Three Families Fight Miami Foreclosures Because of Bank Problems

CNNMoney recently reported on the troubles that three separate families are going through with foreclosure, but because of paperwork problems and mortgage servicers going bankrupt that have forced the families to relocate, consider strategic default and lose their house to foreclosure.

Being saddled with a Miami foreclosure can be a heart-breaking experience, especially for families with children who get caught up in the stress of the situation. Credit scores can be hit hard and people must consider all options.
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Perhaps the best option is fighting back against the banks with an experienced Miami foreclosure lawyer. Foreclosure defense lawyers have spent years watching the banks and the tactics they use against homeowners. Many of these plans are fraught with less-than-ethical moves and with money in mind.

Banks have filed faulty paperwork in foreclosure cases, used robo-signing practices in order to speed up a foreclosure when documents that were supposed to be verified weren’t, created documentation to support a foreclosure that was never in the file and other misdeeds.

Homeowners can use these to their advantage because documentation problems can often be used to show that the bank doesn’t know who actually owns the house. This can lead to a victory for homeowners, or sometimes a delay that can benefit them. Illegal bank moves can also lead to judges tossing out the case against banks altogether if a lawyer can show that the homeowners’ rights were violated in the process.

In one case, a family chose a strategic default after a battle that went on for more than four years, following a routine refinancing of their mortgage. The couple decided to leave their house, purchased in 2007.

In 2009, the mortgage servicer ceased operations, so when the couple refinanced their loan to get a better rate, they received word from their bank that they were behind on the old loan. When the mortgage servicer went bankrupt, the government froze its assets, including customer payments.

Adding even more complication to the case for this family was that Quicken, the company that refinanced their loan, sold the servicing rights to the new loan to the bank, so the couple was sending checks to the bank and at the same time receiving notices from the same bank saying they were behind on payments. They started getting barraged with notices and ended up moving. They are now suing the bank for violations of debt collection abuse laws.

Another couple in the article lived in their house for two years before being told they didn’t technically own the home. Right after they bought their home, the title company went bankrupt and the company never transferred the money the couple paid or the title to the bank.

The couple’s money ended up being sent to the state, which was handling the title company’s accounts. The bank then put a lien on the house and followed that up with a foreclosure notice. After clearing up the issue, the bank agreed to drop the lien, but not after they first asked the couple for an additional $40,000. Now, they are expected to stay in their house at the current price.

A third example of problems with foreclosures lead the author of the article to New Port Richey, Florida, where an older couple was forced into default on their home loan because of medical bills. The couple qualified for a trial modification through HAMP, making the payments smaller. But the government program kicked them out a few months in.

The notice from the bank said they were disqualified for not making payments in the month they were due. They made payments for January in December — essentially making payments too soon. The bank finally recognized the problem eight months later and rectified it.

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.

More Blog Entries:

Waiting on a Real Government Bailout For Miami Foreclosures? Don’t Bet On It: January 6, 2012
Stay at Home for Free throughout Miami Foreclosure Defense: January 4, 2012
Additional Resources:

Foreclosure nightmares: 3 families fight for their homes, by Les Christie, CNNMoney