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What to Do When In Foreclosure

June 28th, 2017 by

Adam Deutsch, Esq.

These are five areas that you should focus on for best outcomes if in foreclosure: communication, document management, records, time and finance management.

  1. Communication – It is imperative that you communicate with your lawyer. Often times nothing will happen with your case for weeks on end.  However, if you ever want an update on where your case stands, you should not hesitate to reach out to the firm.  Equally important is to be responsive when the firm reaches out to you.  There may be instances during the litigation where we need a prompt response from you in order to advocate on your behalf.  Non-communication could cause irreparable harm to your case.
  1. Document management – You should provide every letter, notice, communication you receive from your lender or servicer to your lawyer. Often times it will be meaningless, but you should let your lawyer make that call.
  2. Records – Keep good notes about everything that happens in regard to your loan; who you spoke to, when, and about what. Again, it may ultimately be irrelevant, but it may also be the key to a valid defense to the foreclosure – let your lawyer decide.
  3. Time Management – Don’t procrastinate. Sticking your head in the sand is the easiest way to lose your rights.
  4. Finance Management – While the foreclosure action is progressing, you will not be actively paying your mortgage. You should use this opportunity to save the money you would otherwise be paying to your lender and begin to repair your finances.

When you retain Denbeaux & Denbeaux, you are retaining a team of individuals as advocates for your cause.  In your foreclosure matter, that team is led by Joshua Denbeaux.  Joshua will be primarily responsible for your case and will at all times be kept abreast of your litigation.  Day to day, your case will be managed by one or more associate attorneys.  Those attorneys will work together, with the assistance of our talented support staff, to advocate on your behalf.

How the Repeal of Dodd Frank Can Hurt Your Money

June 27th, 2017 by

Published June 7, 2017 by James Dennin The House of Representatives voted 233-186 on Thursday afternoon to pass the Financial Choice Act of 2017, a bill that would undo many provisions of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

The bill — sponsored by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) — was touted by proponents as a way to help smaller community banks and credit unions that say they’ve struggled with regulatory controls imposed by Dodd-Frank, which was passed in the wake of the financial crisis to mitigate systemic risk and protect consumers from predatory lending.

There is a certainly a case to be made that a community bank shouldn’t have to play by the same rules as Goldman Sachs. The National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions, for example, argues that Dodd-Frank encourages the “over-regulation of good actors.” Some 1,660 credit unions — often preferable to consumers because of lower fees and more generous interest payments — have gone out of business since the second quarter of 2010.

But experts consulted by Mic warned that a Dodd-Frank repeal could do far more harm than good for the financial system, leaving Americans without several important consumer protections and policy makers without the tools needed to confront the next crisis. Even if the Choice Act helps institutions unfairly punished by Dodd-Frank, it is tantamount to “throwing the baby out with the bath water,” said Amalgamated Bank CEO Keith Mestrich.

Other provisions in Hensarling’s bill could end up hitting Americans in the wallet. Here are three crucial ways the Dodd-Frank repeal bill could hurt yours….click here to read the full story

Three Sneaky Foreclosure Tricks of Loan Servicers

June 24th, 2017 by

The best time to get a consultation for foreclosure prevention is before you miss a mortgage payment.

Many homeowners have told us that it is matter of pride that they maintain control of the situation. However, while they think that they have the situation under control, the loan servicer can be moving them closer and closer to foreclosure and eviction without them even knowing it.

When the third mortgage payment is missed it will trigger default and begin the foreclosure process.

Here are three ways that homeowners may be mislead :

  1. Told to miss payments. The loan servicer says to miss payments and go into default to a get a modification.
  2. Trial modification gone wrong.The loan servicer loses the application, payments, or breaches the final modification agreement.
  3. Dual tracking the homeowner. Dual tracking is when the loan servicer is simultaneously processing your loan modification and pushing forward the foreclosure process.

Here are the three warning signs that you need to take action by calling a foreclosure defense attorney:

  1. You are falling behind in payments and the loan servicing company is giving you false or misleading information about what you can do to save your home.
  2. You have applied for a loan modification and you are getting foreclosure notices at the same time from the loan servicing company.
  3. Your loan servicer outright lied to you about stopping the foreclosure while your loan modification application was being reviewed.

Always deal from a position of strength, rather than weakness, and make financial decisions based on facts that than emotion.

We have found that every foreclosure case is unique and every family situation is unique. Denbeaux and Denbeaux has handled thousands of foreclosure cases in New Jersey with most of the loan servicers, banks and attorneys who represent them. We know what violations to look for in both state and federal statutes. In your free consultation we will review your documents and tell you what your options are, what strategies can be used and what the consequences and likely outcomes will be. You will feel more in control because you will be dealing from a position of strength with the facts.

How to Stop Debt Collector Robocalls

June 21st, 2017 by

Robocalls are covered under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)which says it is illegal for debt collectors to robocall your cell phone unless you have given them consent. You must revoke consent in writing if you want them to stop calling.

The TCPA is just one of the laws that protect your consumer rights. There are also laws to protect you from unfair lending practices, unfair debt collection practices, and unfair credit reporting practices.

Generally there are 3 steps to protect your consumer financial rights:

  1. Hold entities accountable to the law.
  2. Provide written notices.
  3. Document violations.

In a nutshell, it is illegal under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for a debt collector to call your cellphone with an autodialer (make a “robocall”) without your consent.

If you withdraw your consent to call your cellphone and they continue to call then it is a violation of the TCPA.

You can continue to answer the calls after you have revoked your consent or not. That is your choice. Keep track of the calls and write down the date and time of each call. If possible record some of the calls. Say the following to the debt collector, “I am recording this phone call. If you continue talking, that means you consent to being recorded.”

Listing the the hundreds of time each month you are called by the same company in a lawsuit is great but imagine the impact if you are able to play one of the calls back in court.

Each call is worth $500 in damages, $1,500 if willful. Those calls can add up and can be resolved in your own private right of action or in a class action lawsuit.

Claimants usually receive less than the full $500 or $1,500 per violation in a class action.

Here are some examples of class action lawsuits.

Cruise Line to Pay up to $76 Million to settle TCPA Violations

Citizens Bank to Pay Over $45 Million to Settle TCPA Suit

Capital One Agrees to $75 Million TCPA Settlement

Judge Approves $32 Million Bank of America TCPA Class Action Settlement

FAQs
How did they get my cell number?
You may have given it to them in the application for credit, or maybe they retained your number if you called them to discuss a payment.
How to I revoke consent?

You could tell them on the phone that you don’t give them consent to call you any more but that is hard to prove if they keep calling. Notify them in writing and keep a copy of the letter and track the mailing.

It is best to send them a letter via Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested (CRR) saying that you revoke consent to call your cellphone – include your phone number so there is no mistake about the number they are not to send robocalls to.
If the calls stop then that is great. (Note: likely the debt collector will contact you via mail. It is wise to deal with the question of the debt and why they are trying to reach you in the first place. Don’t ignore the underlying problem. 
In the meantime if they keep calling you, keep a record of the individual robocalls. This way you have the evidence if you decide to retain a consumer financial rights lawyer to sue the debt collector for TCPA violations. If the phone call is abusive or harassing then it is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
What is considered harassment by a creditor?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) says debt collectors can’t harass, oppress, or abuse you or anyone else they contact. Repetitious phone calls intended to annoy, abuse, or harass you or any person answering the phone.

SUMMARY

The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) help protect your rights to not get harassing phone calls by debt collectors.
Under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, it is illegal for debt collectors to do the following:
  1. Contact your employer or neighbors about your debt (they may only contact them to locate you, but may not mention the debt)
  2. Call you late at night or at unreasonable hours. A debt collector may not contact you at inconvenient times such as before 8 in the morning or after 9 at night unless you agree to it.
  3. Call you at work. Tell collectors not contact you at work.
  4. Call you repeatedly, ie. robocalls

What Wells Fargo Being Accused of Illegal Loan Mods Means to You

June 16th, 2017 by

A class action lawsuit alleges in the Wells Fargo mortgage business put through unauthorized changes to home loans held by customers in bankruptcy.

A lawyer in Brownsville, Tex., who represents some of the plaintiffs, said he first thought that Wells Fargo had made a clerical error. Then he saw another case and realized that it was pattern of filing false documents with the federal court.

The big take away on this story is that seemingly harmless clerical errors in documents related to consumer finance may actually be evidence of a violation of the law. This can make all the difference in something as important as your home, your mortgage, or any kind of loan when facing a loan default or foreclosure.

Senior Partner Joshua Denbeaux trains and coaches lawyers at Denbeaux and Denbeaux to recognize the errors and patterns of practice by banks, debt collectors and loan servicing companies that violate laws such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, (FDCPA), the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the Truth in Lending Act (TILA)the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Consumer Fraud Act.

First consultations are done personally by Josh Denbeaux so that errors are spotted and violations are exposed that may violate your rights that protect your home, your credit and your money.

If you are having any kind of problem related to financial consumer rights, such as being late on payments on a home mortgage and heading for default, call us now to schedule a no-charge free consultation at (201) 664-8855.

In the consultation you will get three things:

  1. a comprehensive review of your unique situation.
  2. knowledge of what will happen if you decide to take further action (or not).
  3. an opinion of whether your desired outcome is within reach.

Past clients have expressed a feeling of relief and a tremendous burden been lifted after meeting with Josh. You will have the confidence gained by having the certainty of what will happen next.

The story:

NTY Wells Fargo Is Accused of Making Improper Changes to Mortgages

By GRETCHEN MORGENSON JUNE 14, 2017

Even as Wells Fargo was reeling from a major scandal in its consumer bank last year, officials in the company’s mortgage business were putting through unauthorized changes to home loans held by customers in bankruptcy, a new class action and other lawsuits contend.

The changes, which surprised the customers, typically lowered their monthly loan payments, which would seem to benefit borrowers, particularly those in bankruptcy. But deep in the details was this fact: Wells Fargo’s changes would extend the terms of borrowers’ loans by decades, meaning they would have monthly payments for far longer and would ultimately owe the bank much more.

Any change to a payment plan for a person in bankruptcy is subject to approval by the court and the other parties involved. But Wells Fargo put through big changes to the home loans without such approval, according to the lawsuits. The changes are part of a trial loan modification process from Wells Fargo. But they put borrowers in bankruptcy at risk of defaulting on the commitments they have made to the courts, and could make them vulnerable to foreclosure in the future.

A spokesman for Wells Fargo, Tom Goyda, said the bank strongly denied the claims made in the lawsuits and particularly disputed how the complaints characterized the bank’s actions. Wells Fargo contends that the borrowers and the bankruptcy courts were notified.

“Modifications help customers stay in their homes when they encounter financial challenges,” Mr. Goyda said, “and we have used them to help more than one million families since the beginning of 2009.”

According to court documents, Wells Fargo has been putting through unrequested changes to borrowers’ loans since 2015. During this period, the bank was under attack for its practice of opening unwanted bank and credit card accounts for customers to meet sales quotas.

Outrage over that activity — which the bank admitted in September 2016, when it was fined $185 million — cost John G. Stumpf, its former chief executive, his job and damaged the bank’s reputation.

It is unclear how many unsolicited loan changes Wells Fargo has put through nationwide, but seven cases describing the conduct have recently arisen in Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas. In the North Carolina court, Wells Fargo produced records showing it had submitted changes on at least 25 borrowers’ loans since 2015.

Full story click here.