As our Miami foreclosure attorneys reported recently on our Miami Foreclosure Lawyer Blog, banks are largely responsible for the foreclosure crisis and are being taken to task by foreclosure defense lawyers and criminal investigations in all 50 states.
The tide is turning in favor of homeowners in 2011. Those looking for help stopping foreclosure in Miami can negotiate from a position of strength by contacting an experienced law firm to protect their rights.
By 2006 and 2007, banks knew they were making bad loans. They did so anyway because they were making money. And because they were not going to hold the loans. Instead, they made even more money by packaging and selling them as investments. Ratings agencies looked the other way in granting AAA ratings so get the business. One hand washed the other. Everybody made money. Hundreds of thousands of mortgages were doomed before the ink dried.
Never content with big profits when huge profits were possible, banks then cut corners in keeping track of mortgage documents, many of which were lost or destroyed as the notes were sold and resold on the investment market. Those sales resulted in the servicing rights to the notes, or assignments, moving from one bank to another with each sale.
When the music stopped and the foreclosures started, banks frequently lacked the paperwork to prove ownership. So they created it. Forged documents. Forged signatures. Fake notarization.
Hundreds of thousands of times they simply made it up, according to a report by the Florida Attorney General's Office and other law enforcement agencies. Investigations are now ongoing in all 50 states.
As Daily Finance reported, when the tide turned, banks simply shifted gears and began making money on foreclosures. They made money to foreclosure, not to modify loans, so homeowners found little help whether they were coming or going. Even when modifications made sense, they often were not offered out of shear incompetence; many banks were too short-staffed to assist homeowners.
Anyone who has been to the bank lately and waited in line at the teller knows banks are making money by short-staffing. And when is the last time you saw a loan officer at your local bank?
Incredibly, when foreclosure defense lawyers began fighting back, banks pushed lawmakers to move foreclosures outside the court system as a way of clearing the backlog jamming local dockets. Fortunately, at least in Florida, they have not yet been successful in passing that measure.
As the crisis continues, banks are looking worse and worse. Even when homeowners have tried to satisfy the debt, poor record-keeping on the part of banks often leads to confusion over how much is owed. Multiple banks are trying to foreclose on the same property. Banks that no longer exist -- such as IndyMac or Lehman Brothers -- are listed in court documents.
In contested cases, banks are often backpedaling -- and withdrawing paperwork they falsified and submitted in the first place.
If you are facing foreclosure in South Florida in 2011, consult a Miami real estate law firm today and negotiate from a position of strength.
If you need help with foreclosure issues in Miami or the surrounding areas, including short sales, deficiency judgments, strategic defaults or other help for Miami homeowners, contact Jacobs Keeley for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991.