Miami Foreclosure Defense Lawyer Bruce Jacobs has become an authority on the troubling and pervasive issue of foreclosure woes throughout South Florida.
In addition to teaching other foreclosure lawyers at numerous local conferences and training sessions, Jacobs, a former prosecutor, hosts his own weekly radio show called “Mortgage Wars” on 880/AM The Biz and is a member of Max Gardner’s Army, which is a national group of lawyers who trade real-time, tactical information on foreclosure defense.
That is why he is a trusted voice when local and national news media seek insightful responses to the ongoing foreclosure crisis in Florida.
One of the more recent articles in which he was quoted was one by Miami Herald Staff Writer Martha Brannigan, who was chronicling an eventful week on the mortgage front, with new national consumer protection rules, the $8.5 billion settlement reached by the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and 13 mortgage servicers and Bank of America’s dispute resolution with Fannie Mae.
Jacobs was quoted on the issue of the OCC’s settlement agreement. This was just after the federal regulator had agreed to toss it’s previous “independent” foreclosure review process, which was not only costly but ineffective and far from independent.
At the time, some were marveling that the banks were being hit hard by this settlement. But as Jacobs pointed out, this money was a drop in the bucket – especially considering the fact that some if not all of these servicers not only breached acceptable ethical standards, they broke the law. They foreclosed on homes when they had no right and they refused to work with borrowers to reach loan modification agreements, despite promises to the contrary.
As Jacobs pointed out to the Herald, “The settlement sounds like a lot, but it’s a quarterly profit for some of these banks. It’s not much of a penalty. A lot of people in Miami need help, and I’m afraid they’re not going to get it. The government sold them short.”
Jacobs has never shied away from calling it like it is – and that includes calling the banks out on their bluster. Unfortunately, many foreclosure lawyers end up letting their clients down in this regard by simply allowing the bank to push through the action, without questioning the origin of certain documentation, the extent of loan modification efforts and other aspects that could well serve to keep a person in his or her home.
One thing Jacobs does applaud is the implementation of a new rule, adopted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the same week as the OCC settlement. The “qualified mortgage rule” was drafted to prevent banks from forming those same sort of toxic mortgages that end up forcing many unsuspecting borrowers into dire financial straights.
The new rule, which is an amendment to the Truth in Lending Act, lays a certain foundation of standards that force banks to determine someone’s ability to repay a mortgage.
A huge catalyst behind the housing market collapse that crushed South Florida was that banks pushed hoards of homeowners into mortgages that were risky, on deceptive terms and that they clearly could not afford.
Now, the law will require banks to weigh the following:
- Employment status,
- The monthly mortgage payment;
- Other loan obligations;
- Mortgage-related obligations;
- Debt, such as child support or alimony;
- Current assets and/or monthly income;
- Credit history;
- Debt-to-income ratio.
This should help prevent us from being in a similar economic crisis.
If you find yourself in a personal one, waging war against your Miami foreclosure, we can help.
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. Also, don’t miss Miami Foreclosure Attorney Bruce Jacobs on 880AM/the Biz, every Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on “Mortgage Wars,” discussing foreclosure topics that matter to YOU.
What the week’s big mortgage moves mean for consumers, January 12, 2013, By Martha Brannigan, The Miami Herald
More Blog Entries:
Accountability Office Slams Regulators Over Foreclosure Review, April 8, 2013, Miami Foreclosure Lawyer Blog