Monday, July 20, 2009

Do Not Be A Loan Modification Victim

Last week I saved an Aventura homeowner from foreclosure less than week before a scheduled summary judgment hearing. Our client was almost the victim of a bad loan modification. The Court had already entered a default against the Aventura client for failing to file an answer. We were hired a week before the summary judgment, a point in time that is usually to late for us to implement our attack strategy. The Aventura client had asked the bank's lawyer for an extension of time because his loan modification company was working on a loan modification. The bank's lawyer agreed to a 20 day extension and on the 20th day our client wrote the bank's lawyer and faxed her a letter from the loan servicer confirming that his application was complete and in the hands of the lenders “negotiations team.” Our client requested an additional extension because while he completed his application the servicer's "negotiation team" had not made up their mind. The bank's lawyer never said yes or no to his request for additional extension, rather they just obtained an exparte (without hearing) clerk's default. Thankfully all of our client’s communications with the bank's lawyer were in writing or confirmed by fax or e-mail. Armed with proper documentation we were able to get the default set aside. (Lesson One... if you do not have a lawyer confirm all of your conversations with the loan servicer or bank's lawyer in writing. When I practiced law in Jacksonville in the late nineties my old boss would always say: “If it’s not in writing it did not happen.”).

We had a prospective client who was not so fortunate. She did not get her communications with the lender in writing. She relied on a loan modification company in California who told her not to worry about the papers the process server dropped off. They told her they would take care of it. The loan modification company did not take care of her case and never obtained a loan modification. It appears all the company in California did was take her money. She waited even longer to call a lawyer than the Aventura homeowner. In her case she was defaulted, summary judgment was granted and a sale date was less than 3 weeks away. Given how badly her case was messed up we thought it was very unlikely that our efforts could help her and sadly had to pass on the case.

We want to do our part to prevent other victims of bad loan modification. For this reason we are offering a FREE second opinion / Foreclosure Check Up. If you hired a loan modification company and have been served with foreclosure papers we will look-up your case online and send you via E-mail a copy of the Courts on-line docket. This will let you know if anything has been filed on your behalf. This offer is available only to homeowners who live in Dade, Collier, Lee, Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Indian River or Brevard County. Disclaimer: What information is posted on-line by the county clerks office varies from county to county and some clerks offices have a 3 to 5 day delay updating their online docket. Shuster & Saben’s check-up will not include a in person review of the actual court file and Shuster & Saben does not vouch for the accuracy of the Court Clerks records. We hope that this will be of assistance to homeowners and hope that it will prevent homeowners from being victims of bad home loan modifications. Remember only a lawyer who is a member of the Florida Bar can defend you in Court and present evidence to the Court on your behalf.

This information is a public service of Shuster & Saben, LLC for more information about our firm please see our website,

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