Archive for October 15th, 2010

Problems with foreclosure sales – the impact is pervasive

The Associated Press just wrote a terrific story that highlights the extent of the foreclosure problems we’re facing, but from a  little different perspective.   

So You Bought a Foreclosed Home – Now What?

If you’re facing foreclosure, you may think this issue doesn’t pertain to you, as you’re in no position to go out and buy a foreclosed property.  I totally disagree.  This issue impacts all of us.  As the article reflects, and as I’ve been saying for months:

purchasers of properties at a foreclosure sale have legitimate reasons to be concerned about the legitimacy of the title they’re obtaining. 

Everyone is realizing this, and it’s undoubtedly causing would-be purchasers not to go to courthouse auctions and buy.  Well, guess what?  If people aren’t buying properties at a foreclosure sale, what’s the point of the sale?  Essentially, there is none – and there’s the rub.  A sale is supposed to be more than just a rubber-stamp on a title to a bank.  A sale is supposed to be a way to gauge the fair market value of a property, so as to: (1) ensure the homeowner collects the surplus (the difference between the sale price and the amount of the final judgment; or (2) ensure the extent of the homeowner’s deficiency (the difference between the amount of the final judgment and the sale price) is minimized. 

The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced that all of these sales that are being conducted where there are title problems, the homeowners have legitimate grounds to object to the sale.  After all, their chances of having anyone bid fair market value for a home (and getting a surplus or minimizing their exposure for a deficiency judgment) are reduced when everyone questions the legitimacy of title acquired by a foreclosure sale.

Posted in Main | No Comments »

Foreclosure Fraud – in retrospect, it’s all so clear.

Several months ago, the Florida Bankers Association tried to convince our legislature to change Florida law by adopting a bill that would allow “non-judicial” foreclosures.  Remember that?  If not, here’s a refresher:

Bankers want non-judicial foreclosure

Even back then, I was very passionate about this issue, and, obviously, the bill failed.  As a result, lawyers such as myself have been able to defend homeowners facing foreclosure, forcing banks to prevail in a court of law before they can foreclose on a Floridian’s home.     

In recent days, mainstream America has begun to realize the pervasive nature of fraud in foreclosure cases.  Terms like ”robo-signer” and “foreclosure mill” have become household terms.  Hence, I thought it was worth taking a moment to reflect on the bankers’ failed attempts to create non-judicial foreclosures. 

Think about it for a moment. 

The banks wanted to foreclose without filing a lawsuit. 

They wanted it so badly they tried to get the legislature to change the law.

In retrospect, isn’t it clear what happened? 

The bankers knew they were committing fraud in foreclosure cases. 

To prevent their fraud from being uncovered, they tried to change the law so homeowners could not fight their foreclosures in court.

The bankers’ efforts didn’t work, and now their frauds have been exposed for everyone to see.   I don’t know about you, but this makes me wonder:

What else are the banks hiding?

Posted in Main | No Comments »