Word on the street is that the NY Times is coming down to South Florida and will be checking out some “rocket dockets” and mill action. More details when they become available…
Sunday’s New York Times has an interesting article regarding the new mentality of homeowners stopping payments and repairing other financial worries. The Times interestingly calls it a mortgage modification… where the payments are zero. The logic on the part of the homeowners is interesting:
“This type of modification does not beg for a lender’s permission but is delivered as an ultimatum: Force me out if you can. Any moral qualms are overshadowed by a conviction that the banks created the crisis by snookering homeowners with loans that got them in over their heads.”
In my practice, I’m seeing more and more of this thinking. People have other financial problems that need tending and are willing to risk losing their property in order to get their feet under them.
You may remember recently the state of Florida tried to enact non-judicial foreclosures. Of course, it was only against non-homestead properties. Don’t think for one second that this was just an incremental step toward eliminating the court process from foreclosures all together. Why should you be concerned about this? Try a soldier losing his home while serving in Iraq:
“Michael Clauer is a captain in the Army Reserve who commanded over 100 soldiers in Iraq. But while he was fighting for his country, a different kind of battle was brewing on the home front. Last September, Michael returned to Frisco, Texas, to find that his homeowners’ association had foreclosed on his $300,000 house—and sold it for $3,500.”
In Texas, a homeowner’s association and a mortgage company, so long as the mortgage has proper language, can foreclose without a hearing. The deprivation of process is clear. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen in Florida.
The Daily Business Review recently did an article regarding the Attorney General’s Office’s investigation into the Florida Default Law Group. Read it here.
Not a whole lot here, but the Florida Attorney General’s Office is looking into the Florida Default Law Group for filing “false and misleading documents.”
As many of you know, the Second District Court of Appeal, which covers portions of Central Florida, issued an important decision (now known as BAC Funding Consortium) regarding what a bank has to do in order to prove its ownership of the note, specifically with regard to “blank endorsement” cases.
Yesterday, the Fourth District Court of Appeal, which covers South Florida, adopted the Second DCA’s ruling. In pertinent part, the court stated:
“In the instant case, th e endorsement in blank is unsigned and unauthenticated, creating a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Aurora is the lawful owner and holder of the note and/or mortgage. As in BAC Funding Consortium, there are no supporting affidavits or deposition testimony in the record to establish that Aurora validly owns and holds the note and mortgage, no evidence of an assignment to Aurora, no proof of purchase of the debt nor any other evidence of an effective transfer.”
In short order, the Fourth DCA is telling the banks to actually prove ownership after transfer or lose the case. Great news for homeowners.