Articles Posted in News

Unemployed Sacramento residents facing possible foreclosure or Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be glad to know that the California Housing Finance Agency has finally decided to start the application process that will give unemployed homeowners up to $3,000 per month to pay their housing mortgages according to an article published in SFGate.

California has decided to implement the first of four programs launched by the United States Treasury as part of the Hardest Hit Fund. This fund consists of $7.6 billion that will provide the 18 hardest hit states with the largest drops in housing prices or high unemployment rates.

In order to qualify, a homeowner must meet specific eligibility requirements that are based on age as well as income restrictions. Additionally, the individual homeowner’s loan servicer must agree to participate in the federally funded program. Unfortunately, only three mortgage loan servicing companies had decided to join the program, but CalHFA plans to more than double that number over the upcoming week.

Residents in the Sacramento metropolitan area are probably aware that, in general, the law provides judges with broad discretion to impose sanctions on the individuals and corporations that appear before them. As such, any resident facing foreclosure or possible Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be interested to know that judges have become increasingly stringent against mortgage lenders in the foreclosure cases being heard in their courtrooms. Today, The Washington Post published a story highlighting the current trend with judges’ behavior against mortgage companies in their courtrooms. While the level of tolerance for mistakes in paperwork depends on the particular judge hearing the case, judges as a whole have an increasing reputation for ruling against mortgage lenders when paperwork issues or problems come up.

One Judge, Jeffrey Spinner, out of New York estimates that he has dismissed up to 50 percent of the foreclosure cases brought before him on the basis of sloppy or fraudulent paperwork filed by lenders. In fact, Judge Spinner recently erased nearly $300,000 in debt and gave a house back to the borrower for free because the lender’s paperwork was so flawed and its behavior in negotiations with the individual was “repugnant.”

Decisions like these strike panic in the mortgage lending industry and foreclosure process. Mortgage companies fear that dismissals like the one seen by Judge Spinner could establish an extraordinary precedent and stir up the country’s foreclosure system. These types of decisions have the banks worried and they plan to appeal what they consider to be drastic remedies from between 20 to 50 percent of foreclosure cases in the New York City area.

Sacramento area debtors who are considering filing either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 may be interested to know that JPMorgan Chase has decided to re-examine documents they filed on approximately 56,000 foreclosure cases. These current issues revolve around signatures obtained by employees on affidavits about loan documents that they failed to review independently.

Chase has asked the courts reviewing the affected cases to refrain from entering judgment until they have reviewed the documents in question. Analysts from Chase say this process can take up to several weeks. Chase has decided to comply with the technical aspects of the law even though Chase officials believe the accuracy of the loan information contained within the documents will be unaffected by whether the employee signer had personal knowledge of the loan details, or not. Approximately 500,000 of borrowers who have used Chase are either 3 months or more in default or in foreclosure on their loans.

In addition to JPMorgan Chase, GMAC Mortgage and Bank of America have suspended all foreclosures in 23 states each after discovering similar problems with their respective foreclosure documents. An executive from OneWest Bank recently admitted that none of her employees read the approximate 6000 documents they sign per week.

Posted in:
Updated: