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Automatic Stay to Prevent Creditor Lawsuits

If you’ve fallen behind on credit card, mortgage, or other payments on debt, it’s easy and natural to ignore the problem. This is particularly true if you don’t currently have the money to pay off the debt. You might be thinking if you just wait and ignore the collection calls, eventually you will have the funds to pay off the debt. That strategy does buy you time, but at the expense of interest accruing and of stress. And, unfortunately, eventually the creditor usually gets fed up and [...]

Negative Ruling for Paragraph 22 Defense

The so-called “Paragraph 22” defense to foreclosure has been the subject of prior blogs and we have yet another update on the defense out of Florida’s 2nd District Court of Appeal (“DCA”).  As a refresher, the defense is rooted in Paragraph 22 of the standard mortgage agreement, which provides a number of requirements that lenders must comply with before filing for foreclosure.  In short, homeowners have successfully argued for dismissal of cases where lenders didn’t comply with al[...]

How do Foreclosure Proceedings in Florida Work?

The foreclosure crisis that began in 2008 and is slowly subsiding has been a hot topic for years now, particularly, here in Florida where the number of foreclosures continues to beat the national averages.  Yet, the average understanding is that when you don’t pay you mortgage, the bank comes and takes your home.  And while at a very broad level, this is true, the process is a lot more complicated and open to alternative outcomes.   The Home Financing The foreclosure process actually be[...]

Karma Comes to Mortgage Relief Scams

Taking advantage of distressed homeowners is reprehensible.  Recently, one group running mortgage relief scams got a taste of what it feels like to lose money when the Southern District of Florida, a federal court, entered a judgment totally over $27 million against a group of entities accused of ripping off homeowners. Mortgage Reilef Scam Background As we’ve discussed in earlier blogs, homeowners that have fallen behind on their mortgages do have options that range from defenses to foreclos[...]

Condition Precedent Defenses in Foreclosure Actions: Raise Them or Lose them

Mortgages are contracts under which both the lender and the homeowner, borrower have obligations.  One of the homeowner’s obligations is to make their mortgage payments.  When homeowners are unable to meet this obligation, the lender typically begins foreclosure proceedings.  However, before filing the foreclosure action, the lender typically has contractual obligations, like giving notice of default, which it must comply with before it can file the lawsuit.  The notice and other requireme[...]

Mortgage Relief Act Extension

There have always been legal and practical options for those having difficulty making their mortgage payments.  However, during the housing crisis, legislators and agencies added additional options and programs designed to help struggling homeowners.  As the housing market and economy continue to recover, some of the relief programs and options are beginning to reach their deadlines. Two of the largest such programs, Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) and the Home Affordable Refinance[...]

Lenders Lose Where Default Notice is Lacking

In an earlier Florida Foreclosure Blog, we discussed how Paragraph 22 of many standard mortgage agreements can be the basis for a foreclosure defense.  To quickly recap, a mortgage is a contract under which the lender and the borrower each agree to undertake certain obligations.  Paragraph 22 of standard mortgage agreements contains a number of obligations that the lender must undertake before filing a foreclosure action.  These requirements deal with giving the borrower a default notice and [...]

In Florida Bankruptcy Cases, Raise Claims or Lose Them

Florida Bankruptcy Cases In February, the 2nd Circuit handed down an interesting, unpublished Bankruptcy case, In re Residential Capital, LLC that demonstrates just how complicated the intersection between bankruptcy law, foreclosure law, and general civil litigation can get.  Like many Floridians, Stephanie Harris, an individual residing in Miami, Florida had some difficulty paying her mortgage around 2008. Eventually a mortgage foreclosure action was instituted against her by GMAC Mortgage ([...]

Best Defenses to Foreclosure in Florida

There are many possible defenses to foreclosure  in Florida  and we’ve discussed a number of them in previous blog posts.  Today, we’ll discuss the best defenses to foreclosure in Florida and possibly avoiding it altogether.  The following are a few tips to keep in mind when purchasing and financing your home.  They are simple but effective. (1) Buy Less Than You Can Afford Purchasing a home under your budget gives you some wiggle room should your financial situation change for the wo[...]