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Foreclosure and Loan Modification Blog

Florida Foreclosure Defense Law Firm of Mark Stopa, "Stay In My Home", Files Bankruptcy

One of Florida's biggest foreclosure defense law firms, Stay In My Home P.A., has declared bankruptcy. The roughly 4,000 clients of the firm will need to look elsewhere for legal services.

Mark Stopa, the founder of Stay In My Home, P.A. and a high-profile attorney in the field of foreclosure defense, is under criminal investigation for alleged “equity skimming”, which is a type of mortgage fraud.

Over the summer of 2018 Stopa was indefinitely suspended from practicing law for violating professional conduct rules. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement raided his offices, seized his firm's computers, and froze its accounts. With no way to make payroll “most of the attorneys and staff quit” the firm, according to an article in the Tampa Bay Times.

Should You Use Retirement Money To Pay Your Mortgage And Avoid Foreclosure?

Not having enough money to pay your mortgage means making some tough choices. One choice that some homeowners find themselves pondering is whether or not they should take money from their retirement savings to make their mortgage payments.

Taking money from your retirement account is a big decision with serious consequences. Whether it's a good or bad idea for you depends on how much retirement savings you have and what's causing you to have trouble paying your mortgage.

When Spending Retirement on Mortgage Makes Sense

Taking a withdrawal from your retirement account to pay your mortgage could make sense if you have a ton of money in your retirement account and are experiencing a temporary hardship caused by a one-time expense

5 Ways To Lose Your House

Homeowners who fall behind on their mortgage sometimes lose their home to foreclosure because they fail to do simple things that could help them save their home. It's not that people don't want to save their home, or are stupid, they just don't have the knowledge and experience to understand how important it is to do some things and not do others.

Our law firm is very experienced in helping homeowners who are experiencing foreclosure. We've been in business for 10 years and have helped more than 7,000 homeowners stop or avoid foreclosure with a loan modification. So, we've seen every mistake that homeowners can make when they get into trouble with their mortgage. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid if you don't want to lose your home:

1. Not opening your mail

When you fall behind on your mortgage, you will receive important information in the mail. Your bank is required to send you a default letter/notice of intent to accelerate that tells you you will lose your home to foreclosure if you don't remedy the default. If you aren't able to avoid it, you will eventually be mailed a notification that a foreclosure sale date has been scheduled.

IL Couple Consents to Foreclosure to Get out of Their House

Sometimes you just need to get out of something. Whether it's a bad relationship, a social event, or even home ownership, there comes a time when you have to say “enough is enough,” and move on.

Recent clients of our firm, who I'll call the Jansens to protect their identity, were in just such a situation. They wanted to get out of their mortgage for their condo in Oswego, Illinois, which is west of Chicago.

The Jansens are in their 80s and fell behind on their mortgage due to some financial difficulties. They didn't have any equity in their home, and they needed to move out of state to be closer to family, so there was no reason for them to try and save their home.

How to Contest a Judicial Foreclosure Lawsuit

If you fall behind on your mortgage, and your home is in a judicial foreclosure state, you lender must sue you in a civil foreclosure lawsuit to take your home. While being sued may sound scary, it's actually better for your in nonjudicial foreclosure states because you have more opportunities to contest foreclosure. And you want as many opportunities as possible.

But opportunities must be seized! Whether you want to keep your home by getting a loan modification, or you just want to avoid foreclosure for as long as possible so you can save money before giving up your home, you should seize the opportunities available to you by contesting the foreclosure lawsuit against you.

Wells Fargo Wrongly Denies Hundreds of Homeowners Loan Modifications

Wells Fargo recently revealed that they wrongly denied or failed to offer 625 homeowners mortgage loan modifications due to an error with their underwriting software. The company says that about 400 of those customers lost their homes to foreclosure.

The error affected homeowners who were in foreclosure between April 2010 and October 2015. Now, nearly three years after correcting it, the country's fourth-largest bank has disclosed the error.

“We’re very sorry that this error occurred and are providing remediation to the approximately 625 customers who may have been impacted,” a spokesperson for the company said in a statement.

Wells Fargo says that it has set aside $8 million for customers affected by the issue. That's just $12,800 for each customer affected. Pitiful.

Did You Get A Forbearance Or Deferment After Hurricane Irma?

If you accepted your mortgage lender's offer to suspend your house payments so you could get back on your feet after a hurricane, you may have found that their help actually put you at risk of foreclosure. Hurricane Irma, as well as Harvey and Maria, caused damage that led some homeowners to wind up in that situation.

Many homeowners accepted their lender's offer without knowing exactly what kind of help they were getting and what the consequences of that help would be. There are also cases of the bank saying one thing and doing another.

To have our law firm review your Hurricane Hardship [Request Your Review Here]

Let's take a look at two of the main ways mortgage payments can be suspended and repaid following a disaster:

Forbearance

A forbearance is when a lender temporarily suspends your payments so you can avoid falling behind on your loan for a period of time until your hardship is over. After it's over, all the missed payments typically have to be paid back in one lump sum.

It's great to have your bank's permission to not make some payments if you have an emergency and need to spend your money on other things. But, if your money is tight enough to need a forbearance, how are you going to afford to pay back 3, 6, or 12 missed payments in one fell swoop? That's why a forbearance is so dangerous. If you're at the end of your forbearance period and can't pay the money back and the bank won't give you a repayment plan, you could end up in foreclosure.

We Helped Our Suntrust Client Get More Than $12k After Foreclosure!

Amerihope Alliance Legal Services recently helped a client get $12,842.42 in surplus funds after his property was sold in a foreclosure auction. To protect his privacy I'll call this client Mr. Sebben.

Mr. Sebben's mortgage problems came about because he wasn't able to sell his Broward County, Florida home before moving out of state for work. Unable to pay for housing in two states, he stopped paying the mortgage on his vacant Florida home and his lender, Suntrust, started foreclosure on it.

Mr. Sebben realized that he needed professional help, and so he retained our firm in 2016 to help him stay a bit longer in the property and deal with the foreclosure case.

SLS Tries To Foreclose On Widow, Loan Modification Saves Her Home

Disclaimer: These results should not be taken as a guarantee, as each case is unique. We have helped over 7,000 homeowners. Here is one of their stories.

A recent client of our law firm, who I'll call Ms. Garcia to protect her privacy, nearly lost her home in Hudson County, New Jersey after she fell behind on mortgage payments to SLS following the death of her husband.

In June of 2015, Ms. Garcia was served a with a foreclosure summons and complaint, which meant that she was being sued and was the defendant in a civil lawsuit. This is the way it works in states with a judicial foreclosure process. The plaintiff (the party suing) was HSBC.

By June of 2016, an order of summary judgment had been entered, which meant that the lender could request a Writ of Execution, and a sale date to auction off her home at anytime.

Our Client Was 98 Months Past Due with Ditech and We Still Got Him a Loan Modification!

Disclaimer: These results should not be taken as a guarantee, as each case is unique. We have helped over 7,000 homeowners, here is one of their stories.

Being really, really, really far behind on your mortgage doesn't necessarily mean that you can't get a loan modification and keep your home. A recent client of our firm is a good example of this. To protect his privacy, I'll call him Mr. Shroff.

Mr. Shroff lives in a nice home, currently valued at about $1 million, in Hilsborough County, FL with his wife and son. He is self-employed. A downturn in his business caused him to fall behind on his mortgage during the recession in 2009.

Eventually Mr. Shroff's financial problems cleared up and he was able to make payments again, but by then, his mortgage servicer, Ditech, wouldn't let him make payments. They wanted him to pay all of the missed payments plus fees, which ended up being an astounding $191,140.06. He didn't have that much cash, so he stayed in default.

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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