Articles Tagged with Miami foreclosure defense

It’s been more than eight years now since the economic crash of 2008. Now, the big mortgage lenders – the same entities that played a huge role in that crisis, the same companies that received sizable bailouts under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act – are getting into the rental industry. It may surprise no one to learn these companies are awful landlords. In fact, as a new report by Bloomberg News shows, the companies are driving up the cost of that rent with the goal of evicting people from those homes.house

The Bloomberg report looks closely at a company called HavenBrook Homes, which is controlled by one of the largest money managers on the planet, Pacific Investment Management Co. Bloomberg noted that a study by the Atlanta Federal Reserve showed that in a single county in Georgia, this and other large institutional investors were twice as likely to file for eviction against renters as owners of smaller operations.

Essentially, these big investment, private equity and hedge funds that snapped up a huge portion of the properties left vacant across the country after the 2008 foreclosure crisis have been turning these sites into occupied rentals. They have altered the landscape of an industry that was historically dominated by mom-and-pop owners. With the sole goal of maximizing profits, the conversations about collections that used to take place on the front stoop between landlord and owner are now being funneled into international call centers. Good luck catching a break there. Continue reading

Prosecutors with the U.S. Justice Department are reportedly giving up their quest to take action against the co-founder of Countrywide Financial Corp. for his alleged role in doling out risky subprime mortgages that played a major role the national financial crisis. wallstreetbusinessman

Bloomberg reports federal prosecutors informed Mozilo via letter that it did not plan to take any further action against him, effectively ending more than 10 years scrutiny of the man whose lending practices were questionable at best. This lack of reckoning is also indicative of the government’s largely ineffective efforts to obtain accountability for those responsible for collapse of the U.S. housing market, which sparked the Great Recession.

Now 77, Mozilo has spent the last several years living in a 13,000-square-foot home, writing a memoir and investing in real estate. He has insisted neither he nor his firm’s lending practices had anything to do with why the market collapsed.  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

Some 6 million Americans were stripped of their homes during the housing crisis and subsequent economic recession. It was soon apparent that the underlying cause of the crisis were unethical and fraudulent practices by some of the biggest banks in the world. frontdoor

The federal government through its U.S. Department of Justice vowed to make these big banks pay dearly for the harm caused to homeowners and taxpayers. And ultimately, federal prosecutors did finagle some large settlements from six of the biggest banks, which allowed those firms to resolve criminal allegations. None of the top-level banking executives served time in prison.

In all, there were more than 30 mortgage-related settlements reached and more than $110 billion collected by the DOJ, federal housing agencies and state Attorneys General. But there has been very little accounting of where that money went. Presumably, it was to go to taxpayers. Specifically, it was supposed to go in large part to those who had lost their homes or suffered other serious financial woes after the fallout.

Some of the money was used for that purpose. But as a recent investigation revealed, much of it was not. In fact, one of the biggest benefactors of that money? The federal government. Continue reading

It’s been five years since widespread foreclosure fraud, sometimes referred to as the “robo-signing scandal,” was first revealed. You may recall, this was a type of fraud that involved banks and mortgage servicers colluding to produce false documentation of property ownership they did not actually have in order to obtain foreclosures on those properties. email

Countless homeowners lost their homes when these documents were presented as true and accurate before the courts.

There was a weak attempt at accountability for this mess that ultimately resulted in a $25 million National Mortgage Settlement among the five leading mortgage servicers. Although it never should have happened in the first place, that settlement should have been the end of it.  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

Much has been written about the lack of accountability of the U.S. banking system – particularly of high-ranking individuals – for the central role played in the economic crisis of 2008. Headlines like “Too Big to Jail” have been splashed on various covers, while these corporation leaders, after receiving massive public bailouts, were able to essentially pay their way out of prison.prison

Meanwhile in Iceland, criminal bankers are having a tougher time.

In two separate Icelandic Supreme Court and Reykjavik District Court rulings, the top five bankers from Kaupping and Landsbankinn (the two biggest banks in that nation) were found guilty of embezzlement, breach of fiduciary duties and market manipulation. Those convicted will serve between two-to-five years in prison. All combined, these individuals will serve 74 years in prison. The maximum penalty for such crimes is six years, though there is a pending case in the Supreme Court to determine whether that sentence should be lengthened. Continue reading

A growing number of renters in South Florida report they have endured great expense and frustration as a result of receiving little-to-no notice that they must vacate their rental after it’s been resold through foreclosure. The Miami Herald recently reported families have been uprooted multiple times, some given no more than 24 hours notice that they must vacate.sad2

Miami foreclosure defense lawyer Bruce Jacobs, as an authority on real estate litigation and landlord-tenant law in South Florida, was asked to weigh in.

The best thing tenants can do, Jacobs said, is to become educated about their own situation, become involved in the legal process and have contingency plans.

“Rather than just putting your heads in the sand and waiting for the sheriff to show up – that’s the worst situation to be in,” Jacobs said. Continue reading