Articles Posted in Miami foreclosure

There is no singular public official who bears the entire burden for failure to prosecute banks during the foreclosure crisis. However, many of them do have some responsibility, considering some 9.3 million American families lost their homes during the late Bush and most of the Obama years, just before, during and after the housing market crashed. foreclosure defense

There was a perfect storm of wrongdoing by lenders, brokers and others – including inflated appraisals, falsified underwriting and improper placement into subprime loans, which all led to misconduct and fraud in loan servicing, securitization, foreclosures and loan modification. Millions of phony documents were used as evidence to secure eviction. In other words, there was unlawful fraud going on in every step of the process. And despite this, there was very little accountability by those in power which, at the time, were mostly Democrats.

Case-in-point, as noted recently by The New Republic, is Kamala Harris. As the previous attorney general (now serving as a U.S. senator), Harris overrode a recommendation from state prosecutors to pursue civil enforcement action against OneWest Bank, a company under the direction of now-treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, accused of repeatedly violating state foreclosure laws. Harris declined to provide a reason for this, and it has caused many even on the left to view her with great skepticism.  Continue reading

Wells Fargo has repeatedly found itself answering to government regulators for violating consumer rights – most recently for overcharging military veterans on home finance loans.foreclosure attorney

Just one week before announcing the $108 million settlement it had reached with the federal government for this wrongdoing, the bank revealed it was paying out $80 million in compensation for wrongfully force-placing car insurance on some 570,000 consumers. A significant number of those customers their vehicles wrongly repossessed when they couldn’t keep pace with the artificially high payments – which impacted their credit scores too. And just before that, the bank was answering to allegations that more than 5,000 former employees opened 2 million unauthorized accounts in order to rake in sales and bonuses. The bank paid an $185 fine, plus another $142 million settlement following a class action in that case.

In the case of military veterans, it all stems from a 2006 lawsuit claiming the Interest Reduction Refinance Loans through the Department of Veteran Affairs – issued by Wells Fargo – should not have been eligible for guarantees through the VA because the bank was reportedly charging loan fees that weren’t authorized. The VA then paid claims after a number of those loans defaulted, and the government then sought redress from Wells Fargo. Continue reading

Housing prices in four of the country’s largest cities – including Miami – have been deemed overvalued, potentially setting the stage for another housing market bubble. Prices for homes in Miami, Houston, Washington, D.C. and Denver are now considered too high for long-term sustainability. foreclosure defense

That’s according to a new report from CoreLogic, which contrasts current home prices to what are known to be viable in the long term, weighing elements like local disposable income. A market is considered “overvalued” if prices of homes are at least 10 percent above what is deemed to be that sustainable mark. In this most recent analysis, none of the top 10 markets were deemed undervalued, as they were just a few years ago, following the housing crisis. Six were considered “at value.” But Miami was among those in the top 10 considered overvalued.

Market researchers say affordability is going to be an ongoing challenge in the years to come, until either more houses are built (increasing the supply) or there is another bursting bubble and prices fall again.  Continue reading

A federal bankruptcy court judge in California recently ordered Bank of America to pay a stunning $46 in damages after a years-long foreclosure nightmare that literally pushed one couple to the brink of death. house

The bulk of that $46 million will go toward public law schools and consumer attorney organizations to help fight back against similar abuses in the future.

In the ruling, Bankruptcy Judge Christopher M. Klein admonishes the top brass at the bank – not lower-tier workers. Further, the ruling is being interpreted as a sharp condemnation of the failure of government to police these types of interactions and protect homeowners  – even though banks should have been vulnerable to legal action on a massive scale for the actions leading to the foreclosure crisis and those that followed thereafter.  Continue reading

The Florida Democratic party is hanging in the balance, and now, the typical lowly race for Miami-Dade County’s Democratic Party committeeman has gone national, just ahead of a special election that will likely determine the fate of the party in Florida. Our own Bruce Jacobs, Miami foreclosure attorney, is at the forefront, seeking to rapidly fill the precinct chairs for the party is that those individuals can create a groundswell of support for Dwight Bullard, who is up against wealthy Miami real estate businessman Stephen Bittel, who also happens to be a major party donor. flag

Bullard is backed by Our Revolution, a political organization created by one-time Hillary Clinton rival Bernie Sanders. Bittel, meanwhile, was a staunch supporter of Clinton. He now has the backing of U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who at this point is the front-runner to lead the Democratic National Committee. Ellison’s support came as something of a surprise because he was a long-time, prominent Sanders supporter and also previously had the support of Our Revolution.

Jacobs served Our Revolution Miami as a Bernie Sanders delegate, and participated in the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in that role. Jacobs now says he is hoping to drum up enough support among local Democrats to get involved as Precinct captains by the Dec. 15th deadline. The goal from there is to keep those individuals involved in politics, and further provide a strong movement within numerous local and state offices. Precinct captains are the only ones who can vote during leadership meetings, which is why filling these posts is so essential.  Continue reading

The Miami foreclosure defense lawyers at Jacobs Keeley have not been shy with criticism of the current presidential administration, in particular with regards to a failure to hold big banks and executives accountable for their central role in the foreclosure crisis. Unfortunately, it does not seem as if the new administration is going to take any more of a hard line on this kind of issue, despite repeated promises to “drain the swamp.” whitehouse

One must look no further than the recent appointment of Steve Mnuchin, Wall Street financier, to the cabinet as Secretary of Treasury. Mnuchin is a career banker. He spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs, ultimately attaining the position of partner. He oversaw a privately-owned hedge fund and later was a top fundraiser for Republican president-elect Donald Trump. He also worked for a time at a California bank that NPR recently referred to as a “foreclosure machine” in the midst of the housing bust.

Essentially, Mnuchin and others were searching for ways to turn a profit from the ruins of the housing market. He and a group of other billionaire investors purchased IndyMac, a bank that took a nosedive after its risky mortgage loans turned sour. He and the others bought it with a promise to pay future losses above a certain threshold – which they did, and after six years, sold it as OneWest at a $1.5 billion profit for $3.4 billion. How did they do this? On the backs of suffering homeowners.  Continue reading

Ocwen Financial holds the keys to some 17,500 defaulted home mortgage loans – and can’t continue to foreclose on a single one. stop

That is true at least for the time being, after the National Mortgage Settlement monitor announced the company is barred from foreclosure action after falling short of the required performance metrics.

The monitor announced the mortgage servicer failed on a key metric that requires the mortgage servicer to send a loan modification denial notification to the borrower. This notice needs to denote why the modification was denied, as well as the facts that weighed into this ruling by the servicer. It also must indicate a timeline in which the defaulted homeowner can offer evidence the decision was a mistake.

The National Mortgage Settlement office first announced the company wasn’t in compliance with this metric back in October. However, it’s now been seven months, and the company still hasn’t remedied the problem. That led the office to bring all of Ocwen’s foreclosures to a screeching halt.  Continue reading

A recent analysis by online residential real estate site Trulia encourages people in their 20s and 30s to take the plunge into home ownership, citing in its “Rent vs. Buy Report” that purchasing a home is now 23 percent less expensive than renting. That figure holds true across the country. Assuming a buyer age 24-to-34 can plunk down a 10 percent down payment, and combined with an interest rate that hasn’t been lower since 2012 and soaring rents in urban areas, Trulia calculated it’s actually 36 percent cheaper to buy than rent. house

It would seem a solid argument. But millennials don’t seem to be buying it – or those houses.

For a very long time, owning a home was an important ideal and a rite of passage in American culture. And to be sure, there can be plenty of benefits, including the fact that mortgage interest payments are tax deductible. Plus, monthly payments go toward helping the buyer – rather than a landlord – acquire and maintain an asset. Continue reading

In a recent article for the Daily Business Review, a highly-regarded legal industry publication, Miami Foreclosure Attorney Bruce Jacobs of Jacobs Keely weighs in on the issue of why lenders can’t flout the statute of limitations.gavel3

The piece, “Statute of Limitations Applies to Everyone, Even Lenders,” stems from the mortgage foreclosure case of Bartram v. U.S. Bank, for which the Florida Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on appeal from the 5th DCA on November 4th.

Statutes of limitations exist in both criminal and civil law for purposes of keeping the law both fair and predictable and preserving the court’s order. So for example, in personal injury cases, claimants have up to four years to file a claim, after which point the right to sue expires. For written contracts (which includes mortgages) the statute of limitations is five years. A claimant who waits any longer than that loses out on the right to have that case heard – regardless of whether damages are $10 or $10 million. Continue reading

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has two major regrets when it comes to his agency’s handling of the financial meltdown of 2008.book

First, he says he should have been more aggressive with his public relations to explain to the public why massive bailouts of the companies that caused the crisis were necessary. Secondly, he says many more Wall Street executives should be serving prison sentences right now for the role they played in triggering the Great Recession.

With regard to the later, he says in his new memoir, The Courage to Act: A Memoir of a Crisis and Its Aftermath, that the Justice Department and other law enforcement agencies were more focused on indictment or threats against large financial firms. Very little of the investigations focused on individual executives. And after all, he noted, wrongful and illegal acts that precipitated the economic crisis were not carried out by abstract firm. Rather, these were actions taken for the benefit of individuals. Continue reading