by Brian Mahany
The headline from CNBC that a new round of foreclosures is coming comes without surprise. Thankfully, fewer borrowers are falling behind but there are still millions of Americans who are hopelessly behind on their loans.
We say “hopelessly” because the lending community has miserably failed to assist homeowners who may have needed a modest modification to keep them in their homes. Instead of working with borrowers as Congress expected, these same lenders just heaped on late fees, default interest, legal fees and forced placed insurance making it impossible for most folks dig out.
We have seen cases where a job loss or illness may have caused a homeowner to fall a couple thousand dollars behind on their payments. Instead, these folks find themselves facing tens of thousands of dollars in fees and penalties and interest rate increases that cause the monthly payment to skyrocket.
The worst lenders and servicers in our opinion are also the largest – Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of New York, to name a few.
Congress passed the Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) to help borrowers reduce their payments and get back on their feet. Instead, we think lenders have made a mockery of the program and deliberately worked to prevent homeowners from getting relief.
Because of the all the uncertainty caused by the robosigning scandals, forged assignments and questionable legal practices by some well known “foreclosure mills,” many foreclosures were simply put on hold. Unfortunately, the banks didn’t disappear and the new wave of foreclosure is now beginning. The banks are smarter but so are homeowners.
According to RealtyTrak, foreclosure filings are increasing even as fewer borrowers are getting in trouble. They say that foreclosures in the first 6 months of this year compared with the second half of last year have increased 47% in Tampa, 30% in Philadelphia, 28% in Chicago and 26% in New York.
If there is a silver lining, its that courts are starting to get fed up with the lies and b.s. coming from Wall Street. There is a growing number of lawyers ready to fight the big banks too.
If you have been improperly denied a HAMP mortgage modification or feel that you were abused by a large lender, give us a call. We sue banks and are not afraid of taking on the banking giants. (We currently have the largest false claims action in the United States against a lender; HUD’s $2.4 billion action against Allied Home Mortgage.)
For more information, contact attorney Anthony Dietz at Need to speak to the author? Contact Brian Mahany at (414) 704-6731. (If you are facing immediate eviction or foreclosure, contact your local bar association – most bar groups have a free lawyer referral service.)
Mahany & Ertl – Giving Homeowners A Voice. Offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Detroit, Michigan; Portland, Maine & Minneapolis, Minnesota. Services available in many jurisdictions.