Wednesday, October 29, 2014

$20,000 Cash for Keys – Deed In Lieu with Nationstar

Our client told us on day one, we do not want to keep the house, it has mold.  We already moved out.  We have already bought another home.  We want to give the house back and avoid personal liability because we are well over $100,000.00 upside down.  The first week we had the case we wrote the bank’s lawyers and offered them a deed in lieu of foreclosure if the bank would waive the deficiency.  Our offer was refused.  When the bank changed law firms we asked their new law firm if they would agree to a waiver of deficiency.  Again our request fell on deaf ears.  When the bank changed loan servicers, we again approached counsel about a waiver of deficiency and were told that a waiver of deficiency would not be approved because of a lien held by the second mortgage holder.  I then reached out to Bank of America who held the second mortgage and obtained a satisfaction of mortgage from Bank of America who realized their position was completely underwater and therefore worthless.

Excerpt of Actual Cash For Keys Agreement

After the second mortgage was satisfied we again reached out the Nationstar but were unable to obtain a waiver of deficiency.  With the case heading to trial, I changed our plan.  We are going to take this case to trial and beat you, is what I told Nationstar’s counsel.  Our firm had won other cases against Nationstar’s counsel based on problems with notices of default sent by a prior servicer.  Nationstar’s counsel knew that they had a real possibility of losing and requested the judge to refer the parties to mediation.  Prior to mediation a settlement was reached.  Since the settlement did not have a confidentiality agreement I can tell you about it.  Nationstar agreed to waive the deficiency and pay our client $20,000.00 cash for keys a new cash for keys record for our firm.   Great results like this one do not happen by accident.  Great results happen when banks know that a homeowner has retained one of the small fraction of foreclosure defense lawyers who regularly take cases to trial.   To see the entire cash for keys agreement in redacted form click here

Friday, October 10, 2014

Watch Me In Trial In Brevard County - Friday October 10, 2014

Homeowners who want to see just about every foreclosure defense lawyer in Brevard County in action should come to Courtroom 2A of the Brevard County Courthouse today, Friday, October 10, 2014.  It is game day.  The Court will have about 40 cases set for trial on the morning docket and another 30 trials in the afternoon.  I have one case set on the 9:00 a.m.  docket and another special set for 2:30 p.m. docket.  Please come watch me.  Hopefully, I will keep our near perfect 2014 trial record intact ( I have lost one trial so far in 2014).  If I do not I will go down swinging and with the record well preserved should our client wish to to appeal.  What I will not do is consent or surrender.

If you are wondering how the Court can conduct forty trials between 9:00 a.m and Noon, the answer is, it can't.  As you might expect the banks will win about 20 of the cases when nobody shows up.  What you probably would not expect, and something that is worth coming to Court to see, is that most lawyers who call themselves "foreclosure defense lawyers" will not try cases.  Even among the clients that have lawyers, most will enter a consent judgment wherein the lawyer surrenders in exchange for the homeowner getting 120 more days in the home and perhaps a waiver of deficiency.  If the bank's case is perfect and the homeowner has no change of winning, consenting to judgment is not a bad thing to do.  Unfortunately, there are lawyers who NEVER take foreclosure cases to trial.   Some lawyers simply do not know how to take cases to trial.  Some lawyers are simply to afraid to take a case to trial.  Perhaps some lawyers don't want to do the hard work of getting a case ready for trial.  To me watching one lawyer after another surrender just makes me nauseous.

Thankfully in our cases the bank's cases are not perfect.  Hopefully we will prevail.  In both cases we have defended our clients for more than for years.  We are ready.  It is time for battle.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Why you can’t get a Loan Modification from Flagstar

If you couldn’t get a loan modification from Flagstar you are not alone.  Flagstar is a big bank.  Their website and filing with the Securities Exchange Commission, says that that have nearly 10 Billion dollars of assets and are one of the top ten savings banks in the United States.
In September the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) fined Flagstar Ten Million Dollars for failing to property modify home mortgages serviced by Flagstar.  How bad were things at Flagstar.  At Flagstar they had 13,000 files in which a homeowner had applied for loan modification.  Those 13,000 files were assigned to just 25 staff members.  That is more than 500 files per staffer. 
Flagstar was also cited for:
  • 25 Minute Average Hold Time
  • 50% Call Abandonment.   ( Call where Flagstar hung up on the borrower, the borrower got lost in a maze of voice prompts, or the borrower just gave up trying to reach a human).
  • Failure to Alert Borrowers of Incomplete Applications.
  • Failure to timely convert trial modifications to permanent modifications.
Flagstar has agreed to not only pay a ten million dollar fine they will pay twenty-seven million dollars of restitution to loan modification victims.  For complete details from the CFPB website click here.
If you live in Florida and Flagstar failed to respond to your loss mitigation package submitted after January 1, 2014, Shuster & Saben, LLC is available to file suit on your behalf against Flagstar on a pure contingence fee basis.  Our firm not only defends homeowners in foreclosure, we regularly sue banks, loan servicers, and bill collectors for violating consumer protection laws.