Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Shuster & Saben Obtains Deed In Lieu Offer for Fort Myers Client

What a difference one month and hiring a lawyer can make.

Before retaining counsel our client pleaded with his loan servicer, Bank of America, to modify the mortgage on his Fort Myers condominium. Our client requested a loan modification because he has lost his job when new construction in Lee County, Florida came to a halt. BAC Home Loan Servicing, LP told our client that because he had no current income he did not meet the income requirements for a HAMP modification and declined his request for modification of his loan. Prior to our firm being retained the lender did not offer deed in lieu to the homeowner and ultimately filed a foreclosure action against him.

After diligently searching the websites of over a dozen foreclosure law firms the client selected Shuster & Saben to defend his foreclosure case. Our client explained that reading the why we are different section of our firm's website lead him to call our office. Less than three business days after being retained our firm filed an answer on the client's behalf and served an additional twenty-one pages of discovery requests and correspondence.

Our client’s goal was to avoid a deficiency judgment and to move to another part of the country where his employment prospects were better. To achieve our client’s objective, we advised the bank's lawyer in a letter sent with the answer that if they would waive deficiency judgment our client would agree to a without recourse deed in lieu of foreclosure.

Less than thirty days later we received an offer for deed in lieu of foreclosure that offered our client:
(a) No recourse… The lender would agree to waive the entire loan balance in exchange for possession of and title to the condominium.
(b) Moving expenses of up to 2% of the outstanding loan balance. This will provide our client with approximately $5,000.00 for moving expenses.
(c) BAC Home Loans will allocate up to $8,500.00 to pay liens on the property for condominium maintenance and property taxes.

The offer to our client was received less than a month after our answer was filed. To view a copy of the offer (with our client’s name removed for privacy reasons) click here.

Shuster & Saben has offices in Melbourne, Plantation, Doral, and Miami, Florida. The firm is also available for consultation only in Bonita Springs, Florida, Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, and Stuart, Florida. Shuster & Saben handles foreclosure cases in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Collier, Lee, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, Brevard, and Orange Counties.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Firm Attorneys Attend Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Seminar

Firm attorney Richard Shuster traveled to Jacksonville, Florida to attend the National Associations of Consumer Advocates (NACA) annual seminar on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The seminar was attended by leading consumer protection attorneys from across the United States. Richard Shuster is a member of NACA.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a federal law that protects consumers from unfair or harassing collections practices. This law regulates the conduct of third party bill collectors including mortgage loan servicers and law firms that file foreclosure actions against homeowners. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act a loan servicer (such as Litton Loan Servicing) must comply with a consumers request that the servicer stop calling the consumer and conduct all future communications in writing. A consumer may also demand that a servicer or bill collector not call their cell phone or work number.

Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, bill collectors and mortgage loan servicers are prohibited from communicating with debtors when the bill collector or loan servicer knows that the debtor is represented by an attorney. If a loan servicer calls a homeowner after receiving a request to cease communications or after receiving notice that the homeowner has retained an attorney, the homeowner is entitled to statutory damages of up to $1,000.00 and actual damages.

In the near future our law firm will be filing additional lawsuits under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, against loan servicers who continued to call our clients after receiving notices that the homeowners had retained an legal counsel.