Foreclosure Notice Requirement
The National Mortgage Settlement‘s Pre-Foreclosure Notice Requirement for servicers
Servicers must now provide the homeowner with a pre-foreclosure notice at least fourteen (14) days before referring the case to a foreclosure attorney.
*The notice must:
- Set forth facts supporting the Servicer’s or holder’s right to foreclose.
- Include an itemized summary setting forth account information (i.e. reinstatement amount/arrears, date of the last full payment, description of any late fees).
- Include a statement that upon written request the borrower may receive certain information (i.e. payment history, copy of the note, copies of any assignment of the mortgage, the name of the investor that holds the loan).
- Include a statement outlining the loss mitigation efforts the service has undertaken before foreclosure.
- State why the borrower was denied a loan modification or other loss mitigation.
- Include contact information to obtain more information from servicer.
- Include contact information for counseling agencies.
We have seen several of this notices and believe that they provide useful information to homeowners and their attorneys.
Long Island Foreclosure Defense Attorneys
Call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at 516-858-2620 today.
*The above is a partial list.
Bank of America Reduces Mortgages by Forgiving a Portion of the Principal.
For those of you who have not heard the breaking news, Bank of America has begun to forgive a portion of the principal on certain people’s mortgages. The NYT is reporting that “Bank of America has started sending letters to thousands of homeowners in the United States, offering to forgive a portion of the principal balance on their mortgages by an average of $150,000 each.” In a press release announcing the new practice, Bank of America claims to have developed this program under the terms of a settlement involving five major banks, the Federal Government, and 49 state attorneys general. This may mean that other banks will begin taking similar actions in the near future, but that remains to be seen.
In some instances, the reduced principal could end up lowering mortgage payments by approximately 30%. By forgiving a portion of the principle and lowering monthly payments, Bank of America is able to turn mortgages that would otherwise default into long-term performing mortgages. At the same time, this will allow many individuals to remain in their homes. Bank of America will be contacting about 200,000 potential candidates.
If you have any questions about mortgages, feel free to contact The Law Firm of Vaughn and Weber at (516) 858-2620 to speak with a foreclosure attorney. We would be happy to speak with you about this or other mortgage issues.
Bank of America’s Press release summarizing its new policy can be seen by clicking here.
The May 7, 2012 New York Times article by Natasha Singer can be accessed by clicking here.
Foreclosure Settlement Conferences
What you should know about Foreclosure Settlement Conferences!
Residential foreclosure defendants in New York are entitled to a preliminary foreclosure settlement conference that may enable a speedier and less expensive way of resolving their foreclosure issue than would otherwise be possible. The law requiring the conference – New York Civil Practice Law and Rules section 3408 – is beneficial for foreclosure defendants in a number of ways.
- First, foreclosure settlement conferences are typically less expensive than trial. Thus a foreclosure settlement conference requirement alone is beneficial. But section 3408 does not simply require a conference – it also requires that parties engage in good-faith negotiation for the purpose of “determining whether the parties can reach a mutually agreeable resolution to help the defendant avoid losing his or her home.” Further, the law requires that parties periodically update the court about the negotiation, allowing courts to evaluate whether negotiations are made in good faith. It is rare that legislation requires parties to make good-faith efforts to reach a resolution that is favorable to the defendant, and foreclosure defendants should take advantage of this requirement.
- Additionally, the law requires that the settlement conference occur within sixty days of the day proof of service is filed with the court, unless the parties agree to conference on another date. This allows foreclosure defendants to enter negotiations quickly, avoiding long periods of uncertainty that would certainly add stress to an already stressful situation.
- The law also requires parties to bring certain documents to the conference, gives the court an opportunity to require additional documents, and forbids either party from charging the other for legal expenses associated with the conference. Foreclosure defendants may be able to use the conference period to find out information about their case that may otherwise only be obtained through a potentially expensive discovery process.
Foreclosure Attorneys in Nassau County
Of course, foreclosure defendants may appear at the conference with counsel, which may help them take full advantage of the procedure. The Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC routinely represents clients through all phases of a foreclosure action. If you are facing a foreclosure, and would like to speak with an attorney about a settlement conference, or any other step in the foreclosure process, feel free to call (516) 858-2620 today.
*Contributions to the research and preparation of this blog were made by Jason Mays, J.D. (awaiting admission in NYS).
Foreclosure Defense and Loan Modifications
Recently we have experienced an increase in the number of our clients receiving loan modifications. These modifications are both HAMP and In-House, temporary and permanent. The cause is unknown but for our clients, it doesn’t matter why. They are just grateful that it is happening. As the foreclosure world is still in shock with the announcement of the impending closing of Steven J. Baum, P.C., the increase in loan modifications is a good sign for distressed homeowners. There was never as good a time to defend against foreclosure litigation. Hopefully the new year will bring more of the same. These modifications are not good for everybody however. Each modification should be reviewed with an attorney to decide if the terms of the modification are right for your situation. If you are currently in foreclosure or in danger of falling into foreclosure, and you have any questions, please call the Law Firm of Vaughn, Weber & Prakope, PLLC at (516) 858-2620 to speak with a Foreclosure Attorney!