Settle 2nd Mortgage for 10% of amount owed?

On September 29, 2011, in Bankruptcy, Debt settlement, Foreclosure, by Robbie L. Vaughn, Esq.

Settle  Your Second Mortgage

Settle your second mortgage for 10% of the loan amount owed?

Let’s say you owe 90k on your second mortgage and the bank is willing to accept 9k in full satisfaction. Not bad, right? Well, we have heard of such an offer! Generally, we would want to consider any issues or problems with the first mortgage holder. Additionally, among other things, we would want to determine  if the Homeowner could and/or should file bankruptcy and “strip-off” the second mortgage. At any rate, such an offer is certainly worthy of careful consideration.

The Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC, proudly assists residents of Nassau county (Long Island), Suffolk county (Long Island), Queens (New York), and Brooklyn (New York) with their legal matters. Call (516) 858-2620 to arrange a consultation with an attorney!

News: Man Gets Free house

On April 10, 2011, in Foreclosure, Message/News Board, by Robbie L. Vaughn, Esq.

We figured this would start happening sooner or later.

So far this year we have been made aware of three (3) cases where the lenders actually “walked away.” The homeowners appear to have been left with a home without a mortgage on it (a free house).

The following is from Jacksonville.com:

Bank gives man foreclosed house for free

By Roger Bull

Perry Laspina was in the middle of foreclosure with the possibility of losing the house he owned in Jacksonville. Then the mail came one day in late January telling him that the house was his.

Despite the $72,000 mortgage that he barely paid anything on, despite the foreclosure … the house was his.

In the middle of foreclosures gone wild, of a system overloaded by sheer volume, judicial investigations and allegations of corners cut, Laspina ended up with the house.

Despite the fact that he didn’t have an attorney in the foreclosure proceedings, the mortgage holder simply gave up and walked away.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” he said.

It’s a tale populated with many of the major players in the national foreclosure drama: The law firm of David Stern, the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (better known as MERS) and a mortgage packaged with others and sold into a securitized trust.

Here’s how it happened.

Back in 2006, Laspina, a used-car dealer based in South Florida, had some extra money and decided to buy some real estate that he could resell quickly at a profit. It was, after all, the height of the housing boom with prices skyrocketing and mortgage money easily available.

“Since everyone else was making money flipping houses, I figured I would, too,” he said.

He wasn’t familiar with Jacksonville, but his brother owned a house in Fernandina Beach and found the house on Oakwood Street in the Panama Gardens neighborhood of Jacksonville off North Main Street.

It’s an old neighborhood where most of the houses are still well-maintained.

Laspina bought the house for $80,000, putting $8,000 down and taking out an adjustable rate mortgage with EquiFirst for the remaining $72,000 with an interest rate of 9.5 percent.

EquiFirst, based in Charlotte, N.C., was one of the nation’s leading sub-prime lenders in 2006. But it soon fell victim to the housing and mortgage industry collapse and it closed in 2009.

EquiFirst kept few of the mortgages it wrote; most were packaged and sold to securitized trusts which were owned by investors.

Laspina wasn’t worried about the interest rate.

“It didn’t matter,” he said. “I figured I’m going to flip this house within six months, maybe three months.”

He also figured he’d get about $120,000 for it after he did a bit of work on it, mostly tearing up the carpet and stripping the paint that covered the hardwood floors.

“But right after I put it on the market, the crash came,” he said. “I couldn’t sell it, I couldn’t rent it.”

By 2008, the increases on his payments kicked in, going from an initial payment of $605 to $894 and then $1,058 in less than a year. He quit making payments, and in September of that year, a foreclosure notice was filed against him. The plaintiff was the U.S. Bank National Association, which was simply acting as the trustee for an unnamed trust that now owned the mortgage.

The court file says that Laspina lost his foreclosure case in February 2009. A sale date was set, then postponed and then cancelled, all at the plaintiff’s request, later that year.

But the next year, the plaintiff requested that it all be vacated – the suit, the judgment, all of it. In October, Circuit Judge Waddell Wallace signed the order.

In December, officials for MERS, which acted as the mortgage holder, signed and filed the documents saying it “has received full payment and satisfaction … and does hereby cancel and discharge said mortgage.”

Laspina had paid less than $1,000 toward the principal on his $72,000 loan.

That’s what happened. But there are questions about why.

“This is crazy,” attorney David Goldman said as he looked over the files at the Times-Union’s request.

“They won,” he said referring to the mortgage holder. “They’re standing at the goal line, and they just need to sell the house.”
….
“The investor on the loan, the bondholder on the trust, decided to write off the loan balance,” said a Wells Fargo spokesman, “because of the significant decreased value of the property.”

He declined to give more details or further explanation.
….
Roger Bull: (904) 359-4296

Read more at Jacksonville.com

Bankruptcy and Exempt Property

On August 13, 2010, in Bankruptcy, by Robbie L. Vaughn, Esq.

Exempt Property

What is Exempt Property?

Exempt property is property that is protected by law from the claims of creditors. However, if exempt property has been pledged to secure a debt or is otherwise encumbered by a valid lien or mortgage, the lien or mortgage holder may claim the exempt property by foreclosing upon or otherwise enforcing the creditor’s lien or mortgage. In bankruptcy cases, property may be exempt under either state or federal law. However, NY has opted out of the federal law exemptions. Exempt property typically includes all or a portion of a person’s home equity, motor vehicle equity, household furniture and personal effects.

What Will Happen to My Non-Exempt Property If I File Bankruptcy?

Non exempt property is part of your bankruptcy estate and is subject to sale by the bankruptcy trustee (the debtor is entitled to receive any exempt portion of the sale proceeds).  However, even if your property is not fully exempt, you may be able to keep it if you pay its non-exempt value to your creditors in a chapter 13 bankruptcy.  Also, you could agree to pay the trustee an amount that would allow you to, in essence, buy back the non-exempt property.  The money that you pay to the trustee will be distributed to your creditors.  You may also be able to “trade” exempt property for non-exempt property.  Essentially, you allow the trustee to take and sale exempt property to avoid losing non-exempt property.  There are additional options available.  A knowledgeable bankruptcy attorney will be able to assist you with “exemption planning .”

Call (516) 858-2620 to arrange a FREE  consultation with a bankruptcy attorney!

Please visit our Bankruptcy category to learn more about filing bankruptcy.

Will I Lose My House or Car If I File Chapter 7 Bankruptcy?

On July 15, 2010, in Bankruptcy, by Robbie L. Vaughn, Esq.

Will I lose my home or car if I file for chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Usually not.

In most cases you will not lose your home or car during your bankruptcy case as long as you can exempt the equity, if any exists, in your home or car. In New York, a person is currently allowed a fifty thousand dollar ($50,000.00) homestead exemption and a twenty-four hundred dollar ($2,400.00) motor vehicle exemption. If the property is exempt it may not be taken by the trustee.

However, bankruptcy does not automatically make a valid lien, mortgage or other security interest go away.  Therefore, if you don’t make your payments on that debt, the creditor may be able to take and sell your home or car, during or after the bankruptcy case. Technically, a creditor can repossess your car even if your  payments are current. The law requires you to redeem, surrender or reaffirm the vehicle (your bankruptcy attorney should advise you about this issue).

As always, The Long Island Bankruptcy Law Firm of VAUGHN & WEBER, PLLC is here to assist you.  We are conveniently located in the heart of Nassau County, Long Island, at 217 Willis Avenue in Mineola, NY 11501.  Contact us at (516) 858-2620 to arrange a consultation with a bankruptcy Attorney.

Please visit our Bankruptcy category to learn more about filing bankruptcy.

Remember:  The law often changes, and each case is different. The above is meant to give you general information, and not to give you specific legal advice.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. This website is Attorney Advertising. It does not form an attorney-client relationship. We are a debt relief agency and a law firm that helps people file for bankruptcy relief under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code – Title 11. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Proudly assisting residents of Long Island, Nassau county, Suffolk county, New York City, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Staten Island, Manhattan