Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Twisting Bank of America’s Arm to Modify Client’s Mortgage

Bank of America turned down our Satellite Beach client for loan modification at least thee times between 2010 and 2014.  The client was turned down when he first applied for loan modification before a foreclosure action was filed against him.  We obtained dismissal of the first foreclosure lawsuit filed against the client by Bank of America and collected a substantial amount of attorney’s fees from Bank of America following the dismissal of the first case.  From the attorney fee recovery we were able to refund to the client a substantial portion of the attorney’s fees he previously paid our firm.
In 2012 Bank of America (BofA) filed a second foreclosure case against our client and he once again retained our firm to defend the case.   We helped the client submit a second loan modification package and again the request for modification was denied.  In 2014 we received a letter from Bank of America indicating that our client might be eligible for loan modification of the mortgage on his family’s Space Coast home.  Once again the client gathered and I reviewed and personally submitted a complete loss mitigation packing include a Uniform Borrower Assistance Form (Form 710), pay-stubs, bank statements, profit and loss statements for the client’s self-employment income, tax returns, utility bills and other documents requested by Bank of America.  The client was once again turned down.  The client had now been turned down for just about every reason imaginable including an incomplete package (from before he retained counsel), to little income, to much income and to many missed payments.

The client’s second case was eventually set for trial.  I prepared his case for trial hoping to beat Bank of America a second time but the on the date of trial there were over 40 cases before the client’s on the docket and the case did not get reached.  In June of 2014, I won a trial against Bank of America for another Brevard County foreclosure client.  In that case the Court found that Bank of America’s notice of default did not comply with paragraph 22 of the mortgage.

In August of 2014, I took the deposition of Bank of America’s corporate representative at our Satellite Beach office.  After the deposition I showed the corporate representative the final judgment from the case we won against BofA in June and showed the representative that in both this case and the case we won in June BofA used nearly identical language on the notice of default.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Largest Principal Reduction In Firm History!

Old Loan Balance:       $1,310,000
New Loan Balance:     $   755,000

Firm attorney Richard Shuster has obtained the largest principal reduction in firm history and a loan modification that is likely the largest principal reduction on any Brevard County residential property.  After our client made no mortgage payments for over five years on an oceanfront property in Melbourne Beach the homeowner’s unpaid loan balance reached 1.3 million dollars.  As a result of a principal reduction loan modification agreement our client’s new loan balance has been reduced to $755,000.00.  Our client’s loan balance was reduced by over $555,000.00.  The client’s interest rate was reduced from nearly 8% to 4.1%.

Shuster & Saben, LLC defended the homeowner in this matter since 2010.  One week before a scheduled trial in the client’s foreclosure case, the loan servicer, Ocwen advised it wanted a complete financial package from our clients.  The client’s business suffered greatly during the 2008-2011 recession bus has since had a substantial recovery.  The clients did not want to provide the loan servicer with complete financials as they were worried that they might make to much to qualify. 

Fortunately, the firm had fully prepared the case for trial and was ready, willing and able to take the case to trial.   One month earlier, attorney Richard Shuster, defeated the same Plaintiff  (Deutsche Bank), the same servicer (Ocwen), and same law firm (Clarfied Okon) in a nearly identical case.  During negotiations, the loan servicer and their counsel were reminded that if the case went to trial they would probably lose this case in the same fashion that our firm defeated them the month before. 

Three days before the trial, the bank’s lawyers asked for a continuance to allow more time to evaluate our client for loan modification.  Shuster’s response was rather blunt: “Give our client a loan modification that they love or we are going to trial.”  On the day before trial bank counsel advised by E-mail that our client, without submission of any financial documentation had been approved for a principal reduction loan modification. 

A great personal injury lawyer once said that if you prepare a case for trial, you may end up with a great settlement when the insurance company knows that you are ready, willing, and able to take the case to trial.  The settlement offers are even bigger when the insurance company or its lawyers are scared to go to trial against a prepared, experienced, trial advocate.  We have found this same principle usually applies in foreclosure cases.  To see the final loan modification agreement click here.