Date: November 19, 2015Author: Denbeaux & Denbeaux
R. Jared Stepp, Esq.
R. Jared Stepp, an attorney for the Westwood lawfirm Denbeaux & Denbeaux that represented the homeowner, said the ruling was a reasonable one.
“His decision was good for homeowners, which is a refreshing change,” Stepp said.
He said that without HSBC disclosing the existence of the insurance funds and not reducing the sale price by that amount, potential bidders would have been at a double disadvantage: they would be making an offer that didn’t reflect true fair market value or they would have been dissuaded from bidding altogether out of concern they couldn’t afford the repairs.
Because the house has not yet been the subject of a sheriff’s sale, Stepp noted the case did not get to the point to test whether HSBC would have disclosed the existence of the funds at any point in the foreclosure process.
“The money should go to the purchaser at sheriff’s sale,” Stepp said. “But if (the bank) neglects to transfer the money to them, that’s a situation where the bank would get a windfall, which is what the judge was trying to avoid.”
MaryAnn Spoto may be reached at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @MaryAnnSpoto. Find NJ.com on Facebook.