SHERIFF SALES STOPPED TO DATE

I was keeping track of the number of Sheriff's Sales stopped, but I decided that this gave the wrong impression to viewers. An attorney should not be consulted as a matter of last resort. Instead an attorney should be consulted early in the process and the sooner an attorney is consulted the more likely a Homeowner will have a favorable result







The Law Office of Bruce M. Broyles



5815 Market Street, Suite 2, Boardman, Ohio 44512



Phone: (330) 965-1093 Fax: (330) 953-0450



bruce@brucebroyleslaw.com





The Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct suggest that the reader be informed that one of the purposes of this blog is to attract potential clients, and therefore should be considered attorney advertisement





Monday, November 28, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Occupy Our Homes

The Occupy Wall Street Movement is making a concerted effort to focus the attention on the Foreclosure Crisis in America.  It will not take the Standardized media long to attempt to marginalize this effort as "people who just want a free home"; "deadbeats", and "people who bought more house than they could afford".  On December 6, 2011, there will be National Day of Action.
 See, http://occupyourhomes.org/ and http://ohiofraudclosure.blogspot.com/

Regardless of what was the initial stumbling block for the Homeowner; a Homeowner misses a payment on his mortgage.  As a result, the Homeowner is at the Bank's mercy.  The entire balance will be accelerated and considered due and owing if the Homeowner does not pay the full amount declared by the Bank to be due.  This amount will include late fees and various charges that raise the amount required to bring the account current to an amount that is just slightly out of the Homeowner's reach.  If they struggle to make that payment; there's a good chance the next month's payment will be a struggle also.  As a result, the Homeowner is now involved in a constant struggle to make the monthly payment.

Eventually, the Bank is able to accelerate the entire amount due and owing.  Shortly thereafter, a foreclosure complaint will be filed.  In a rush to clear the overcrowded court dockets, the rights of Homeowners are steamrolled.  To date I have become involved in a number of cases after the Foreclosure Decree has been issued.  In those files, I believe that there have been numerous mistakes made by the Courts.  Each and every mistake has been to the advantage of the Bank.

The part that is not clearly understood is "why would the Banks want to force a foreclosure?"  Don't the Banks lose money when a property goes to Sheriff's Sale?  No.  Through Government Guarantees and PMI the Bank will be paid the amount of the mortgage over a period of less than three years instead of over a period of thirty years.  Why do you think that TARP funds can be paid back so quickly?

While I do not agree with each and every position taken by the Occupy Movement, I do believe that much more attention must be given to this issue.  If the Occupy Movement can bring attention to the issue, then I support their efforts.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Office of Comptroller of Currency and Independent Foreclosure Review

There are a number of articles discussing the OCC and the Independent Foreclosure Review so I recently viewed the Office of Comptroller of Currency's website and some of the consent orders that were entered into by the Banks.  The Consent Orders are nothing more than settlement agreements.  The Consent Orders list numerous items of wrongdoing that have been discovered in one or more files, but it is not determined to be an industry-wide occurence let alone the standard operating procedure for those involved in the foreclosure process.  Further, by signing the consent decrees the Banks do not admit to any wrongdoing. 

An article recently suggested that the OCC consent orders could be used offensively in State Court proceedings by Homeowners who have suffered from fraudulent activities involved in their mortgage/ foreclosure.  However, the Banks have not admitted to doing anything wrong and have merely settled in order to avoid the cost of litigating and defending themselves against cease and desist orders.  Any attempt to use the OCC and the Consent Orders offensively by Homeowners, will most likely be met by arguments that the Homeowner's loan file has been reviewed and found to be in order. 

The OCC and the various consent decrees should be seen as nothing more than a warning sign.   The foreclosure process is ripe with mistakes, errors, and outright fraud.  Homeowners should aggressively defend the foreclosure.  Do not be lead astray.  HAMP, the OCC, as well as, any government program that seems to be assistance to the Homeowner, is merely an attempt to whitewash the Foreclosure problem.  I suspect that the OCC Independent Foreclosure Review will have defenseless Homeowners sign up to have their file reviewed by someone who needs the system to work.

Previous governement programs have created a system of professionals who understand the loan modification process, the HAMP application procedure, the Catholic Charities or the Save The Dream application process.  But the professionals who are supposed to assist the Homeowners through these application processes do not object to the fees, costs, or charges added to the Homeowner's loan.  The programs have essentially turned Homeowners facing foreclosure into miniture account representatives for the Banks.  The government would like to give the Bank $Billions but what account should the Bank apply these funds to .....

................... (imagine Bank executives and Government officials confering) .......................................

The Bank will apply these funds to the account of whichever Homeowner succesfully navigates the program before the money runs out.  Minus, of course, fees paid to the Bank for completing the application on behalf of the Homeowner.

................... (imagine Bank executives and Government officials confering) .......................................

And the program will have to be just embarassing and degrading enough that not all Homeowners will apply.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Numerous Defenses

I previously wrote and stated that the plan in defending foreclosures was to simply treat a complaint for foreclosure like real litigation.  This may have been misinterpreted as a strategy to drive up litigation costs and thereby force the bank to settle.  This is not a winning strategy.  Who is in a better position to fund litigation than a bank? 

Instead, by defending the foreclosure complaint numerous defenses emerge.  The Lender did not do things properly.  The depositor, the custodian, the Trustee, the Servicer did not do things properly.  The issue is not the same in every case, but every case has some issue.  In addition, the law firms handling the foreclosure complaints are attempting to treat every foreclosure identical in order to process the paperwork as efficiently as possible. 

The Ohio Supreme Court has warned against discussing the particular facts of a case in a public forum, so I will speak only in general terms.  I have successfully prevented Sheriff's Sales from proceeding; received relief from judgment, or I am currently defending foreclosure complaints raising a number of different issues.  Here a just a few examples. The Plaintiff asserted that it held the promissory note at a time when Fannie Mae reported that it owned the mortgage note on its website.  The Plaintiff sought to foreclose on a mortgage that was assigned to it by way of a power of attorney, but the power of attorney was not recorded with the Recorder's office.  The Servicer sent notice of acceleration when the promissory note requires the Lender or the Note Holder to provide notice.  Default judgment was granted after the Plaintiff filed a notice of dismissal.  Mers assigned a mortgage acting solely as a nominee more than a year after the Lender had been dissolved.  In a refiled complaint with a different named Plaintiff, the Plaintiff used the same affiant stating that he had again reviewed business records (were the records the  business records of the first plaintiff or the second plaintiff). 

All of these present major issues for the Plaintiff.  All of these major issues are probably repeated throughout the numerous foreclosures now pending.  The Plaintiffs and their attorneys are ill equipped to handle the many defenses, and therefore the Lenders are willing to resolve the foreclosure complaint on favorable terms.  It is not simply being a thorn; it is not simply driving up litigation costs.  Nor is it something that can be taught in a one day seminar.

Homeowners facing a foreclosure complaint must seek out an attorney with experience in Civil Litigation.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

IT'S OFFICIAL



The law office opened space in Boardman, Ohio; we placed an advertisement in the phone book, and new business cards were printed.  The image above is the back of the new business card.  This is really a different avenue for the law office.  Normally, people talk to one another about legal issues they might have encountered.  It comes up in casual conversation.  Referrals occur because people seek out an attorney; ask their friends about an attorney or actually know an attorney. 

With a Homeowner facing foreclosure it is completely different.  Homeowners do not talk about it.  Homeowners are afraid, embarrassed, and at their wits end.  It does not come up in casual conversation.  The last time I checked Mahoning County, Ohio had 796 pending foreclosure cases.  Trumbull County, Ohio had a similar number of pending foreclosures.  If there are so many pending foreclosures, why is it that individuals do not know that their friends, neighbors, and co-workers are facing foreclosure?  In addition, if there are so many pending cases, why are there not more attorneys representing Homeowners?

As a result, it is more difficult to get the information out to Homeowners.  Direct mail is one avenue, but I know that many individuals receiving my letter have already received a number of other letters.  The majority of those other letters are from attorneys who truly believe the only alternative is Bankruptcy.  "If I can fix my situation with my house, I do not need to file bankruptcy" is a comment I have heard on a number of occasions. 


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Ohio Supreme Court and Foreclosures

The Ohio Supreme Court in U.S. Bank NA vs. Duvall Case No. 2011-218 was set to determine the issue of standing, but decided that the case was rendered moot when U.S. Bank released the mortgage lien as paid in full.  A pending case of U.S. Bank NA vs. Perry Ohio Supreme Court Case No. 2011-170 was stayed pending the outcome of Duvall. 

On October 7, 2011, the Ohio Supreme Court continued the briefing in Perry now pending the outcome in Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. vs. Duane Schwartzwald Case No. 2011-1362 (the certified conflict) and Case No. 2011-1201 (the discretionary appeal).  The certified conflict asks the parties to brief the following issue:

"In a mortgage foreclosure action, the lack of standing or a real party in interest defect can be cured by assignment of mortgage prior to judgment"

The certified conflict was filed by the homeowner as Appellant.  Accordingly, anyone desiring to submit a brief in support of the Homeowner's position must file a brief pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 6.2(A) within 40 days of the record being filed with the Clerk of Courts.  The record was filed on October 21, 2011.  As such, a brief in support of the Homeowners should be filed on or before November 30, 2011.  (Unless Appellants obtain an extension of time within which to file their brief.)