Wells Fargo Case Study Dampens Hope for Struggling NJ Homeowners

Wells Fargo Settlement Hasn’t Helped New Jersey Homeowners While New Jersey Attorney-General Looks the Other Way
For Immediate release
 
Contact: Paul Karr, NJ Communities United, 917-407-3293/paul@unitednj.org  or Donald Tremblay, Denbeaux & Denbeaux Law, dtremblay@earthlink.net/718-664-3405

 

Newark, NJ (October 8, 2014) – Several big banks have negotiated large settlements with the US Attorney General’s Office for their role in the housing bubble and subsequent economic collapse. While the historic settlements sound promising on the surface, a study by Denbeaux & Denbeaux law firm exposes why struggling homeowners shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for relief. “It’s all about enforcement by the states, and truthfully, New Jersey’s Attorney-General hasn’t made homeowners a priority,” said Josh Denbeaux. “Wells Fargo was allowed to revoke the terms of the original settlement for homeowners in New Jersey by brokering another deal where homeowners surrendered their rights to legal action in exchange for $178.04.”
 
Anti-foreclosure and housing advocates rightly point out that out of court settlements protect banks from exposing their predatory lending practices through evidence discovery in courts, which is why NJ Communities United is issuing a series of policy recommendations that the State of New Jersey should consider to provide relief for homeowners victimized by predatory lending and questionable foreclosure practices.
 
“The result of the legal acrobatics and out-of-court settlements has essentially let Wells Fargo and other big banks off-the-hook for their predatory lending practices in low-income communities of color,” said Trina Scordo, executive director of NJ Communities United. “Wells Fargo preyed on these communities then negotiated away the rights of homeowners to take legal action. Homeowners deserve their day in court – or at the very least, enforcement from the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General.”
 
This point is not lost on homeowners.
 
“Where was my day in court?” asked Yolanda Andrews, a Newark homeowner fighting to save her home from foreclosure by Wells Fargo. “I want Wells Fargo and the other banks exposed for what they’ve done to homeowners like me. I want the Department of Justice and the New Jersey Attorney General to take these banks to court, not to negotiate away the rights of homeowners and ignore their responsibility to enforce the provisions the banks agreed to.”
At the end of the day, the Wells Fargo settlements have not provided any real relief for struggling homeowners in New Jersey. In fact, it appears that the settlements – and lack of enforcement by the New Jersey Attorney General – have only paved an unimpeded path towards foreclosure for thousands of New Jersey homeowners.
 
“I’m not hopeful that future bank settlements will provide any relief to homeowners,” said Trina Scordo. “This Wells Fargo case study exposes the legal maneuvering by banks to keep their crimes hidden while continuing to strip communities of their wealth. This is why we’re issuing policy recommendations to the Governor’s Office, the NJ Attorney General and the NJ State Legislature.”
# # #

“We hope they were duped”: How prosecutors gave banks the best “penalty” ever by – David Dayen

TUESDAY, OCT 14, 2014 06:59 AM EDT

Defenders of Eric Holder’s legacy on financial crimes keep saying that, although we sent no bankers to jail for their tsunami of fraudulent behavior, at least we punished the parent companies in settlements, and forced them to compensate victims. I call it “settlement justice,” and it has become the template for how the perpetrators of white-collar crime get treated in America. Read the rest of the article here.

Joshua Denbeaux Sees Victory for Homeowners Suing Banks for Consumer Fraud

NJ Lawyer Sees Victory for Homeowners Suing Banks for Consumer Fraud

Joshua Denbeaux says that a “precedent-setting judgment changes the balance of power in New Jersey courts” and that “homeowners can expect to recover money from banks” after Freedom Mortgage Corp was found guilty of violating New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act.

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Joshua Denbeaux - Partner, Denbeaux & Denbeaux, Westwood, NJ 07675

Joshua Denbeaux has 27 active cases pending, and more homeowners are coming in every day.

The balance of power has shifted and banks are no longer immune; home owners can now expect to recover money from banks

Westwood, New Jersey (PRWEB) August 20, 2014

Joshua Denbeaux, partner at the law firm of Denbeaux and Denbeaux, sees the recent ruling that Freedom Mortgage Corp was guilty of violating the NJ Consumer Fraud Act as a victory for NJ residents because now their rights have been upheld and the lenders will have to pay money to homeowners.

“The conventional wisdom is that banks win and homeowners lose. The balance of power has shifted and banks are no longer immune; homeowners can now expect to recover money from banks. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. We have 27 active cases pending, and more homeowners are coming in every day”, said Joshua Denbeaux.

In “FREEDOM MORTGAGE CORPORATION Plaintiff, -v.- MAMIE E. MAJOR, et al.,Defendants. SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY CHANCERY DIVISION: BERGEN COUNTY DOCKET No. BER-F-32463-13“, Bergen County Superior Court Judge Gerald Escala ruled that Freedom Mortgage Corp gave a home refinance loan to Mamie Major, a 70-year-old Englewood resident, despite knowing that she would be unable to repay it. He also stated that “the loan was granted in order to engender fees for the lender and not for the benefit of the borrower,” and also argued that “the transaction has been demonstrated to be effectively one-sided, for the benefit of the lender.”

Freedom Mortgage Corp has been found guilty of violating NJ’s Consumer Fraud Act and will be forced to pay NJ homeowner Mamie Jones triple damages and attorney’s fees.

Seton Hall Law Professor Mark Denbeaux added, “This is an enormous breakthrough. For the first time homeowners are being paid money by the banks for the fraudulent loans the banks have written. The judge’s ruling should further encourage homeowners to bring actions against banks because the playing field has been leveled. ”

The law firm of Denbeaux and Denbeaux is located at 366 Kinderkamack Road Westwood New Jersey 07675 201-664-8855 or email pr(at)denbeauxlaw(dot)com. Formed in 1989, Denbeaux & Denbeaux is a law firm dedicated to providing top level legal representation to its clients. The partners, Marcia Denbeaux and Joshua Denbeaux, represent individuals and businesses in New Jersey State and Federal Trial and Appellate Courts.

The firm primarily practices civil litigation, with a concentration in mortgage foreclosure,consumer fraud, commercial litigation, matrimonial law, business, insurance coverage litigation.

Their work has been featured in major media sources throughout the country including CNN, MSNBC, NPR, C-SPAN, CBS Evening News, the Associated Press, The Star Ledger, and The Record and in a ebook which can be downloaded for free Mortgage Fraud: Wells Fargo Wins, Homeowners, Attorney Generals and Courts Lose

 

What is the Issue with the Wells Fargo Pick-A-Payment Loans?

by Joshua Denbeaux

Citing fraudulent misrepresentations and violations by Wells Fargo affecting 500,000 homeowners across nine states, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Texas, and Washington, Westwood, NJ law firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux has sent letters to all nine State Attorneys General offices asking it to reopen its investigation of Wells Fargo, it was announced by Attorney Joshua Denbeaux.

According to Denbeaux, “Wells Fargo used federal courts to nullify agreements it had simultaneously signed with the Attorneys General of nine states.”

“We’ve sent the report to all nine of the Attorneys General over a week ago and have heard no response from any of them. As strange as it may seem, for everyone’s sake we hope that they were duped, because the alternative would be unthinkable. This week we sent another letter to the NJ Attorney General saying exactly that,” continues Denbeaux.

The following is the list of states that had an attorney general assurance prior to the notice sent to In re: Wachovia class members, on the class action filed in the Northern District of California, M:09-CV-2015-JF, and that date on which those assurances were reached.

1. Arizona: October 6, 2010

2. California: December 16, 2010

3. Colorado: October 4, 2010

4. Florida: October 5, 2010

5. Illinois: October 6, 2010

6. Nevada: October 6, 2010

7. New Jersey: October 5, 2010

8. Texas: October 6, 2010

9. Washington: October 1, 2010

“The people of New Jersey should stand for nothing less than reopening the investigation into Wells Fargo banking practices in New Jersey. But the problem doesn’t end there because there are eight other states where this has happened in a calculated and orchestrated way by Wells Fargo,” Denbeaux concludes.

Following the housing-bubble burst Wells Fargo faced many lawsuits from homeowners who accused the bank of committing fraud through its “Pick-A-Payment” mortgage loan program (Wells Fargo inherited these loans when they bought Wachovia Bank.)

To avoid these lawsuits Wells Fargo negotiated a series of settlements in Sept 2010 with the Attorneys General of nine states that would provide homeowners a series of promised modifications, while still granting those homeowners the right to sue Wells Fargo for the fraudulent loans.

However, while Wells Fargo was negotiating this deal with the Attorneys General, it was secretly simultaneously negotiating a Class-Action Settlement in California Federal Court that would give homeowners the same promised modifications, but only if the homeowners agreed to surrender their rights to sue Wells Fargo. (The Class-Action Settlement was signed in Dec 2010–two months after the Attorneys General Settlement).

None of the homeowners were told by Wells Fargo that they had already been given the promised modifications by the attorneys’ general settlement. After signing the Class Action Settlement the majority of the homeowners, some who have lost their homes to foreclosure, received a check for only $178.04.

“Wells Fargo clearly used the Federal Class-Action Settlement as a way to wash its hands of any future lawsuits”, said Denbeaux. “They signed a settlement with nine state attorneys general which they had no intention of honoring. It was a bait-and-switch. Simply put, homeowners were paid $178 to surrender their rights to sue for fraud.”

The lawyers at Denbeaux & Denbeaux fight for the rights of all homeowners. If you have questions or if you feel you might be getting taken advantage of, or you are in default, or are nearing default, or have refinanced and something doesn’t seem right, you need to talk to a lawyer and get a consultation to find out what you don’t know. Call Joshua Denbeaux of the Westwood, New Jersey, law firm, Denbeaux and Denbeaux to answer your questions at 201-664-8855. or send an email to pr(at)denbeauxlaw(dot)com

 

NY Attorney General Seeks Passage of ‘Zombie’ Home Bill

by Denbeaux & Denbeaux

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched a statewide effort to encourage the State legislature to pass the Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act he proposed earlier this year.

Zombie properties threaten neighborhoods across New York State, from big cities to small towns,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Abandoned homes become magnets for crime, drag down property values and drain municipal coffers. Our bill will keep communities safer and lessen the burden of municipalities still struggling to recover from the housing crisis.”

The “Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act of 2014“; relates to the duty of the mortgagee or its loan servicing agent to maintain property secured by a delinquent mortgage.

RELATED STORIES
http://www.rocklandtimes.com/2014/06/19/state-bill-seeks-to-crack-down-on-zombie-properties/

http://www.nyacknewsandviews.com/2014/06/zombieprops2201406/

by Adam Deutsch

” The June 10, 2014 unanimous decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is a breath of fresh air,” Denbeaux and Denbeaux Senior Associate Attorney Adam Deutsch said today in a statement.

Adam Deutsch, Esq., Denbeaux and Denbeaux

Adam Deutsch, Esq., of the lawfirm Denbeaux and Denbeaux

The new Jersey attorney for the law firm of Denbeaux and Denbeaux was referring to yesterday’s, Tuesday, June 10th,announcement that by an unanimous vote, a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, rejected Wells Fargo and Co’s attempt to circumvent litigation over the United State’s government allegations of misconduct related to Federal Housing Administration home mortgage loans.

Mr. Deutsch went on to say, “For years, we and our clients together with the public at large have been seeking justice for wrongdoing in the origination of loans by large banking institutions such as Wells Fargo.  Wells Fargo tried to cheat again by alleging that the U.S. Government could not seek damages for wrongdoing after it entered into a roughly $5 billion settlement with the bank in 2012.  While the homeowners who have been damaged tend not to obtain much relief from these broad government actions, it is a moral victory to see that justice may be served as the claims brought by the government have been cleared to move forward after the Court deemed that they were not waived by the settlement.”

Bank of America could pay at least $12 billion to settle probes: report

Bank of America Corp could pay more than $12 billion to settle probes by the Justice Department and a number of states into the bank’s alleged handling of shoddy mortgages, the Wall Street Journal said on Thursday, citing people familiar with the negotiations.

At least $5 billion of that amount is expected to go toward consumer relief consisting of help for homeowners in reducing principal amounts and monthly payments, and paying for blight removal in struggling neighborhoods, the paper said, citing people with knowledge about the issue.

Free eBook download, the story of how nine attorney’s general may have been duped by Wells Fargo to give up the rights of homeowners to sue for fraud.

You can read the report for free here.

Mortgage Fraud : Wells Fargo Wins, Homeowners, attorney Generals, and Courts Lose

Pick-a-Fraud Class Action: The Misrepresentation of an Underrepresented Class

CLICK HERE to Unlock Attibution Content on Denbeaux website

New report by the National Housing Conference documents housing problems on a state by state basis. States that have had problems with foreclosures seem to correlate to areas with severe cost burdens. Although a full analysis is not available, Ms. Janet Viveiros, Research Associate at the National Home Conference, says that “anecdotally” there is evidence to support that conclusion.

In states such as California, New Jersey and Florida the problem is particularly acute. States such as Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, Texas and New Jersey have been impacted by banking fraud such as the Pick a Pay loan program of Wells Fargo.

denbeauxlaw_NHC_5 denbeauxlaw_NHC_4 denbeauxlaw_NHC_3 denbeauxlaw_NHC_2 denbeauxlaw_NHC_1

We are seeing repeated behavior by the banks that is illegal, predatory and fraudulent with respect to homeowners. It is in the hands of the State Attorneys General, to take action to protect the rights of consumers and home owners.

Before the GAO report surfaced this week, it was documented by Denbeaux & Denbeaux, over two months ago, that  systemic flaws in how the banks were processing foreclosures, are being overlooked by State attorneys General.

State Attorneys General have yet to act in based on the Denbeaux & Denbeaux report. The question for New Jersey homeowners is whether the GAO report will prompt any further action by the State Attorney General on their behalf.

In the report written by Joshua Denbeaux Esq. and researched by Joseph Hickman, President Global Research Solutions LLC on January 27, 2014, entitled “Pick-a-Fraud Class Action: The Misrepresentation of an Underrepresented Class,” it is detailed how an Agreement and Stipulations of Settlement of a Class by a Northern California District Court was used to potentially avoid assurances provided earlier to nine State Attorneys General that would protect homeowners rights to sue for predatory lending practices.

 

Highlights from the article by Michael Corkery of the New York Times.

G.A.O. Report Sees Deeper Bank Flaws in Foreclosures

By MICHAEL CORKERY
April 28, 2014

Highlights from the article:

 
·         A new government report suggests that errors made by banks and their agents during foreclosures might have been significantly higher than was previously believed when regulators halted a national review of the banks’ mortgage servicing operations.
 
·         At the time, the regulators — the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Reserve — found that lengthy reviews by bank-hired consultants were delaying compensation getting to borrowers who had suffered through improper modifications and other problems.
 
·         But the decision to cut short the review left regulators with limited information about actual harm to borrowers when they negotiated a $10 billion settlement as part of agreements with 15 banks, according to a draft of a report by the Government Accountability Office reviewed by The New York Times.
 
·         The report shows, for example, that an unidentified bank had an error rate of about 24 percent. This bank had completed far more reviews of borrowers’ files than a group of 11 banks involved the deal, suggesting that if other banks had looked over more of their records, additional errors might have been discovered.

Wells Fargo blasted for ‘predatory lending’

Wells Fargo blasted for ‘predatory lending’
Patrick Danner
Published 5:51 pm, Tuesday, April 29, 2014

About 40 people picketed outside a Wells Fargo branch a few miles away from the annual meeting. “Banks got bailed out; we got sold out,” they chanted, holding “Stop Foreclosures” and “End Predatory Lending” signs.

At the annual meeting, CEO John Stumpf defended Wells Fargo’s track record in helping homeowners. Over the last five years, the bank has helped 728,000 homeowners with mortgage modifications and reduced the principal on home loans by $8 billion. “No other bank has forgiven $8 billion,” said Stumpf, who received $19.3 million in compensation last year.

Struggling homeowners continue to encounter problems with Wells Fargo, said Josh Zinner, co-director of the New Economy Project, one of the three groups that filed the stockholder proposal. Those problems include lost paperwork, endless delays and wrongful denials on loan modifications.

For more on Wells Fargo predatory practices read the investigative report. 

A report written by Joshua Denbeaux Esq. and researched by Joseph Hickman, President Global Research Solutions LLC on January 27, 2014, entitled “Pick-a-Fraud Class Action: The Misrepresentation of an Underrepresented Class,” details how an Agreement and Stipulations of Settlement of a Class by a Northern California District Court was used to potentially avoid assurances provided earlier to nine State Attorneys General that would protect homeowners rights to sue for predatory lending practices.

According to the 2010 settlement with Wachovia in theNorthern California District Court, Case No. M:09-CV-2015-JF, In Re: Wachovia Corp. “Pick-A-Payment” Mortgage Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation,approximately 500,000 homeowners across nine states, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Texas, and Washington, were to be given better deals than those already secured by their own state Attorneys General with Wells Fargo, who inherited those loans when they purchased Wachovia.

However, according to an investigative report compiled and published by Joshua Denbeaux of the Westwood law firm, Denbeaux and Denbeaux, the assurances given to the Attorneys General may have been ignored by Wells Fargo.

“We sent the report to all nine of the Attorneys General over a week ago and have heard no response from any of them. As strange as it may seem, for everyone’s sake we hope that they were duped, because the alternative would be unthinkable. This week we sent another letter to the NJ Attorney General saying exactly that,” continues Denbeaux. “Our report raises the question that if NJ homeowners have lost their rights should the NJ Attorney General reopen the investigation into Wells Fargo. We think he should reopen the investigation,” Denbeaux concludes.

Following the housing-bubble burst, Wells Fargo faced many lawsuits from homeowners who accused the bank of allegedly committing fraud through its “Pick-A-Payment” mortgage loan program when Wells Fargo inherited these loans after buying Wachovia Bank.

To avoid these lawsuits Wells Fargo negotiated a series of settlements in Sept 2010 with the Attorneys General of nine states that would provide homeowners a series of promised modifications, while still granting those homeowners the right to sue Wells Fargo for the fraudulent loans.

However, while Wells Fargo was negotiating this deal with the Attorneys General, it was secretly
simultaneously negotiating a Class-Action Settlement in California Federal Court that would give homeowners the same promised modifications, but only if the homeowners agreed to surrender their rights to sue Wells Fargo. (The Class-Action Settlement was signed in Dec 2010–two months after the Attorneys General Settlement).

None of the homeowners were told by Wells Fargo that they had already been given the promised
modifications by the attorneys’ general settlement.

According to the California Northern District Court Order in Case No. M:09-CV-2015-JF Section 3:4-5, the settlement also provided a monetary payment to all class members. The Bank agreed to spend $75 million settling this case. First, 1/3 of the Bank’s total expenditure ($25 Million dollars) was paid to the class attorneys for brokering a deal worse than that which had already been secured by the states’ Attorneys General. Of the remaining $50 Million dollars, approximately $125,000 was distributed among the 26 class representatives and the remainder was divided up equally so that each of the half a million class members received a mere $178.04.

“Wells Fargo may have used the Federal Class-Action Settlement as a way to wash its hands of any future lawsuits”, said Denbeaux. “They signed a settlement with nine state attorneys general which ended up not being honored. The result was that some homeowners were paid $178 to surrender their rights to sue for fraud.”

C2SOH: Attorney Speaks Out About Ongoing Foreclosure Crisis in New Jersey

Coalition to Save Our Homes

Meeting Tonight, April 11th

7:00pm

Abyssinian Baptist Church

224 West Kinney Street, Newark N.J. 07103
Click for Google Maps directions

Foreclosure defense attorney, Adam Deutsch, Esq. of the law firm, Denbeaux & Denbeaux will speak today, April 11th 7:00 pm, at the Abyssinian Baptist Church, 224 West Kinney Street, Newark, N.J.

TONIGHT’S TOPICS 

  • Ongoing foreclosure crisis in New Jersey
  • Continued use of fraudulent lender documents 
  • Need for criminal investigation of predatory lending 
  • Necessity of comprehensive write-down of predatory mortgage principals

The Coalition to Save Our Homes Members Organizations

  • People’s Organization for Progress
  • NAACP, Irvington Branch
  • Newark Teachers’ Association
  • NJ Industrial Union Council
  • Residents for a Better Irvington
  • Occupy New Brunswick
  • Parent Advocacy and Service Academy

Bank Forges Note, Middlesex NJ Foreclosure Case Dismissed

New Jersey Attorney Thwarts Foreclosure After Catching Bank Using a Fraudulent Promissory Note at Trial.

 

 

More than four years after the mortgage foreclosure crises began, it is assumed that acts of fraud on behalf of the banks has stopped.  This assumption keeps being proved wrong.  On Tuesday February 26 before The Honorable Ann McCormick, P.J.Ch. in Middlesex County New Jersey, Round Point Mortgage Servicing LLC was caught at trial attempting to foreclose using a fraudulent promissory note.

 

Had the homeowners not been represented by an attorney who managed to get the case to trial, the bank may have gotten away with the fraud.  “Already in 2013 we have been able to get six foreclosure cases dismissed” said Attorney Adam Deutsch of Bergen County law firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux.  “It is fairly common to find assignments of mortgage and other documents executed by non-employees of the bank who have no authority to act on behalf of the foreclosing entity.  Unfortunately it depends on what county you are in and what judge you are before, as to whether or not the bank will get away with it.  In my time representing homeowners this is the first time I’ve seen such an egregious fraud.  Like most of the loans I see, this one was sold a few times from the originator before the Plaintiff sued.”

 

Roundpoint Mortgage Servicing LLC began the trial by placing its witness on the stand.  After the witness was sworn in, the bank’s attorney went to submit its first exhibit, the original promissory note.  Since 2011, New Jersey’s case law has required that the bank have possession of the original promissory note in order to foreclose.  “The bank’s attorney handed me what it claimed to be the original note, for inspection.  I compared it to the version they produced during discovery and immediately noticed discrepancies.”

 

The document presented as the original note did not have the same endorsements contained on the version produced during discovery.  More alarming, it was clear that the signatures of the homeowner and the closing attorney were remarkably different on the two versions of the promissory note.  Mr. Deutsch turned to his client to show the discrepancy, and the client confirmed that he has never signed his name in the manner it appeared on the newly presented document.  “The problem was obvious, and the fraud was clear.  I knew right away there was a major problem for Plaintiff, which they could not overcome.  Rather than hurl accusations and embarrass the adversary, I pulled him outside of the Courtroom to inform him that the documents did not match.  He then went back into the Courtroom flustered and asked for a recess to discuss the issue with his witness.”

 

When the parties returned from a brief recess, the Plaintiff’s attorney informed the Court that Plaintiff could not proceed with trial because it could not explain why there were two different versions of the promissory note.  The Plaintiff asked Judge McCormick if she would grant them a 60 day continuance to research why and how the discrepancy occurred.  The Court denied the request and entered an order dismissing the trial.  According to Mr. Deutsch “This was more than a victory, the event exposed that even after New Jersey’s Supreme Court completed its investigation of fraud in foreclosure litigation, the problems have not stopped.  I only hope that word of this event spreads throughout the judiciary, because too often we have seen the Courts becoming more relaxed and once again giving banks a pass, assuming their documents and proofs to be legitimate.  The banks try to present foreclosure defendants as deadbeats who are morally deficient.  The reality is these are professionals who have been the victim of a system wide financial slowdown caused by the very companies who now produce fake documents during foreclosure litigation.  In this case, the family deserves a reprieve.  My client is grateful for the result because his three children and wife who suffers from Multiple Sclerosis can remain in the home for the foreseeable future.  “

 

The actions of Roundpoint Mortgage Servicing would have likely been overlooked had the homeowners not retained a law firm specializing in foreclosure defense.  Mr. Deutsch has obtained six foreclosure dismissals since the start of 2013.  Denbeaux & Denbeaux can be reached by calling 201-664-8855, for more information visit www.denbeauxlaw.com

NJ Homeowners at Risk to Lose Foreclosure Mediation Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Westwood, NJ

New Jersey’s budgetary problems threaten to end the successful foreclosure mediation program

In 2009, New Jersey’s judiciary began offering a free foreclosure mediation program to homeowners facing foreclosure.  The program has generally been viewed as a success in that the program forced more accountability on banks and made the process for obtaining a mortgage modification more transparent.  Now, four years later with no end to the foreclosure crises in sight, the mediation program is likely coming to a close.

“This morning I appeared in Somerset County Court on behalf of a homeowner.  The Judge informed us that the mediation program was out of funds and would be closing its doors,” said Denbeaux & Denbeaux foreclosure defense attorney Adam Deutsch.  This is problematic particularly for those homeowners who represent themselves in Court.  For self-represented homeowners, the mediation program has often been the prime focus for resolution, rather than litigating the case in Court.  These homeowners may soon be out of luck and forced to seek modifications directly with the bank through a convoluted process in which the bank has no accountability to be honest.

For those homeowners who have the benefit of retaining a defense attorney, not much will change even once the mediation program closes.  “Many of our clients have been successful in obtaining modifications of their mortgage loans outside of the mediation program.  We have a good relationship with the law firms representing the banks, and we have been able to utilize these relationships to submit modification documents directly through the attorney to the bank,” explained Mr. Deutsch.

Obtaining modifications through working with the banks attorneys may very well be the wave of the future.  Since the start of the foreclosure crises, homeowners have regularly complained that banks have repeatedly lost documents or simply rejected modification requests without cause.   According to Mr. Deutsch, “Homeowners often tell me there is no continuity of service when they work directly with the bank to obtain a modification.  This is problematic because homeowners get conflicting information and are ultimately denied modifications simply because a different person at the bank processes their requests each time new documents are submitted.  We are able to ensure our clients get proper attention when we work with the bank’s attorneys.  Because we work with each other on a regular basis in Court, the attorneys push their clients to be more attentive and honest through the modification process.  This has enabled us to obtain modifications for our clients without going through the modification process.”

Homeowners who are facing foreclosure are encouraged to visit a legal professional before determining what strategy is best for their given situation.

 

Adam Deutsch, Esq.

Associate Attorney

Denbeaux & Denbeaux

366 Kinderkamack road

Westwood, NJ 07675

(P) 201-664-8855

(F) 201-666-8589

NJ Real Estate Pro Advises “How to Save Home”

Real estate professional Beverly Meaux, Keller Williams has advice for New Jersey homeowners facing foreclosure, bankruptcy, or thinking about a short sale. You can learn about her fresh perspective here on the Montclair Patch.com site.  

In a similar bit of news Bloomberg TV reported that there are 7 million homes in the U.S. that are “underwater” or homes that are worth less than what they owe. Watch this video as Graham Fisher Managing Director Josh Rosner discusses Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac allowing one-time borrowers to walk away from homes.

 

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Banks close to $10 billion foreclosure settlement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 1, 2013 (Westwood, NJ)

Homeowners had until midnight last night December 31, 2012 to request an Independent foreclosure Review from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. However, late yesterday it was reported by the NY Times that a $10 billion deal with 14 banks to settle charges of foreclosure abuses was being negotiated.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2012/12/31/Banks-close-to-10B-foreclosure-settlement/UPI-58671356986953/#ixzz2GkA8Fwia

The new deal designates a larger share of funds to go directly to homeowners who have been evicted than the deal settled in April — $3.75 billion compared with $1.5 billion.

The majority of the settlements are to go to homeowners who are on the edge of going into foreclosure by either providing principle reduction and other forms of payment reductions.

This new tentative agreement, which is expected to be formalized Thursday, also cancels the Independent Foreclosure Review set up by the  U.S. Federal Reserve Board of Governors and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The independent reviews were supposed to be carried out by leading consulting firms to review over 3.5 million loans and illuminating bank errors, either deliberate or due to sloppiness, that created hardship, including foreclosures for homeowners.

Each review was estimated to take 8 hours/loan @ $250 per hour.  Instead, the reviews are taking three time longer, on average of 20 hours, and there has been evidence reported by ProPublica, that at least one lender, Bank of America, was telling the personnel doing the reviews what the findings of the independent review should be by pre-populating questionnaire  screens with answers, and other improprieties.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2012/12/31/Banks-close-to-10B-foreclosure-settlement/UPI-58671356986953/#ixzz2Gk9gTHHX

Read more: http://www.foreclosurehamlet.org/profiles/blogs/big-stay-away-as-we-all-knew-some-dirt-about-independent

Deadline Looms for Independent Reviews of NJ Foreclosures

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Westwood, N.J. December 29, 2012)

While everyone’s attention is focused on the December 31st, 2012 deadline of the so-called “fiscal cliff”, there is another deadline that will impact thousands of homeowners who might be entitled to awards of up to $125,000, plus equity,  through the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.If an error is found, homeowners could receive a payment or other compensation that may include refunded fees, stopping of a foreclosure or payments up to $125,000 plus equity.The request for the review process is free.

Visit independentforeclosurereview.com/ or call 1-888-952-9088 to request a review. Homeowners must submit a request for Review Form no later than December 31, 2012.

The banks and the Office of the Comptroller of the currency began this program late last year extending an offer to review the foreclosure procedure of some 4.3 million homeowners across the country at no charge to homeowners.

To date only a mere 165,000 people, less than 4 percent of those eligible for the Independent Foreclosure Review Program, have applied to have their cases reviewed. Part of the problem is that people don’t see the offer of help as legitimate because they get so much attorney advertising everyday that something official might be missed.

“People may have grown weary of thinking that there is someone out there who can help with their situation, especially if they have gone through the whole foreclosure process and lost their home. It is worth registering for the review as there is nothing to lose and everything to gain. Also , it is your right to do so. ” comments attorney Joshua Denbeaux of the law firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux.

New Jersey attorney, Joshua Denbeaux, of the law firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux, urges New Jersey homeowners troubled with foreclosure, to send in their applications for the Independent Foreclosure Review before the extended deadline of December 31, 2012 expires, or to fill out an application online.

Compensation amounts from the Independent Foreclosure program are based on the severity of the penalty for errors found in the foreclosure process. In cases where the home was illegally foreclosed on the awards can be pretty substantial.  In one case the errors were so severe that $100,000 was awarded to a homeowner.

There are three ways to identify legitimate correspondence from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency for an independent foreclosure review :

  1. The return address reads: Independent Review Administrator, An Important Message directed by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
  2. The letter is addressed to the person (s) whose names appear on the mortgage loan
  3. The letter should indicate the Loan Number, a Reference Number and the Property Address

To be eligible for a review under the Independent Foreclosure Review program, borrowers must meet the following criteria:

  • The mortgage loan was serviced by one of 27 participating mortgage servicers.
  • The loan must have been the subject of a foreclosure action between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010.
  • The involved property was the customer’s primary residence.

Source: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, www.independentforeclosurereview.com

For help completing the form or to have questions answered, call 1-888-952-9105.

Monday through Friday, 8 am – 10 pm ET or Saturday, 8 am – 5 pm ET

Third Party Assistance
If you are a homeowner working with a housing counselor, attorney or other third party who may be assisting you with your Request for Review Form, or you are a third party who wants to obtain a Request for Review Form for a homeowner who you are assisting, please call 1-888-952-9105. Be prepared to provide the following borrower and property information: the borrower(s) first name & last name and current mailing address; the Independent Foreclosure Review reference number (if available); the loan number and property address of the mortgage loan; the last 4 digits of borrower Social Security or Tax Identification Number (SSN/TIN).

Joshua Denbeaux is one of the partners of the law firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux, a consumer rights and advocacy law firm located at 366 Kinderkamack Road in Westwood N.J.  The firm has been leading the fight against illegal foreclosures, and the rights of New Jersey homeowners. The firm may be reached via email at pr(at)denbeauxlaw.com or buy calling 201- 664-8855 for a free consultation.

Courts Must Do More to Safeguard Homeowner Rights, Rally in Trenton Dec. 19th

Coalition to Save Our Homes

“Protect Homeowner Rights

Pack the Courtroom”

Wednesday, December 19th 2012, 10:00am

 Courts Must Do More to Safeguard Homeowner Rights

An appeal of a foreclosure verdict against a homeowner will be heard in Trenton, NJ on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, at 10:00 AM. The location will be the Hughes Justice Complex, 8th floor, north wing.

Defense Attorney Adam Deutsch states that there are two issues.

“The first is that the plaintiff, HSBC, never established that it had any financial interest on the property it seized in foreclosure. The defense says HSBC claimed to an interest in the property on an invalid basis. Also there is no real verification of HSBC’s stated ownership of the mortgage note.”

“The second issue is whether or not the lower courts made correct decisions, giving the failings of HSBC’s case. The defense contends that the failings are basic and the lower courts erred in finding for the bank. Therefore the verdict of final judgment against the homeowner must be voided.”

A difficulty of the defense is that the homeowner did not contest the foreclosure before final judgment.  That does not change the issue of a bank taking a house in which it never proved it had a financial claim, but it shows that homeowners should always make a defense. They always have rights and they always should make the best of them.

The Coalition to Save Our Homes takes these questions to be of vital and ongoing importance to finding a way out of the mortgage quagmire. We urge everyone to attend the hearing and learn about the issues.

People’s Organization for Progress

NAACP, Irvington Branch

Newark Teachers’ Association

NJ Industrial Union Council

Residents for a Better Irvington

Occupy New Brunswick

Parent Advocacy and Service Academy

 

Next C2SOH Meeting: Monday, Dec. 17, 7:30 PM, Irvington Public Library.

Time Running out for NJ Homeowners to get Independent Foreclosure Reviews

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Westwood, N.J. December 15, 2012)
NJ Homeowners Could Get Awards of More Than $100,000 in Federal Foreclosure Review

New Jersey attorney, Joshua Denbeaux, of the law firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux, urges New Jersey homeowners troubled with foreclosure, to send in their applications for the Independent Foreclosure Review before the extended deadline of December 31, 2012 expires.

Compensation amounts from the Independent Foreclosure program are based on the severity of the penalty for errors found in the foreclosure process. In cases where the home was illegally foreclosed on the awards can be pretty substantial.  In one case the errors were so severe that $100,000 was awarded to a homeowner.

The banks and the Office of the Comptroller of the currency began this program late last year extending an offer to review the foreclosure procedure of some 4.3 million homeowners across the country at no charge to homeowners.

To date only a mere 165,000 people, less than 4 percent of those eligible for the Independent Foreclosure Review Program, have applied to have their cases reviewed.

“People may have grown weary of thinking that there is someone out there who can help with their situation, especially if they have gone through the whole foreclosure process and lost their home. It is worth registering for the review as there is nothing to lose and everything to gain, ” comments attorney Joshua Denbeaux of the law firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux.

To be eligible for a review under the Independent Foreclosure Review program, borrowers must meet the following criteria:

  • The mortgage loan was serviced by one of 27 participating mortgage servicers.
  • The loan must have been the subject of a foreclosure action between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010.
  • The involved property was the customer’s primary residence.

Source: Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, www.independentforeclosurereview.com

Joshua Denbeaux is one of the partners of the law firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux, a consumer rights and advocacy law firm located at 366 Kinderkamack Road in Westwood N.J.  The firm has been leading the fight against illegal foreclosures, and the rights of New Jersey homeowners. The firm may be reached via email at pr(at)denbeauxlaw.com or buy calling 201- 664-8855 for a free consultation.

The Coalition to Save Our Homes will present attorney Adam Deutsch of Denbeaux  & Denbeaux at its meeting of Dec. 3, 2012. The location will be the Meeting Room of the Irvington Public Library at 7:30 PM.

The purpose will be to begin a joint community-legal campaign to hold banks and Wall Street accountable for the harm they have done the Irvington community by their predatory and often criminal lending policies. The government has done everything possible to rescue the banks. It has done almost nothing for the millions of distressed homeowners whose problems are solely due to predatory lending.

While the specific focus of this campaign is Irvington, it is a people’s initiative of interest to every aspect of the people’s struggle for economic justice nationwide.

Denbeaux & Denbeaux is law firm in Bergen County, New Jersey whose principal focus is consumer rights litigation.  The Firm has represented more than two hundred homeowners facing foreclosure, and has brought plaintiff actions against banks, brokers, realtors, title agencies, and credit reporting agencies for injuries arising out of the mortgage crises.  Since 2011 the firm has obtained dismissals of 54 foreclosure actions and has helped to modify dozens of loans.

Denbeaux & Denbeaux will join The Coalition to Save Our Homes by setting up an intake process in Irvington to interview distressed homeowners at no cost.  If you need personal representation the firm can be retained.  The Firm will be looking to see if there are common injuries to homeowners that may lead to a class action case on behalf of a broader group of citizens.  The more people involved, the greater the likelihood that a lawsuit can be built.  Please help by spreading the word.

The Coalition to Save Our Homes will reach out to other community organizations in Irvington to join in the campaign. We look forward to wide participation of homeowners, activists, labor organizations, and other grassroots people’s efforts wherever they are located.

Among other things we will hold protests at banks, marches against foreclosure, and demand real action on behalf of distressed homeowners from local, state, and federal officials. Community action will support the legal action. Legal action will support the community effort.

This is no small undertaking. It will require many people acting together. The authorities have failed the people in the foreclosure crisis. We must rescue ourselves.

Superior Court Begins to Dig Out From Avalanche of Foreclosure Notices

Westwood, NJ – November 16, 2012

A Superior Court judge said she will approve more than 3,000 corrected foreclosure notices from Wells Fargo to homeowners, tearing a hole in the procedural dam that has held back a potential flood of legal action. Attorney Adam Deutsch was on hand defending the rights of homeowners who should not have been included in the summary action. Read more at this link:

http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/12/11/16/superior-court-begins-to-dig-out-from-avalanche-of-foreclosure-notices/

Flood damage to a basement apartment in Hoboken after Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Liz Roll/FEMA

WESTWOOD, N.J.  – New Jersey’s embattled residents face yet another challenge as the result of topical storm Sandy, as insurance companies are denying coverage based on flood exclusions, according to NJ attorney Joshua Denbeaux

Flood damage to a basement apartment in Hoboken after Hurricane Sandy. Photo by Liz Roll/FEMA

Even as Gov. Christie’s executive order sought to bar insurers from charging hurricane deductibles because Hurricane Sandy was downgraded to a post-tropical storm about an hour before it struck Atlantic City, insurers can deny coverage in New Jersey .

“What Governor Christie did will save people’s lives, but you have to know what’s in your insurance policy. The insurer has a fiduciary duty and must provide all reasonable coverage under the insurance policy ,” says attorney at law, Joshua Denbeaux of Westwood New Jersey.

“I am reaching out to all New Jersey residents to offer to help for them to better understand their Homeowners Insurance Policy. We are hearing reports of insurers denying coverage, refusing to acknowledge or respond to claims, adjusters improperly forbidding repairs during insurance ‘investigation’ and lowball settlement offers,” he went on to say.

Homeowners in New Jersey eligible for FEMA assistance are required to put in an insurance claim if they have an insurance policy that will be used as the primary coverage for damages and repairs.

“We represent homeowners, and we do not represent insurance companies.  For the past four and a half years, we have represented over 1000 homeowners in disputes with their mortgage lenders. If a homeowner wants to know what their policy entitles them to, we invite them to bring us the policy.  We will read it and tell them their rights in a free of charge consultation,” Mr. Denbeaux concluded.

For more information or to make an appointment with Joshua W. Denbeaux, Esq., to discuss your insurance policy, please contact the law firm of Denbeaux & Denbeaux, 366 Kinderkamack Road,Westwood, NJ  07675 at (201) 664-8855 or fax (201) 666-8589 (fax). Email may be sent to pr@denbeauxlaw (dot)com

NJ Fair Foreclosure Act “Meaningless” as Lenders Hijack Homes without Due Process

 (For Immediate Release, October 18, 2012 – Westwood, N.J.)

Attorney Adam Deutsch of the law firm of Denbeaux & Denbeaux says that thousands of New Jersey homeowners are being denied their right to due process, as the New Jersey Supreme Court tries to alleviate the statewide back up of foreclosures clogging the judicial system.

It is estimated that there are at least 60,000 active foreclosure cases in New Jersey, and even more that have not yet been filed. These numbers make New Jersey the state with second highest number of foreclosures, right behind Nevada.

“In 1995 the New Jersey legislature under Republican Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, enacted the Fair Foreclosure Act to offer homeowners protection in the foreclosure process. More recently, when the foreclosure epidemic started in 2008, the Fair Foreclosure Act became a ‘hot button’ issue.

One of the requirements it imposed, is that the lender shall issue to a homeowner a Notice of the Intention to Foreclose, a letter that identifies the name of the lender, and the steps that can be made to cure the loan. The part of the notice identifying the lender was key, because for many of my clients, they were being sued by entities they had never heard of and never before paid. There was a also requirement that this letter be sent out at least 30 to 35 days prior to the filing of a foreclosure complaint. It turns out the banks weren’t doing it,” says Adam Deutsch Senior Associate attorney at Denbeaux & Denbeaux.

The problem of lender noncompliance with state law has created a backlog of cases that are in legal limbo waiting to be reviewed by the courts, and now the NJ Supreme Court has decided to rectify the problem of review and correction of lender Notices of the Intention to Foreclose.

However, by giving lenders the opportunity to issue thousands of corrected Notices of the Intention to Foreclosure through a summary action and order to show cause, thousands of New Jersey homeowners are being now being deprived of their rights to due process.

It is tantamount to saying Fair Foreclosure Act is meaningless as thousands of cases go through the court system without the due process of law. Instead attorneys for the lenders, have sent to the courts a proposed request to issue corrected Notices of the Intention to Foreclose and have a hearing and grant a summary action allowing all cases to be decided in one fell swoop.

The issue is that many of the homeowners in this legal limbo have had their cases already dismissed and should not be included in the group of uncontested cases. Generally, many homeowners aren’t even aware of the hearing date which has changed three times in the past week, nor have their attorney’s been notified.

“This is a significant issue and the there are literally thousands of homeowners who are being grouped together. What pains me most about this process is that there’s this fundamental understanding in American law of due process, and the idea that everyone should have their day in court. What’s happening here is everyone is being deprived of their day in court. Instead of people being considered as individuals, with the merits and facts particular to their case, all homeowners are being grouped together who are delinquent and that’s a real problem because not all cases are alike by any means.”

“I know this personally because I represent a hundred plus homeowners, every case has very unique characteristics. There are unique reasons for why people end up in the situation where they are, there are unique facts as to how the loan was closed, where they lived, just all sorts of facts. I fear this is an attempt to simply streamline the process, drown out any homeowner from raising objections,” Mr. Deutsch concludes.

In this special video interview, Adam Deutsch, Senior Attorney at Denbeaux & Denbeaux, explains how the NJ Supreme’ Court’s decision to rectify errors with a summary judgment of foreclosure filings that violated the Fair Foreclosure Act can impact tens of thousands of NJ homeowners in foreclosure.

 

New Jersey homeowners who want to know if their home is part of the summary action, can go to the State Supreme Court Judiciary website at :

http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/superior/documents.htm

Search a downloadable PDF of the 334 page list of cases at:

For a discussion of the NJ Fair Foreclosure Act please read the following article:

http://new-jersey-foreclosure-lawyer.com/fair-foreclcosure-act/for-mortgage-lenders-refusal-to-follow-the-new-jersey-fair-foreclosure-act-began-on-day-one

New Jersey lawyers, Josh Denbeaux and Adam Deutsch, of the law firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux, fights for the rights of all homeowners. If homeowners have questions, feel they might have been advantage of, or are in default, or nearing default, they should get a free consultation to find out what their rights are by calling Joshua Denbeaux at 201-664-8855 or send an email to pr@)denbeauxlaw(dot)com.

This is the original letter written October 4th to the Court, about the general concern about the communication procedure within the motion process.

This is the follow-up letter written October 9th to the Court , about delay in getting critical information from the contact within the Court that homeowners and litigants were to use to get specific information and have questions answered.

 

Westwood, N.J. Attorney Warns Homeowners About Illegal Loan Modification Companies

Westwood, N.J.  Attorney Warns Homeowners About  Illegal Loan Modification Companies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 Westwood, NJ October 5, 2012 New Jersey attorney, Joshua Denbeaux, of the law firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux announced today that his firm is planning on filing complaints against illegal predatory loan modification companies in New Jersey who are promising homeowners loan modifications in exchange for monthly payment plans or exorbitant fees up front.  The New Jersey Debt Adjuster’s Act forbids any person or company who is not a New Jersey licensed attorney or a Licensed Debt Adjuster from taking money to modify mortgage loans.

The New Jersey Licensed Debt Adjuster’s Act exists for a reason: it protects homeowners.  If you have a problem, hire a New Jersey attorney who can negotiate with the bank and appear in Court to compel the bank to operate in good faith.  If the bank acts in bad faith, as often happens, a company acting in violation of the Debt Adjuster’s Act has no ability to take the bank to Court to compel proper modification practices.

New Jersey homeowners are being taken advantage of by these companies that promise to get loan modifications for a fee, who in reality have no more means to get that modification than the homeowner.

In some cases, these companies can make matters worse.  Much worse.

For at least one known company, the advertisement arrives promising an attorney to work on the file and protect the home.  Unfortunately, the New Jersey address for this company does not exist and the ‘attorney’ never shows up in Court.  This is a problem because the sales team for the company represents that for the monthly fee, they allow the foreclosure action to go into default.  Then, when the modification falls through, the homeowner is facing default or sheriff sale because their Foreclosure Complaint was not Answered.

We can assist modify loans, and we can help save people who have been victimized by fraudulent modification companies.  Also, if you have paid an out of state company or law firm to modify your loan, you may have the right to recover three times the amount of money the company took from you, plus counsel fees and costs.

New Jersey lawyer, Josh Denbeaux, of the law firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux, fights for the rights of all homeowners. If homeowners have questions, feel they might have been advantage of, or are in default, or nearing default, they should get a free consultation to find out what their rights are by calling Joshua Denbeaux at 201-664-8855 or send an email to pr@)denbeauxlaw(dot)com.

CONTACT:

Josh Denbeaux

pr@)denbeauxlaw(dot)com

366 Kinderkamack Road

Westwood, N.J. 07675

Phone: 201-664-8855
Fax: 201-666-8589

###

NJ Attorney Protects Rights of Homeowners from Illegal Entry by Bank Representatives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

NJ Attorney Protects Rights of Homeowners from Illegal Entry by Bank Representatives

Westwood, New Jersey – October 5, 2012 -If you believe your home has been wrongly entered into by representatives of a bank please contact us immediately.  Denbeaux & Denbeaux is the leading consumer advocate law firm representing homeowners facing foreclosure.  The firm currently represents a family in southern New Jersey that was subject to a wrongful eviction.  The bank sent representatives into the home and removed all personal property from the home, without having first obtained a foreclosure judgment.

If you have suffered from a similar situation or if you think your home has been wrongfully entered at the direction of a bank, whether or not you are facing legal foreclosure proceedings, you need to call us, at (201) 664-8855. Your rights can be protected and you may be compensated for your injury.

Here are the specifics about the case:

On Monday May 14, 2012, a person claiming to be a representative of J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. broke into a NJ home, and with no legal rights, changed the locks and prevented the rightful owners from entering their own house. The trespassing event was discovered by the father of the homeowner when he tried to go into his son’s home to continue to handle the affairs of his late son’s estate.

The problem has become worse for the homeowner because after having their home seized illegally, JP Morgan Chase reneged on an agreed settlement offer for a payment and deed in lieu of foreclosure for the home.

On June 6th 2012, JP Morgan Chase was no longer offering the agreed to $34,500, now they were going to give the family  $1 for title to the home. “JP Morgan Chase has been in the news an awful lot lately. The week they announced losing billions of shareholder dollars was the same week they wrongfully broke into Jason’s home and changed the locks. To have lost a foreclosure action, abandoned a contractual obligation to pay $34,500 and to have trespassed into a home can only be described as chutzpah” added Mr. Deutsch.

“What is outrageous about this is that today as JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon testifies before the Senate Banking Committee about how his bank’s trading loss of $2 billion is business as usual, the very same bank is illegally taking some one’s home, also as business as usual. At best, this situation was caused by a gross miscommunication within a bank that is too big to fail. At worst a purported agent of the bank committed a trespass. I have been defending unwarranted mortgage foreclosures for more than 3 years. This is an especially troublesome incident, ” says attorney Joshua Denbeaux.

“Thankfully, our clients did the right thing in this situation, they filed a police report of the incident and immediately contacted our office to begin the process of getting back possession of the home and the personal property within,” concluded Adam Deutsch, an attorney at Denbeaux & Denbeaux.

 

Joshua Denbeaux is one of the partners of the law firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux, a consumer rights and advocacy law firm located at 366 Kinderkamack Road in Westwood N.J. The firm has been leading the fight against illegal foreclosures, and the rights of New Jersey homeowners. For more information about this case please call Adam Deutsch of the lawfirm Denbeaux & Denbeuax to read his article, JP Morgan Chase, A Lesson in How to Steal Cheat and Harass a Grieving Family.

CONTACT:

Joshua Denbeaux

pr@denbeauxlaw.com

366 Kinderkamack Road

Westwood, NJ 07675

Phone: (201) 664-8855.

###

 

 

Adam Deutsch of the law-firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux has been announced as a guest speaker at the  MORRIS/SUSSEX BENCH BAR CONFERENCE Chancery Division: General Equity Breakout Session, to be held this coming Friday October 5th from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM EDT at the Morris County Administration and Records Building, 5th floor, Freeholders Public Meeting Room, in Morristown, New Jersey.

Mr. Deutsch will be providing an update on the area of foreclosure, a topic that has received a good deal of attention as the foreclosure rate has increased over the past few years.


The meeting agenda can be viewed at the event website, or by contacting the Morris County Bar Association.

 

Foreclosure Stopped as NJ Court Reversal of 2010 Decision Results in Dismissal

Foreclosure Stopped in 2012 as NJ Court Reversal of 2010 Decision Results in Dismissal | Josh Denbeaux

Foreclosure Stopped in 2012 as NJ Court Reversal of 2010 Decision Results in Dismissal | Josh Denbeaux

Summary – Denbeaux & Denbeaux, New Jersey’s leading Consumer Rights law firm, has obtained a dismissal of a 2010 Foreclosure Judgment.

(Westwood, N.J.) September 11, 2012 For Immediate Release

Two years after the bank was granted a judgment to foreclose on their Union County home, New Jersey family has had their case dismissed.

The homeowners contacted Denbeaux & Denbeaux after searching the internet and reading press releases and articles about the firm’s success with foreclosure cases. He had gone to two other attorneys and had tried to defend his home, but to no avail, but he would not give up the fight.

In 2010 the family received their Foreclosure Complaint from a bank that they never knew existed. At the same time, his wife was diagnosed with late stage cancer and was not expected to survive for long.

Nevertheless, US Bank National Association, as Indenture Trustee under the Indenture, dated as of December 14, 2001 between Salomon Mortgage Loan Trust 2001-CB-4 and US Bank National Association, C-Bass Mortgage Loan Asset Backed notes, obtained Final Judgment against them.

After meeting with a successive attorneys, all of whom advised him that they could do nothing, the husband and wife came to Denbeaux & Denbeaux  in 2011, “with a lot of anxiety, concern and not a whole lot of hope.” After hearing of their plight, partner Joshua Denbeaux immediately agreed to take the case. “They were our salvation.”

Adam Deutsch, Esq. was assigned to the case, and he discovered that the Trust that sued the homeowners in foreclosure, did not have the right to enforce the Note or the Mortgage on the property.  Vacating Judgments, even when they are wrong, is an uphill battle, but Mr. Deutsch filed extensive briefs regarding the Trust which demonstrated that the Court had been misled by the Trust when it entered the Order of Foreclosure against them.

In one of his final judicial opinions before retiring from the bench, The Honorable John F. Malone of Union County, New Jersey reversed his decision issued in August of 2010.  In vacating its prior decision, the Judge explained that the issues raised on behalf of the Defendant homeowners went to the heart of whether the bank could enforce the promissory note and mortgage, and that justice required reconsideration of the prior decision.  The Court Held that “based on the evidence presented the court concludes that the plaintiff did not prove that it possessed the Note at the time the complaint was filed.”

“This decision should provide great hope to every New Jersey resident facing the threat of the loss of your home.  You need to stand up and be heard even if the bank has already obtained a judgment in foreclosure against you,” said Mr. Deutsch. “So long as you are still living in the home, there is an opportunity for the Court to reevaluate decisions which in hindsight were made incorrectly.”

At the mention of “courage,” the homeowner tells a story about how after serving the Army in Vietnam that one day out of the blue recently he received in the mail several medals he had been awarded including three Bronze stars.

“I put them in a nice display case and gave them to my wife. She is the real hero in this family. It is her strength to endure what she has gone through that inspires me to continue fighting for our home each day,” he said.

“At Denbeaux and Denbeaux , we always remember the importance a home has to each and every one of our clients and their family. To them home is life, to the bank it is a mere number or asset,” concludes Adam Deutsch.

New Jersey lawyer, Adam Deutsch is an Associate Attorney at Denbeaux & Denbeaux currently concentrating his practice on consumer rights litigation. If homeowners have questions, feel they might have been advantage of, or are in or nearing default, they can have questions answered in a private, free consultation and find out their rights from one of the attorneys at Denbeaux and Denbeaux .Call and ask to speak with Joshua Denbeaux at 201-664-8855 or send an email to pr@)denbeauxlaw(dot)com.

**New** Joshua Denbeaux Esq. – Video Discussion

FDIC Mortgage Fraud Lawsuit Opens Pandora’s Box for Banks

FDIC Mortgage Fraud Lawsuit Opens Pandora’s Box for Banks says NJ Attorney 

 

New Jersey attorney Adam Deutsch of the law firm Denbeaux and Denbeaux sees the recent FDIC lawsuit relating to banking securities fraud as opening a Pandora’s Box of that could lead to further lawsuits of injured investors related to mortgage loans and foreclosure cases.

 

On August 17, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) filed three separate lawsuits in Texas relating to securities fraud in the packaging and sale of mortgage backed securities.  The targets of the lawsuits include Ally Securities LLC, Goldman Sachs & Co, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and other industry giants of the mortgage industry.  The complaints allege that the Defendants knowingly inflated loan appraisals, lied about rental status of homes, and other material information.  The FDIC alleges that in each of the securities, false information related to anywhere from 40-77% of the loans involved.

 

Adam Deutsch, Esq.

“FDIC may be overlooking a deeper fraud”

“It is a relief to see this lawsuit being filed one week after it was announced that no criminal charges would be brought against these same banks and their brethren for frauds relating to the broader financial crises.  My only hesitation in reading the complaints is that the FDIC may be overlooking an ever deeper fraud,” explained Adam Deutsch, a leading foreclosure defense attorney in New Jersey, having achieved  dismissals of over 40 case.  “Repeatedly I have found evidence that the securitized trusts at the center of this lawsuit never actually acquired the mortgage loans they claimed to own.  The FDIC is focused on whether the product sold was rotten, but if I were in their shoes the question would be whether the products sold were nothing more than a mirage.”

 

The opportunity for the FDIC to expand its claims during the course of litigation is available and will likely be utilized.  In bringing the lawsuit, the FDIC is standing in the shoes of the now defunct Guaranty Bank as its receiver.  As Mr. Deutsch explains, this lawsuit has the potential to open up a Pandora’s Box of injured investors.  “There is no question securitization fraud occurred and that astronomical civil liability exists for the originators of the securities.  My observation is that there has been a mafia like code of silence against bringing similar lawsuits.  The best explanation I can offer is that most of the injured investors are financial institutions reliant on doing business in the future with the entities that initiated the frauds.  Because the FDIC is a does not need to worry about doing business with the Defendants, it can stand up, break the code of silence and demand justice.”

 

Whether there will be rippling effects from this lawsuit is yet to be seen as it is in its infant stages.  Four years into the foreclosure crises and the great recession, there has been little restitution and few lessons learned to avoid catastrophe in the future.  This latest action by the FDIC may provide some answers to the questions thus far left open ended.

 

New Jersey lawyer, Josh Denbeaux, of the law firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux, fights for the rights of all homeowners. If homeowners have questions, feel they might have been advantage of, or are in default, or nearing default, they should get a free consultation to find out what their rights are by calling Joshua Denbeaux at 201-664-8855 or send an email to pr@)denbeauxlaw(dot)com.

We are currently investigating unconscionable closing practices by lenders throughout New Jersey. As the Bergen Record reported Joshua Denbeaux has been challenging the banks on these foreclosures for more than two years. Our success has paid off. The better banks have now conceded that we were right! If you are in foreclosure, please contact one of our attorneys to see whether you have the right to halt the proceeding. We are particularly interested in hearing from you if your loan was placed with or is presently owned by:

  • Chase
  • Countrywide
  • New Century
  • Wachovia
  • Washington Mutual
  • Wells Fargo
  • World Savings Bank

NJ Homeowners Warned of Wrongful Entry by Denbeaux and Denbeaux, Attorneys at Law

We are re-posting this case because of reports of more wrongful entries by banks, bank representatives, in counties across New Jersey. Recently homeowners in Sussex, and Essex counties have had problems.

If you think your home has been wrongfully entered at the direction of a bank, whether or not you are facing legal foreclosure proceedings, you need to call us, at (201) 664-8855.

 

On Monday May 14, 2012, a person claiming to be a representative of J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. broke into a NJ home, and with no legal rights, changed the locks and prevented the rightful owners from entering their own house. The trespassing event was discovered by the father of the homeowner when he tried to go into his son’s home to continue to handle the affairs of his late son’s estate.

The problem has become worse for the homeowner because after having their home seized illegally, JP Morgan Chase reneged on an agreed settlement offer for a payment and deed in lieu of foreclosure for the home.

On June 6th 2012, JP Morgan Chase was no longer offering the agreed to $34,500, now they were going to give Jason’s family $1 for title to the home. “JP Morgan Chase has been in the news an awful lot lately. The week they announced losing billions of shareholder dollars was the same week they wrongfully broke into Jason’s home and changed the locks. To have lost a foreclosure action, abandoned a contractual obligation to pay $34,500 and to have trespassed into a home can only be described as chutzpah” added Mr. Deutsch.

“What is outrageous about this is that today as JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon testifies before the Senate Banking Committee about how his bank’s trading loss of $2 billion is business as usual, the very same bank is illegally taking some one’s home, also as business as usual. At best, this situation was caused by a gross miscommunication within a bank that is too big to fail. At worst a purported agent of the bank committed a trespass. I have been defending unwarranted mortgage foreclosures for more than 3 years. This is an especially troublesome incident, ” says attorney Joshua Denbeaux.

“Thankfully, our clients did the right thing in this situation, they filed a police report of the incident and immediately contacted our office to begin the process of getting back possession of the home and the personal property within,” concluded Adam Deutsch, an attorney at Denbeaux & Denbeaux.

Joshua Denbeaux is one of the partners of the law firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux, a consumer rights and advocacy law firm located at 366 Kinderkamack Road in Westwood N.J. The firm has been leading the fight against illegal foreclosures, and the rights of New Jersey homeowners. For more information about this case please call Adam Deutsch of the lawfirm Denbeaux & Denbeuax to read his article, JP Morgan Chase, A Lesson in How to Steal Cheat and Harass a Grieving Family.

 

New Jersey Home Prices Lag Behind Nation According to S&P/Case-Shiller Index

While many people across the United States are looking for signs of improvement in the housing market, it really depends on where one lives and the socio-economic background of the area that will dictate how quickly a home’s value will be restored, this according to the latest  S&P/Case-Shiller home price index released last week.

Denbeaux and Denbeaux Sees NJ Home Values Slow to Recover

Nationally home prices are slowly rising but at a significantly lower rate in New Jersey, which currently ranks second behind only Florida for new foreclosure filings

The index indicated that prices in the 20 largest U.S. metropolitan areas increased at a seasonally adjusted rate of 0.9 percent in May from April and were down 0.7 percent from May 2011. Compare that to the New York-metropolitan area, where price increases were less robust or barely visible: up 0.6 month-over-month but down 2.8 percent year-over-year.  High unemployment  and a financial services sector in restoration from the financial meltdown are some of the reason for the slow market in New York.

In New Jersey, a larger percentage of home values increaded at a significantly lower rate. According to Zillow.com data,  70 percent of the largest year-over-year metropolitan decreases  and 75% top four were located in New Jersey. On top of that, further distress in the market exists as foreclosures are still being filed in New Jersey, with 8.4 percent of homes with a mortgage, some 153,000 homes, in foreclosure during the first quarter – the highest rate in the country, second to Florida.

“People struggling to make mortgage payments by dipping into their retirement with hope that prices will rebound should be careful.  Nationally, home prices are slowly rising but at a significantly lower rate in New Jersey, which currently ranks second behind only Florida for new foreclosure filings.  A hope and a prayer are not the answer, but if you seek out the right information you can formulate a long term plan that will work for your needs, ” says attorney Adam Deutsch of the law firm Denbeaux & Denbeuax.

NJ Foreclosure Case Dismissed as Bank of America Violates Fair Foreclosure Act

NJ Foreclosure Case Dismissed as Bank of America Violates Fair Foreclosure Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Trenton, N.J.)  July 2, 2012 Judge Doyne in the Superior Court of  New Jersey  Appellate Court handed down a decision today in favor to the homeowner in the Bank of America  v. Limato case Docket No. A-4880-10T3, which resulted in the dismissal of the foreclosure for the NJ homeowner, according to papers filed in Trenton today.

 

Judge Doyne of the Superior Court of New Jersey , Appellate Division,, handed down  a decision that upheld the claim that Bank of America not only failed to comply with the notice provision of the NJ Fair Foreclosure Act (FFA), but more importantly, lacked standing to pursue foreclosure as it could not demonstrate its status as the holder of the note, a non-holder with possession of the note, or that the original note was lost, as required under the Uniform Commercial Code(UCC), N.J.S.A. 12A:3-301.

 

The court’s 14 page decision describes in detail the deficiencies in the Bank of America argument but the one main point was Bank of America’s failure to prove its status as the mortgage holder.

 

Attorney for the defense in the Limato ruling, Adam Deutsch of the law firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux., says, “This is an important win for homeowners because it signals that the Appellate Division will not tolerate relaxing the standards banks must meet to show that they are entitled to foreclose.  In this case, Bank of America was seeking to take our client’s home, but the only witnesses they produced were employees of Wells Fargo.  There was no evidence tying Bank of America to home in question.”

 

Partner for the law firm, Joshua Denbeaux, says, “In 2012 Denbeaux & Denbeaux has won two of two Appellate Division cases for homeowners in New Jersey.  Obtaining this success is the result of a dedicated team who has been in the trenches battling bank’s on behalf of New Jersey homeowners since the beginning of the crises back in 2008.  I have personally watched the law evolve and am pleased to see the Courts treating foreclosing banks with a higher degree of scrutiny than was seen a few years ago.”

 

Cited as the premier foreclosure defense and consumer rights litigation firm in northern New Jersey by virtue of the number of cases they have been able to get dismissed, they offer a free consultation to any homeowner facing foreclosure.  Homeowners can take advantage of a free consultation and to learn about the options remain in their home for the long term, by contacting the law firm of Denbeaux & Denbeaux at (201) 664-8855. Located at 366Kinderkamack Road, Westwood, NJ 07605 and can be found on the web at denbeauxlaw.com or email  pr@denbeauxlaw.com

 

 

 

Dear Senator Menendez,

Jamie Dimon testified on JPMorgan Chase’s $2 billion trading loss on May 10, 2012, and business practices in the banking industry. Among the issues he addressed were the bank bailouts following the 2008 financial crisis, banking regulations, and risk management. He also warned of a looming “fiscal cliff” when tax cuts and automatic spending cuts hit simultaneously.

Dear Senator Menendez:

On behalf of this office and our clients, I write to thank you for your continued efforts to
represent struggling homeowners in New Jersey and continued willingness to fight for firm
banking regulations. Your willingness to stand up and demand answers from JP Morgan Chase
CEO Jaime Dimon on June 13, 2012 is commended. If more Congressmen shared your outlook
our nation would be in much safer hands.

Sen. Bob Menendez

Sen. Bob Menendez

This law firm has been representing distressed homeowners since the beginning of the
foreclosure crises. Over that period of time We have represented hundreds of New Jersey
residents. Many of their stories are heartbreaking and involve illness, loss of employment and
other tragedy. For rnany, the process of foreclosure was made far Worse by inappropriate
conduct undertaken by the banks.

Click here to read the full letter to Senator Robert Menendez

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (June 13, 2012) Westwood, N.J.

JP Morgan CEO Dimon’s Disdain for Bank Regulations Extends to Flouting the Law and Illegal Home Seizure

At least one New Jersey homeowner has experienced a more personal loss than the $2 billion loss that brought JPMorgan Chase CEO James ‘Jamie’ Dimon before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee today to provide a better understanding of the company’s trading practices, having had their house illegally seized, according to a New Jersey attorney at the law firm of Denbeaux & Denbeaux.

Before the hearing got underway this morning, Ms. Debra Harris of Washington D.C. standing directly behind Jamie Dimon said that Chase not only refused to “give me a loan modification”, but “sold my house from underneath me.”

Deborah Harris Confronts JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon About Her Foreclosed Home at Senate Banking Hearing

Deborah Harris Confronts JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon About Her Foreclosed Home at Senate Banking Hearing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ironically, this is exactly what happened to a New Jersey homeowner and client of Denbeaux & Denbeaux, after JP Morgan Chase had their case for foreclosure against the homeowner dismissed.

Although the mainstream press has referred to the public outcry before Mr. Dimon’s testimony today as “heckling” by “protesters”, there is a good deal of truth to the actions and behavior that JP Morgan Chase does indeed break the law , and has taken homes from people illegally.

 

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon's Testimony at Senate Banking Hearing Interrupted by Protester

JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon's Testimony at Senate Banking Hearing Interrupted by Protester

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the facts:

On Monday May 14, 2012, a person claiming to be a representative of J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. broke into a NJ home, and with no legal rights, changed the locks and prevented the rightful owners from entering their own house. The trespassing event was discovered by the father of the homeowner when he tried to go into his son’s home to continue to handle the affairs of his late son’s estate.

The problem has become worse for the homeowner because after having their home seized illegally, JP Morgan Chase reneged on an agreed settlement offer for a payment and deed in lieu of foreclosure for the home.

On June 6th 2012, JP Morgan Chase was no longer offering the agreed to $34,500, now they were going to give Jason’s family $1 for title to the home. “JP Morgan Chase has been in the news an awful lot lately. The week they announced losing billions of shareholder dollars was the same week they wrongfully broke into Jason’s home and changed the locks. To have lost a foreclosure action, abandoned a contractual obligation to pay $34,500 and to have trespassed into a home can only be described as chutzpah” added Mr. Deutsch.

“What is outrageous about this is that today as  JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon testifies before the Senate Banking Committee about  how his bank’s trading loss of $2 billion is business as usual, the very same bank is illegally taking some one’s home, also as business as usual.  At best, this situation was caused by a gross miscommunication within a bank that is too big to fail.  At worst a purported agent of the bank committed a trespass.  I have been defending unwarranted mortgage foreclosures for more than 3 years.  This is an especially troublesome incident, ” says attorney Joshua Denbeaux.

“Thankfully, our clients did the right thing in this situation, they filed a police report of the incident and immediately contacted our office to begin the process of getting back possession of the home and the personal property within,” concluded Adam Deutsch, an attorney at Denbeaux & Denbeaux.

Joshua Denbeaux is one of the partners of the law firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux, a consumer rights and advocacy law firm located at 366 Kinderkamack Road in Westwood N.J.  The firm has been leading the fight against illegal foreclosures, and the rights of New Jersey homeowners. For more information about this case please call Adam Deutsch of the lawfirm Denbeaux & Denbeuax to read his article, JP Morgan Chase, A Lesson in How to Steal Cheat and Harass a Grieving Family.

 

NJ Homeowner Gets $900,000 Principal Loan Reduction in Loan Modification

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Westwood, N.J. May 29, 2012)

 NJ Homeowner Gets $900,000 Principal Loan Reduction in Loan Modification

New Jersey attorney , Joshua Denbeaux , of the law firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux , reports that one of his clients was approved for a home loan trial  modification where a principal reduction of over $900,000 resulting in a 40% reduction in their monthly mortgage payment.

 “For years now, principal reduction is definitely has not been the normal situation in a loan modification.  In fact, it was something that lenders avoided until recently. Each situation is different in terms of the how the lender is working with the home owner, but this goes to show that the banks understand that loan modifications are a much better alternative than foreclosure, “says attorney Josh Denbeaux.

The loan modification came as a result of the United States Department of Justice and State Attorney General’s global settlement with major mortgage services which was designed to help the home owner with a significant principal reduction and an affordable monthly payment.

“We are not able to disclose the name of the lender, but it is a major bank. Homeowners should take note that this came about as the result of working with the lender to get a home loan modification. This is an indication that the banks are really trying to achieve a work out with the home owner.”

 “We urge homeowners to communicate as soon as possible with banks as soon as there is any problem with making a mortgage payment. In today’s economic climate, communication is essential as situations change rapidly, and outcomes can change – in this case, providing something beyond the initial expectation.  Past experiences from my own clients show that it is far easier to obtain a modification when the negotiation is between an attorney and the bank, than the homeowner and the bank.  This is simply a result of ongoing communications and relationships when you find an experienced attorney in the area of consumer rights and foreclosure law. “concludes Josh Denbeaux.

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Joshua Denbeaux is one of the partners of the law firm Denbeaux & Denbeaux, a consumer rights and advocacy law firm located at 366 Kinderkamack Road in Westwood N.J.  The firm has been leading the fight against illegal foreclosures, and the rights of New Jersey homeowners. The firm may be reached via email at pr@denbeauxlaw.com or by calling 201- 664-8855 for a free consultation.

NJ Supreme Courts Rules in Guillame Case: Lenders Must Include Servicer Information

A-11-11 US Bank National Association, etc. v. Maryse Guillaume and Emilio Guillaume, et al. (068176)
(Essex County and Statewide)
Argued 11/30/11

Are defendants entitled to an order vacating the default judgment of foreclosure in part because of deficiencies in the notice of intent to foreclose under the Fair Foreclosure Act, N.J.S.A. 2A:50-56c

Justice Anne Patterson said the revised notice of intention satisfied the Fair Foreclosure Act and denied the Guillaumes’ motion to avoid foreclosure.

In the Superior Court of New Jersey : Chancery Division : Sussex County there is a case that speaks to the heart of the matter of the foreclosure crisis in New Jersey and around the United States of America.

In a nutshell, companies such as Regions Mortgage of Alabama would rather try to steal a house than provide the information for a payoff of the mortgage, or work with the home owner to get the loan  modified.

Even after the home was sold to Fannie Mae, and Regions had no standing to foreclose, they sought to evict a grandmother and grandfather along with their daughter, and three grandchildren.

Yes. After it came to light that the home was sold to Fannie Mae,and Regions Mortgage was given full disclosure of this fact, corroborated by Chase Bank,the Sussex County Sheriff’s Office, Regions Mortgage still sought to evict the family.

Regions Mortgage is doing this with nothing  to gain.

Regions Mortgage seems to have a business model where rather than deal in a forthright manner with a homeowner, they seek to obfuscate , and mislead homeowners into believing that they are working with them, when in reality they have no intention of approving a loan modification.

But it does not end there. The practice of Regions Mortgage whether shameful or unethical in taking such an unreasonable position, is underscored when we discuss circumstances of hardship.

Lenders suggest to a homeowner that they have a better chance of getting a loan modification if they demonstrate a degree of hardship. For people in hardship due to medical costs, or loss of income , there is a degree of hope at this point. Companies such h as Regions Mortgage see hardship as a weakness and a reason to belittle, bully, intimidate and ultimately prey upon a homeowner for financial gain.

On more than one occasion the homeowner sought to payoff the entire loan, however Region’s refusal to provide the information caused deal after deal to fall through.

In light of this, a Notice of Eviction was filed that asserted falsely that Plaintiff Regions Mortgage is entitled to enforce a writ of eviction.

According to the New Jersey Department of Banking, Regions Mortgage is not licensed in the State of New Jersey. Although they are licensed on a Federal level, ther are rules aobut being able to operate in the State of New Jersey that they are not excused from.

Namely, if the deed form the sheriff;s sale says that Fannie Mae owns the home, which it does, Regions has no claim to the house and is not permitted to evict the family.

 

For Mortgage Lenders, Refusal to Follow the New Jersey Fair Foreclosure Act Began on
Day One
By Adam Deutsch

Nearly seventeen years after being signed into law by former New Jersey Governor
Christie Whitman, the Fair Foreclosure Act has become the focal point of the pending state
Supreme Court case US Bank National Association Trustee v. Guillaume. As the title suggests,
the 1995 law requires lending institutions to follow particular guidelines before and during
foreclosure litigation. Having heard oral argument in late November 2011, it is expected that
within the coming weeks New Jersey’s Supreme Court will issue a ruling on a key provision of
the Fair Foreclosure Act that requires lenders to send a Notice of Intention to Foreclose to
homeowners in default on their mortgage obligation at least 30 days in advance of filing the
foreclosure complaint. A New Jersey Law Journal article by bank advocate Myron Weinstein
written shortly after passage of the 1995 Act makes clear that from day one mortgage lenders
decided to willfully ignore the requirements of the Fair Foreclosure Act.

For the Supreme Court, grappling with the language of the Fair Foreclosure Act will
likely be the easy part of their decision. The Act clearly and unambiguously provides definitions
of what information must be provided in the notice. Homeowners and their advocates have
argued that a failure for the lender to issue a notice that complies with the Act must result in the
dismissal of a foreclosure complaint and possibly the vacating of foreclosure judgments.
Lenders have argued that the mortgage lending business progressed faster than the law and
therefore the interpretation of the 1995 Fair Foreclosure Act should be read more broadly to
reflect changes in the industry. A reflection on history requires a close look at the pivotal year of
1995. This was not only the year the Fair Foreclosure Act as passed, but also the moment when
the mortgage industry made significant infrastructure changes enabling mortgages to be bought,
sold, and securitized nationally.

The marquee event that changed the mortgage industry was the creation of MERS, the
Mortgage Electronic Registration System. MERS was founded in 1995 as an electronic database
intended to facilitate sales of mortgages and track the identity of the mortgage owner. It is
estimated that by 2007, two-thirds of all mortgages in the United States were registered in the
MERS database. It is widely acknowledged that MERS helped precipitate the current
foreclosure crises by making it easier to buy and sell mortgage contracts electronically.
Institutional buyers and sellers traded mortgages on such heavy volume that the value and
reliability of the products bought and sold often remained unknown. The end result has been a
confusing and incomplete trail of paper that often leaves lenders unable to prove that they are the
party entitled to a foreclosure judgment.

Homeowners and their advocates are often amazed at what appears to be a willful refusal
of lenders and their counsel to have followed the simple requirements of the Fair Foreclosure
Act notice of intention to foreclose provision; which requires little more than disclosing the
actual owner of the note who has the right to foreclose on the homeowner’s real property.
Quite often a Notice of Intention to Foreclose states the identity of the loan servicer instead of
the owner/lender. This error may seem minor, but it is critical because homeowners often do not
know who the lender is that owns their loan until they receive a foreclosure complaint.

If youare a homeowner in default who has never been involved in litigation and does not understand
the critical importance of answer a litigation complaint, you may find yourself ignoring a legal
document issued to you by a company you have never before heard of. This in part is the
purpose of the Notice of Intent to Foreclose, to make the debtor aware of who owns their loan
and who is seeking to foreclose.

The widespread attitude among lenders and their counsel to ignore the Fair Foreclosure
Act can be traced back to an article published in the New Jersey Law Journal on December 4,
1995 titled “New Foreclosure Act: More Complexity, Uncertainty.” The article is written by
Myron C. Weinstein, the former chief of the state judiciary’s Office of Foreclosure, and a
longtime advocate and advisor to foreclosure plaintiff institutions and law firms. The article
makes clear that from the inception of the Fair Foreclosure Act, there was a pervasive intent
among foreclosure plaintiffs to resist following the several requirements of the Act, including the
Notice of Intention to Foreclose provision.

Mr. Weinstein’s article expresses a belief that the notice of intention to foreclose
provision will be considered a procedural requirement rather than a substantive one, therefore
implying that a pervasive failure to comply would not result in a coffin nail to foreclosure
lawsuits. This article reflects an early adopted outlook by lenders that has now culminated in a
self fulfilling prophecy. “Lenders, faced with the prospect of the act, will either be less flexible
in granting discretionary workouts to debtors…and institute foreclosure more quickly to
precipitate an earlier cure or an earlier exhaustion of the debtors’ statutory rights.” From day
one, the industry decided that it was the victim of a law which should be ignored rather than
followed.

Nobody knows with certainty how the New Jersey Supreme Court will decide the
Guillaume case. Whether or not the law is upheld in a manner that affords homeowners the
greatest rights interpreted under the Fair Foreclosure Act, the following is clear: Since 1995
there has been a continuing effort among mortgage lenders instituting foreclosure litigation to
ignore the plain language of the Fair Foreclosure Act. For much of the last sixteen years these
efforts went unchecked and it is unknown how many thousands of willful violations of the Fair
Foreclosure Act occurred. It took an epidemic to truly understand and appreciate the magnitude
and importance of the law in question.

Legislature of Union County Proposed Bill Uses Foreclosures for Affordable Housing

In this video press release, Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Jerry Green (D-Union) delivers remarks on his legislation (A-2168) to encourage purchasing of foreclosed properties at a State House news conference. Green’s “New Jersey Residential Foreclosure Transformation Act” would promote the purchasing of foreclosed residential properties from banks and other institutional lenders and allow the purchased properties to count towards a town’s affordable housing requirement.

Click here to see the full story and watch the video

 

 

N.J. gets $837.7M in nationwide mortgage and foreclosure settlement

New Jersey borrowers will receive about $660 million in benefits from loan modifications and other direct relief. New Jersey borrowers who lost their homes to foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2011, and suffered servicing abuse can qualify.

Click here for the rest of the story

Senator Lautenberg to Hold Public Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Forum Today

U.S. Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) announced that his office will hold a public Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Forum on Wednesday, February 15, in Cherry Hill to provide people in New Jersey with resources on foreclosure prevention, foreclosure mediation, and mortgage scams.

NJ lawmakers Bill Creates Affordable Housing from Foreclosures

At a news conference at the Statehouse yesterday , 2/14/12, Senator Raymond J. Lesniak announced the introduction of legislation sponsored by himself and Senator Barbara Buono which would begin to address the foreclosure and affordable housing crises facing New Jersey.

The bill, S-1566, would establish a central agency under the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) to use funds from the State Affordable Housing Trust Fund to purchase and deed-restrict foreclosed properties to be used as affordable housing. The bill would also create incentives for municipalities to transition foreclosed properties to affordable housing, giving them a 2-to-1 match against their affordable housing obligation for affordable units created from foreclosed properties. Lesniak said the bill could result in 10,000 new affordable units and 10,000 less unoccupied, boarded-up properties.

At a news conference at the Statehouse today, Senator Raymond J. Lesniak announced the introduction of legislation sponsored by himself and Senator Barbara Buono which would begin to address the foreclosure and affordable housing crises facing New Jersey.

Senator Menendez Field Hearing on New Jersey Foreclosure Seek Solutions

Robert Menendez (D), seen here in this file photograph, hosted a congressional field hearing to study how the foreclosure crisis is affecting New Jersey homeowners. A landmark $25 billion national mortgage foreclosure settlement was reached Thursday, but details are still being worked out.

Click here for the rest of the story

New Jersey Courts Working Through Backlog of 100,000 Foreclosures

New Jersey must work through a backlog of 50000 to 100000 unprocessed foreclosures because of delays caused by an investigation into how lenders handled the filings, said Richard Constable, acting commissioner of the state Community Affairs Department.

Click here for the full story

Freddie Mac Profits from NJ Homeowners by Holding Back Refinancing

National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” on WNYC aired a story this morning about how the federal agency, Freddie Mac actually makes more money by not giving a refinance loan to struggling homeowners.

Freddie Mac, a taxpayer-owned mortgage company, is supposed to make homeownership easier. One thing that makes owning a home more affordable is getting a cheaper mortgage.

But Freddie Mac has invested billions of dollars betting that U.S. homeowners won’t be able to refinance their mortgages at today’s lower rates, according to an investigation by NPR and ProPublica, an independent, nonprofit newsroom.

These investments, while legal, raise concerns about a conflict of interest within Freddie Mac.

“We were actually shocked they did this,” says Scott Simon, who heads the mortgage-backed securities team at the giant bond trading and investment firm called PIMCO. “It seemed so out of line with their mission, out of line with what Congress wanted them to do.”

You can read and listen to the story here.

Freddie’s charter calls for the company to make home loans more accessible. Its chief executive, Charles Haldeman Jr., recently told Congress that his company is “helping financially strapped families reduce their mortgage costs through refinancing their mortgages.”

NJ foreclosures plunge by 73 percent

According to an article in New Jersey newspaper The Record , on January 12, 2012, written by staff writer Kathleen Lynn :

“Foreclosure activity plunged by 73 percent in New Jersey, and about a third nationwide, in 2011, as questions about legal documentation held up lenders’ efforts to take back the homes of borrowers in trouble, RealtyTrac said Wednesday.”

The reason for the decrease is not due to fewer people falling behind , she explains further:

New Jersey lenders have held off on foreclosures because they are awaiting a state Supreme Court decision on a case, U.S. Bank vs. Guillaume, that involves a foreclosure challenged by a homeowner who said the lender violated the state Fair Foreclosure Act because it didn’t properly identify itself.

“What happens if they take someone’s house, and it turns out they didn’t have the legal basis to do that?” asked Joshua Denbeaux, a Westwood lawyer who represents homeowners in foreclosure cases.

It’s not clear when a decision will come on the Guillaume case. Denbeaux predicted that once these issues are resolved, “there’s going to be an enormous onslaught of foreclosure filings.”

The entire article is available by clicking here.

Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve Bank Explain that Lenders And Servicers Share Responsibility as Key Contributors to the Foreclosure Crises.

 By: Adam Deutsch, Esq.

 Last week the Federal Reserve Bank (“FED”) published its latest report looking into the foreclosure crises across America.  In part, the paper seeks to offer recommended policy changes that could be implemented to reduce the far reaching effect of the crisis.  The owners of mortgage loans and their loan servicing companies are cited as problems, and the FED offers several recommendations for how these entities can help resolve the foreclosure crises in the near future.

According to the FED, the heart of the problem is related to the loss in home values across the country.  The report states, “in the aggregate, more than $7 trillion in home equity, more than half of the aggregate home equity that existed in early 2006 has been lost.”  The drop in home prices has created a toxic environment in which more than 20% of homeowners with a mortgage owe more on their mortgage than the home’s open market value.  These properties are referred to as “underwater” in the mortgage industry.

One concern of the FED is that middle-income households have been particularly hard hit during the mortgage crises because “home equity is a larger share of their wealth in the aggregate than it is for low-income households (who are less likely to be homeowners) or upper-income households (who own other forms of wealth).  Many homeowners across all economic thresholds have been met with roadblocks when seeking to obtain mortgage modifications.  As the FED report explains, modifications may provide homeowners with an opportunity to lower the cost of monthly payments by extending the term of the loan, reducing the interest rate, or reducing the principal.  For lenders, these modifications can make sure that defaulted and struggling loans remain performing.

This latest paper by the FED points out that banks have been regularly rejecting modification requests even for well qualified homeowners who agree to pay more than market value to keep their underwater homes.  According to the FED, this unsound business practice may be caused by loan servicers rather than the actual lender-owner.  The report explains that servicers are “gatekeepers to loan modifications and other foreclosure alternatives.”

Of particular concern to the FED is the structure of servicer compensation.  According to the report “the fee structure of the servicing industry helped create perverse incentives for servicers to, for example, reduce the costs associated with working out repayments and moving quickly to foreclosure, even when a loan modification might have been in the best interest of the homeowner and investor.”  In states where the foreclosure process is streamlined, the problem is worsened by contractual requirements that force servicers to advance payments of principal and interest to lenders from the date of a homeowners default through foreclosure.  Accordingly, because the modification process can take several months, servicers stand to increase their revenue by foregoing modification talks, proceeding to foreclosure, and ridding the home from their servicing obligations.

An inferred conclusion of the FED report is that both servicers and lenders have moved to panic mode.  Their decision making ability has become paralyzed and management is less focused on maintaining and creating new performing loans than they should be.  There are two key solutions offered by the FED.  Under the first solution, servicers and lenders would continue declining to make modifications and would instead shift their business model to become landlords converting the millions of foreclosed properties into rental units.  The second more plausible solution calls on policy makers to unite with businesses to implement a new set of modification incentives.  This final proposal is an admission by the FED that the Obama administration’s Home Affordable Modification Program (“HAMP”) has failed to fulfill its potential.  HAMP’s failures are due to restrictions of eligibility for the program and a lack of incentives for creative solutions.

The start of 2012 marks more than four years since the start of the ongoing recession and foreclosure crises.  It is a problem that after so much time the lenders and servicers remain incapable of independently developing a set of solutions to solve a crisis they helped create.  Changing servicer compensation to reflect the 2012 mortgage market rather than the 2006 market will be a great help in promoting modifications and alternatives to foreclosure.  Collectively, the recent proposals and ongoing attention to the crises provided by the FED offers hope that the foreclosure crisis is at least a step closer to resolution.

The Federal Reserve report is available at: http://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/other-reports/files/housing-white-paper-20120104.pdf

ADAM DEUTSCH is an Associate Attorney at Denbeaux & Denbeaux currently concentrating his practice on consumer rights litigation.

Mr. Deutsch received his law degree in 2010 from Seton Hall University School of Law after completing his undergraduate work at Rutgers University.

During law school, Mr. Deutsch split his time pursing two areas of advocacy and research in the law. He was a founding member of the Seton Hall Law Dispute Resolution Society, competed in national competitions for negotiation and mediation, and served as the American Bar Association Student Chair of the Negotiation Competition in 2009-2010.

Mr. Deutsch was an integral member of the Center for Policy and Research as an author and supervisor to research papers looking into events at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Prison.

In the Press:

Mr. Deutsch has been contributed to published research papers, books and radio programs including:

“A Historical Perspective of Music Distribution and Copyright Law, How Internet Radio is the Next Frontier”

“The Guantanamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison Outside the Law”

“Three Deaths At Guantanamo” as heard on NPR’s The Story

More from Adam Deutsch, Esq.

In 2011 the Law Firm of Denbeaux & Denbeaux solidified itself as a top consumer rights law firm specializing in the representation of homeowners facing foreclosure and who have been subject to fraud by banks and other members of the money lending industry. The year marks a milestone of success, growth and achievement shared not only by the firm, but by the community at large.

 

Beginning in 2008, Denbeaux & Denbeaux began representing New Jersey homeowners facing foreclosure. The transition was spurred when several of the firm’s small business clients began having trouble in the midst of the economic recession. Having previously taken a deep interest in representing civil and consumer rights causes managing partner Joshua Denbeaux saw that the foreclosure and predatory lending crisis was going to be in need of top notch advocacy. Entering the third year of representing home owners, the firm has found new levels of success and recently expanded its support and attorney to more readily serve the thousands of New Jersey residents who are struggling and have been taken advantage of.

 

The four attorneys at Denbeaux & Denbeaux bring unique perspective and specialties that enable to firm to cater to their clients personal legal needs.

 

Josh Denbeaux- As the managing partner and a highly regarded consumer rights litigator, Josh personally meets with nearly all of the firm’s clients to assess their goals and map out individual plans for representation. Josh is the lead attorney on the firm’s plaintiff suits brought on behalf of home owners who were the victims of predatory lending, consumer fraud, and other lending violations.

 

Marcia Denbeaux- Having practiced matrimonial, estate, and property law for many years, Marcia has expanded to oversee the process of negotiating modifications on behalf of home owners. Representing clients in the New Jersey Foreclosure Mediation program, Marcia has lead the firm to obtain dozens of modifications resulting in performing mortgage loans for residents across the state.

 

Adam Deutsch- Overseeing the foreclosure defense litigation, Adam has developed a strong mastery of foreclosure related laws, and court rules. Using these tools has resulted in the firm’s ability to obtain dismissals of foreclosure cases and mortgage modifications for clients across New Jersey.

 

David Kurtz- Bringing the unique perspective of a seasoned business executive, David has an uncanny ability to identify the goals of clients and adversaries to utilize litigation and negotiation tactics to obtain the best available results for the firm’s clients. David works on the firm’s home owner related plaintiff suits, foreclosure defense, and has successfully represented domestic and overseas businesses in contract disputes.

 

The team at Denbeaux & Denbeaux achieves success by providing clients with a roadmap to fulfill their goals. Our attorneys are strong advocates that won’t back down. The result has awarded the firm and its clients a degree of success unmatched by other small consumer rights firms taking on the foreclosure crisis. Examples the achievements obtained in 2011 include:

 

29 Foreclosure Dismissals: This year a record number of dismissals were obtained by the law firm in foreclosure cases. Each of these families were threatened with the loss of their home, but by challenging the bank’s proof of ownership of the loan documents, and by utilizing other litigation tactics these homes were saved.

 

Referrals from Judges: During the past year multiple judges from multiple counties of New Jersey have referred friends faced with foreclosure to retain Denbeaux & Denbeaux. A sign of the strong advocacy and degree of success obtained in the court room, these referrals were a true honor.

 

Reversal of Judgment: In one remarkable case in Sussex County, Denbeaux & Denbeaux was able to get a judgment of foreclosure reversed and a case dismissed by proving that the bank failed to show ownership of the mortgage loan to the Court. The case in question was filed in 2008, but the homeowner did not come to Denbeaux & Denbeaux until after judgment was entered. This case is proof that all foreclosures should be contested, and that it is never too late to challenge the bank’s attempt to foreclose.

 

Thousands of Dollars Obtained as Settlement: On multiple occasions this year, Denbeaux & Denbeaux recovered thousands of dollars for our clients from lending institutions and credit rating agencies. These clients were victims of lending violations and/or were subject to wrongful injury to their credit rating.

 

Modifications Obtained: Denbeaux & Denbeaux obtained mortgage modifications for well over a dozen clients this past year. Many of these families had been previously denied or were in the midst of unsuccessful negotiations with the bank pursued on their own. By utilizing the firm’s relationship with the bank’s attorneys, our clients have benefited by obtaining a second opportunity to have performing loans and remain in their homes long term.

 

The New Year of 2012 begins with great expectations of building upon the success and experience obtained by the firm in 2011. It is the goal of the lawyers at Denbeaux & Denbeaux to continue providing top notch personalized legal advocacy that provides our clients the opportunity to have the quality of life they want and deserve. Denbeaux & Denbeaux invites all of New Jersey’s home owners and consumers to schedule a free consultation. Our clients learned in 2011 that it is never too late to defend a home, if you are facing foreclosure or believe you were subject to fraud by a lending institution come see us today to preserve your rights.

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