Archive for January, 2011

Massachusetts Voids Foreclosures for Inadequate Paperwork

The nation is abuzz today about a bombshell decision from Massachusetts’ highest court, which affirmed a lower court ruling that voided two foreclosure judgments because the banks “failed to make the required showing that they were the holders of the mortgages at the time of the foreclosure.” 

The entire decision is a terrific read, but I particularly like the concurring opinion:

There is no dispute that the mortgagors of the properties in question had defaulted on their obligations, and that the mortgaged properties were subject to foreclosure. Before commencing such an action, however, the holder of an assigned mortgage needs to take care to ensure that his legal paperwork is in order. Although there was no apparent actual unfairness here to the mortgagors, that is not the point. Foreclosure is a powerful act with significant consequences, and Massachusetts law has always required that it proceed strictly in accord with the statutes that govern it. 

Why is this so significant?  The highest court in Mass. is saying, essentially, it doesn’t matter that the homeowners defaulted on their mortgage – the banks still have to prove their right to foreclose.  And if Massachusetts’ highest court is ruling this way, other courts are sure to follow.

Mark Stopa

Posted in Main | 5 Comments »

Eliminating the Hopelessness from Foreclosure

I’ve read too many stories over recent months like this one, where a homeowner killed his spouse, then himself, after being distraught over an impending foreclosure.  Obviously this is an extreme example, but there are far too many homeowners in Florida and throughout America who are despondent, even hopeless, unaware of their rights, unsure of what to do, and/or hiding their heads in shame.  This has to stop, and it’s up to all of us to help!   

Don’t get me wrong … facing foreclosure is far from ideal.  But help is available!  Uncomfortable is a word I’d use; hopeless is not. 

Anyone reading this foreclosure blog has some knowledge of the rights that Floridians and all Americans enjoy as homeowners.  So if you know anyone facing foreclosure – or even suspect someone may be facing foreclosure – spread the word! 

Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell your co-workers, tell your family members, tell everyone …

Homeowners have rights! 

Foreclosure is not a reason to hide in shame! 

Facing foreclosure is uncomfortable, but not hopeless! 

Foreclosure defense attorneys are available to help! 

With knowledge comes power.  Working together, we all have the ability to empower Floridians and Americans alike by informing them of their rights and making them realize help is available.  Nobody should feel hopeless – much less resort to murder/suicide – merely because they’re facing foreclosure.

Mark Stopa

Posted in Main | No Comments »

Foreclosure Report from Florida AG

I just had the pleasure to read Foreclosure Report from Florida Attorney General.  Wow.  Just … wow. 

To all of you out there who question the existence of foreclosure fraud, you must read this report. 

To those of you who wonder whether homeowners could ever have valid defenses to foreclosure, you must read this report. 

To anyone who thinks banks are have done nothing wrong, you must read this report. 

As you do, bear in mind – this isn’t coming from me, a foreclosure defense attorney, or a “disgruntled” homeowner.  This report comes from the Florida Attorney General

The entire report is awesome, but I particularly like the solutions suggested by the AG:

1.  Assuring the integrity to the judicial foreclosure process

     – Documents submitted must be true and accurate

     – Affidavits must be proper in substance and form

     – Assignments must be properly executed and accurate

2.  Due Process Rights to the Foreclosed Homeowners

     – Proper Service of Process on the Homeowner

     – Proper Standing to sue by the Plaintiff Bank

     – Substantive review of paperwork prior to foreclosure

Foreclosures will have to go forward, and there will be many more next year, but they need to be done within the law.

Mark Stopa

Posted in Main | 1 Comment »