Homeownership Obstacles

There are many obstacles that stand in the road to homeownership. Prospective buyers need to take many preventative measures to ensure their deal. A simple precaution a buyer can take is evaluating all financial information with their lender. Any surprises could disrupt the lending process. Another step to take would be not to make any major purchases when the deal is being closed. This is because lenders can recheck the buyers credit history right before closing, and any new credit obligations may cause for concern.

In today’s competitive market, buyers must obtain more than just pre-approval, but also obtain a loan commitment. A loan commitment is a guarantee that the needed money will be made available to the buyer. This commitment can help ensure the buyers success in this competitive house market.

Contact Shaffer & Gaier – Protecting Homeowner Rights

The law firm of Shaffer & Gaier protects the rights of those who are facing foreclosure or seeking mortgage modifications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. To set up a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call our foreclosure hotline at 855-289-1660. Or call our office location in Philadelphia at 215-751-0100, or in New Jersey at 856-429-0970.

The Home Affordable Modification Program’s Paltry Lifeline

A Slack Lifeline for Drowning Homeowners

JULY 31, 2015 By GRETCHEN MORGENSON

“After Lucy Circe became disabled and could no longer work, she applied to Bank of America for a mortgage loan modification on her Vermont home. Over more than two years, starting in 2012, the bank repeatedly requested copies of documents that had already been provided, asked for proof that she was no longer married to a man she did not even know, and made other errors, like asking why Ms. Circe had indicated that she didn’t want to keep her property when she had actually told the bank she did….” READ MORE HERE.

Contact an Aggressive Foreclosure Defense Lawyer at Shaffer & Gaier Today

We provide a free initial consultation to anyone with concerns about foreclosure or who is involved in foreclosure proceedings. To schedule an appointment, call our foreclosure hotline at 855-289-1660 or contact us online. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We will travel to your home if necessary to meet with you.

U.S. Supreme Court Finds in Favor of Homeowners

In 2007, a couple from Minnesota, Larry and Cheryl Jesinoski, refinanced their mortgage with Countrywide. Exactly three years later the Jesinoskis tried to rescind the loan by writing a letter to Bank of America Home loans, which purchased Countrywide during the housing crisis. This meant that Larry and Cheryl, through the Truth in Lending Act, had the right to cancel their mortgage as long as they did so within three years after the transaction was completed.

Yet, Bank of America tried to block the rescission and the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled in favor of the bank, stating that the borrower must not only give notice but also file a lawsuit within three years. However, on Tuesday Jan 13, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the couple, with Justice Antonin Scalia interpreting the law, stating that it without a doubt requires only a notification of rescission within three years and not litigation. Please note that when a loan is rescinded, however, the homeowners often have to give the mortgage loan funds and fees back to the bank or lender.

Contact Philadelphia Foreclosure & Mortgage Modification
Attorneys Shaffer & Gaier

To set up an appointment, call our foreclosure hotline at 855-289-1660 or contact us online. Your first consultation is free of charge. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We will travel to your home if necessary to meet with you.

Wells Fargo Foreclosure Lawsuit

My client was offered a loan in 2007 by a broker who worked with Wells Fargo. His income at the time did not really support the loan, and he was hoping that the real estate would lift the value of his home. This, unfortunately, did not happen and over time, he was no longer able to keep up with his mortgage payments. As required by law, the bank sent a Notice of Intent to foreclose which notified my client how much he owed on the mortgage in order to make it current. Wells Fargo filed a Foreclosure lawsuit in Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas in 2010. I defended the lawsuit, and after motion practice and quite a bit of discovery, Wells Fargo withdrew the lawsuit. Three months later, however, Wells Fargo initiated a new lawsuit, again in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.

Wells Fargo, however, did not send my client a new and updated Notice of Intent to foreclose before they filed the second lawsuit. After discovery, the bank filed a motion for summary judgment and the trial court granted the motion which gave the bank the right to foreclose. I argued that Wells fargo was required to send my client a new, updated Notice of Intent, and since they did not, then the foreclosure was unlawful.

I filed an appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court on the grounds that the lender was required to send an update Notice of intent before they filed a second lawsuit. Wells Fargo opposed the motion by claiming that it was nothing more than a formality and since the first Notice of Intent was sent, there was no need to send a revised one.

The Superior Court agreed with me and reversed the trial court’s order of summary judgment. Wells Fargo filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied on January 4th, 2015. I expect there will be an appeal to the Superior Court. The current status is Wells Fargo is attempting to take ownership of the home upon which they wrongfully foreclosed so I am considering filing a lawsuit against Wells Fargo to redress my client’s damages. -Michael Gaier

Contact Shaffer & Gaier

To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us online or call our foreclosure hotline at 855-289-1660. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We will travel to your home if necessary to meet with you.

New Jersey Foreclosures Lead the Nation

South New Jersey Foreclosure Attorneys

As of November 2014, information released by the Mortgage Bankers Association indicates New Jersey leads the nation in foreclosures. For the most part, the foreclosure crisis that followed the 2008 financial meltdown has abated and returned to levels seen before the 2008 recession. In New Jersey, however, one in six home mortgages is either delinquent or in foreclosure. While the percent of mortgages in foreclosure or delinquent is slightly less than this time last year (8 percent and 7 percent respectively in November of 2013), New Jersey is still posting foreclosure rates substantially higher than the national average.

Why Foreclosures are Higher in New Jersey

Part of the reason why New Jersey’s foreclosure rate is so high at this time is due to how foreclosures are handled in New Jersey. Under state law, foreclosures must go through the courts, which inevitably prolong the process. Additionally, due to a near halt in foreclosure activity in 2011 after questions regarding allegations of abuse and fraud in the mortgage industry, the system now has to play catch up.

Interestingly enough, most of the troubled mortgage loans are ones that were made prior to 2007.  According to Mike Fratantoni, the chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, 74 percent of delinquent loans were made before the beginning of the 2007 sub-prime mortgage crisis.

Mortgage Troubles? Contact Foreclosure Attorneys at Shaffer & Gaier

If you’re facing foreclosure or the bank has already initiated foreclosure actions against you, it’s important that you understand your legal rights and protections. In some cases, foreclosure can be avoided if you bank is willing to refinance your home. If this isn’t an option, short-selling your home can help you avoid bankruptcy and other unwanted financial complications.

To learn how we can help you, contact the foreclosure attorneys at Shaffer & Gaier today. We have offices in Haddonfield, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Make Your Home Affordable

According to the US Census bureau, there are over 75 million homeowners in America; homeowner, however, is a broad term used to encompass many Americans on all different “levels” of homeownership. Based on a study conducted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, of these 75 million homeowners, only 40% of the homes were paid off. Therefore 60% of US homeowners are essentially still paying a monthly bill for their homes and do not hold the deed that equates to actual ownership.

Be it that 45,000,000 American homeowners do not in fact actually own their homes, foreclosure is an ominous threat lurking at a vast number of doorsteps. With the aftershock of the recession still weighing heavily on our economy, an increasingly large number of Americans are finding their once affordable monthly mortgage payments are now incredibly unaffordable. As overwhelming as it is to realize that once seemingly reasonable mortgage payments now exceed your budget, it is important to never forget that help is available through a variety of channels for homeowners just like you. Specifically, a loan modification is a permanent change in the original terms of your loan that result in a payment you can afford. The Home Affordable Modification Program, commonly known as H.A.M.P., is a federal program specifically designed to offer loan modifications to eligible homeowners in mortgage debt

Been turned down before? Don’t panic. Many changes have been made to these programs to maximize the eligibility and assist as many borrowers as possible in retaining their homes. Don’t lose your home to due to circumstances out of control. It’s worth it to get the help that you deserve.

Contact Our Office

To set up an appointment, call our foreclosure hotline at 855-289-1660 or contact us online. Your first consultation is free of charge. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We will travel to your home if necessary to meet with you.

Foreclosure – Not so Straightforward

Based on a recent study conducted by RealtyTrac, foreclosure filings for the year 2013 totaled 1.36 million properties in the continental United States. Although this number has decreased by approximately 26% from 2012, the total number of Americans facing foreclosure is vast. Although it has been calculated that 1 million Americans are involved in active foreclosure proceedings of all stages, these numbers fail to account for homeowners living in fear of foreclosure proceedings that have not yet been instituted.

Although the term “foreclosure” is becoming ever prominent in the daily vocabulary of far too many Americans, the actual legal steps of the process still remain a mystery for the Americans directly involved in this nationwide crisis. Furthermore the help that is available feels elusive for those who are in desperate need of it. If you find yourself facing foreclosure, know that you are not alone and do not wait any longer to seek the help that you deserve. Take advantage of the many private and government funded programs that will allow you to retain your home. Help is available to you no matter what stage of foreclosure in which you find yourself.

In fact, Pennsylvania is the only state in the country that offers state-funded loan programs designed to help homeowners who, because of extenuating circumstances, have found themselves trapped in the foreclosure process and are worried about losing their homes. Pennsylvania even offers a specific state assistance program and there is help available for everyone through government programs that are specifically designed to help homeowners retain their homes.

HARP, the Home Affordable Refinance Program, is one of these types of programs. Originally developed in 2009 by the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Department of the Treasury, this program is designed for homeowners who owe more than the estimated worth of their home. As the foreclosure crisis grew in America following 2009 HARP grew too; this program was expanded in 2011 in order to maximize eligibility and help as many homeowners as possible. These are not the only options to help homeowners currently involved in this nationwide crisis. The point is, however, that homeowners should deal with foreclosure issues as soon as possible, but if need be, help can also available in the later stages.

Contact Shaffer & Gaier – Protecting Homeowner Rights

The law firm of Shaffer & Gaier protects the rights of those who are facing foreclosure or seeking mortgage modifications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. To set up a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call our foreclosure hotline at 855-289-1660. Or call our office location in Philadelphia at 215-751-0100, or in New Jersey at 856-429-0970.

Rental Property Foreclosure Lawsuit – Philadelphia

We represent a woman who owns a rental property in Philadelphia. I took the case over from a lawyer who responded to the bank’s lawsuit, but there was very little done in the way of discovery. The case was called for trial on July 8, 2014, and the bank, Bank of America, flew in one if its corporate witnesses to testify at the trial. In my client’s Answer to the foreclosure lawsuit, her previous lawyer admitted that she signed a Mortgage Note to repay Bank of America $93,000. Based on this, the bank’s witness did not bring the original Note to the trial.

The problem for the bank, however, is that the plaintiff in the lawsuit was a Wall Street trust, U.S. Bank National, as trustee, who acquired the Note in the securitization process. This means that the Mortgage was owned by the Trust, and not by Bank of America. Without bringing the Note to trial, which presumably would show that the Note was “negotiated” or transferred from Bank of America to the trust, I moved for a non-suit during the trial at the close of the bank’s evidence. I successfully argued that the Plaintiff did not prove that it had standing to enforce the Mortgage and Note because there was no evidence before the court that Plaintiff’s trust owned the Note (or the debt). The Honorable Idee Fox requested legal briefs on the issues, and then after oral argument, the court granted my motion for a non-suit and the foreclosure action was dismissed. It is not expected that the bank will appeal this action, and their only recourse will be to start the entire process over and file a new foreclosure lawsuit.

Contact Our Office

We provide a free initial consultation to anyone with concerns about foreclosure or who is involved in foreclosure proceedings. To schedule an appointment, call our foreclosure hotline at 855-289-1660 or contact us online. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We will travel to your home if necessary to meet with you.

Multi – Million Foreclosure Rescue and Real Estate Ponzi Scheme in New Jersey

May 14, 2014 – FBI Special Agents in Philadelphia arrested a New Jersey man Wednesday morning for allegedly operating a multi – million dollar ponzi scheme involving foreclosure rescue and real estate investment. An operator of Equity Capital Investments, LLC (and the former president of the South Jersey Real Estate Investment Club), Randy Poulson of Woolwich Township, New Jersey, is charged with using his investment company to scam property investors. Mr. Poulson is also accused of stealing the deeds from 24+ struggling homeowners who were facing foreclosure.

Poulson allegedly devised a two-part scam in which he promised distressed homeowners, who were facing foreclosure, that he would pay for their mortgages if they sold their homes to him. They did this by signing over the deeds to their home to Poulson. He then had the victims vacate their homes so that renters could move in. Then, he ceased making mortgage payments to the original home owner’s lender.

Part two of Poulson’s scheme involved soliciting 50+ private investors. He pitched investors at seminars, speeches and dinners he attended to invest in real estate and properties for rehabilitation. He advised them that he would be able to sell these investments for a return of 10 to 20 percent. Poulson created fake mortgages and promissory notes to give to investors in order to legitimize his company.

Randy Poulson pocketed both the homeowners’ and the investors’ money for his own personal use. Poulson spent the money at Acme, Exxon/Mobil, Jos. A. Bank, DirecTV, Hollywood Grooming, Kiddie Garden, Philadelphia Union tickets, American Express, Studio 122 (a hair salon), The Disney Store, Toys ‘R Us, Wawa, eating at Ray’s Pizza, and payments on a personal beach house in Ventnor, New Jersey.

Contact Our Office

We provide a free initial consultation to anyone with concerns about foreclosure or who is involved in foreclosure proceedings. To schedule an appointment, call our foreclosure hotline at 855-289-1660 or contact us online. Evening and weekend meetings can be arranged upon request. We will travel to your home if necessary to meet with you.

New Jersey Resident Wins Damages Against Predatory Lending Practices

The average homeowner does in fact have recourse against the big banks when it comes to mortgage fraud and foreclosure defense. Goods news comes this past January from a ruling by New Jersey Chancery Judge Peter Doyne that says Wells Fargo committed actionable fraud and predatory lending.

The case involves Oscar Montesdeoca, of New Jersey. Evidently, Montesdeoca was persuaded to borrow $600,000 pus dollars for a three-bedroom home at interest rates that ranged from 7.75 percent to 14.35 percent.

The ruling is considered a significant victory in the battle against predatory lending practices in New Jersey, where another home foreclosure occurs every eight minutes! In the case in question, the mortgage for the home was $4800 a month. However, Montesdeoca earned between $500 and $600 a week, with his wife working for $7.00 per hour. They could not possibly have covered the mortgage, which ended up being $5700 a month, including insurance.

It was determined that the loan officer who worked with Montesdeoca had promised that “if he paid the loan and maintained good credit (for two years) he would receive refinancing” to reduce the high interest rates.

The couple couldn’t read the paperwork, which was in English, and learned only later that the bank listed their income as over $10,000 a month, when it was far from that amount. When the couple’s son requested that the bank refinance the mortgage in order to lower the high interest rate, as the officer had promised, the bank officer never responded.

The good outcome is that the bank was made to refinance the loans, and pay all the couple’s legal fees, as well as three times his damages, as required by New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act.

Contact Shaffer & Gaier: Protecting Homeowner Rights

The law firm of Shaffer & Gaier protects the rights of those who are facing foreclosure or seeking mortgage modifications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. To set up a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call our foreclosure hotline at 855-289-1660. Or call our office location in Philadelphia at 215-751-0100, or in New Jersey at 856-429-0970.

Source: http://www.responsiblelending.org/tools-resources/headlines/opinion-nj-court-resurrects-american-dream-from-foreclosure-nightmare.html

Our Services

img

Our Latest News Posts

Diagnosing Traumatic Brain Injuries

Nearly 50,000 patients die annually from traumatic brain injuries. Now a new study led by the University of Pennsylvania reveals that tiny blood vessels in the brain can offer clues to better treatment, according to an article from UPI’s Health … [Read More...]

Why Do ‘Slip and Fall’ Accidents Happen?

From misjudging steps to sliding on oily or wet surfaces, there are many causes of “slip and fall” accidents. But there’s one cause that’s highly preventable, according to a study by insurance provider CNA—and that is the type of flooring. The … [Read More...]