Foreclosure and Loan Modification Blog

Scary Vampires and Zombies in Your Neighborhood; No Costumes Needed

Chances are, there are real vampires in your neighborhood right now, and no silver bullet can stop them.

Vampire foreclosures are a real phenomenon that is sweeping the nation. The term was coined by housing statistics provider RealtyTrac to describe homes that are being lived in by the original homeowners, but have been seized by a bank. According to RealtyTrac, 250,000, or nearly half of all bank-owned homes fall within this category, and this number won't be falling anytime soon, although these homes will eventually have to hit the market.

Zombies and Vampires Are Everywhere 

If you're familiar with housing lingo, you may be wondering if these vampire foreclosures are the same thing as "zombie" foreclosures. They aren't. Zombie foreclosures are foreclosures in which the homeowner abandons the home after a foreclosure sale date has been set, only to find out that the house never was sold or the title was never transferred over. This means that fees such as homeowners association fees, maintenance fees, and property taxes are still piling up on the property, which eventually wrecks the original homeowners' credit. There are tons of zombie foreclosures too: all in all, vampire and zombie foreclosures make up about 67 percent of all foreclosures.

A Day at the Races to Benefit the SPCA

Sunday was a perfect day to spend at Calder Race Course.  Breezy, sunny and a very comfortable 79 degrees. The best part was Amerihope Alliance Legal Services had the opportunity to sponsor a race for the SPCA horse rescue. Our law firm sponsored the 5th race and although none of us bet on the winning horse, Notalotatrouble, we all enjoyed the day and had lots of laughs.

How to Avoid Bloodthirsty Foreclosure Attorneys: 5 Steps

Even Dracula would be embarrassed by the bloodthirst of some attorneys for people's money. Oftentimes these lawyers put money before people, and lives can be destroyed or seriously altered in this process. There are ways to avoid becoming a victim of their thirst, and to make sure that the foreclosure defense attorney of your choice is out for the bank's blood, not yours.

Hire the Right Person for the Job

If your house was flooded, you wouldn't call an electrician. If you had cataracts, you wouldn't call your general practitioner. It's a mystery why so many people hire lawyers who don't specialize in foreclosure defense to defend their homes from foreclosure. While many bloodthirsty "general practitioner" attorneys would have you believe that they have what it takes to save your home from foreclosure, foreclosure defense takes a specialist who is not only experienced in the art of foreclosure defense, but is actively working on current foreclosure defense cases. Don't worry, although the word "specialist" usually brings to mind expensive costs, that is not necessarily the case with these attorneys. Many foreclosure defense attorneys are sensitive to the needs of people in foreclosure, and have alternative fee structures that are designed to help those who are in financial trouble. Some foreclosure defense attorneys even offer loan modification as an ancillary service, which will help concerned homeowners kill two birds with one stone.

No Outcome Is Guaranteed

If a lawyer guarantees a "win" or a certain result on a case, then RUN! Bloodthirsty attorneys will often do this to goad unsuspecting people into signing up. The truth is that foreclosure defense is an involved process that involves plenty of negotiation with the bank's lawyers; no result is guaranteed. The only thing an attorney should guarantee is that they will do their utmost to save you and your home from the ravages of foreclosure.

Loan Modification Success: Wells Fargo Payment SLASHED $1,700!

Disclaimer: These results should not be taken as a guarantee, as each case is unique. We have helped over 5,000 homeowners, here is one of their stories.

This New York homeowner had an investment property that he was renting out to tenants, and had fallen behind on his $4,875.41 mortgage payment (at a 4.875% interest rate) to Wells Fargo after losing his job. He had already successfully obtained a loan modification in the years before, but was simply not able to pay for this house under the current terms.

Top 5 Hardship Letter Mistakes

The only certainty in life is uncertainty. Even in the face of uncertainty, everyone wants to be certain that they'll have their slice of the American Pie, which usually equates to a mortgage. At the peak of the housing market bubble, people were simply being approved for more American pie than their stomach or wallet could afford. The end result has been a staggering number of foreclosures.

Five Common Credit Report Errors [Video]

If you think that ignoring errors on your credit report falls into the category of 'not worth sweating over,' think again. Mistakes on your credit report, whether they are tiny errors or major mistakes, can damage your credit rating and may indicate possible fradulent activity. If you find information that you believe is inaccurate, you have the right to dispute it free of charge.


How Does the new New York Foreclosure Law Affect You?

Some lenders attempted to circumvent New York’s three-year foreclosure process by robo-signing foreclosure documents. Robo-signing involved lenders having employees sign foreclosures they never read and using fake signatures to attest to the validity of the foreclosure. The latest New York foreclosure law, which went into effect in August 2013, requires read foreclosure documents and put away the fake signatures. Now lenders must have attorneys swear that all foreclosure documents are real and accurate. As a foreclosure defense attorney in New York will tell you, the new foreclosure law can help or hurt you. 

No More “Shadow Dockets”

A lender who intends to foreclose on your property must provide you a letter at least 90 days prior to filing a foreclosure complaint in court. In many cases, a lender sends you the letter. However, it doesn’t file the complaint. This leaves you in legal limbo worse than watching a 16-inning baseball game with every player striking out. It’s not that you want the foreclosure process completed so you lose your home. You want to start fighting to save it.

After the complaint is filed, your foreclosure attorney in New York has 30 days to file a response to the complaint. If the complaint isn’t filed, your case ends up on what’s known as a shadow docket of pending foreclosures. It’s not a real court docket. Instead, it refers to your case being in limbo for months or years. As a result:

Loan Modification Success: Wells Fargo 30% Payment Reduction

Disclaimer: These results should not be taken as a guarantee, as each case is unique. We have helped over 5,000 homeowners, here is one of their stories.

Contrary to popular opinion, a lot of the people who lost their homes during the recent foreclosure crisis were under the burden of extenuating circumstances other than losing their job. That was the case with this homeowner. He was disabled and could no longer work full-time. He did his best to scrap by on the income from his disability checks and part-time job, but could not manage to pay his $1,100 mortgage note any longer. By the time this homeowner retained our foreclosure defense law firm, he was already over 3 years behind on paying his Wells Fargo mortgage. He had been working with another law firm to attempt to cancel a sale date that was placed on his home, but now he was looking for a law firm who could actually change his situation, not just delay the foreclosure process.

The 4 Reasons Why Your Bank Hates Loan Modification Attorneys

The big banks have done a lot of wrong, but one of the most shameful things that they've done is deny deserving homeowners loan modifications. Many homeowners have lost their homes because of this. It would be one thing if banks simply denied these loan mods on the spot after accepting the modification applications, but instead, they usually lead homeowners on wild goose chases for months- or years- before denying their loan modification, or will often offer homeowners a loan modification, but with terms that are much worse than what homeowners deserve.

Chicago Deep Dish: Can "Keep Chicago Renting" Help Solve Chicago's Foreclosure Issues?

Chicago, known for its trademark deep dish pizzas, is still being served a very deep dish of foreclosure trouble. The Windy City is taking steps to reduce the impact of the housing crisis, and has just passed a new city ordinance called "Keep Chicago Renting" that will protect renters from losing their homes to foreclosure. This ordinance is designed to help decrease the urban blight that follows foreclosure in many parts of the country. If there's any one city that can't afford further urban blight, it's Chicago, which is already being ravaged by a historic crime wave. This follows a statewide effort in Illinois that was intended to help empower homeowners in foreclosure.

Don't Let Industry Confusion Stand in the Way of Action

 Recently, the foreclosure process has been in a state of disarray, as banks, regulators and lawyers struggle to uncover issues and faults within the system. As a result of this confusion, some homeowners either currently in the foreclosure process or in danger of foreclosing may lack a clear direction or be unsure of what steps to take next. "It is imperative that these individuals reach out to their lender now to avoid an unwelcome outcome later. The most dangerous thing a homeowner can do is nothing," says Ethan Ewing, president of Bills.com.

Lenders typically lose money when they foreclose on a property, and because of this, they are often motivated to reach some sort of conclusion with struggling borrowers. It's important to recognize the fact that lenders will usually respond to a settlement offer made by a borrower. Homeowners concerned about their ability to continue paying on a mortgage should take advantage of the opportunity and reach out to their lender to open a line of communication. 

NY Foreclosure Summons and Complaint: Are You in Danger of Losing Your Home?

If you live in New York and have missed more than 3 mortgage payments. You are at serious risk of foreclosure. You have probably heard the news that New York's foreclosures are moving at a snail's pace, but the the fact is: they're speeding up.

Loan Modification Success: Exemplary Ocwen Payment Reduction

Disclaimer: These results should not be taken as a guarantee, as each case is unique. We have helped over 5,000 homeowners, here is one of their stories.

When we were retained (hired) by this New York homeowner in March 2013, the homeowner was several months past due on his Ocwen mortgage. Within 6 months, we changed his dire situation into a bright one.

This homeowner had experienced several hardships; the economic downturn had severely affected his business, and Superstorm Sandy didn't make matters any better. His mortgage payment was $3,659; high even by New York City standards. Worst of all, the homeowner was in grave danger of foreclosure.

More New Jersey Foreclosure Filings than Ever! Wonder Why?

The foreclosure crisis is finally slowing down, except in New Jersey.

Across the country, year-to-year foreclosure numbers have plummeted. For example, a report from August 2013 show that nationwide, foreclosures in July 2013 dropped about 25% when compared to July 2012. However, in New Jersey, foreclosures went up 89% during that same period. Although it has taken 2 1/2 years for the average foreclosure to be completed. New Jersey is speeding up the foreclosure process to clear out the foreclosure backlogs.

So why are there so many new foreclosure filings in New Jersey and how quickly are they moving through the system?

Defaults of the Rich and Famous: Celebs Who Needed Foreclosure Help

Since its beginnings in 2007, the foreclosure crisis' effects were felt by people across every layer of social strata.  Given the lavish spending habits of the rich and famous, it will probably serve as no surprise that some to the biggest names in entertainment suffered harshly during the economic downturn and endured foreclosure like millions of other Americans. Here are 6 celebrities that have experienced the worst part of the Great Recession; some in more interesting ways than others.

1. Rihanna

In 2009, Rihanna purchased a $6.9 million mansion in Beverly Hills, California. Allegedly, flooding from a "moderate rainstorm" in 2010 caused "extensive damage" to the house, and she famously defaulted on the home and sold it via short sale for $4.5 million in 2011. Her lawyers then sued the former owners of the home and several other parties for good measure. It seems that the pop singer didn't have a good enough "Umbrella" in place. By the end of the next year, the buyer had already put the home back on the market... for $9.95 million.

Taming the Debt Monster [Video]

Being in debt has a bigger impact on your financial future than you might realize. Bad debts can continue to haunt you and your credit report for years, especially if you don't deal with it now. Here are some practical tips on how to get out of debt and stay out of debt.


Will the Government Shutdown Affect the Foreclosure Process?

The government shutdown has affected many "normal" parts of American life, not to mention the lives of hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal employees. Although the most important question about the shutdown is "When and how will it end?" many Americans who are experiencing foreclosure or are at risk for foreclosure would like to know how their homes might be affected. After all, even without knowing how long the government shutdown will last, it could be argued that mortgage fraud and the ensuing financial crisis crisis debilitated Americans more than the government gridlock can or will.

Loan Modification Success: FHA - Selene Payment Reduction

Disclaimer: These results should not be taken as a guarantee, as each case is unique. We have helped over 5,000 homeowners, here is one of their stories.

One recurring trend today is that many people who received loan modifications in the early stages of the Great Recession are attempting to get new loan modifications now. Oftentimes, these people received loan modifications before they experienced their worst hardship, and had no safety net when their hardship hit.

This happened to a homeowner who was faced with a dire situation. He was one of the first people to receive a loan modification from the HAMP program. Shortly after receiving his modification, harder times hit. The homeowner lost his job, and the family was only depending on his wife's salary for support. By the time the homeowner connected with us, he was several months past due on his $1,730 FHA mortgage payment, and had just been served foreclosure.

Is Your Home Free If You Don't Pay Your Mortgage for 5 Years?

We've heard all types of questions from our clients, but one question that we're hearing often is this: "can my mortgage be canceled if I don't make my mortgage payments for 5 years?Some foreclosure defense lawyers and "foreclosure rescue" companies have been advertising that Florida homeowners can get out of foreclosure by not paying on their home for 5 years, and homeowners aren't sure whether to believe these claims or not.

In fact, Florida law does state that there's a 5 year statute of limitations on foreclosures (technically on promissory notes). Although this may seem straightforward enough, it gets a bit complicated when you delve into the specifics of the law.

Freddie Mac Turns to YouTube to Dispel Common Foreclosure Myths

Freddie Mac is helping consumers separate foreclosure fact from fiction in a new video series recently launched on its YouTube Channel (http://www.youtube.com/FreddieMac). Each video dispels one of five common myths that could prevent people from keeping their homes if they face foreclosure. It is based on content from the Freddie Mac Get the Facts on Homeownership education and outreach materials. Here are five common myths that consumers should be aware of when it comes to dealing with foreclosures.

About this Blog

Amerihope Alliance Legal Services is a leading loan modification and foreclosure defense law firm with attorneys licensed in 5 states. We have helped over 7,000 homeowners fight back and keep their homes.

Click to Read Our Super Loan Mod Success Stories

Our goal is to provide valuable information to help homeowners who are trying to obtain a loan modification or to stop foreclosure. You may schedule a free consultation at any time.

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