Monday, December 21, 2009

Does my case need a foreclosure defense attorney

It is not necessary to hire an attorney in every Florida Foreclosure Case. Some homeowners in some circumstances do not need a lawyer, if they know how to deal with the lender and lenders attorney in a professional manner and commit to putting everything in writing in case things go wrong and they need to hire counsel later on.
Our new video blog entry discusses this further. Please click the link to see our new video on you tube.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Homeowner Gets Free House after IndyMac Bank Fails to Mediate in Good Faith

Daily Business Review, writer Vesselin Mitev reports that Suffolk County, N.Y. Judge Jeffrey A. Spinner, has judicially canceled the mortgage on homeowner Dana Yano-Horski’s home. The action was taken to sanction the lender’s “Unconscionable, vexations and opprobrious conduct” in its attempt to foreclose on the property.

Under applicable state law IndyMac was required to mediate with the homeowner before competing a foreclosure action. Judge Spinner was quoted as finding it “deeply troubling” that IndyMac spurned what would have been a “win-win” solution for all parties. Instead of negotiating the bank engaged in “harsh, repugnant, shocking and repulsive” treatment of the homeowner.

After the homeowners attempts to obtain mediation Judge Spinner ordered a bank representative to attend a mediation conference in September. At the mediation IndyMac loss mitigation manager Karen Dickinson “made it abundantly clear that that no form of mediation, resolution or settlement would be acceptable” to the bank.

The bank asserted that the borrower had previously defaulted on a forbearance agreement. The Court found that IndyMac never sent out the forbearance agreement. Judge Spinner noted “Defendant, through plaintiff’s duplicity found herself in the unique and uncomfortable position of being placed in default of the ‘agreement’ even before she had received it.”

Judge Spinner did more than just dismiss the lawsuit. If the lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice IndyMac could have re-filed the lawsuit and repeated in wrongful conduct. Judge Skinner concluded that the original principal of $292,500 “should be canceled, voided, and set aside.” The Judges order bars any attempt to collect on the note.

The Foreclosure Lawyers at Shuster & Saben applauds Justice Jeffrey Skinner’s courage. In Florida several counties including Dade County, Palm Beach County, Indian River County, and Brevard County have implemented mandatory mediation when the subject property is the homeowner’s primary residence. In a significant number of cases, particularly when homeowners are unrepresented some lenders attempt to avoid mediation or fail to mediate in good faith. In both Dade County and Indian River County our firm has moved for sanctions against lenders who fail to mediate in good faith.