Wrongful Foreclosure; Temporary Loan Modification; Void Sale: Tender Not Required

  In Chavez v. Indymac Mortgage Services the court allowed a wrongful foreclosure case to proceed where the borrower complied with all the terms of the temporary loan modification and timely signed and returned the loan modification agreement. Continue reading

Under HAMP Successful Completion of Temporary Modification Requires Permanent Modification

  Under the federal Home Affordable Mortgage Program (HAMP) when a borrower enters into a trial period plan (TPP), a form of temporary loan payment reduction under HAMP, the borrower and lender enter into a Trial Period Agreement — a written contract enforceable under state law. If a borrower complies with the terms of a TPP, and the borrower’s representations remain true and correct, the loan servicer must offer the borrower a permanent loan modification. If the lender fails to offer a permanent modification the borrower may sue the lender or loan servicer for breach of contract as HAMP does not preempt or otherwise displace state law causes of action. West v. JPMorgan Chase Bank. Continue reading

Consumer Protection Bureau Files First Lawsuit Against Law Firm

   My interest was perked by this article in the WSJ today: “Consumer Protection Agency’s First Lawsuit Targets Law Firm”. It warms my heart when scam artists, particularly those who happen to trade on their law license, get their due. One of the principals involved in the alleged scam is California attorney Chance Gordon who operated a loan modification mill under several DBAs. State Bar proceedings, and hopefully criminal charges, will follow. A receiver has been appointed. If you have been a victim, contact the State Bar and Kent Kawakami, local counsel for the Consumer Protection Bureau, whose contact information is listed on the face page of the complaint.

UPDATE: On February 22, 2016 the State Bar Court recommended disbarment of Chance Gordon. The decision is here.

New California Homeowner Bill of Rights

   The legislature has passed two pieces of legislation which together are known as the Homeowner Bill of Rights. They are awaiting Governor Brown’s signature and will take effect, if signed, January 1, 2013. Continue reading

In Danger of Foreclosure? Do Not Wait Until It’s Too Late

  I have previously posted about the difficulty foreclosed homeowners face when pursuing claims for alleged wrongful foreclosure. Increasingly, foreclosed homeowners are finding the courthouse doors closed. Claims and causes of action that at one time seemed viable, due to the lack of guidance from California’s appellate courts, no longer get past an initial demurrer. Continue reading

UC Irvine Law Students to Investigate $25-billion foreclosure-abuse settlment

  University of California, Irvine - LibraryAs reported in the LA Times: “UC Irvine law students will travel California this summer to help determine if five giant banks are fulfilling the pledges they made in a $25-billion settlement of foreclosure-abuse investigations.” It’s wonderful to see one of my alma maters involved in such important work.

You Might Be Eligibile For Refinance Through HARP

   As part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act, the Obama Administration implemented the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). Under HARP, eligible borrowers are entitled to refinance their mortgage at a lower interest rate. The program does not reduce principal, but it does reduce monthly payments. Continue reading