Monday, January 10, 2011

Shuster & Saben obtains Principal Reduction Loan Modification from $229,048 to $123,644.

A Shuster & Saben foreclosure client is the big winner in a war of attrition with Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC. The client, a painter, was trapped in a bad subprime loan at an outrageous interest rate of 8.65% and owed slightly over $229,000 after missing over two years of mortgage payments. When the recession hit, panting jobs came to a stand still and our client could no longer afford his home. The client’s home according to Zillow was worth approximately $138,000. The client defended the foreclosure action himself (pro-se) for over six months but when a summary judgment action was filed by the lender he knew he was in over his head and needed legal counsel. The client turned to a family friend and community business leader who referred him to Shuster & Saben.

In the first 48 hours after Shuster & Saben was hired the firm served over twenty pages of discovery requests on the bank’s lawyers including requests to produce, interrogatories, and requests for admission. This was followed by a qualified written request to Ocwen. One month later, when the hearing on the lender’s motion for summary judgment came before the Court, the bank’s lawyers had not answered the discovery requests. The Court agreed with Shuster & Saben’s argument that the bank could not go forward with the hearing because discovery had not been completed. The firm continued to litigate discovery issues for the next nine months.

In September of 2010, Ocwen sent its first settlement proposal in which it offered to reduce our client’s interest rate from a horrible rate of 8.65% to a merely poor rate of 5.375%. Firm partner, Richard Shuster wrote back to Ocwen to tell them that their offer was pathetic, and that they needed to come up with a real offer that reduced our client’s loan balance if they wanted to settle the case. (To Read our firm's response to Ocwen's Initial Offer click here)

Ocwen’s second settlement proposal was much better and offered to reduce the loan balance from $229,048 to $123,644 which equates to $103,404 of principal reduction. By accepting this deal our client would reduce his loan balance by over 45%. Since our client’s home is worth more than $123,000 once the offer was accepted our client would have equity in his house. The deal would also reduce our client’s interest rate from 8.65% to 4.83%. When the client met with firm attorney Richard Shuster, the advice given was straight to the point, accept the offer and do whatever it takes to come up with the $1,256.00 payment required for acceptance.

Our client took our advice. His new principal and interest payment (after the initial month) will be a very affordable $723.36. Our client will exit foreclosure in a much stronger financial position then he was in when the lender filed suit against him. Thankfully along the way his income in the construction, renovation and building trades has improved (but has yet to return to pre-recession levels). Without counsel our client would have lost his case at the summary judgment hearing in April of 2010. With this settlement we believe he will keep his permanently.

To Review the actual settlement offer please click the link below:
Redacted Loan Modification Offer from Ocwen

About Shuster & Saben:
The foreclosure defense attorneys at Shuster & Saben will tell you that most loan modifications (even ours) do NOT have principal reductions. A bad loan modification is not any better than a bad mortgage. Many times (including in this case) the lender's first offer is not their best offer. Not every home can be saved and some homes are so far upside down that they should not be saved. If you are in foreclosure, our professional, frank, and objective advice can be received in a free, no obligation initial consultation. Our firm's offices in Miami, Doral, Plantation, and Melbourne defend homeowners in foreclosure from Miami to Titusville on the east coast, in Collier and Lee County on the west coast, and in Orange and Seminole County.

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