Financial Times is reporting that 10 of the nation's biggest banks are reviewing foreclosures of military members because they may have unlawfully foreclosed on 5,000 active-duty military members.
Military members have built-in protections from foreclosures when they are on active duty. And while regular citizens don't have the same protections by law, their rights, too, have been trampled upon by banks.
Many people fighting a Miami foreclosure have found that some banks have have violated rules and laws in their diligent efforts to evict them from their homes. For those who think that banks are going to work with them, to be friendly and maybe even help them, this situation may extinguish that idea.
Let's face it: Banks are interested in making money. In an area like Miami and other locations in South Florida, real estate prices were previously much higher and a destination spot for many retirees. It seems now that banks may be more interested in taking a home away through foreclosure than helping the owner in figuring out a loan modification that would keep homeowners in their place of residence.
Bankers typically look at things primarily as a dollars-and-cents transaction, and not the fact that they may be hurting a family's chance to live happily. That's why if you find yourself in a foreclosure situation, you must have an advocate by your side. Hiring an experienced Miami foreclosure defense lawyer can help.
An experienced attorney will investigate all the facts to determine for instance whether the bank created and filed false documents with the court. Or maybe used robo-signed documents, or can't prove who actually owns the note on the home. There are many or other areas that need to be explored to help homeowners keep their home if at all possible. Each case is different, so consulting an attorney would be a good first step.
The newspaper reports that JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America already this year reached settlements with 200 military members who alleged their homes had been improperly taken away.
Recently released data by the Treasury's Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the bank regulator, revealed that 10 lenders, including Bank of America, are reviewing about 5,000 foreclosures of homes that belonged to military members to see if they complied with the law.
The 2003 Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides some protections for foreclosures. Mortgage servicers have to follow special procedures when they foreclose on homes belonging to military members and their families. Among them, banks have strict rules on whether they can implement default judgments, when the homeowner doesn't show up in court.
JPMorgan Chase's settlement this year included an admission that officials foreclosed wrongfully on 27 military members in May. Bank of America earlier this year paid off military members after intervention from the Justice Department, which alleged the bank wrongfully foreclosed on 160 homes.
Homeowners facing foreclosure should seriously consider hiring a skilled Miami foreclosure defense lawyer to help defend their rights.
If you're battling foreclosure in Miami or the surrounding areas, contact Jacobs Keeley for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (305) 358-7991.
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U.S. lenders review military foreclosures, by Shahien Nasirpour, Financial Times