HAMP Eligibility Ends December 30, 2016‎

November 21st, 2016 by

CFPB Compliance Bulletin Reminds Debt Collectors that In Person Collection Attempts Often Violation of Federal Law

By Adam Deutsch

With the end of HAMP we are coming to the end of an era.  If you are struggling to pay your mortgage or have defaulted on your mortgage and your loan is owned or serviced by a bank that took federal money through TARP you must not let the opportunity to seek a modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program or HAMP pass you by.  The deadline to submit an application is Friday December 30, 2016. I have seen first hand this program change lives and help families.  To be considered, your application does not need to be complete with all documentation submitted, but you do need to have the process started before the end of the year.  Find out what must be submitted by clicking this link.

Joshua Denbeaux, Esq.

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If you submit your HAMP application before the deadline make sure to keep a record of all documents submitted, and how you submitted them.  If you are sending your application by mail, pay to have it tracked so you can confirm receipt.  Unfortunately, some loan servicers purposefully deny loan modifications under false pretenses, claiming the application was filed late, incomplete or that it was never received.  When this happens, it is your record keeping that can make the difference in obtaining relief.

Denbeaux & Denbeaux are specialized experts in utilizing federal laws that govern the servicing, ownership, and modifying of mortgage loans.  Bankruptcy, is probably not the best solution although we hear too often from homeowners who are lead to believe their only choice is to make the drastic decision to file a bankruptcy.  Without using bankruptcy we have obtained Court Orders in New Jersey Federal Court highlighting the wrongful behavior of banks in reviewing homeowners for loan modifications (Block v. Seneca).   Denbeaux & Denbeaux uses its knowledge of the federal courts and federal law to take foreclosure fights out of state court, resulting in loan modifications and monetary awards.  Even if you have lost your home, we may be able to get you relief.


HAMP Loan Modification to End : Date Announced

November 17th, 2016 by

Time is running out for homeowners seeking loan modifications from the Home Affordable Modification Program.

UPDATED 11/17/16  The HAMP application process is set to expire at the end of December 2016.

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Adam Deutsch, Esq.

Adam Deutch Esq., of the law firm Denbeaux and Denbeaux observed, “Our clients have about 6 weeks left to apply for HAMP or the opportunity is gone for good. Applications must be in by end of 2016, and then trial plans and workouts can continue throughout 2017.  You need an initial application in by end of year.”

Making Home Affordable Highlights

  • MHA has helped more than 1.8 million families
  • HAMP set standards for how modifications should be done. Contributed to more that 10 million modifications and loss mitigation interventions
  • Homeowners have saved approximately $41 billion to date in monthly mortgage payments who are part of the program.
  • HAMP standards result in better performance and sustainability of the modification.

Eligibility and Cutoff Dates

Initial package must be received on or before December 30, 2016 to be eligible for consideration in 2017.

Must have permanent modification effective date on or before December 1, 2017.

HAMP Tier 1 and Tier 2 : borrower must submit an initial Package* on or before December 30, 2016 in order to be considered for Tier 1 or Tier 2.

Streamline HAMP: Servicers should continue to make offers as provided in the MHA Handbook through December 30, 2016. For offers on or after December 31, 2016, borrowers must have submitted at least one component of the the Loss Mitigation Application or requested assistance that is documents by the servicer on or before December 30, 2016 for which the servicer has not set a Non-Approval Notice.

Tier 1, 2 and Streamline HAMP : Modification Effective Date must be on or before December 1, 2017.

Initial Package: request for Mortgage Assistance (RMA) Dodd Frank Certification, 4506-T or 4506-T-EZ and evidence of income.

Judge Finds Mortgage Modification Agreement a Valid Contract

November 2nd, 2016 by

A homeowner raised a valid claim for breach of contract when a mortgage holder failed to grant a mortgage modification after the homeowner fulfilled requirements of a trial modification agreement, a New Jersey federal judge has ruled.

Charles Toutant, New Jersey Law Journal

A motion to dismiss the homeowner’s breach of contract claim was denied after U.S. District Judge Freda Wolfson of the District of New Jersey found the elements of breach of contract were fulfilled by the plaintiff’s successful completion of the trial modification agreement and the defendants’ subsequent refusal to modify terms of the mortgage.

Wolfson’s Monday ruling in Block v. Seneca Mortgage Servicing, which was designated for publication, could put the lid on a common practice in the mortgage industry, according to plaintiff’s attorney Joshua Denbeaux—a homeowner complies with the requirements of a trial modification agreement, also known as a trial payment plan, only to see the mortgage company refuse to modify the mortgage terms.

Homeowner Florence Block, who defaulted on the $580,000 loan on her Bernards home, was named in a foreclosure action in January 2013. In May 2014, she reached an agreement with Seneca Mortgage Servicing that would lower her monthly payment if she made a deposit and six monthly payments on time. She completed her obligations under the agreement by November 2014, but the next month her loan was sold and the servicing of the loan was transferred to Ocwen Loan Servicing. Ocwen initially refused to provide a modification but said it would do so after Block’s counsel provided proof of her full compliance with the trial modification agreement with Seneca. But Ocwen failed to credit $32,543 in trial modification payments to Block’s loan balance, she claims.

Ocwen never followed through, and in March 2015, a company called Fay Servicing took over for Ocwen. Fay Servicing refused Block’s request for a loan modification but provided a new trial modification agreement requiring a down payment and six monthly payments.

Block filed suit against Seneca, Ocwen, Fay and the mortgage holder, ARLP Securitization Trust, Series 2015-1 in January. She raised breach of contract claims and also raised claims under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act. The defendants moved to dismiss all four counts.

The motion to dismiss FDCPA claims against Ocwen were granted in part and denied in part. Motions to dismiss RESPA and FDCPA claims against Fay were granted. Wolfson denied the motion to dismiss the Consumer Fraud Act claim against Seneca.

In refusing to dismiss the breach of contract claims, Wolfson found the plaintiff properly alleged a contract between the parties, a breach of the contract, damages flowing from the breach and that the party stating the claim performed its own contractual obligations. She rejected the defendants’ argument that the Seneca trial modification agreement is a valid contract due to lack of proper consideration by the plaintiff.

Plaintiff Block defaulted on the mortgage because she was suffering from cancer, and she died about a month ago, said Denbeaux of Denbeaux & Denbeaux in Westwood, who represented the plaintiff along with the firm’s Adam Deutsch. A mortgage modification would permit her daughter, who moved into the house to care for her mother, to stay there and make the mortgage payments, Denbeaux said.

Wolfson cited cases from the Fifth and Seventh circuits, which found no contract existed and explained why they were wrong, he said. Her ruling that the trial modification agreement is a contract is likely to be cited by other courts, he said.

“There are tens of thousands of people in this situation. The district courts throughout the country have gone in different directions on this issue,” Denbeaux said. “We laid out all the facts and [Wolfson] had a full record in front of her for the first time anywhere in the country as to what happens with this trial modification nonsense.”

Joseph Froehlich of Locke Lord in New York, representing ARLP and Fay Servicing; Jason Kislin of Greenberg Traurig in Florham Park, representing Ocwen; and Steven Penaro of Alston & Bird in New York, representing Seneca, did not respond to messages about the case.

Contact Charles Toutant at [email protected] On Twitter: @ctoutantnjlj.