Archive for December, 2011

Happy New Year!

December 30, 2011 Leave a comment

2011 has certainly been a difficult year for a lot of homeowners so here’s hoping for less families getting kicked out of their homes in 2012. Here’s hoping for more consumers get their voices heard and banks get what’s coming to them in 2012. Here’s hoping for a better 2012.

Happy New Year from all of us at Avid Law Center.

Categories: Avid Law Center

Foreclosure Story: Widow’s loan mod denied

December 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Phoenix homeowner, June Geffre, lost her husband Tom to pancreatic cancer in November 2009. Months before he died, he applied for, and was granted, a loan modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program. Geffre said a permanent modification was granted shortly after he passed away – but she’s run into all sorts of problems because her dead husband never got to sign the papers.

After paying as was instructed by the new terms on the temporary modification, a bank representative told Geffre she was paying the wrong amount and was now in default.

Federal law allows her to assume the mortgage so she can stay in her home but Bank of America, her lender, has refused to acknowledge receipt of the death certificate.

Geffre is taking this issue to court with assistance from Arizona State University’s Homeowner Advocacy Unit and other community agencies

Check out the full segment here:

AG Kamala Harris strikes again!

December 28, 2011 Leave a comment

California Attorney General Kamala Harris filed lawsuits against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on Tuesday. The lawsuits demand that the companies that own some 60 percent of the state’s mortgages respond to questions in a state investigation, according to the Huffington Post.

While an attorney representing the Federal Housing Finance Agency said state attorneys general do not have the authority to issue subpoenas against the federal conservator, Harris argues that since the mortgage companies own properties in California, they are subject to state law and demands.

Attorney General Harris is investigating Freddie Mac’s and Fannie Mae’s involvement in 12,000 foreclosed properties in California where they served as landlords. She also wants to find out what role the companies played in selling or marketing mortgage-backed securities.

The lawsuits ask the mortgage firms to respond to 51 investigative subpoenas that call on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to identify all the California homes on which they foreclosed. The lawsuits also ask the mortgage firms to reveal whether they have information on the decreased value of those homes due to drug dealing or prostitution, as well as explosives and weapons found on those vacant properties.

Scam Alert: Feds target HAMP scammers bilking owners

December 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Earlier this month, a multi-agency task force was announced designed specifically to deter scam artists preying on homeowners looking for help under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).

The task force will operate under the Department of the Treasury, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFBP) and the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP.)

According to the New York Post, the latest scams tied to the Home Affordable Modification Program, were lead by mortgage servicers, which manage loans day to day. They have collected a total of $666 million from the government for participating in HAMP.

From the New York Post article:

The typical fraud works like this. A scam artist advertises online, pretending to be affiliated with the government. The scammers charge an average of $4,500 upfront, do no work, then skip out with the cash. Some borrowers are even losing their homes as a result of scammers’ advice to ignore foreclosure notices.

We at Avid Law Center think it’s vital for homeowners to know how these scams work and make sure they do their research when hiring assistance with the loan modification process.


What to do if you’re served with Eviction notice

December 27, 2011 Leave a comment

While there are many reasons homeowners and tenants are evicted from their place of residence, this post will primarily provide insight on what to do if you’re served with an eviction notice after foreclosure. The eviction process is multi-fold. After the foreclosure is complete, the eviction process begins.

Given all the news about the latest Occupy Our Homes movement, we thought homeowners would be interested in knowing what their options were in this situation.

The first thing to know is that foreclosure victims cannot unceremoniously be removed from the house without being notified and given an opportunity to defend such an action in court.

3 Day Notice To Vacate

The 3 day notice to vacate is usually the first phase of the eviction process. This notice simply means that you are asked to vacate the property with no problems in three days, and no further action will be taken. If there has been no compliance by the tenant with the 3 day notice, then the Landlord can begin an unlawful detainer lawsuit “eviction.”

Unlawful Detainer

Unlawful detainer is a legal action brought by a landlord to obtain possession of the property.

We at Avid Law Center strongly recommend seeking the help of a qualified attorney who may be able to help you stay in your foreclosed home for up to six months beyond your first notice, allowing you time to find another place to live. An attorney will file answers to all legal documents filed against you to better prepare you for your trial. Another reason to seek legal council is state eviction laws vary from state to state so it’s better to have someone experienced in these issues on your side.

The Sheriff’s Order To Evict

After all the court proceedings, the last phase in the process is the Sheriffs order to evict. In most cases the sheriff will post a notice of eviction on the property, which will indicate the specific date that the locks will be changed and all property is to be removed, giving you time to make plans and leave before the Sheriff comes knocking.

What Not To Do

  • The worst thing you can do is, “nothing,” especially if you have no place to go.
  • Don’t destroy the property, because this is illegal, and in most cases you’ll be dealt with harshly.
  • Don’t accept Cash for Keys – When the new owner of the property offers you money to essentially find another place to live. Usually these offers are not enough to cover the cost of moving, let alone first and last month’s rent in an apartment so they are vary rarely worth it for the tenant.

Foreclosure still taking toll on home prices

December 27, 2011 2 comments is reporting that 46% of homes sold in November were either short sales or repossessed homes, also known as REOs, according to a survey by Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance.

As distressed homes sell for a lot less than homes sold by conventional sellers, the staggering numbers of short sales and REOs continues to take its toll on the average regular home sale. For example, the average price for a short sale was $209,000 in November and for a regular sale, the average was about $259,000.

With no end in sight on the current foreclosure crisis – more than 6 million borrowers are delinquent 30 or more days, according to LPS Applied Analytics and two million are already in the foreclosure process, most of which will be repossessed or sold as short sales – experts aren’t anticipating any changes in the next couple years on home prices.

Another factor dragging down home prices is the fact that when these distressed homes are being sold at such low prices, mortgage appraisers assessing a regular home’s value typically compare it to short sales and REOs in the area.

Additionally, home values are likely to shed $681 billion in 2012, according to Zillow, a slight improvement from last year.

From MSNBC’s Bottomline:

[T]he unabsorbed pool of housing supply, dragging levels of consumer confidence, high unemployment and negative equity will continue to put downward pressure on the housing market, pushing our expectation for a potential recovery into late 2012 or early 2013,” Stan Humphries, chief economist at real estate research company Zillow Inc., said in a statement.

Foreclosure Story: Fighting Bank of America and Foreclosure

December 23, 2011 2 comments

As you’ve know doubt noticed by now, in our new ongoing Friday feature we’re hoping to highlight the real-life struggles of homeowners and their fight in keeping their homes.

As ABC World reports, one homeowner received what she believed was a loan modification just to find out that Bank of America was only allowing her to make “partial payments”.  Although the bank informed this homeowner that she was approved for a loan modification, in truth, they were simply allowing them to temporarily to pay less on their mortgage – which is NOT mortgage modification.

Check out the video for more info on how this homeowner fought back and avoided foreclosure.