Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Foreclosure suggestions

Sorry for the lack of entries of late. Somehow Google decided I was in Japan, so everything in blogspot was in Japanese. Google, I assure you that I am not in Japan, and as evidence submit the sub-zero temperatures and mounds of snow outside my window.

First, if you are having difficulties making your payments, contact your lender, and see if you can work something out with them. Document EVERYTHING. Every telephone call, every letter, every statement, every check. Write down who you talked to, what was said, what time it was, what number you called. Keep copies of everything you send to your lender and everything your lender sends to you.

If you or anyone you know is in foreclosure, or even close to foreclosure, I would suggest a consultation with a knowledgable attorney. I have seen some amazingly sloppy and/or fraudulent work on the part of lender, mortgage brokers, closing agents, appraisers, and real estate agents. Some of their sloppy and/or fraudulent work may be a foreclosure defense. I will run through a few examples, but there are so many tricks these folks pull. Even if you do not see anything in this list that you think applies to your situation, there may be something else that a thorough review of your closing documents might reveal. Be sure to refer to my Foreclosure Rescue Scams article.

In Iowa, if a spouse does not sign the mortgage, the mortgage is void. Wells Fargo recently lost big on this one. Married couple owned a home and refinanced with Wells Fargo. Only the husband was on the loan and only the husband signed the mortgage. Judge said the mortgage was void, and Wells Fargo could not foreclose. Yes, that means they could live there forever without making a house payment. Well, they could live there forever without making a payment IF they could live forever, which they probably can't, but you get my point.

For a refinance, each individual must be given two copies of the Notice of Right to Cancel.

For a refinance, if two people own the property, both of them must sign the Notice of Right to Cancel, even if only one of them is on the loan.

For a refinance, the dates on the copies of the Notice of Right to Cancel give to the borrowers must be completed. Often, I have seen where the closing agent fills in the dates on the original signed by the borrowers, but fails to do so on the copies given to the borrowers.

For some reason, many lenders are sloppy about giving required notices of default to borrowers. When a lender forecloses, they must do everything exactly, perfectly right.

Some lenders fail to provide disclosures to you prior to your closing.

Some lenders fail to provide accurate estimates of closing costs prior to your closing.

There is an interesting case brewing on the east coast. Countrywide is arguing that their claims that they are working with people to prevent foreclosure is mere puffery. Read this story, and see if your blood boils as much as mine did. How they are still in "business," if that's what you call it, completely escapes me.

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