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

2670 North Columbus Street, Suite L, Lancaster, Ohio 43130

Phone: (740) 277-7850 / (330) 965-1093

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

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Foreclosures Measures Near Pre-Crisis Levels/ Another Attack on Homeowners Facing Foreclosures

Browsing the internet I came across a story from Market Watch that stated essentially levels of foreclosures have returned to "near pre-crisis levels". Below is the link to the story, which includes a graph that creates a new statistic "completed foreclosures per mortgage". I believe this graph is deceptive.
First, the writer picks 2005 and declares that this is the pre-crisis numbers. This is sort of like saying gas prices have gone down, as long as no one remembers when gas was less than $2.00/ gallon. Second, the writer uses "completed foreclosures" to gauge the decline in Homeowners Facing Foreclosure. Who decides when a foreclosure is completed. Is it when the decree of foreclosure is filed, when the Sheriff Sale takes place, when the Sale is confirmed. If the writer chooses confirmed Sheriff Sales, then "completed foreclosures" becomes a relatively small number.
I went to the Ohio Supreme Court website and pulled the statistical reports for the Courts of Ohio. If you characterize 2005, as the writer did, "Pre-Crisis" the number of foreclosures that were filed in the State of Ohio was 63,996. The graph demonstrates that the height of the crisis was 2010. In Ohio, there were 85,483 new foreclosure complaints filed. In 2009, there were 89,053 new foreclosure complaints filed. The statistical reports for 2013 and 2014 are not available from the Ohio Supreme Court at this time. The graph has the numbers in 2012 demonstrating a significant decline and close to the "pre-crisis" 2005 numbers. In 2012, there were 70,469 new foreclosure filings. The writer of the Market Watch article could say in Ohio we are approaching the "Pre-crisis" numbers of 2005; or there has been a decline from the height of the crisis. However, what the numbers really show is that there were 70,469 homeowners who were far enough behind in their mortgage payments that the Bank resorted to foreclosure. This does not include those still struggling to keep current, or those who are behind but only 1 or 2 months behind. If you look at the new foreclosures filed in 1999, 31,229 foreclosure complaints were filed. I believe that 1999 would be a better year to consider as "pre-crisis" but the available reports on-line do not go back any further. In 2012, the number of new foreclosure cases was still nearly double the number of foreclosures in 1999.
My analysis of the numbers really provides no better gauge than the Market Watch article. Especially, if you have stumbled upon this article in search for assistance in defending a foreclosure. The purpose of my writing is to again explain to the Homeowner Facing Foreclosure that the Banks and National media are working against you to make you feel alone and hopeless. The Market Watch article is intended to keep the Homeowner Facing Foreclosure from seeking help, from fighting. Things are better for everyone but you. Even the recent stories of Homeowners prevailing against their lenders are clouded with bad news. The story was not about victories, but about secret non-disclosure agreements and how homeowners can be harmed in the future. The stories should be simple, those who fight usually get help. Those who fight usually end up with a reasonable monthly mortgage payment. Do not be misguided by the National Media, you are winning the battle and Banks are starting to offer reasonable deals for those who are willing to fight.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Single Point of Contact

Recent changes to the Federal Guidelines have imposed new protections for consumers dealing with the companies that allegedly own and service their mortgages. These new regulations require the Lender or the Servicer to provide a single point of contact. The purpose is to prevent the Homeowner from being switched and transferred from numerous representatives while trying to seek assistance with their loans.
I am an attorney. I represent a number of homeowners facing foreclosure. I deal with Lenders and Servicers on a regular basis. The frustration each Homeowner going through this process is not an individual occurrence, coincidence, the result of the sheer volume of cases. In my opinion, it is purposesful and calculated to cause as many homeowners to be overwhelmed and frustrated and eventually walk away from their home.
Here, is a short list of the issues caused by Lenders and Servicers that I have encountered repeatedly:
1. You must be at least 3 months behind in your payments before we can assist you with a modification;
2. Your financial documents are out of date;
3. We did not recieve your loan modification application;
4. You did not qualify for HAMP;
5. Your trial payments must be in certified funds;
6. Your trial payments were not received on time;
7. You do not need to answer the complaint as the modification will resolve the issues;
8. You do not need an attorney as the modification will resolve everything;
9. You do not need to attend the default hearing as we are working on a loan modification.
Now the Lenders and Servicers are attempting over burden attorneys and frustrate attorneys representing Homeowners facing foreclosure by providing a single point of contact listing only the property address. If you call the single point of contact with the property address they are not allowed to give out any information unless you know the name of the Homeowner. (The reason I was calling was to find out the name of teh Homeowner.). All I need to know is which file to put the letter in. I already have a single point of contact; opposing counsel.
Well the strategy worked. I was frustrated long enough to post these comments. However, I am not ready to walk away from any of the Homeowners. The point of my writing is to again encourage Homeowners to continue to fight. Do not allow Lenders and Servicers to frustrate you until you give up. This is also another reason why Homeowners should contact an attorney. I cannot understand why Homeowners attempt to defend the biggest asset they will most likely ever purchase on their own. Not only is this a complicated area of law, litigation itself can be complicated. At a minimum you need an attorney who is well versed in litigation. An attorney who is familar with many of the defenses and issues involved in foreclosure may be more helpful, but the point is that you must defend the foreclosure. You must be prepared to file an appeal if you lose at the trial court level. It has been my experience that the more you are willing to fight, the more likely the Lender will eventually work with you to reach an outcome that is beneficial.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

God does not have tenure

In law school they told us that they were going to train us to think like lawyers.  While in law school they reminded us of many great philosophers who had stated that you could never have too many people trained in the law.  Once we left law school and joined private practice ethical considerations told us that we should  not take advantage of those untrained in the law.  When Courts interact with lay persons the Court will often describe the language of lawyers as legalese.   To recap;we are being trained to think in a noble profession but once we are educated we are apparently too well educated to speak in plain English for the common person to understand it.

As a result we end up in highly academic discussions regarding void versus voidable; jurisdiction over the person, subject matter jurisdiction, and original jurisdiction.  Combining these concepts we end up with academic discusions relating to whether a void judgment, which is a nullity and "of no force and effect", but cannot be challenged after an appeal  as the trial court has been divested of jurisdiction.

Scholarly trained professionals with contempt for common persons having intellectual discussions about complex issues without any regard for the everyday lives that foreclosures rip apart.  This is what it feels like we have become.  Then you start asking how did we become this.

 At a continuing legal education seminar the answer was given.  A panel of four highly esteemed professors were discussing the value of understanding the original intent of those who wrote the Constitution.   They all agreed that whatever value derived from the original intent given by the interpretor, the original intent could be derived from other contemporary writings.  Those who wrote the Declaration of Independence also wrote the Constitution, as well as, letters and speeches and sermons for and against the ratification of the Constitution.   The esteemed professors had various opininions as to the manner of determining the original intent and the importance to place on the original intent. After giving their presentations on the way to practice Constitutional Law, the emphasis to be placed on the original intent,  and how to determine the original intent, they opened the floor for questions.  I asked: are you are of the concept that the Declaration of Independence was a prayer, and did you consider the concept in your analysis of original intent.  Two of the esteemed professors ignored me like I was an an uneducated lay person who had no concept of what we were discussing being that of legalese and such.  One professor  stated that he has aware of the concept but had rejected it in his analysis.   The remaining professor asked me what I meant by prayer.  Without a great deal of thought I neverously stated a solemn personal discussion with the Creator of the Universe, God.  He responded that the founding fathers were certainly not speaking to a single all powerful being.  At most the use of the word creator would refer to nature or the spirit of the trees..  NO THEY WERE NOT PRAYING TO GOD!!
We have entrusted these four men with the training of our future lawyers.  Future lawyers are being told that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were in no way interested in God.  Not only is this shameful, but it also explains how plainly understood concepts are contorted  to reach intended results for specific clients without any thought of what is right, fair or required.  Instead we have legally trained advocates attempting to win each issue at all costs regardless of what might happen to the greater good.