreed to pay attorneys’ fees to plaintiff under any circumstances, and therefore plaintiff is not entitled to attorneys’ fees in this action.

Counterclaims (lawsuits) against the debt collector or creditor suing you, and claims against people and companies not yet involved in the lawsuit such as process servers (third-party claims): 

There are numerous counterclaims and third-party claims available to a defendant in a debt collection action.  Rather then repeat all of them here, we ask that you refer to the following sections of the Debt Inversion website for ideas on lawsuits that your attorney might bring against the party suing you (counterclaims) or another party not yet involved in the case such as a process server (third-party claims).

Lawsuits for illegal debt collection
Lawsuits for debt collection crimes 
Lawsuits for illegal credit reporting
Debt Inversion

Posted in 3. Debt Collection Defense, Attorney Blog, Debt Inversion | Leave a comment

Under a New Court Rule, Foreclosure Attorneys Can Be Disbarred and Prosecuted for Filing False Documents

The Chief Judge of New York’s courts has implemented a new Rule that requires every attorney representing a bank in a foreclosure action to file a signed affirmation (click here for a sample affirmation) swearing that he or she took “reasonable” steps to verify the accuracy of the documents filed in the case.

In a statement, New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said he was convinced the courts were seeing “systemic structural failings” in the foreclosure process, and he said judges and lawyers have a responsibility not to close their eyes to paperwork errors — even if they seem minor.

In the newly required affirmation, foreclosure attorneys must now swear under the penalties of perjury that they have communicated with a representative of the foreclosing bank and that they have personally reviewed all documents and records related to the case and made “other diligent inquiry” as necessary to confirm the accuracy of the documents.  The attorney must swear that “to the best of my knowledge, information and belief, the Summons and Complaint and all other documents filed in support of this action for foreclosure are complete and accurate in all relevant respects.”

The new rule is effective immediately and applies to both new cases and foreclosure actions currently pending in New York courts.  It is the first rule of its kind in the nation.

“You are talking about tremendous consequences. You are talking about taking people’s homes,” Judge Lippman said. “Those papers have to be accurate. They have to be credible.”

“This new filing requirement will play a vital role in ensuring that the documents judges rely on will be thoroughly examined, accurate, and error-free before any judge is asked to take the drastic step of foreclosure. We want to make sure that everyone is focusing like a laser on these particular types of proceedings,” he said. “It puts them on notice. That’s what this is all about. We all have to make doubly sure that we are doing what we should be doing in the first place.”

If the affirmation submitted by a foreclosure attorney is discovered to be false, the attorney may be referred to the Attorney Disciplinary Committee, and depending on the severity of the offense and the attorney’s prior history of disciplinary violations, may result in the attorney being disbarred

Disbarment, however, may be the least of the dishonest attorney’s problems.  By signing a false affirmation, the attorney has committed the felony of perjury.  If the attorney is guilty of perjury in a foreclosure case, he or she is also guilty of the felony of fraud (lying for the purpose of monetary gain) and the felony of attempted grand larceny for trying to take someone’s home under false pretenses without the legal right to do so.  If the foreclosure is completed and the bank seizes the home, the felony of attempted grand larceny would give way to the more serious felony of grand larceny because the home was actually stolen.  And let us not forget the constant companion of grand larceny, felony possession of stolen property

Moreover, if anyone else is involved in the falsification of the attorney’s affirmation – such as the bank’s representative that supplies information to the attorney — the attorney, bank representative and other persons can be charged with the felony of conspiracy.  

Proving that other persons were involved in the falsification of the attorney’s affirmation is not as difficult as it may seem.  Once the dishonest attorney has been arrested and charged with three or four felonies (perjury, fraud, and either grand larceny or attempted grand larceny and possession of stolen property) and is facing a long prison sentence, the attorney will probably do absolutely anything to save his or her own hide.  In exchange for immunity from prosecution for conspiracy and/or a reduced sentence for the other three or four felonies, the crooked attorney will jump at the chance testify against anybody that was even remotely involved, or appeared to be involved, in the crimes. 

All of the above crimes committed when a foreclosure attorney signs a false affirmation are violations of both New York State and Federal criminal laws.  Serious and repeated violations should be prosecuted in Federal Court where longer prison sentences are available. 

It remains to be seen whether judges, attorney disciplinary committees, district attorneys and U.S. Attorneys will take advantage of Judge Lippman’s tough new rule, to rid the system of criminal foreclosure attorneys and their accomplices.  The major banks have legions of attorneys and lobbyists using their power and influence to stop enforcement of laws against corrupt foreclosure attorneys.  If they are successful it will be up to the public to force officials to enforce the laws through organized political action.  We hope that will not be necessary. 

LENOIR LAW FIRM
461 Central Park West
New York, New York 10025
Office: (212) 531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web:
www.DebtInversion.com

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:   This blog post and any attachments are legal advertising. They contain no legal advice and make no representation as to the outcome of any legal matter. The information, documents, links and other materials on this blog and website may be inaccurate or not apply to your individual situation and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

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Defending Foreclosure Defense: You Know You’re Fighting Evil When The Wall Street Journal Demonizes You

Paperwork Trail:  The Lawyers Who Fight Foreclosures – WSJ.com — “Niche Lawyers Spawned Housing Fracas”

The Wall Street Journal article blames the foreclosure fraud crisis on “the growth of a legal sub-specialty called foreclosure defense that has sown confusion and turmoil in the housing market.”

Sorry, our bad.  Sincere apologies to the robo-signers, mortgage bundlers, MERS records bunglers, foreclosure mills, crooked foreclosure attorneys, politicians, investment bankers and mortgage bankers, thieves, liars, fraudsters and corrupt judges who had nothing to do with the foreclosure fraud crisis (and didn’t see a thing).

LENOIR LAW FIRM
461 Central Park West
New York, New York 10025
Office: (212) 531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web:
www.DebtInversion.com

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:   This blog post and any attachments are legal advertising. They contain no legal advice and make no representation as to the outcome of any legal matter. The information, documents, links and other materials on this blog and website may be inaccurate or not apply to your individual situation and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

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Criminal Charges Should be Filed over Foreclosure-Gate

To find out why, how, and against whom criminal charges should be filed, read the excellent blog entry by Barry Ritholtz in his blog The Big Picture.

Sincerely,

LENOIR LAW FIRM
461 Central Park West
New York, New York 10025
Office: (212) 531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:   This blog post and any attachments are legal advertising. They contain no legal advice and make no representation as to the outcome of any legal matter. The information, documents, links and other materials on this blog and website may not be accurate or apply to your individual situation and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

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Why MERS Matters to Home Owners and Buyers

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) has emerged as the epicenter of the current mortgage foreclosure crisis, despite the financial and real estate industries’ clamor to keep it out of the conversation. MERS maintains the only records in existence of most sales of mortgages from one bank to another. All MERS records are stored electronically and no paper records are kept.

Nearly all major mortgage banks are “members” of MERS, either directly or through subsidiaries. THE PUBLIC IS NOT PERMITTED ACCESS TO MERS RECORDS. Without access to MERS records, it is impossible for home owners (or prospective home buyers) to review the electronic transactions and determine which bank currently owns the mortgage on the home.

The mainstream media recently reported that MERS records and documents are fraught with errors. Incorrect MERS records can cause at least three terrible things to happen: (1) a home owner may be foreclosed upon by a bank that doesn’t own the mortgage and promissory note; not only is the person’s home stolen by a bank that had no right to foreclose, but the real owner of the promissory note can sue the former home owner later for the full amount owed on the loan; (2) home owners who sell their homes voluntarily may pay off their mortgage to a bank that doesn’t own the loan; again the real owner of the mortgage loan can sue the seller later; and (3) banks selling foreclosed homes may not actually own them because the foreclosure was illegal; this means that 20 years down the road when the foreclosure sale buyer wants to sell the home, they may find out that they never owned it, or worse yet, the real owner could show up after the sale and sue to get the property back.

For information on how the LeNoir Law Firm can protect you against catastrophic real estate transactions caused by incorrect MERS mortgage transfer records, please contact our office.

Sincerely,

LENOIR LAW FIRM
461 Central Park West
New York, New York 10025
Office: (212) 531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com

Important information: This is an advertisement for legal services. It contains no legal advice and makes no representation as to the outcome of any legal matter. The information in this advertisement may not apply to your individual situation and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

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JPMorgan Chase & Company abandons the fraudulent Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS)

According to an article in today’s (10/14/10) New York Times:  “On the same day that all 50 state attorneys general announced that they would investigate foreclosure practices, JPMorgan Chase & Company became the first big lender to acknowledge that it had stopped using Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, or MERS, for foreclosures.”

MERS has emerged as the epicenter of the forclosure fraud crisis, despite the financial and real estate industries’ clamor to keep it out of the conversation.   Most major mortgage banks and real estate interests are owners and members of MERS, either directly or through subsidiaries.  The public is not permitted access to MERS records, despite the fact that MERS has the only records in existence of most transfers of ownership of mortgages and promissory notes from one investor to another.

Without access to MERS records, it is impossible for home owners to verify which bank owns their mortgage and promissory note.   This can lead to disastrous results when a bank that does not own the mortgage and note fraudulently forecloses on a home, and later the real owner of the mortgage and note shows up and tries to foreclose on the same home.

LENOIR LAW FIRM
461 Central Park West
New York, New York 10025
Office: (212) 531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com

*IMPORTANT INFORMATION:   This blog post and any attachments are legal advertising. They contain no legal advice and make no representation as to the outcome of any legal matter. The information, documents, links and other materials on this blog and website may not be accurate or apply to your individual situation and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, Attorney Blog | Leave a comment

Sad but Funny: Jon Stewart Rants on National Foreclosure Fraud Crisis

“Even if the foreclosure was legit, you do know you can’t lock someone out of their house while they’re in it.”

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Foreclosure Crisis
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Rally to Restore Sanity

 

*IMPORTANT INFORMATION:   This blog post and any attachments are legal advertising. They contain no legal advice and make no representation as to the outcome of any legal matter. The information, documents, links and other materials on this blog and website may not apply to your individual situation and should not be relied upon for any purpose.

LENOIR LAW FIRM
461 Central Park West
New York, New York 10025
Office: (212) 531-0284
Email: info@DebtInversion.com
Web: www.DebtInversion.com

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, Attorney Blog | Leave a comment

Fraud Factories: U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida – the nation’s foreclosure fraud capital – exposes and explains foreclosure fraud nationwide.

“The average foreclosure hearing in a Florida court is only 90 seconds.”

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Legislation to help banks steal homes killed over foreclosure fraud fury.

Obama Kills Foreclosure Bill As Fury Mounts – Reuters 10/7/10

If the corporations running the federal government have their way, equivalent legislation will pass after public attention is diverted to the next corporate/government-induced crisis.  “The cost of democracy is eternal vigilance.” –  Thomas Jefferson

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How foreclosure fraud affects home owners and buyers

Mortgage foreclosure fraud causes two terrible things to happen: (1) a home owner may be foreclosed upon by a bank that doesn’t own the mortgage and promissory note; not only is the person’s home stolen, but the real owner of the promissory note can sue the former home owner later for the full amount owed on the mortgage; (2) banks selling foreclosed homes may not actually own them because the foreclosure was fraudulent; this means that 20 years down the road when the person wants to sell the home, they may find out that they never owned it, or worse yet, the real owner could show up after the sale and sue to get their property back.

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The nation’s largest banks admit submitting “faulty” documentation in foreclosure cases. Home owners behind on mortgage payments get a reprieve. Buyers of foreclosed homes get defrauded.

Company Stops Insuring Titles in Chase Foreclosures – New York Times, 10/2/10

Excerpt:  When foreclosures are done with faulty documentation, that could leave the new owners of the house vulnerable to claims [that someone else actually owns the property they think they’re buying].  Title insurance protects the buyer against defects, errors and omissions in the chain of title . . . . lenders will not issue a new mortgage without title insurance.

On the Foreclosure Front – New York Times, 10/2/10

Excerpt:  The improprieties raise the prospect that some families may have lost their homes in a less-than-legal process, and that some buyers of foreclosed homes may not have clear title to their properties. . . . The robo-signing scandal is yet another reminder that it is folly to rely on banks that got us into this mess to get us out.

Bank of America to Freeze Foreclosure Cases – New York Times, 10/1/10

Excerpt:  Bank of America, in an emailed statement, said it would “amend all affidavits in foreclosure cases that have not yet gone to judgment.”   That could mean tens of thousands of foreclosure cases would be in limbo for months or, if the consumers in default hire lawyers, years. 

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The Rise and Fall of the ROBO-SIGNER in Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud

It’s a great time to be behind on your mortgage payments.  Consult with an attorney early, before the foreclosure process begins.

Foreclosures Slow as Document Flaws Emerge – New York Times, 9/30/10
Excerpt:  In depositions taken by lawyers for homeowners, executives at GMAC and Chase said they or their teams signed 10,000 or more affidavits and related documents a month. That did not give them time to review the cases.

JPMorgan Suspending Foreclosures – New York Times, 9/29/10
Excerpt:  Chase and GMAC, in their zeal to process hundreds of thousands of foreclosures as quickly as possible and get those properties on the market, employed people who could sign documents so quickly they popularized a new term for them: “robo-signer.”

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Recover monetary damages from debt collectors and debt collection attorneys who commit crimes while attempting to collect a debt in New York State.

Violation of any federal, New York State or local criminal law while attempting to collect a debt is also a violation of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, for which you may recover up to $1,000 or your actual damages, plus your attorney’s fees and court costs.

FEDERAL CRIMINAL OFFENSES 

Fraud:
The federal mail fraud statute prohibits deceitful statements, half-truths, and concealment of material facts. It could apply to a debt collector who uses the mails to fraudulently collect a debt.

The federal laws against wire fraud and internet fraud are similar to the law against mail fraud except that the offenses are committed by telephone or internet.

Harassing Telephone Calls:
Under the Federal Communications Act of 1934, a person may be fined up to $50,000 or imprisoned for up to six months, or both, if he or she calls another and:

• Causes a telephone to ring repeatedly, with the intent to harass;

• Makes repeated phone calls solely to harass;

• Permits a telephone under his or her control to be used for any of the above purposes.

NEW YORK STATE CRIMINAL OFFENSES

It is a violation of New York State Criminal Law to:

• Commit fraud for the purpose of collecting a debt or foreclosing on a mortgage;

• Commit larceny (theft) by garnishing money or seizing assets to which the debt collector or collection attorney has no right to take;

• Attempt to seize assets to which the collector or attorney has no rights (attempted larceny);

• Practice law in New York without a license.  Out-of-state debt collection attorneys who garnish the wages of New Yorkers commit the following crimes:  (1) unauthorized practice of    law; (2) larceny of attempted larceny; and (3) if the larceny is completed (the money or assets stolen), possession of stolen property.  Such out-of-state attorneys face prosecution in New York State and loss of their law licenses in their home state.  They are usually extremely eager to settle the lawsuit.

• Possess stolen property.  Every successful larceny (not attempted larceny) results in possession of stolen property once the property is stolen.

• Engage in extortion or coercion (also known as “black-mail”), which means wrongfully using fear to obtain your consent to take your property.  Attempting to induce fear by making any of the following threats is a criminal offense:

  • to commit unlawful injury to you or another person;
  • to have another person injure you or another person;
  • to make a criminal accusation against you, even if it is true;
  • to expose or impute to you, or any of your relatives, a deformity, disgrace or crime;
  • to expose a person’s criminal record;
  • to expose a secret affecting you or any of your relatives;

• Make telephone calls with intent to annoy or harass a person;

• Use obscene language while attempting to collect a debt;

• Present as authentic a document, such as a letter, which appears to be an official government document but is not;

• Listen to or record telephone conversations without proper authorization;

A debt collector or collection attorney who violates any of the above criminal laws can be sued for monetary damages in addition to being forced to pay your attorney’s fees and court costs.  In cases of serious misconduct, our clients may decide to refer the debt collector or collection attorney to federal or state authorities for criminal prosecution, in addition to suing them. 

Posted in 3. Debt Collection Defense, Attorney Blog | Leave a comment

Mortgage Foreclosure Defense in New York State

Of the millions of people in the United States facing foreclosure of their homes each year, few hire an attorney to defend them, assuming that there is nothing an attorney can do to stop a foreclosure.  This is often a huge mistake.  In New York, a mortgage foreclosure is neither simple nor cut-and-dry.  If the foreclosure is properly contested, it is possible to delay or defeat the foreclosure completely or obtain a very advantageous settlement.

To illustrate how difficult it can be for an alleged mortgage holder to foreclose on a home in New York, we will describe our overall approach to defending clients against mortgage foreclosures.  Our strategy for defeating foreclosure actions, part of our overall approach to Debt Inversion, involves a combination of:  (1) forcing the mortgage holder to prove its entire claim against the homeowner, (2) asserting specific defenses to mortgage foreclosure lawsuits, and (3) bringing counterclaims (lawsuits) against the alleged mortgage holder, and third-party claims (lawsuits) against companies that were not originally involved in the mortgage foreclosure lawsuit.

The following information is for illustrative purposes only and not intended to substitute for the advice of a licensed attorney. To have any chance at successfully defending against a mortgage foreclosure, you generally must hire a licensed attorney. 

Forcing the Mortgage Holder to Prove Its Claim

In a mortgage foreclosure action, we force the party claiming to own the mortgage to prove its entire claim against our client and defeat any defense we raise (see below).  If the alleged mortgage holder fails to prove its entire claim, it cannot legally obtain a judgment of foreclosure or a monetary judgment against the homeowner.  This means we win the lawsuit.

For more information on how we force debt collectors and creditors to prove their claims against our clients, please see the Debt Inversion section of our website. 

Defenses Against Mortgage Foreclosure Lawsuits

In this section we list some defenses that we use to defend our clients in mortgage foreclosure lawsuits.  We have not attempted to translate the legal terminology into plain English or to explain the legal concepts behind each defense, because it would double or triple the length of this section.  The point we wish to make is that many excellent defenses are available, but they are complicated and should only be used by a licensed New York State attorney who understands them completely. 

General defenses that may apply to any debt collection lawsuit including a mortgage foreclosure: 

  • The Court lacks personal jurisdiction over the homeowner due to improper service of the summons and complaint.   Proper application of this defense in a mortgage foreclosure case can delay the foreclosure for up to six months, giving the homeowner a much longer time to improve her financial circumstances enough to negotiate a good settlement of the foreclosure lawsuit or to find other housing.
  • The plaintiff lacks legal standing to bring the action.
  • The plaintiff does not own the alleged promissory note.
  • The plaintiff did not pay fair and adequate consideration for the alleged mortgage and note and plaintiff would be unjustly enriched if plaintiff were to receive the relief requested.
  • The amount plaintiff claims to be due on the alleged mortgage and note is incorrect.
  • Documents and/or witnesses necessary to prove plaintiff’s claim are unavailable or nonexistent.
  • The complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
  • Plaintiff’s claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the applicable statutes of limitations.
  • Plaintiff’s claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the applicable principles of waiver, ratification, latches and/or estoppel.
  • Plaintiff’s claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the doctrine of unclean hands.
  • Plaintiff lacks standing because it has no business relationship with the homeowner.
  • The alleged lender(s) and mortgage holder(s) violated the Federal Truth In Lending Act.
  • The homeowner’s defense is based upon documentary evidence.
  • Plaintiff is not the real party in interest.
  • The plaintiff is not legally authorized to bring the action.
  • Defendant never borrowed any money from plaintiff and does not owe any money to plaintiff.
  • Defendant never entered into any contract or agreement with plaintiff to borrow or repay money.
  • Defendant never agreed to pay attorneys’ fees to plaintiff under any circumstances, and therefore plaintiff is not entitled to attorneys’ fees in this action. 

Specific defenses to mortgage foreclosure lawsuits: 

  • The homeowner was not duly notified of the alleged default as required under the alleged note and/or alleged mortgage.
  • The plaintiff has not fully complied with all of its duties and obligations under the alleged note and/or alleged mortgage.
  • The plaintiff has not fully complied with all preconditions to bringing the instant action.
  • The plaintiff does not own the alleged mortgage.
  • The alleged mortgage was not duly assigned, transferred or sold to plaintiff.
  • The note was not duly assigned, sold or transferred each and every time the mortgage was assigned, sold or conveyed.
  • Plaintiff has no recourse to collect any amounts from the homeowner not realized from any future foreclosure sale.
  • Plaintiff and/or its predecessors in interest of the alleged mortgage and note failed to respond to the homeowner’s request for validation of the alleged debt despite repeated requests.
  • The Statute of Frauds applies to invalidate any and all transfers of the mortgage or note that were not memorialized in writing at the times of the transfers.
  • In the event a monetary judgment is entered, the homeowner asserts her right to retain the amount of her homestead exemption as provided by law.
  • The alleged owner of the mortgage and/or note did not exist on the date of its alleged transfer of the mortgage and/or note to the plaintiff.
  • The documents memorializing the transfer or the mortgage and note to plaintiff were not executed until after the date of commencement of the action.  Accordingly, plaintiff lacked standing to bring the action on the date it was commenced.
  • Plaintiff’s claims were extinguished as a result of the bankruptcy of the original lender or a subsequent owner of the mortgage and note.
  • That defendant’s defense is based upon documentary evidence.
  • The Statute of Frauds applies to invalidate any and all transfers of the mortgage and/or note that were not duly memorialized in writing and executed at the time of the transfers.
  • In the event a monetary judgment is entered against the defendant, defendant hereby asserts, claims and reserves her rights to receive and retain her Homestead Exemption as exempt from judgment enforcement.
  • Plaintiff is not the real party in interest.

Defenses to foreclosures of mortgages converted into “mortgage backed securities”:

The defenses listed below may apply in the case of a mortgage for which the stream of mortgage payments have been sliced and diced into “mortgage backed securities” bought by investors.  The mortgage backed securities are held in a legal trust that collects payments from homeowners and distributes the income to investors in the mortgage backed securities. 

At least that’s how it was supposed to work. 

The conversion of ordinary mortgages into mortgage backed securities was the primary cause of the real estate market crash that led to massive bank failures and the current recession.

However, fortunately for homeowners facing foreclosure, the slicing and dicing of ordinary mortgages into mortgage backed securities makes it difficult for any one party to foreclose on the entire mortgage.

The plaintiff in a case involving mortgage backed securities is the trustee for the legal trust that administers the mortgage backed securities created from the original mortgage.

  • The plaintiff lacks authority to bring the action from the trust created to administer and collect and disburse payments on the mortgage backed securities. 
  • The trust is not duly permitted or authorized to own the entire alleged mortgage.
  • The alleged trust has no rights pursuant to the alleged mortgage.
  • The alleged trust has no rights pursuant to the alleged note.
  • The alleged trust is not duly permitted or authorized to receive all payments allegedly due on the alleged note.
  • Pursuant to the terms of its formation and existence, the trust is not permitted to own the entire mortgage and note.
  • The alleged trust does not contain the alleged mortgage allegedly executed by the homeowner.
  • The alleged trust does not own the alleged note.
  • The alleged trust does not own the alleged mortgage.
  • The alleged mortgage was not duly assigned, conveyed or sold to the alleged trust.
  • The alleged trust from which plaintiff allegedly derives its alleged right and/or standing to bring the action does not have or possess the legal right and/or standing to bring the action.
  • Neither plaintiff nor the alleged trust is in possession and/or control of the documents and/or witnesses necessary to prove its alleged claim against the homeowner.
  • Neither plaintiff nor the alleged trust owns the entire alleged mortgage.
  • Neither plaintiff nor the alleged trust owns or possesses the right(s) to receive all payments or amounts allegedly due or owed pursuant the alleged note.
  • Neither plaintiff nor the alleged trust owns or possesses the right(s) to receive any payments or amounts allegedly due or owed pursuant the alleged note.
  • Any alleged rights of plaintiff, the alleged trust, and/or any alleged predecessor(s) in interest with regard to the alleged mortgage were extinguished as a result of the bankruptcy of the original lender or subsequent mortgage holder prior to the time of the alleged conveyance of the mortgage and note to plaintiff and/or the alleged trust.
  • The lender or mortgage holder did not exist on the date of its alleged transfer of the mortgage and note to the trust.
  • The documents produced by plaintiff regarding the alleged transfer of the mortgage and note to the trust were executed after the commencement of the action.

Counterclaims against the mortgage holder, and claims against parties not yet involved in the lawsuit (third-party claims): 

The counterclaims and third-party claims available in a mortgage foreclosure action are generally the same as in other debt collection actions.  Rather then repeat all of them here, we ask that you refer to the following sections of the Debt Inversion website for ideas on lawsuits that your attorney might bring against the alleged mortgage holder (counterclaims) or another party not yet involved in the case such as a process server (third-party claims). 

Lawsuits for illegal debt collection
Lawsuits for debt collection crimes 
Lawsuits for illegal credit reporting
Debt Inversion

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Debt Collection Defense in New York State

In New York, a debt collection action is neither simple nor cut-and-dried.  If the collection action is properly contested, it is frequently possible to win the case and owe no money.  It is sometimes possible to force the collector to pay money to you.

To illustrate how difficult it can be for an debt collector or alleged creditor to collect a debt in New York, we will describe our overall approach to defending clients against debt collections.  Our strategy for defeating debt collection actions, part of our overall concept of Debt Inversion, involves a combination of:  (1) forcing the debt collector or alleged creditor to prove its entire claim against our client, (2) using specific defenses against debt collection lawsuits, and (3) bringing counterclaims (lawsuits) against the debt collector or creditor, and third-party claims (lawsuits) against companies that were not originally involved in the debt collection lawsuit. 

The following information is for illustrative purposes only and not intended to substitute for the advice of a licensed attorney. To have any chance at successfully defending against a debt collection, you generally must hire a licensed attorney.    

Forcing the debt collector or alleged creditor to prove its entire claim and defeat all defenses: 

In any debt collection action, we force the debt collector or alleged creditor to prove its entire claim against our client and defeat any defense we assert (see below).  If the debt collector or alleged creditor fails to prove its entire claim, it cannot legally obtain a monetary judgment against our client.  This means we win the case and you owe nothing.

For more information on how we force debt collectors and creditors to prove their claims against our clients, please see the Debt Inversion section of our website. 

Defenses against debt collection lawsuits: 

In this section we list some defenses that we use to defend our clients against debt collectors.  We have not attempted to translate the legal terminology into plain English or to explain the legal concepts behind each defense, because it would double or triple the length of this section.  The point we wish to make is that many excellent defenses are available, but they are complicated and should only be used by a licensed New York State attorney who understands them completely. 

  • The Court lacks personal jurisdiction over the homeowner due to improper service of the summons and complaint.  
  • The plaintiff lacks legal standing to bring the action.
  • The plaintiff does not own the alleged debt.
  • The plaintiff did not pay fair and adequate consideration for the alleged debt and plaintiff would be unjustly enriched if plaintiff were to receive the relief requested.
  • The amount plaintiff claims to be due on the alleged debt is incorrect.
  • The complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
  • Plaintiff’s claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the applicable statutes of limitations.
  • Plaintiff’s claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the applicable principles of waiver, ratification, latches and/or estoppel.
  • Plaintiff’s claims are barred, in whole or in part, by the doctrine of unclean hands.
  • Plaintiff lacks standing because it has no business relationship with the alleged debtor.
  • The alleged debtor’s defense is based upon documentary evidence.
  • Plaintiff is not the real party in interest. 
  • The plaintiff is not legally authorized to bring the action. 
  • The plaintiff does not own the alleged debt.
  • The alleged debt was not duly assigned, transferred or sold to plaintiff.
  • Plaintiff lacks standing to commence the action because the alleged credit agreement was not with the same entity that commenced the lawsuit.
  • Plaintiff and/or its predecessor(s) in interest failed to respond to the defendant’s request for validation of the alleged debt. 
  • Defendant never borrowed any money from plaintiff and does not owe any money to plaintiff.  
  • Defendant never entered into any contract or agreement with plaintiff to borrow or repay money. 
  • Defendant never agreed to pay attorneys’ fees to plaintiff under any circumstances, and therefore plaintiff is not entitled to attorneys’ fees in this action.  

Counterclaims (lawsuits) against the debt collector or creditor suing you, and claims against people and companies not yet involved in the lawsuit such as process servers (third-party claims): 

There are numerous counterclaims and third-party claims available to a defendant in a debt collection action.  Rather then repeat all of them here, we ask that you refer to the following sections of the Debt Inversion website for ideas on lawsuits that your attorney might bring against the party suing you (counterclaims) or another party not yet involved in the case such as a process server (third-party claims).

Lawsuits for illegal debt collection
Lawsuits for debt collection crimes 
Lawsuits for illegal credit reporting
Debt Inversion

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Client testimonial from Matthew M. (last name withheld to protect client’s privacy)

I ran a small business in New York for 5 years. After 9/11, things started going downhill and pretty soon I found myself making personal loans to my own company that I couldn’t pay off — just to stay afloat. I was too small to succeed, and no government handouts to keep ME going. Eventually, my personal debt became unsustainable and I had to close my business. I had no idea what to do — at that point in my life, I was saddled with an enormous debt that I couldn’t possibly pay off with all my other non-negotiable debt like student loans. But thanks to LeNoir Law Firm, I am happy to report that I’m doing very well after my bankruptcy, 7 years later. I must say – working with John and his team way back in 2003 was the smartest decision I ever made. I’m doing VERY VERY well now. Student loan paid off, house paid off, car paid off. ZERO DEBT. Savings in the bank, retirement funds going. John and his firm provided me with the financial relief I desperately needed to push the reset button on my life and get back on track.

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Client testimonial from John K. (last name withheld to protect client’s privacy)

When I found myself faced with a surprise wage garnishment, I began looking for attorneys. I had many to choose from and began calling around, to attorney after attorney. Their responses all seemed to be lukewarm, my $2000 wage garnishment seemingly couldn’t mean less to them, but right before Thanksgiving and Christmas, it meant a lot to me. How did I get garnished? How was this money already coming out of my check? Where did it come from? How did my employer authorize this? How could they garnish me without papers? How could I get my money back? I began to ask about a dozen questions to several lawyers who advertised “free consultations” and “no fee unless we win” and other ad friendly claims… I called them, and when they found out the amount and what happened, they were no longer interested. Many had high fees up front, with little hope in stopping or recovering anything.

I called John LeNoir, and he was eager to help, understanding, and laid out all of my options on the table. He called me back after researching my case, and told me in detail what to expect. He sent a strongly worded letter to their attorneys, and the judgement was reversed within the month, and the money was refunded from the garnishment soon after. Additionally, he was sensitive to the fact that I had little money due to the garnishment, and split the fee up into payments so it wasn’t due all at once. He was sociable, laid back and easy to deal with, not stiff and unreasonable like the other attorneys I dealt with. He fought for me against a company that tried to take advantage of me, and has succeeded in doing so to others. He understood the impact the collector and their law firm had on me, and pursued them for practicing law in another state with no legal right to. He stood up for a regular working guy, when the rest of the attorneys in my area didn’t do as they advertised. Not only did he defend me from an unjust judgement, he turned it into an inversion. I have recommended him to over a dozen friends and co-workers, and will to anyone I know in any situation. He has helped friends and co workers with all types of legal matters, is very well educated and has credentials beyond many, and I know I can trust that he will go the extra mile with anyone I know that finds themselves in any type of situation.

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Client testimonial from Rusty W. (last name withheld to protect client’s privacy)

I first heard of, and became a facebook fan of, the LeNoir Law Firm by my facebook friendship with John LeNoir.

I have thus read all about Debt Inversion and I am convinced that it is a better solution to my credit card debt then bankruptcy.

I am now almost maxed out on 8 credit cards for about $25,500.

I am retired from The NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation and together with my Social Security I have an income of about $26,000. annually. I have a rent controlled apartment which just recently qualified for SCRIE fixing my rent at $668 per month. The only asset I have is a small TDA now valued at $7,000.

I previously went bankrupt in September 2002 on about $50,000 credit card debt exclusively. I was represented by MELS (Municipal Employees Legal Services) of my union DC 37 and it only cost me the filing fees and some legwork; it’s too bad they didn’t do Debt Inversion. It was my first bankruptcy and I was hoping that it would be my only bankruptcy, but then my wife died suddenly from stomach cancer June 21, 2004. I’m afraid that the grief that felt like a knife was stuck in my heart made me go a little crazy and I spent to a point of indebtedness from which I have been unable to recover from financially.

I asked for a consultation with John and he granted it. My first impression upon meeting John was that of a young family man taking his turn at caring for his young son John in his NYC apartment on Central Park West, across from the North Woods which John also knows well from walks and picnics with his son, wife and dog. It was the most unusual first consultation I have ever had but then John is not just another lawyer. He is also a musician and this creative side of him is what also impressed me. Before I met John I was impressed with all the love I picked up on from the pictures of him and his family on his Facebook Wall. In person I could feel the love even from the family dog. His son misbehaved a little and I was also impressed in the loving way he handled it. I am a grandfather with four loving grandchildren and so will John be someday with a fruitful lifetime of accomplishment to look back on.

I was already impressed with John’s intelligence through our Facebook exchanges. He impressed me during our consultation with his legal knowledge and expertise. I must say I feel like he’s some kind of Clarence Darrow. His legal knowledge, his creativity and his love filled family life has given me complete confidence in him. Without reservation I would recommend him to anybody who is over their head in debt. I have followed his advice without question and will continue to do so, fully expecting that he will be representing me legally, down the line, if and when Collection Agencies come into the picture.

As promised the legal consultation was free but meeting this wonderful man, his young son and the dog were priceless.

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Client testimonial from Christopher I. (last name withheld to protect client’s privacy)

John Helped Me Put My Life Back Together . . .

I moved to Atlanta from New York and moved back again a short time later due to a failed relationship. I had spent almost all of my savings moving South to begin with and returned home with almost nothing. I had a difficult time finding a job in my field and ended up living off of my credit cards. The job was decent, but I was barely making ends meet. After I paid rent and credit card bills, there was barely enough money for food and commuting. I missed a few credit card payments and immediately, my interest rates were doubled. Though I tried to work with the credit card companies, they would not budge. At that point there was no way I could pay all of my bills on my salary.

I went to John for help. He talked with me about my situation. He looked at the numbers and showed me that even if I got the highest possible raises, it would take me over 10 years to pay down my debt, all the while living in poverty. He talked to me about all of my options and helped me chose the best one for me – a person who found himself in a bad situation because of things that he had no control over.

Now a happily married father, I am glad that I was able to put my life back on track so that I could move forward.

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Follow us on Twitter @debtinversion

Posted in 1. Foreclosure Defense, 2. Quiet Title Lawsuits, 3. Debt Collection Defense, Attorney Blog, Debt Inversion | Leave a comment

Should any of the nation’s three “official” credit reporting agencies be allowed to own a company that intentionally causes millions of consumers to default on their debts?

Contesting Jobless Claims Becomes a Boom Industry – New York Times     http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/04/us/04talx.html?hp

According to the New York Times article, a company called Talx handles more than 30 percent of the nation’s requests for jobless benefits. Talx was acquired three years ago by Equifax, the credit-rating giant, for $1.4 billion.

Equifax’s ownership of Talx creates a clear conflict of interest.  By using Talx to deny unemployment benefits to displaced workers, Equifax increases default rates on consumer debts owed by the displaced workers.  Equifax then receives income from reporting these defaults. The more unemployment claims Talx denies, the more money Equifax makes.

Which leads to the obvious question:  Why didn’t regulators do anything to protect consumers from this anti-consumer, anti-competitive acquisition?

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“We’re all temps now.” – Kelly Services CEO Carl Camden

Business Week, “The Disposable Worker – Pay is falling, benefits are vanishing, and no one’s job is secure. How companies are making the era of the temp more than temporary”   http://www.businessweek.com/print/magazine/content/10_03/b4163032935448.htm

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The LeNoir Law Firm takes legal action against out-of-state debt collection attorneys who are not licensed to practice law in New York, for placing illegal garnishments on the wages of New Yorkers.

The LeNoir Law Firm takes legal action against out-of-state debt collection attorneys who are not licensed to practice law in New York, for placing garnishments on the wages of New Yorkers.  These garnishments are illegal because they do not comply with numerous New York State laws regulating wage garnishments.  Additionally, these out-of-state law firms and attorneys are committing crimes in New York by practicing law in New York without a license.  Committing a crime in the course of an attempt to collect a debt is a violation of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, for which we sue for monetary damages, attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses.   We also sue the debt collector that hired the collection attorney for legal violations and monetary damages. 

The collection agencies also risk  losing their NYC Department of Consumer Affairs licenses to collect debts from New York City residents, which is no small loss.  Additionally, the out-of-state attorneys risk being prosecuted in New York for the crime of practicing law without a license.  Our clients, the garnishees, have the option to file complaints against the debt collector with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and against the collection attorneys at the appropriate New York State District Attorney’s office.  This is in addition to suing the out-of-state collector and law firm in New York State Supreme Court for monetary damages.

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“Pay Garnishments Rise as Debtors Fall Behind” – New York Times

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/02/business/economy/02garnish.html?pagewanted=1&hp

Good article about a disastrous situation for working poor people who are alleged to owe a debt.  Here’s an excerpt: 

     For the working poor, losing a lawsuit can mean disaster. Federal law permits creditors to seize as much as a quarter of a worker’s paycheck, though the cutoff is lower for the lowest-paid workers, and a few states also offer greater protection.

     The working poor “have difficulties maintaining payments on life’s necessities with their full paycheck,” said Angela Riccetti, a lawyer with Atlanta Legal Aid who represents indigent clients whose wages are being garnished. “You lose 25 percent of it and everything folds.”

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The giant bank bailouts were not a con job against the taxpayers. They were a long series of old-school cons adapted by regulators and the financial industry to give banks a license to steal from us. The dollar amount of upward wealth distribution caused by the bailouts is difficult for most people to fathom and nearly impossible to measure, just as Wall Street wants it.

For detailed information, read the Rolling Stone article,  “Wall Street’s Bailout Hustle – Goldman Sachs and other big banks aren’t just pocketing the trillions we gave them to rescue the economy – they’re re-creating the conditions for another crash”
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/32255149/wall_streets_bailout_hustle/1

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College students amass unpayable student loans and spend their summers disinfecting doorknobs on unpaid internships, for companies that have no intention of offering a paid job to their slave labor after graduation.

Read the New York Times Article:  “Growth of Unpaid Internships May Be Illegal, Officials Say”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/business/03intern.html?src=me&ref=general

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Why Possession of Great Wealth is Immoral – By LeNoir Law Firm

GREAT WEALTH IS:
1. Nearly always an accident of birth;
2. Virtually unobtainable through legal and ethical hard work;
3. Often amassed through crimes and human rights abuses;
4. Protected by “democratic” governments above all else;
5. Tremendously expensive to protect;
6. Protected with tax dollars paid by the rest of society;
7. Least needy and deserving of government protection;
8. A remnant of feudalism and the notion of divine property rights passed from generation to generation, without regard to the dire needs of billions of other people;
9. The primary motivator behind extreme greed, the most destructive force on the planet;
10. Not needed by those who possess it beyond a tiny percentage;
11. The only potential resource through which a sizable portion of the world’s social problems could be expeditiously remedied. “Justice delayed too long is justice denied.” – Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall;
12. Increasing through the magic of compound interest and economic opportunities that are not available to people of lesser means — leaving a smaller percentage of total wealth for the rest of society. “The rich get richer.”
13. At war with the needs of the poor. The greed underlying permanent retention of great wealth leads the rich and powerful to thwart efforts to provide a minimal standard of living and dignity to all people, and to dismantle existing social safety nets such as bankruptcy and welfare. “The poor get poorer.”
14. A primary beneficiary of wholesale ignorance produced by public schools that fail to provide basic, accurate knowledge of history, government, law and economics that would enable the poor to understand the injustices perpetrated against them from birth. Due to the “bad economy” many schools have stopped teaching any subject, such as art, music or even phys. ed, that doesn’t provide immediately identifiable post-secondary job skills. In this environment the subjects of history, government and economics are taught only reluctantly and superficially. The subject of law is ignored completely, as inapplicable to the real world as art and music. The last thing the multinational corporations responsible for the permanently “bad economy” (for workers) need is for employees to understand history, government, law and economics. They might realize the benefits of unionization. They might realize when their rights are being violated. “The poor get dumber.”
15. A primary beneficiary of a public educational system that lies about history, celebrates the status quo and misleads children into believing that all people are created equal and have an equal chance of success and happiness in life. This false belief causes the most ignorant and needy members of society to vote against their economic interests. “The poor get defrauded.”
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If the excesses of the financial industry have left you unemployed, don’t be victimized twice by taking out large student loans to attend a trade school that promises you a job.

The New Poor – For-Profit Schools Cashing In on Recession and Federal Aid – NYTimes.com
Commercial trade schools are under fire because they are attracting more students and Pell grants.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/14/business/14schools.html?ref=homepage&src=me&pagewanted=all

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“Deep in Debt Blues” by J.B. Lenoir

http://play.rhapsody.com/jb-lenoir/the-very-best-of/deep-in-debt-blues

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Client testimonial from Bryce W. (last name withheld to protect client’s privacy)

Being in financial trouble is not only distressing, it’s depressing and embarassing, which is part of the reason I kept putting off dealing with my situation. When I went to LeNoir Law Firm, I felt from the start that I was talking to a friend. A very knowlegable friend, one who wasn’t judging me, but was in my corner. What a relief! What a resource! I left that first meeting feeling optimistic and throughout my experience was blown away by the motivated and expert counsel I received.

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Client testimonial from Kimberly W. (last name withheld to protect client’s privacy)

“LeNoir Law Firm provided invaluable advice for my legal needs. John LeNoir proved to be extremely knowledgeable in a wide variety of legal matters, and did not flinch once, despite the curveballs I threw out. It was a true pleasure working with the LeNoir Law Firm and I would not hesitate to call again.”

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The LeNoir Law Firm represents victims of sewer service fraud by process servers for debt collection attorneys.

 

A class-action suit claims more than 100,000 New Yorkers are victims of a network of debt collectors who used fraudulent documents to surreptitiously win court judgments.

From the article:  “[A] 2008 report by MFY Legal Services, a nonprofit law firm in New York, found that defendants in consumer debt cases showed up in court less than 10 percent of the time, raising questions about whether they were ever properly served and about the prevalence of sewer service in the industry.”

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Client testimonial from Turhan C. (last name withheld to protect client’s privacy)

“If you’re need of any semblance of alleviation from debt The LeNoir Law Firm is the way to go. I remember in my time of being hassled incessantly by collectors, knowing full well that I couldn’t handle the outrageous rates and demands that were placed on my outstanding balances, I sought out and found the LeNoir Law Firm. Highly experienced, knowledgeable, courteous, and to the point, the LeNoir Law Firm is your ticket to a much less suffocating way of life. I know it was for me.”

Turhan C. hired The LeNoir Law Firm in 2003.

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Client testimonial from Michael Dumiak

“I’ve worked with and followed the practice of many attorneys in New York; John LeNoir stands out. He brings great attention to detail, personal involvement and creativity. His deep institutional knowledge over years in NYC is a valuable asset, and he won’t be outworked…”

Michael Dumiak hired the LeNoir Law Firm in 2007.

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Client testimonial from Sarah Martin

“John is thoughtful, creative, and of high personal integrity. I would highly recommend him for any of your legal needs.”

Sarah Martin hired the LeNoir Law Firm in 2006, and hired the firm more than once.

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Client testimonial from David Pollack

“I’ve worked with John LeNoir since 1999, and have referred several friends to his practice. His attentiveness to my case was a refreshing surprise, and his command of the law was impressive. He clearly communicated the status of my case, and saw it through to its conclusion. I would not hesitate to recommend other people to the LeNoir Law Firm.”

David Pollack first hired the LeNoir Law Firm in 1999.

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