Fraud in Foreclosure Process

April 19, 2010

While it seems like the idea of non-judicial foreclosures in Florida has lost steam, there just keep being more and more reminders of why due process is so essential in foreclosure cases.  Now, the problems of Florida’s foreclosure mill law firms is finally getting some national attention.  Today, the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog noted:

“Now one judge in Florida has ruled there was “fraud” by a bank in a foreclosure case, raising questions about how banks — and so-called foreclosure “mill” law firms that work for banks — are attempting to claim homes from borrowers in default. Here’s the WSJ story….

The Florida case, U.S. Bank v Ernest Harpster, was dismissed last month by Judge Lynn Tepper of Pasco County after she found that an “assignment of mortgage” filed in the case, which was meant to show how U.S. Bank obtained ownership of the mortgage, was false. The document (seen at the bottom of this link) was dated 2007 but the judge found it was created in 2008.”

Check out the story for some great links.


Non-judicial Foreclosures in Florida

January 30, 2010

Obviously, you would expect a bill titled “The Florida Consumer Protection and Homeowner Credit Rehabilitation Act” to protect and help consumers.  This is Florida, so you’re wrong.  The referenced bill, which is being pushed by the bank lobby, hopes to end the process of judicial foreclosure and start non-judicial foreclosure, where the banks can seize properties within 90 days.  Also, it would scrap the new mediation the Florida Supreme Court recently ordered.  In other words, no consumer protection.

Obama Signs Foreclosure Law

May 21, 2009

President Obama signed the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act today.  It’s also good to know when the program expires – 2011.  I get asked that question all of the time.

Here is the White House information sheet on this and the new Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act, which applies to fraud investigations of loans.  Of course, this law will come a little too late for some, but we’ll see.

Congress Passes Helping Families Save Their Homes Act

May 20, 2009

The House of Representatives and Senate both passed the Helping Families Save Their Homes Act.  I’ll post a link to the actually passed bill when I find it.

Second Phase of Federal Homeowner Assistance

May 15, 2009

Today, President Obama announced the next steps he would like the Federal Government to take to deal with the foreclosure crisis.  These steps are aimed at those not covered by the first offering, which has still not passed the Congress.

“The latest Obama proposal will provide incentives to lenders and borrowers to pursue short sales and property transfers in lieu of foreclosure. Lenders also would get incentives for modifying loans.”

The article also features another interesting tidbit: since Obama announced his first plan, only 55,000 offers to modify loans have been sent to Broward County homeowners.  That’s amazing to me when 1 in 78 homes in this county is subject to a mortgage that is not paid to date.

Go Legislature!

May 15, 2009

When not busy saving dead bodies from public view, the Florida legislature helped the foreclosure process tremendously this past session.  And when I say help, I don’t mean help homeowners, I mean help the banks take your house!  Look at the damage in Palm Beach County:

“Each year, the county receives about $8 million from the Florida Finance Housing Corp. to help provide affordable housing here. But lawmakers in Tallahassee have slashed most that money during this year’s legislative session.”

The program received around $800,000.00 in funding from the Legislature this year.

March to April: Big upswing in filings

May 15, 2009

Anyone could have seen this coming.  From March to April, the number of new foreclosure filings skyrocketed throughout South Florida.

“Foreclosure filings soared in Miami-Dade by 111 percent between March and April, according to RealtyTrac, a private foreclosure tracking firm. Broward foreclosures surged 124 percent between March and April. Compared to April 2008, foreclosures were up around 90 percent in both counties.”

The interesting thing in the Miami Herald article is that there is only a cursory reference to the big bank moratorium which ended in March.  The April to May numbers will be much more interesting in my opinion.