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Stop Foreclosure Now

March 31st, 2016 by

NJ Foreclosure Process

As many of 94% do not answer a lawsuit related to foreclosure. The problem is people are scared and freeze up hoping the problem will go away. These people will lose their homes eventually because they didn’t even try, and they gave up.

 Fear can do that to people…but it doesn’t have to be that way.

If you are threatened or worried about foreclosure we can help you. Our lawyers have been working with families to save their homes since the foreclosure crisis began. We have a simple three step approach so you can understand what your options are to take action. Many people are misinformed by the banks as to what their options are and where they are in the foreclosure process.

NJ Foreclosure Process

Step 1. Let us help you recognize where you are in the foreclosure process. If you need to stop a sheriffs sale that is more urgent than if you are just going into default. The first step is to get the information about where the bank sees you in the foreclosure process and take the appropriate action. Call us or email us and tell us your foreclosure problem. We will get you information and set up a free evaluation and consult with you.

Step 2. At our meeting we will assess with you your current needs and long-term goals. Whether you want to sue the bank or get a loan modification it all begins with setting goals. Do you need a loan modification? Do you think the bank committed fraud and want to sue them? Those are all actions depend on what you want. In our private one-one meeting we’ll discuss with you your goals and tell you what you can expect as the best outcome, and how long you can stay in your home. If you can keep your home you’ll know what steps to take. If we can’t help you we will say so upfront.

Step 3. When you leave our meeting we will have developed a plan of action to deal with your bank and a strategy for moving forward. We can help you know how long you can stay in your home, and what action to take to under the present circumstances. If there was fraud in your situation we will find it and advise you whether bringing it to federal court is a possible strategy.

Whether or not you take action will be up to you. You will be in a better place having met with our attorneys armed with the knowledge and strategy of what you can do to save your home.

SCRA: Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

March 25th, 2016 by

We are honored to have R. Jared Stepp Esq. available to help with servicemembers with legal questions or any question related to the SCRA Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

RICHARD JARED STEPP is a graduate of Seton Hall University School of Law. Prior to joining Denbeaux & Denbeaux Mr. Stepp served as an Infantryman in the United States Army and deployed to Mosul, Iraq as a member of the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division. Mr. Stepp attended Loyola University Chicago and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, majoring in both Economics and Finance.

While at Seton Hall University School of Law, Mr. Stepp was a member of the Investor Advocacy Project,providing free legal services to small investors in securities disputes. He also participated in the Southern District of New York Mediation Practicum, representing otherwise pro se litigants in mediation. Email him at : jstepp(at)denbeauxlaw(dot)com

R. Jared Stepp, Esq. will help with questions related to the SCRA: Servicemembers Civil Relief Act

SCRA or the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (formerly called the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act) (codified at 50 U.S.C. §§ 3901—4043) is a United States federal law that protects SoldierssailorsairmenMarines, Coast Guardsmen, commissioned officers in the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, from being sued while in active military service of their country and for up to a year after active duty.

The purposes of this Act are— (1) to provide for, strengthen, and expedite the national defense through protection extended by this Act to servicemembers of the United States to enable such persons to devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the Nation; and (2) to provide for the temporary suspension of judicial and administrative proceedings and transactions that may adversely affect the civil rights of servicemembers during their military service.

In plain language what this means is that the SCRA provides a wide range of protections for individuals entering, called to active duty in the military, or deployed servicemembers. It is intended to postpone or suspend certain civil obligations to enable service members to devote full attention to duty and relieve stress on the family members of those deployed servicemembers. A few examples of such obligations you may be protected against are:

  • Outstanding credit card debt
  • Mortgage payments
  • Pending trials
  • Taxes
  • Terminations of lease.

Status Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act of 2015

This bill amends the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012 to extend through 2017 the one-year period after a service member’s military service during which: (1) a court may stay proceedings to enforce an obligation on real or personal property owned by the service member before such military service; and (2) any sale, foreclosure, or seizure of such property shall be invalid without a court order or waiver agreement signed by the service member. (Currently, the extended one-year period is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2015, and return to a nine-month period under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.)

Effective January 1, 2018 (currently, January 1, 2016), the old nine-month period in place of the one-year period granted by such Act shall be restored.

 

Ever Have a Wells Fargo Escrow Account Servicing Complaint ?

March 22nd, 2016 by

Today we are reviewing Wells Fargo consumer complaint narrative Complaint ID 1805674 filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on February 26, 2016. This is an example of a possible loan servicing error involving payment to an escrow account for a FHA mortgage. This narrative shows the nature of a loan servicing problem and the level of frustration the homeowner feels in dealing with Wells Fargo.

COMPLAINT ID 1805674

( WELLS FARGO BANK , NATIONAL ASSOCIATION ) is the bank that holds my mortgage, they are consistently mismanaging my escrow account. Almost every year since they brought out my mortgage from another company at the

end of each year I ‘ve had the payable payments of more than {$2500.00} sometimes a little less for their claims of my escrow always constantly being short. Even as my land taxes went down three years in a row, my escrow for some reason was always short. When he forced me to pay the extra balloon payments at the end of each year, they tell me that this little payment make my escrow have an overage. So XX/XX/XXXX if I paid {$2500.00} plus my motley mortgage fee of {$1400.00}, does n’t this mean that I now have a surplus of escrow. Now with that being said consider the fact that my land taxes decreased, my home owners insurance decreased from XX/XX/XXXX to XX/XX/XXXX ; why am I still left with a escrow shortage. I believe his bank is consistently committing theft by deception, and I will be immediately looking to my local law enforcement agency to file those criminal charges against Wells Fargo.

The Company public response was as follows: “Company has responded to the consumer and the CFPB and chooses not to provide a public response.”

While the homeowner wants to look to local law enforcement agency to file criminal charges, they would be able to file a complaint with not just the CFPB but take legal action on their own behalf in federal court with the help of an attorney to represent them who has knowledge and experience bringing this kind of case to federal court.

Adam Deutsch Esq. Senior Associate Attorney at the law firm of Denbeaux and Denbeaux reminds homeowners that “if you are facing collections, and you believe that in the context of collections,a loan servicer, or a law firm that they have retained, has sought to collect from you a sum that is not owed, even if a portion of the debt is legitimate, if they have tacked on additional fees that you believe are inappropriate, you may have a claim and you may be entitled to relief under the  Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.”

We Represent People And Protect the American Dream

March 8th, 2016 by

New Jersey Leads Nation in Mortgage Delinquency Rate at 7.0%

March 8th, 2016 by

According to CoreLogic’s National Foreclosure Report New Jersey has a serious mortgage delinquency rate of 7.0% which is more than double the national average of 3.2%

State Foreclosure Data

New Jersey leads the nation with the highest foreclosure inventory as a percentage of mortgaged homes, as well as the highest rate of serious delinquency, according to the CoreLogic National Foreclosure report for January 2016.

“The improvement in distressed properties continues across the country in every state which is contributing to the lack of stock of available homes and resulting price escalation in many markets.

So far the trend toward lower delinquency and foreclosure has been immune from shocks from such things as the collapse of oil prices attesting to the durability of the housing recovery,” says Anand Nallathanmbi, President and CEO of CoreLogic. However, inventory tells only part of the story impacting homeowners.

Metropolitan Area Highlights

January saw an atypical 6.6 percent rise in mortgage delinquencies from December, bringing the national delinquency rate above 5 percent for the first time since February

 2015, according to Black Knight Services 2016 Mortgage Monitor report.

In the report, historical data indicates that delinquency rate increases are uncommon in the month of January having decreased over the past five years.

Prepayment activity plummeted in January to its lowest level since February 2014 as mortgage applications fell off in late December following the Federal Reserve’s announcement to raise interest rates.

Although January’s foreclosure sale volume was 4 percent below last year’s level, foreclosure sales have been trending upwards as a share of remaining 90+ day delinquent and foreclosure inventories.

Here are more highlights from the report:

Total U.S. loan delinquency rates (loans 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure) for January 2016 stands at 5.09%

Number of properties that are 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure: 2,575,000 up 167,00 month-over-month change and down 189,000 year-over-year change.

Number of properties that are 90 days or more past due, but not in foreclosure: 831,000 up 23,000 month-over-month change, and down 229,000 year-over-year change.

Number of properties in foreclosure pre-sale inventory 659,000 down 30,000 month-over-month change and down 226,000 year-over-year change.

Number of properties that are 30 or more days past due or in foreclosure 3,234,000 up 137,000 month-over-month change and down 415,000 year-over-year change.

National Home Mortgage Delinquency Rate Above 5%

March 7th, 2016 by

January saw an atypical 6.6 percent rise in mortgage delinquencies from December, bringing the national delinquency rate above 5 percent for the first time since February 2015, according to Black Knight Services 2016 Mortgage Monitor report.

In the report, historical data indicates that delinquency rate increases are uncommon in the month of January having decreased over the past five years.

Prepayment activity plummeted in January to its lowest level since February 2014 as mortgage applications fell off in late December following the Federal Reserve’s announcement to raise interest rates.

Although January’s foreclosure sale volume was 4 percent below last year’s level, foreclosure sales have been trending upwards as a share of remaining 90+ day delinquent and foreclosure inventories.

Here are more highlights from the report:

Total U.S. loan delinquency rates (loans 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure) for January 2016 stands at 5.09%

Number of properties that are 30 or more days past due, but not in foreclosure: 2,575,000 up 167,00 month-over-month change and down 189,000 year-over-year change.

Number of properties that are 90 days or more past due, but not in foreclosure: 831,000 up 23,000 month-over-month change, and down 229,000 year-over-year change.

Number of properties in foreclosure pre-sale inventory 659,000 down 30,000 month-over-month change and down 226,000 year-over-year change.

Number of properties that are 30 or more days past due or in foreclosure 3,234,000 up 137,000 month-over-month change and down 415,000 year-over-year change.

Delinquent Loans May Still Face Foreclosure After Exceeding Statutes of Limitations

March 7th, 2016 by

Black Knight Financial Services reports that the courts in three states are looking into how to handle homes in foreclosure coming up on statues of limitations.

Highlights from the Black Knight Financial Services January 2016 Monitor report relevant to homeowners in New Jersey are as follows:

In three states, Florida, New Jersey and New York, various courts are deliberating the specifics around how statute of limitations law is applied to foreclosure actions.

High-end estimates based solely on loan level delinquency timelines show that in those states up to 98,000 seriously delinquent loans may face some degree of statute of limitations exposure.

Depending upon the courts’ decisions, statutes of limitations could apply to mortgages more than 5 years past due in Florida or more than 6 years past due in New Jersey and New York.

Potential exposure levels in New York and New Jersey have actually risen over the past 12 months – currently sitting at 35,300 and 22,000 respectively – due to limited resolution in severely delinquent loan populations in both states.

37 percent of loans more than 5 years delinquent in Florida are not actively involved in foreclosure – potentially presenting additional risk dependent on court rulings.

In New York and New Jersey, 22 percent and 21 percent of loans more than 6 years delinquent are not in active foreclosure.

You can stop Citibank from again violating federal law

March 1st, 2016 by

You can stop Citibank from again violating federal law

By Adam Deutsch and Joshua W. Denbeaux as published in The Hill March 1, 2016

On Feb. 23, 2016 the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced the latest settlement with one of America’s darling giants of the banking industry. The Feb. 23 settlement with the CFPB is one of many ongoing systematic frauds relating to the loan servicing practices of Citibank and the credit card industry as a whole.  This time the perpetrator of organized financial fraud is the nation’s third largest bank, Citibank, N.A. and the mark was YOU.

Based on the language of the consent order which details Citibank’s wrongful behavior, the bank got off with a handshake and a brotherly pat on the back.  A settlement payment of $53 million is a lot of money to you and me, but it is a meaningless rounding error to Citibank’s bottom line.  This type of penalty is not meaningful because it is certainly less than Citibank earned through its fraudulent behavior.

According to the consent agreement, Citibank intentionally manipulated credit card accounts before selling the debt to third party debt collection companies.  The manipulations included inflation of the APR for 128,809 accounts.  In some instances the APR was overstated by 29 percent.

Then Citibank sold the loans and the borrowers’ names, addresses, social security numbers and other sensitive information to debt collectors AND after selling the credit accounts to third party collectors, to the debt buyers, Citibank continued to collect payments from the debtors and kept the funds for itself despite not owning the debt.  Those payments were not credited to the already falsely inflated credit card accounts and so many borrowers were told to pay twice on illegally inflated credit card bills.

That means that the affected consumers – YOU AND ME – were subjected to multiple collection attempts from different entities for the same debt.  Where consumers made payments to Citibank that were not credited to their accounts, the consumers were subject to unwarranted negative credit reporting by the debt collectors to the credit reporting agencies and were pursued for debt that they had already paid.  This surely impacted people’s ability to buy a car, a home or to co-sign for college loans funding the education of the next generation.

Admitting that it violated federal law, Citibank also acknowledged that it had no policy in place to notify the debtors that collection rights on their credit card account had been transferred to a different company.

Why would it? Way waste the money to make sure that Citibank does not steal from its customers when stealing makes money?

You need to pay attention to this story.  This story is not about CitiBank, or if it is about Citibank, it is only about Citibank because they happened to get caught.  This story is about you, your siblings, your parents, your children.  It is about anyone who has a credit card.

Consumers are often intimidated to fight with a behemoth like Citibank, and give up after losing the war of attrition waiting for assistance on the customer service phone line.  Do not despair.  The laws are already in place for consumers to force Citibank to pay the individuals and families whose lives it has harmed through acts of fraud.

To stop the unsolicited victimization of the public consumer, we must start to exercise our rights provided by Congress through consumer protection laws including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Truth in Lending Act, and Fair Credit Reporting Act.  These statutes and others provide consumers with protective rights to fight wrongful conduct including the acts perpetrated by Citibank.  When successful, the wrongdoer will not only pay you for the wrong done, they will also pay your court fees and attorney fees.  These laws were put into place to encourage YOU AND ME to be public prosecutors of the financial industry.

This not only means that you as a harmed consumer can access free quality legal representation but it also means that you can help make a difference to this fraudulent financial scheme affected thousands and thousands of people.

If each of the consumers injured by the conduct of Citibank filed a separate lawsuit it would have a far greater impact on future conduct of Citibank than the $53 million settlement with the CFPB.  Citibank and its peers assume that they will get away with illegal conduct, because for years they have.  We, the consumer must stop letting the government do the fighting for our rights alone, a call to arms is necessary if future financial crises are to be averted.

Citibank has assets valuing $1.77 trillion and deposits of $883 billion.  If Citibank has treated you unfairly, some of that money rightfully belongs to you.

Deutsch is a senior associate attorney at Denbeaux & Denbeaux in Westwood, NJ, currently concentrating his practice on consumer rights litigation. Denbeaux is a partner at Denbeaux & Denbeaux concentrating his practice on financial consumer rights issues.