Friday, October 10, 2014
Again I have not read the entire opinion of Bank of America vs. Kuchta. My first blush gut reaction was to be somewhat discouraged, but this decision does not in any way signal the end of Home Owners Facing Foreclosure's ability to defend the action. It should signal thosecin litigation to seek professional assistance early. In many of the recent appellate decisions, the Courts are paying closercattntion to the finer points. Was the affidavit proper? Did the lender comply with the conditions precedent? In addition, I have noticed more Homeowners receiving better loan modifications regardless of the stage of the litigation. In addition, new guidelines regarding the prevention of a sale or proceeding to judgment while a loan modification is pending are being given more weight, at least by the Lenders. TrialmCourts were less almost hostile to a stay as a result of HAMP. The Magistrates would comment that HAMP only had guidelines bug no Federal Regulations. Being able to point to new fede regulations appears to have cauht the attention of the trial courts. do not be discouraged by the Kuchta decision. Yes, the financial industry will not be toppled by the gridlock causedby void foreclosures. Therecwill be no rrevolution. However, courts are beginning tk treat foreclosures as something more than a nuisance clogging the docket. In addition, banks are apparently growing weary of the fight. Banks are more apt to modify a loan than to draw an unreasonable line in the sand.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
I only recently received a copy of the slip opinion in Bank of America vs. Kuchta 2014-OHIO-4275, so I do not intend this to be an in depth analysis of the decision or its ramifications. I am writing to tell all Home Owners Facing Foreclosure that this decision will limit what an attorney can do for you after judgment has been rendered. Prior to the decision there was at least an issue as to whether a motion for relief judgment under Civil Rule 60(B) could be used to argue that the plaintiff lacked standing. In fact, prior to the decision, an argument could be made that a common law motion to vacate a void judgment could be made well after the judgment was rendered. The arguments centered upon whether the lack of standing resulted in a void judgment or merely a voidable judgment. At a glance, the decision appears to render lack of standing to be nothing more than a defense which must be asserted or it is waived. Again, I stated that I had not read the decision, so I do not want to try to analyze it here. However, this should be a WARNING to all Home Owners Facing Foreclosure, if you attempt to defend the foreclosure on your own an attorney attempting to asist you after judgment will be limited. Standing can only be challenged by a direct appeal. On appeal the attorney will be limited to the arguments and the evidence that were before the trial court. While there are still arguments available pursuant to Civil Rule 60(B), standing is no longer one of those arguments. In addition, many homeowners do not seek out an attorney until the Notice of Sheriff's Sale arrives. Plaintiffs are required to provide notice of Sheriff's Sale only a short period of time before the Sheriff's Sale. Plaintiff's have been delaying their request for an order of sale, and as a result, by the time many Home Owners Facing Foreclosure seek out the assistance of an attorney many of the grounds for relief under Civil Rule 60(B) are no longer available. Grounds under Civil Rule 60(B)(1)-(3) must be asserted within a reasonable period of time, and not beyond one year after judgment. As I have consistently stated, Home Owners Facing Foreclosure need to retain counsel early and defend the foreclosure in order to level the playing field in the loan modification process.