Archive | November, 2008

Beating Foreclosure legally

27 Nov

Facing Foreclosure in California?
The number of Foreclosures in California and across the Nation are on the rise. If you are facing foreclosure in California we can help. The foreclosure relief department at McCandless Firm, is comprised of a dedicated team of highly trained professionals, attorneys, underwriters, and brokers in the mortgage and loan industry. Our team will work diligently with your lender and/or invoke Federal Court Remedies to facilitate a solution that fits your budget and goals. The following are the most common ways we assist homeowners facing foreclosure.
Mortgage Modification:
The Mortgage Modification program allows most homeowners who can make payments keep their homes. Often, personal circumstances or an upward payment adjustment or “reset” will cause the homeowner to fall behind n their monthly payments. By actively counseling our clients and aggressively negotiating with their lenders we are capable of modifying the original loan to give our clients a fresh start in managing their home finances. Depending upon the individual needs of each client, modifications can range from a simple interest rate reduction resulting in a lower monthly payment to what is known as a “recapitalization agreement.” A recapitalization agreement takes all the “arrears” or monthly amounts that should have been paid but wasn’t paid, interest, fees, and missed payments and adds it to the principal of the mortgage loan. In many instances, we will negotiate the complete removal of principal above the current fair market value and “arrears”. Finally, we may be able to extend the life of your loan so that your payments are more easily manageable. This is a unique department of McCandless Law Firm that can be reach directly at (760) 733-8885
Lien Stripping:
The lien stripping program is available for individuals desiring to reorganize their debt using Federal Laws under Title 11 of the United States Code. The mortgage removal program can only be used in the context of a reorganization, often referred to as Chapter 13(see below). If you own a home with more than one mortgage, you may be able to completely remove or “avoid” the second and subsequent junior mortgages from your home and county records, thus leaving only the first original mortgage! If you qualify, all mortgages except the first would no longer be secured by your home, and you would stop all payments except the first immediately. There is nothing the creditor can do, provided you qualify for a simpe three part test: 1) The First Mortgage is equal to or higher than the fair market value of the home, 2) You have income, and 3) Your total unsecured debt is under 336,900 and your secured debt is under 1,010,650.
As of 2002, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in In Re: Sieglinde E Zimmer, that these mortgages on residential properties can removed if you qualify. In today’s declining real estate market, this ruling pretty much allows junior lien removal on most properties bought or refinanced since 2004. For instance, suppose you have a first mortgage of $500,000 and second mortgage of $150,000, and the house is worth $490,000.00. Under this program, the $150,000 gets removed and you only need to make monthly payments on the $500,000.
Wouldnt it be much easier to save your home if you only had a first mortgage and no other payments? Moreover, if the market turns around, think of all the equity you could build back up years from now.
Chapter 13 Reorganization:
The Chapter 13 “Reorganization,” allows you to consolidate all your debts into one low monthly payment. The payment amount is tailored to your budget. Chapter 13 is technically a Bankruptcy, but viewed at differently since it is not a “straight bankruptcy” which simply eliminates all debt without any payment whatsoever. Instead, it consolidates all missed mortgage payments or “arrears” and then spreads the repayment out over 3-5 years. The net result is that your mortgage is legally reinstated by Federal Court Order and you continue to make your normal mortgage payments. The lender is also under strict scrutiny to account to the Federal Court any fees they attempt to assert over your normal mortgage payments. For example, if you are $9,000 in arrears on your mortgage and your monthly mortgage payment is currently $3,000, your Chapter 13 payment would be approximately $150 per month. (60 months x $150 =$9,000) The new total monthly house payment would be $3,150. The Chapter 13 program results in a more realistic repayment plan than the short term plans currently offered by most lender outside of the laws under Title 11, and you maintain all your rights under TILA, RESPA, HOEPA, FDCPA, FCRA, etc.
Short Sale:
With our short sale program we are able to market and sell your property for at or below market value even though you may owe substantially more than that on the mortgage(s). A short sale will not only stop the foreclosure but will prevent the adverse credit implications associated with a foreclosure. If the short sale is done in conjunction with a bankruptcy filing the results are even more beneficial to the homeowner. Not only will the tax consequences be completely eliminated, but any shortage or “deficiency” will be discharged in the bankruptcy. The sale is generally easier to do since the lender knows there is no longer any personal recourse against the homeowner. Finally, with the filing of the bankruptcy, you are generally able to extend the length of time remaining in the property. Its not uncommon to remain a year of longer in your property without paying using a short sale combined with a bankruptcy.
Equity Recoupment:
The Equity Recoupment program allows our clients to recoup what they may have lost as a result of predatory lending and the current mortgage crisis. Strategically, by using a combination of the above programs and state consumer protection laws, McCandless Law Firm developed and pioneered a program that allows homeowners to legally remain in their home for 8-12 months or even years without making a single payment! Though it may sound to good to be true, the program is rooted in both California and Federal consumer protection statutes and the civil code, and the illegal shortcuts lenders have been taking over the past decade. Many homeowners are not aware of the vast state and federal laws that have been created over the last 20 years to address the very issues we are facing today with widespread foreclosures and predatory lending. For example if your monthly payment is $3,000 per month, in 8 months you will recoup $24,000, in 16 months that is nearly $50,000. Your recoupment will continue to grow the longer we are able to keep you in your home.
Deed In Lieu of Foreclosure:
If you are behind on your monthly mortgager payments and are unable to sell your home at the current market value, a deed in lieu of foreclosure may be an option to prevent a foreclosure from tarnishing your credit. The process involves giving the property directly back to the lender, or “deeding it back in lieu of foreclosure.” The lender benefits as they are able to mitigate the additional losses they would incur from having to proceed with a lengthy foreclosure. Often times the lender will offer this option at the onset of a foreclosure proceeding, however in our experiences lenders will seldom follow through and effectuate the transfer without Attorney intervention. By stepping in and advocating for our clients we are able to 1) Get the homeowner released from most or all of the personal indebtedness associated with the defaulted loan 2) Prevent the homeowner from experiencing the public notoriety of a foreclosure and subsequent credit implications, and 3) Put money in our client’s pocket via “Cash for Keys”. Though it may appear to be a viable means of walking from your home unscathed, it is a complicated process requiring competent legal and tax advice.
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