Mortgage Fraudster Sent to Jail

A recent item in Newsday reports that Aaron Wider, a mortgage broker who lured people into mortgages which they could not pay, has been sentenced to 30 years in prison. It is about time that those who perpetrated these frauds on consumers receive the punishment which they deserve. We still wait anxiously to see if any of the executives of the nations biggest banks, who orchestrated the massive collapse of the economy are brought to justice. Unfortunately, his conviction will do little to help those who have already lost their homes or who are still in foreclosure. If you are still looking to obtain a mortgage modification, call us to discuss your options. For more information click on the following link — Newsday

Mortgage Fraud

The Consumer Financial Protection Board(CFPB) recently announced that it has ordered mortgage lender Amerisave Mortgage Corp., to pay $19.3 million for engaging in a bait and switch fraud affecting borrowers who made applications for mortgage loans from this lender.

The fraud occurred at numerous points in the borrower’s interaction with this lender. It started when the borrower first visited the company’s website and requested a quote, the quote which they received was based on an 800 FICO score. Additionally inaccurate rates and terms were posted on the company’s Website. At closing additional and unexpected fees were added to the borrower’s charges.

Ocwen is back in the news again. The New York Department of Financial Services recently reported that when has been collecting fees from distressed homeowners for force-placed Insurance through an affiliated company which practice is forbidden in New York State.

If you are considering the purchase of a home or a refinance of a home mortgage please make certain to consult with and review the documents with an attorney.

Should you require assistance with the attorneys in our office have substantial experience reviewing mortgage documents and would be pleased to assist you.

We can be reached at 732-752-8834.

Mortgages Still in Trouble Despite Upturn

As with so many things, the mortgage market right now presents both good news and bad news. The good news is that it appears as if the worst of the foreclosure crisis is past in most of the nation. In the vast majority of states, the foreclosure rate has dropped to almost normal historical levels. Further, late payments on mortgages are dropping, indicating that homeowners are slowly becoming more able to pay their mortgage payments on time.

The bad news, however, for those of us in New Jersey, is that the Garden State is still struggling. Not only does New Jersey still host more late payments on mortgages than most of the nation, but it currently has the second-highest rate of properties in foreclosure, behind only Florida.

One major reason for the excessive problems in New Jersey is the foreclosure process itself. In New Jersey, foreclosures must be handled by the courts. The mortgage industries have recently gotten in trouble for filing hundreds of foreclosure complaints at once. This process overloaded the courts and forced the foreclosure process to slow dramatically in order to try to process the influx.

The courts are now finally beginning to recover and process all of the documents filed. Once the majority of the papers are handled, New Jersey’s foreclosure numbers should begin to decrease. Hopefully they will fall to near historic levels in the next few years, but there is certainly a long way to go before that point is reached.

To read more about this problem, please click here. If you want to discuss your financial situation or mortgage troubles with a seasoned professional, please use the contact form on this website or call our office at 732-752-8834.

INDEPENDENT FORECLOSURE REVIEW PROGRAM ENDS 12/31/2012

INDEPENDENT FORECLOSURE REVIEW PROCESS
EXPIRES DECEMBER 31, 2012

We are writing to remind all of our friend and clients that the deadline to file a Request for an Independent Foreclosure Review is December 31, 2012.

If you had a foreclosure in process(initiated, pending or completed) between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010; and the property securing the loan was your principal residence and the mortgage was serviced by one of the lenders identified on the following link, we urge you to request an Independent review.

Link to list of lenders who must offer the Independent Foreclosure Review is at the Federal Reserve Governors website explanation of the program, listing of lenders informative video

http://www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/independent-foreclosure-review.htm

These reviews were ordered by the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in a effort to give homeowners who were unfairly treated and financially harmed by the actions of the listed banks and opportunity to make a financial recovery from the banks for the errors, misrepresentation or other deficiencies that may have occurred during the foreclosure process.

A very informative short video which further explains the program is noted above.  If you think you are eligible, we urge you to apply for a Review.

The deadline is December 31, 2012.  You can make the request over the internet.

An Independent Foreclosure Review process has been set up by Order of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Additional information can be obtained from the Borrowers Quick Reference at the website below:

    http://www.occ.gov/topics/consumer-protection/foreclosure-prevention/framework-summary.html

Before you complete your application be sure to review the on the  Request for Review Help Sheet on following website:

 http://www.federalreserve.gov/consumerinfo/files/independent-foreclosure-review-form-help-sheet.pdf

To submit an application go to:

   https://independentforeclosurereview.com/

Once again, we urge everyone who believes that they are eligible request a review.  There is no fee for the review.

TAX REFUNDS AND BANKRUPTCY FILING

At this time of year we get many questions from consumers about the treatment of tax refunds in a bankruptcy case.  The Bankruptcy Code is clear, an anticipated tax refund which has not yet been received by the consumer, becomes part of the property of the consumers bankruptcy estate and comes under the control of the Trustee appointed to administer the case.  The anticipated tax refund must be disclosed (even if the exact amount is unknown) on the consumers bankruptcy petition.  Consumers who file after receiving and spending their refunds are at risk of having the trustee bring a proceeding to recover the amounts paid out by the consumer if they do not received proper advice and guidance.   

Consumers who file without the assistance of counsel are at risk of loosing this valuable asset to the case trustee.    As with everything in life, timing is everything.  Competnent professional advice is also useful in preventing disasterous unexpected outcomes.

CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU UNDER ATTACK

You may or may not remember that a significant part of the Dodd-Frank Financial reform legislation which came out of the financial crisis was the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.   The mission of this new agency was to review the financial products offered to consumer, for example, credit cards and mortgage loans and to make certain that the disclosures about these products were fair and easy for the consumer to understand.  The Bureau was also authorized to bring legal action against those institutions whose products were deceptive or which harmed consumers.  The President’s first choice to lead this new Bureau was Professor Elizabeth Warren of Harvard.  The Republicans in the Senate announces that her nomination would be dead on arrival.  She was never nominated.   Currently the new Bureau has no director and the Republicans in the Senate have announced that they intend to block any nominee and plan to introduce legislation to reduce the powers of the new Bureau.

If  left unregulated, the wizards of Wall Street and the executives of the “too big to fail banks” will come up with more dangerous and harmful products to be foisted onto the American public.

The financial industry has proven by their actions, time and time again, they they do require adult supervision or they will cause additional unmeasurable harm to individuals, families and the economy.

This is an important issue for all American Consumers.  Contact your representatives in Washington and tell them what you think about the efforts to reduce the powers of this new Bureau and the needless delays in getting this new Bureau functional.

NJ FORECLOSURE RESCUE FRAUD PREVENTION ACT

The New Jersey Legislature has finally taken action to limit the frauds which have been laid on the heads of distressed New Jersey homeowners.  The recent passage into law of the “Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act” possibly signals the end to the awful fraud to which distressed homeowners have been subjected over the last several years.

 

While these types of frauds have been around for years, the recent financial crisis and the collapse of the housing market have spawned a whole new generation of unsavory individuals engaged in this type of fraudulent activity.  Thousands of homeowners have been the victims of these frauds by so called “mortgage, foreclosure or home rescue consultants” over the last few years.    These scammers often approached distressed homeowners with promises of miraculous schemes to save their homes from foreclosure.  The scammers often took substantial up-front fees and then performed no work of any value.   In other cases the scammers convinced the homeowners to transfer the title of their home to the scammer on the promise of a “rent back and repurchase” arrangement.  The scammer would then strip any remaining equity out of the property by refinancing and making it impossible for the homeowner to ever regain possession of their property.

The new law which becomes effective in several months regulates not for profit loan modification services, sales of property by “foreclosure consultants” and the sale and leaseback scams.  The law also regulates those consultants who offer mortgage reinstatement services, mortgage modifications and promises of credit repair resulting from mortgage default.

Foreclosure consultants must now obtain a license from the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.