Monday, October 28, 2013
Shuster & Saben was not the first law firm hired by a Viera, Florida homeowner to defend their foreclosure case. Their first lawyer handled their bankruptcy case but when JP Morgan’s counsel began to aggressively move the case toward trial their bankruptcy counsel suggested they consult with our firm to obtain counsel that would fight their case through trial.
While the firm prepared for war by serving discovery requests and conducting a thorough investigation of the case we also tried to make peace by extending settlement offers. Our position was that since the client discharged the debt in bankruptcy, JP Morgan could still take the house but could not take the client’s money. The client owned nearly twice what their house was worth. Before the client hired our firm JP Morgan put the client in a terrible loan medication that locked the client into a fixed rate of nearly 7% and removed the variable interest rate feature of the mortgage less than a year before it would have adjusted to a lower rate. We reasoned that if getting the house was the best JP Morgan could ever do, a principal reduction loan modification that would give JP Morgan a mortgage balance substantially above the current value of the home but substantially lower than the current loan balance would be a reasonable compromise and a win-win settlement. JP Morgan rebuffed our efforts to settle by making only one take-it or leave-it offer with a tiny interest rate reduction and no principal reduction. JP Morgan told us it was their way or the highway. It was time to prepare for battle.
On September 11, 2013, after JP Morgan’s attorney’s Choice Legal Group failed to respond to requests for admission, our firm filed a motion for summary judgment in favor of the Defendant homeowner. The motion for summary judgment was scheduled for October 17, 2013. Choice Legal, even after getting the motion for summary judgment failed to respond to the requests for admission. When the motion was set for hearing they continued to do nothing. On October 17, 2013, the Court adjudicated our motion for summary judgment. Since JP Morgan Chase never responded to our requests for admissions the Court deemed that it was admitted that JP Morgan did not own or hold the note. The Court entered summary judgment and final judgment based on the admissions. Our client has won the case and has proven that JP Morgan does not own or hold the note. The Court’s order provides that JP Morgan shall take nothing from this action meaning they will not get our client’s home or one thin dime of our client’s money. Our client as the prevailing party will recover attorney’s fees from JP Morgan. To read the entire order click here.
About Shuster & Saben,LLC… Shuster & Saben aggressively litigates foreclosure cases. Our active counter-attacks on banks and loan servicers give foreclosure mill attorneys plenty of chances to drop the ball. Lawyers whose goal is delay might be content to wait for the bank’s lawyers to pick up the ball. Not us. We play to win. We know its our job to recover the fumble and head for the end zone. That is how we win cases like this one.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
When a Melbourne, Florida resident hired our firm to defend the foreclosure action filed in 2010 against her home she never expected to win her case. The recession had wiped out the client’s employment, savings and the value of her home. The client owned well over twice what her home was worth, and without her regular employed and quickly depleting savings, she could no longer afford her mortgage. The client’s attempts to obtain a real loan modification from Astoria were unsuccessful. The client felt that her back was up against the wall and that she had no choice but to stop paying her mortgage.
After extensive research to find skilled and compatible foreclosure defense attorney, she ultimately interviewed multiple attorneys before choosing the Space Coast office of Shuster & Saben to defend her case. Her goal in 2010, was to simply stay in the home as long as possible. While aggressively litigating the case, we tried to obtain a loan modification with principal reduction or a waiver of deficiency but Astoria wanted the client’s home and either her money or a deficiency judgment. Astoria Bank would not be backing down. Now our back was against the wall to. Time to work hard and hit harder.
When the client interviewed various law firms to choose the right attorney, one of the things that impressed her about Shuster & Saben, were the issues and defenses our firm spotted during the initial consultation, that were missed by other lawyers (or paralegals) at other firms she consulted with. One of the issues that later arose in her case was the fact that the demand letter (also known as a notice of acceleration) did not tell the homeowner how much to pay to bring the account current. The letter merely instructed the homeowner to call Astoria to find out how much to pay. Paragraph 22 of the homeowner’s mortgage required that the Notice Specify (a) the default; and (b) the action required to cure the default…