Ever since the housing market collapsed in 2008, foreclosures became an unfortunate and all-too-common experience for many homeowners. However, some homeowners went through the painful and humiliating process unnecessarily, due to wrongful foreclosure. If you suspect that you may have been wrongfully foreclosed upon (or are facing a wrongful foreclosure now), this is what you should know.
What is foreclosure fraud?
Foreclosure fraud can occur at virtually any step of the mortgage process and it can happen through document errors, predatory collection agents and lenders, and the failure to follow the law as it applies to loan modifications. Sometimes, the foreclosure process is simply rushed, pushing homeowners out on the streets before they've had their legal due process and been given the opportunity to properly cure their default.
Some officials allege that there were widespread abuses by the nation's five largest mortgage servicers, including Bank of America, JP Morgan & Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and GMAC. Specifically, they're all accused of massive notary fraud, including producing forged affidavits, mortgage assignments, and other legal documents through so-called "robo-signers." Robo-signing involved bank employees signing off on critical documents that are designed to protect consumer interests without bothering to review them for accuracy.
These banks allegedly even used false and photocopied documents to deny debtors with financial problems their legal rights in bankruptcy cases where the debtor may have had some protection against foreclosure. In other cases, the banks actually led the consumer straight into the path of the foreclosure. Consumers who were struggling with a large mortgage payment were told that they could get a loan modification if they went behind on their mortgage. Based on that advice, some debtors quit making payments on their mortgage, believing that it was the only way to get the modification—and instead found themselves in foreclosure.
How can you fight an unfair foreclosure?
Many people are afraid that they can't do anything now that they've already lost their home or are about to do so. However, attorneys are successfully challenging these cases in court and are winning substantial settlements for their clients. In Illinois, for example, a judge recently affirmed the $2 million award for wrongful foreclosure against Credit Solutions, a Texas-based mortgage servicer.
Don't let the expense of a lawsuit deter you either. Many lawyers are offering clients with wrongful foreclosure cases fee arrangements to make the process easier. Some are taking mean-based fees upfront. Others are allowing clients to make monthly payments. If you're in a bankruptcy reorganization plan, you may be able to arrange your fees through a Chapter 13 repayment plan. Some are even accepting the cases on a contingency basis, which means that they'll take their fees from the eventual settlement their clients receive.
If you believe you've been victimized by your mortgage lender, talk to an attorney, such as Valentine & Valentine PC, today.Share
23 May 2016
Hello. My name is Susan James. Thank you for stopping by my website. I’m not an attorney, but I've used attorneys for a variety of reasons. One thing I have found is that it definitely pays to use an attorney who specializes in the field in which you are seeking advice or assistance. My husband and I have employed the services of a real estate attorney quite a few times. When we got married, I moved into the home that my husband owned. I also sold my house. We used an attorney to help with the sale of my house and to add me to the deed of my husband’s home. While it isn't always a legal requirement to use an attorney for these things, it is in your best interest. I’m going to share about when and why it’s a good idea to use a real estate attorney.