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July 15, 2013

Is Green Tree Harassing You?

greentree logo.jpgGreen Tree Servicing is one of the biggest servicers of mortgage loans in the United States. They specialize in collection of subprime home mortgage debts. When they call you they are very aggressive in their collection methods. Green Tree is based in St. Paul, Minnesota, and operates 29 offices for its collection operations. Green Tree Servicing, LLC, is owned by Walter Investment Management Corp. In recent months Green Tree has acquired hundreds of thousands of loans. Bank of America recently sold mortgage servicing rights on 650,000 mortgage loans worth around $93 Billion to Walter Investment Management Corp. Bank of America has recently been sued for preventing loan modifications and paying bonuses to employees to foreclose on homeowners.

If you have had your mortgage transferred to Green Tree, it's just the latest foul episode in the mortgage meltdown. Those of you whose mortgages have been passed along from lenders like Wells Fargo, Countrywide, Bank of America, and GMAC, are now stuck with Green Tree.

Tell Someone What Green Tree is Doing To You. There are numerous agencies to complain to should you wish to share your negative experiences with Green Tree Servicing.
To speak up to the government:
1. Complain to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) through their Consumer Protection division. http://www.occ.gov
2. Complain to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). http://www.fcc.gov/complaints
3. Complain to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/
4. Complain to the Mississippi Attorney General.
http://agjimhood.com/index.php/sections/consumer/complaints

Stand Up For Your Rights - Put An End to Collection Calls from Green Tree Servicing.
Federal law, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, ("FDCPA") requires debt collector to stop calling you upon written request. After your written notice for telephone calls to stop has been received by a debt collector, financial penalties of $500 to $1,500 can be awarded per violation.

What You Need To Do To Stop Debt Collection Calls from Green Tree:
1. Write a letter setting out the name and address of the account holder (you, the person receiving the phone calls).
2. Set out the specific telephone numbers that you do not want them to call.
3. State that all future communication with you should be in writing only.
Send the letter by the U.S. Postal Service, Certified Mail. Make sure you use Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, so you get the green postcard back showing that Green Tree signed for your letter. It is best to use the address indicated on the correspondence or mortgage statement from Green Tree, but you can use this address if you don't have correspondence from Green Tree.

Green Tree Servicing, LLC
345 St. Peter Street
Saint Paul MN 55102

Keep the green signature post card and staple it to a copy of the letter you sent.
Answer the phone. Calls on cell phones that are not picked up are hard to prove. Keep a written record of phone calls that you receive in the future.

February 8, 2013

Can I give up rental property I own through bankruptcy?

Yes. If you are thinking about not keeping your rental property any more, you are by no means alone in that thought. There are over 11 million people who are upside down on the value of their property compared to amount owed - whether it is the home they live in or the house(s) they have as rental property, the affect is the same.
To make things worse, when you have tenants that cannot pay due to various economical challenges they are as well facing, you as the property owner must still find the resources to pay the monthly note. It is hard enough being a landlord and trying to eek out a living from your investment property during good economical times. So trying to do so under current economic conditions is unbearable for most. Empty rental property and/or tenants who are struggling to pay put in jeopardy your own financial security and possibly your own home. You are allowed to surrender the property back to your mortgage company through filing bankruptcy and will no longer have to pay for the property. If you own investment properties and issues stemming from this property is threatening to pull you under, you should consult with a bankruptcy attorney as quickly as possible to know and understand your options and lay out a strategy that will work for your specific situation. Don't wait until bankruptcy is your only option and the situation is so bad that you are facing the loss of your own home.

February 7, 2013

Do I owe taxes for debt I wiped out in bankruptcy?

1099c.jpegPossibly. But there are reasons you may not have to pay tax created from filing bankruptcy. Let me explain.
Self-employed workers receive a 1099 for their wages instead of a W-2 form that you get if you are employed by a company, etc. But there is a type of 1099 form that, regardless if you are self-employed or employed by someone else, you may receive from one of the creditors within your bankruptcy. This is form is called a 1099C.
A 1099C form is utilized by a creditor when a portion or all of a debt is wiped out or forgiven. The creditor is required to report this debt to the IRS if the amount is greater than $600.00. The IRS then deems the cancelled or forgiven debt as income which then must be reported on your tax return as additional income.
Your creditor should mail a copy of the 1099C form to you when they file the 1099C form with the IRS. If you did not receive a copy, you of course would not know to report this income. The IRS will send you a notice explaining that you did not include all income on your tax return per a creditor(s) filing a 1099C form. Now you owe penalties and interest on the amount of taxes owed stemming from the 1099C form.
But wait, there are several reasons why you might not have to pay taxes on the forgiven or canceled debt.
IRS Publication 4681 lists some of the exceptions that would exclude you of the penalties, interest, and taxes stemming from a 1099C.
• The debt stemmed from the foreclosure of a residence
• The debt was discharged through a bankruptcy
• The debt was a result of the modification of a home loan under the Homeowners Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)
• The debt was a qualified farm debt
• The debt would have been a deductible payment
• The debt was forgiven as a gift to you or as a bequest in a will
If one or more of the above exceptions applies to your debt, you should list it on IRS Form 982 and file this form with your tax return in order to prevent owing taxes from this activity.
Bottom line, be sure that your tax preparer knows that you filed bankruptcy. Have your tax preparer attach IRS Form 982 to your tax return. Your tax preparer should check the box in Part 1 that states "Discharge of indebtedness in a title 11 case". Title 11 properly identifies bankruptcy in reference to the debt (it is not referring to the type of bankruptcy you filed such as a Chapter 7, Chapter 13, etc). A copy of your bankruptcy discharge should be attached to the IRS Form 982.
If you receive the 1099C after you have already filed your tax return, then you will need to file an amended return. Do not ignore or disregard these forms. It is in your best interest to deal with this situation now rather than letting it sit and penalties, interest, etc build.

December 21, 2012

Dual Tracking- Foreclosure and Modification at the Same Time?

modify_foreclose.jpgAre you a homeowner in the middle of the modification process with your mortgage company and you just got a notice of foreclosure? Have you been told over and over the modification was still being reviewed? Have you been told the modification was approved? But all of a sudden you find a notice in the newspaper listing your home with a foreclosure sale date set at the courthouse. This is called "dual tracking". Mortgage companies review loans for modification and try to foreclosure at the same time. They don't stop the foreclosure process when a mortgage is considered for a modification. If you are in the modification process with your mortgage company, never assume that it will be approved or that they won't foreclose. The procedure for foreclosing in Mississippi is fast and you can't trust anything the mortgage company tells you over the phone. If you find out your home is in foreclosure, contact our office immediately. We can file a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop the foreclosure sale and you can still be eligible for a modification. You do not want to be evicted and fighting to get your home back after the foreclosure. Better to be on the safe side and stop the foreclosure before it happens.

July 4, 2012

10 Reasons Why Chapter 13 Is A Financial "Super Tool"

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy is not just a method to stop foreclosure or wipe out credit card and other debt. Sure, filing a Chapter 13 can do that but it is a powerful financial tool that can do so much more! It can be used to restructure debts for a period of up to 5 years and provide a way for a debtor to control their debt load without sacrificing a decent standard of living. A debtor is under the protection of the court during the Chapter 13 period. The debtor's personal & real property, pay, and bank accounts are all protected (with very limited exceptions).

Here are 10 reasons why Chapter 13 is a financial powerhouse that most are unaware of:
1. Any statute of limitations is extended by 2 years by filing bankruptcy as long as the bankruptcy filing was completed before the original statute of limitations expired. If you have suffered personal injury for example, this extension of time to seek address could be extremely beneficial.
2. If you have been ordered by a court to pay criminal restitution, Chapter 13 can be used to pay this debt out over up to a 5 year period. This extension can make the payments a lot lower than what the court originally established. And if the restitution is a large amount that for example could not be paid in full over 5 years in a Chapter 13, the debtor could do 2 or more Chapter 13 cases back to back. Repayment could then be extended out over a longer period than the 5 years allowed in the single Chapter 13.
3. Federal and State income taxes can be discharged in a Chapter 13 as long as they meet the following four basic criteria;
a) The due date for the tax return was at least 3 years prior to filing for bankruptcy;
b) The tax return must have been filed at least 2 years before filing the bankruptcy;
c) The taxes must have been assessed at least 240 days prior to filing bankruptcy; and
d) The taxpayer is not guilty of tax evasion and the tax return is not fraudulent.
For example, 2009 taxes could not yet be discharged because they were not due until April 2010, and would not be 3 years old until 2013.
Taxes that do not fit the criteria and therefore cannot be discharged can however be paid out over the Chapter 13 period. That is a benefit not only for possible lower payments, but because paying these taxes through the Chapter 13 stops the penalties & interest that would normally continue to accrue!
4. Chapter 13 bankruptcy can be used to pay past due child support, alimony, maintenance, and other domestic support obligations over a 5 year period and can protect the debtor from being incarcerated for previous failure to pay. In addition to taking care of the past due support, the Chapter 13 will provide for future and current payments. Once the Chapter 13 is confirmed by the court, if the debtor's previous failure to pay has also brought on one or more of these penalties: "the withholding, suspension, or restriction of a driver's license, a professional or occupational license, or a recreational license, or the reporting of overdue support to a consumer reporting agency, or the interception of a tax refund", the continuation of any of these penalties would be in violation of the confirmed plan and the creditor could be subjected to sanctions if continuing this activity.
5. Property settlement agreements and obligations are not dischargeable in a Chapter 7 but can be discharged in a Chapter 13.
6. Debts as a result of willful and malicious injury to property are not discharged in a Chapter 7 but can be discharged in a Chapter 13. If as a result of willful and malicious injury to a person, they are not discharged in a Chapter 7 but can be discharged in a Chapter 13, but the Chapter 13 must be filed before the state court action has gone to judgment.
7. Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides a way to stabilize, decrease, or even restructure student loan payments. The payments can be set up to pay the loan in full, or pay a % of the monthly payment, or to pay nothing at all during the Chapter 13 period. If the loan is not paid in full during the Chapter 13, it will still be waiting on the debtor at the end of the bankruptcy. Interest will still be accruing during the bankruptcy. But, during the Chapter 13 the debtor can wipe out other debts that will free up funds to use for the student loan payments. As well, if the loans are too large to pay in full over 5 years in a single Chapter 13, the debtor could do 2 or more Chapter 13 cases back to back and remain under the protection of the court from garnishment, seizure of bank accounts, and other such actions.
8. All secured debts (like cars, trucks, furniture loans, etc) can be stretched out in a Chapter 13, which will lower the monthly payment. Not only that, but if the secured debt was purchased more than 1-2.5 years (different types of secured debt have different age criteria) prior to filing Chapter 13 the debt can be "crammed down" and the debtor pay for it at the current value, stretched out, which would lower the amount owed and the payments even more. Another benefit to consider is that vehicles which are in the debtor's name, but used either by someone else in the family or for business, can be paid for based on their current value, no matter when they were purchased. Secured debt interest rate is only 7 % in Chapter 13. And one last thing, co-signers, co-debtors and others that may be liable for the secured debts are also protected by the Chapter 13, even though they did not file bankruptcy.
9. You may be aware that the Chapter 13 bankruptcy stops foreclosure and allows any past due amount to be paid back over the 3-5 year Chapter 13 period. But most are not aware that if a homeowner has a 1st & 2nd mortgage and the property is worth less than the amount owed on the 1st mortgage, that the 2nd mortgage can be "stripped off" and completely wiped out in a Chapter 13. As well, after stopping the foreclosure, law suits for predatory lending, predatory servicing, and other types of claims against the mortgage company and/or mortgage servicer can be done within the Chapter 13. A lawsuit against any creditor or other defendant done within a bankruptcy proceeding is called an Adversary Proceeding. The bankruptcy judge conducts the proceeding and it is governed by the Federal Rules, Bankruptcy Rules, and Local Court Rules. Process is served by regular mail and the debtor pays no filing fees. It can prove more beneficiary to the debtor to address law suits within the bankruptcy.
10. As long as the bankruptcy was filed before the creditor has sold or disposed of the collateral, vehicles and other personal property that have been repossessed can be recovered by filing Chapter 13.
There are many, many more things that a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can do to address the various financial needs of someone, but hopefully these 10 have shed some light on why a Chapter 13 is truly a financial "Super Tool".

January 19, 2012

The American Dream has become a Nightmare.

american dream.jpg Everyone, from the wealthy down to the hourly worker, wants to own a home. It's the American Dream right?
Until around 15 years ago, if you didn't have money for a down payment and pretty good credit, it was almost impossible to get a mortgage. Then things started changing. Banks started approving mortgages for more and more people. Suddenly everyone could have a home of their own.
But the mortgage companies weren't being kind, they were secretly getting ruthless. They started peddline mortgages with adjustable rates, interest-only payments, and multiple-payment options. Why did they do it? Simple - to make more money.
Maybe you got one of those mortgages. There's nothing wrong with most of them. In fact, they helped millions of people finally step out from under the shadow of a landlord and get a place of their own.
The problem is that no one explained to you exactly what you were getting and what the implications of these loans really were. The loan officers and morgage brokers painted a very rosy picture telling borrowers that they could just refinance in a couple of years. Nobody told you the full story...About how refinancing depended on your home's value going up. About how your adjustable rate loan could go up every single year if you couldn't refinance. About how your principal balance would never go down and your payments could double or even triple.
Didn't the banks know people would fall behind on their mortgages? Didn't they see this coming a mile away?
Absolutely! So why did they push these loans on people? Simple. It was all about money. You see, mortgage banks knew that they could package and sell these mortgages to investors who were hungry for high-risk, big-money deals. And were not talking just about investors in the United States. Much of this investment came from hedge funds filled with money from China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and a host of other far-flung parts of the world. What's incredible is that one mortgage might be divided up 30 or 40 times; little pieces held by 30 or 40 investors. This is greed in its most basic form.
If you've been watching the news at all the last couple of years, this shouldn't all be new information. So why am I going on about this? To let you know that if you are one of the millions of Americans facing foreclosure (more than likely on property that is no longer worth what it was) or are falling behind on payments not knowing how much longer it will be before the lender forecloses - that there are real ways to fight back and hold on tightly to that house you scrimped and saved for. To let you know that if you own a home in Mississippi and are ready to take control and fight for your home - pick up the phone and call me to discuss a plan of attack.

November 30, 2011

Is There a Foreclosure in Your Future?

Avoid_Foreclosure.jpgMississippi is number one in delinquent mortgages. During the month of October, there were more homeowners behind on their house payments in Mississippi than any other state.
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association there are 4.2 million homeowners across the country that are more than 90 days behind on their house payments or already in foreclosure. This indicates that we are not on the road to recovery like the media would have you believe.
Foreclosures are increasing and mortgage companies are still not willing to help homeowners with modifications. If you want to save the house you cannot sit around and wait for the foreclosure sale. Get your documents together now, meet with a lawyer that does foreclosure defense and bankruptcy and learn what your options are. Get the information now before you need it. Be prepared. Plan ahead. You don't buy car insurance after the wreck. Over and over people come in to meet with me after the foreclosure sale is set trying to find out what to do. In most cases we can still help them and save the house, but they would have been a lot better off meeting with me as soon as they started getting behind.

November 9, 2011

Was your house forelosed in 2009 or 2010?

home with raft.jpgIf your home was foreclosed between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2010, you can request a review of the foreclosure process to see if it was handled properly. Fourteen mortgage companies are required to participate in this process. If there were errors, misrepresentations or other irregularities with the process, you may be entitled to financial compensation or other remedies. This process only applies to the home that was your primary residence. Letters will be mailed out from the mortgage companies, but they will probably be sent to the house that you no longer live in. If you would like to have your foreclosure reviewed, you can call 1-888-952-9105 for the form you will need to fill out or visit the web site at www.independentforeclosurereview.com.

The fourteen mortgage servicers involved in this process are America's Servicing Co., Aurora Loan Services, Bank of America, Beneficial, Chase, Citibank, CitiFinancial, CitiMortgage, Countrywide, EMC, EverBank/EverHome Mortgage Company, GMAC Mortgage, HFC, HSBC, IndyMac Mortgage Services, MetLife Bank, National City Mortgage, PNC Mortgage, Sovereign Bank, SunTrust Mortgage, U.S. Bank, Wachovia Mortgage, Washington Mutual (WaMu), and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

August 18, 2011

Weird Legal Week in Review and the Chupacabra

Picture-52-300x211.pngI normally don't write this type of blog but this has been one of the strangest weeks for legal news I've seen in a while. I don't know where to begin. How 'bout Burt Reynolds and his foreclosure woes? As many Americans face foreclosure due to predatory loans, Mr. Reynolds is looking at losing his Florida mansion. Bet he wishes he could do another Smokey and The Bandit sequel. If you have foreclosure issues, you need to call Frank Coxwell for advice.

You like hot sauce on your food? That's good but please don't use it to punish your children like this Alaska woman did. I just don't even know what this woman was thinking. Her trial is going on as I type this.

And what's up with Gerard Depardieu? The French movie star apparently had a bladder issue on a recent flight and, well, relieved himself on the plane. What's wrong with that you ask? Well, he relieved himself on the floor of the plane. Allegedly. He went oui oui oui all over the place! (You see what I did there? He's French so I used "oui" instead of "wee". Nevermind) Good thing he didn't do DeparTWO instead.

But what about the University of Miami athletic program? Nevin Shapiro, one of the university's biggest boosters has decided to blow the lid off all the money and other perks he has been showering on "the U's athletes for the last decade. Shapiro made his money defrauding investors in an elaborate Ponzi scheme. Well, at least he did reinvest some of his money back into the community, right?

Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg if facing a lawsuit by a former classmate who is seeking half ownership of the popular networking site. The former classmate, Paul Ceglia, claims that he has a contract signed by himself and Zuckerberg which shows that he gave Zuckerberg $1,000 in startup money to create his idea, which was Facebook. The man's lawsuit claims that when he hired Zuckerberg as a Harvard University freshman to work on the Streetfax business in 2003, he gave him $1,000 in start-up money for his fledgling Facebook idea with the condition he'd own half if it expanded. The problem? Facebook believes that for his lawsuit, Ceglia altered the Streetfax contract to insert references to Facebook. Ouch.

And then there's the crystal meth dealer. When police raided his California home they found...tombstones. And I'm talking about Tombstone Pizzas but real tombstones. Apparently he had taken the tombstones from a local cemetery. Why? I don't know and neither do the police but you kids out there can learn a lesson from this: doing drugs will make you steal tombstones so don't do it.

Late show host David Letterman received a death threat from a Muslim militant which the FBI is taken seriously. Apparently terrorists are not fond of Letterman's Top Ten Lists. Who knew?

Continue reading "Weird Legal Week in Review and the Chupacabra" »

July 26, 2011

Countrywide Settlement For Cheating Homeowners

The Federal Trade Commission announced a foreclosure fraud settlement with Countrywide Home Loans. Countrywide had set up their own companies to conduct property inspections, title searches and perform maintenance on homes that they were putting in foreclosure. Countrywide then hired these companies to do the work and marked up the cost more than 100%. Some homeowners were charges $300 for having their grass mowed. The business model set up by Countrywide to collect these excessive and improper charges was pure fraud and deceit. Countrywide agreed to pay $108 million dollars to settle the claims of 450,000 borrowers.

But wait, Countrywide was not and is not the only mortgage servicer doing this. Every mortgage servicing company still in business is charging and collecting bogus and illegal fees from unsuspecting homeowners. Will we see the Federal Trade Commission going after them?

May 9, 2011

Feds Accuse Big Bank of Fraud-How many Mississippians were affected?

Bankers.jpg The Clarion Ledger ran a story regarding the federal government suing Deutsche Bank because they lied about mortgages. It appears Deutsche was taking loan applications and failing to confirm the applicants' employment. In fact, it appears that the bank wasn't too concerned about whether the applicant was capable of making loan payments at all. The loan was insured by the government so if/when the applicant defaulted, the loan was paid in full. Deutsche apparently knew this and now the feds are seeking to get the money back. We represented 200 Mississippians against major banks several years ago who were doing the same thing. However, instead of helping, the President at the time (George W. Bush) passed an executive order that seriously impacted how defrauded homeowners could sue banks in State court! As a result, banks were allowed to prey on unsuspecting homeowners for years. You will recall that the collapse of the subprime housing industry led to the stockmarket crash a few years back. Oh well...here's the story

Bank accused of loan fraud
•Federal suit says Deutsche Bank lied about mortgages

The federal government sued Deutsche Bank Tuesday, saying the bank committed fraud and padded its pockets with undeserved income as it repeatedly lied so it could benefit from a government program that insured mortgages.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Manhattan seeks to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in insurance claims that the government has had to pay when homeowners defaulted on their mortgages. The lawsuit also asked for punitive damages. The government said the bank made substantial profits between 2007 and 2009 from the resale of the risky mortgages, leaving the government to foot the bill for loans that defaulted. The mortgage insurance is issued by the Federal Housing Administration.

The lawsuit said the bank carried out the fraud through its subsidiary, MortgageIT, which employed more than 2,000 people at branches in all 50 states. Deutsche acquired MortgageIT in 2007.

At a news conference, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said the bank "repeatedly and brazenly" engaged in a pattern of reckless lending practices for mortgages "that were really ticking time bombs," sometimes failing even to verify that a mortgage applicant had a job.

"In fact, they often seemed to treat red flags as if they were green lights," he said.

Still, the prosecutor said the government found no evidence of the criminal intent necessary to take the case beyond a civil lawsuit. "Every lie is not a crime," he said.

In a statement, Deutsche spokeswoman Renee Calabro said the bank was reviewing it.

"We believe the claims against MortgageIT and Deutsche Bank are unreasonable and unfair, and we intend to defend against the action vigorously," she said.

Calabro said nearly 90 percent of the activity described in the lawsuit occurred before Deutsche Bank acquired MortgageIT, which had been an FHA lender operating with government oversight for almost a decade.

Since last fall, federal regulators and attorneys general of all 50 states have been investigating lenders accused of cutting corners and using flawed documents to foreclose on many homeowners. In some cases, employees of financial institutions engaged in so-called robo-signing - approving documents in foreclosures without actually reading them. Foreclosure-fraud class-action lawsuits are also piling up against major banks nationwide.

Bharara said it "would not be a fantastical stretch to think we are looking at other lending institutions as well."

The lawsuit against Deutsche Bank sought to recover more than $386 million that the Department of Housing and Urban Development has paid out in FHA insurance claims and related costs arising out of MortgageIT's approval of more than 3,100 mortgages, among 1,400 loans that have defaulted so far.

Continue reading "Feds Accuse Big Bank of Fraud-How many Mississippians were affected?" »

May 5, 2011

Facing Foreclosure?

So you think you found someone to rescue you from foreclosure?
A mortgage rescue company comes forward and claims to be able to help you save your home and your credit. You probably just signed your house away.

There is an army of scammers and con artists using the Internet, television, radio and the mail who are waiting to take your money and your home. They make claims to be able to save your home, or promise a new loan, or a loan modification.

These scammers guarantee to stop foreclosure or save your home, say they have a high success rate, you won't have to move, and may use names and logos that make them appear to be part of the government or a recognized charity. Paying fees up front for foreclosure rescue services is illegal in most states and a clear sign of a ripoff.

If a company or individual requests any of the following, RUN AWAY FAST!


  • Pay fees up front for a modification,

  • Tells you to stop making mortgage payments,

  • Offers to handle your payments or financial arrangements,

  • Wants you to pay for a second opinion on your denied modification

  • Sign your house over or put someone else's name on the deed,

  • Offer to buy your house and rent it back to you, or a sale leaseback.


If you have any questions about foreclosure, modifications, or saving your home, see your own attorney first and let him assist you or review the paperwork. When you are desperate and vulnerable you are liable to believe anyone and anything and that is when you need to stop and let a lawyer step in and look things over.

April 22, 2011

The Worst Housing Depression Ever Is Just Beginning.

The US is officially experiencing the worst house housing depression ever and the second phase is just beginning. It is expected to peak beginning July of this year, continuing through the first half of next year.

Let these statistics sink in for a minute:
• 3 million homes were repossessed between January 2007 and August 2010
• Over 1 million families will be evicted from their homes in 2011
• 72% of the major cities in the US had more foreclosures in 2010 than 2009
• 8 million Americans are at least 1 month behind on their mortgages
• 5 million are at least 2 months behind on their mortgages

The Mississippi counties with highest volume of new foreclosures are (starting with highest) Harrison County, Hinds County, De Soto County, Rankin County, Jackson County, Forrest County, Lee County, Pearl River County, Marshall County, and Madison County.

The volume of people that have been injured by mortgage fraud, predatory lending practices, and mortgage modification schemes is almost unimaginable. At the same time laws are changing and require new strategies for litigation.

Mortgage companies seem determined to take homes by refusing payments, denying modifications or worse promising homeowners a modification while at the same time processing foreclosures, increasing payments, adding fees, and continually threatening foreclosure.

I'm seeing success in my practice by fighting mortgage companies and disputing their mortgage proofs of claim, their documentation practices, application of funds and fees, and many other items. See my prior blog discussion regarding the sloppy record keeping practices of mortgage servicers.

The 14 largest US mortgage servicers have recently agreed to review all foreclosed loans from 2009-2010 and pay back losses in cases that were mishandled - but we don't know how the reviews will work, (if they work at all) and what types of "losses" will lead to payments for homeowners.

I can't express enough the seriousness of the housing situation in Mississippi and the importance of addressing issues with your mortgage company before foreclosure. Call Coxwell & Associates immediately if you are having any problems whatsoever with your mortgage company.

April 6, 2011

Mississippi Foreclosure and False Documents

In every county in Mississippi, homes are being foreclosed with forged and false documents. There are office buildings filled with robo-signers, employees who create and sign false affidavits and documents by the thousands. The news magazine program 60 Minutes did a story on this April 4, 2011. The story reported on one robo-signer who said he signed up to 4,000 documents a day, all in the name of Linda Green. This was 350 forgeries per hour! He admitted that he didn't know what documents he was signing or even if they were true.

We have been challenging and fighting these abusive practices and false documents for our Mississippi bankruptcy clients but many other Mississippians wait until the foreclosure is over to seek help save their home.

In Mississippi, we are a non judicial foreclosure state. Banks and mortgage companies don't have to take you to court to foreclosure on your home. They don't even have to tell you they are foreclosing. They run an ad in the newspaper for three weeks and hold the foreclosure sale on the fourth week.

The real truth is that the banks and mortgage companies can't find the original notes and deeds of trust that they say they own. So instead of using the original documents the make up copies of assignments and affidavits that are supposed to show that they are the lawful owner of your contract. These are really just fake documents created so the foreclosure can be done as quickly as possible. Since most people don't resist the foreclosure, this usually works.

The mortgage industry has been caught committing crimes, fraud, forgery, burglary, breaking and entering, by the tens of thousands for quite some time now. It is commonly referred to as sloppy paperwork and it is regularly reported that the Attorneys General are investigating and Congress is holding hearings, but not one person has been charged with a crime.

Don't lose your home to sloppy paperwork. If you are behind in your house notes, contact us now, before the foreclosure starts.

March 9, 2009

Help Mississippians Save Their Homes

The Helping Families Save Their Homes Act of 2009 (HR 1106) was passed last Thursday by the U.S. House of Representatives with the yes vote of only one Mississippian, Bennie Thompson. While the Bill was not supported by our other three representatives, it is supported by CitiGroup, the largest mortgage lender in America.

This Act allows Bankruptcy Judges in limited cases to modify first mortgage loans down to the current value of the home, to change the terms of the note, and to adjust the interest rate so as to make the mortgage payment both affordable and sustainable. The Bill is supported by our President, Barack Obama.

Every day more families are losing their homes to foreclosure. The worse is yet to come for Mississippi. We won't get to the end of the financial crisis until we solve the foreclosure problem. This Bill is the first step toward a solution.

Vacant homes lower the value of every property in Mississippi, creating venues for crime and imposing severe financial burdens on the cities and counties. The current foreclosure crisis has already erased more than $2.4 trillion dollars in home equity for all American homeowners, not just those in foreclosure. This is you and me. This is our money. This was our equity.

The Mortgage Bankers that received Billions of dollars in Federal taxpayer assistance are pulling out all stops to defeat this Bill in the Senate. It is ironic that they are using our tax dollars to defeat legislation that would benefit us.

I have been a consumer protection attorney in Jackson for 30 years and I have sued many mortgage companies and mortgage servicers. I can tell you that the only thing these money changers understand is "legal leverage." We need this Bankruptcy Mortgage Modification Bill to give citizens the leverage to negotiate voluntary modifications without having to file for bankruptcy relief. This Bill will not impose any costs or fees on Mississippi Taxpayers but will make those pay that created this mess in the first place.