Category Archives: 1. Foreclosure Defense

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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.
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How New York Homeowners Win Foreclosure Cases

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.
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The Top 5 New York Foreclosure Defenses

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.
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Quiet Title Actions Based Upon Expiration of Time to Foreclose

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 currently pending, the homeowner may file a quiet title action to discharge (remove) the mortgage lien from the property. 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.
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Summary Judgment Motions in New York Foreclosure Actions

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.
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Judge Denies Foreclosure Against Deutsche Bank’s Forgery Victim

Deutsche Bank’s attorneys 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 and initials on the fake note. The Court's full decision is attached.
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Important Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations Defense in a New York Foreclosure Case

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 foreclosure action too late.
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This Is Your Mortgage Servicer Calling

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

Whenever possible, we have our client present when we inspect the alleged original promissory note because the client is the only person in the conference room who saw the original 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.
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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.
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New York City Council, US Supreme Court May Determine the Legality of MERS

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

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.
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Why the Federal Government Refuses to Prosecute Top Bank Executives

The federal government’s policy of not prosecuting the millionaire and billionaire executives of the major banks leaves the executives feeling “prison proof” and free to commit more crimes to become wealthier.
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Revolution Comes from the Bottom Up – Never from the Top Down

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.
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“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.
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Thank you, Mr. Schneiderman

Private attorneys do not have your criminal investigative powers and cannot discover, or at least prove, all of the frauds perpetrated against our clients.
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A lawsuit against a mortgage loan servicer is a personal injury action.

When you finally enter the loan servicer's consciousness as a potential threat, they can be incredibly efficient at correcting your account and restoring your credit.
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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

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

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

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. During her deposition MERS "Vice President" Beth Cottrell admitted to executing 18 thousand documents per month without any personal knowledge of the contents of what she was signing.
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Bank Executives Flock to Washington to Force Lawmakers to “Legalize” MERS

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

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

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).
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Criminal Charges Should be Filed over Foreclosure-Gate

"The absurdity of illegal activity, criminal conduct, and rampant fraud has reached a point where the nation must declare 'No More.' We must begin the process of identifying criminal actors — and prosecuting them."
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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 […]
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JPMorgan Chase & Company abandons the fraudulent Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS)

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

"Even if the foreclosure was legit, you can't lock someone out of their home while they're in it."
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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. Mistakes are common and fraud is rampant."
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Legislation to help banks steal homes killed over foreclosure fraud fury.

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.
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How foreclosure fraud affects home owners and buyers

Foreclosure fraud causes two terrible things to happen.
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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.

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 thought they bought.
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The Rise and Fall of the ROBO-SIGNER in Mortgage Foreclosure Fraud

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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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.
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