W.J. BARNES, P.A. now accepts credit card payments

October 13, 2021

W.J. Barnes, P.A. now accepts payments by standard credit cards such as MasterCard, VISA, and American Express through a company which offers this service to law Firms at no cost to clients. Please e-mail our paralegal Tiffany at tiffany@wjbarneslaw.com for information.

Clients had requested the ability to pay by credit card for years, but the fees and quotas made this impracticable until now, as the service we have contracted with has no minimums, quotas, or fees to clients.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., ForeclosueDefenseNationwide.com

SERVICER ABUSE AND BAD FAITH RAMPANT THROUGHOUT UNITED STATES

August 11, 2021

A phenomena has recently emerged in mortgage loan situations across the United States involving homeowners’ attempts at loan modification and other forms of loss mitigation where servicers are engaging in what appears to be intentional misconduct, such as first advising homeowners that their applications are complete but thereafter advising, on some occasions the next day, that their application is “incomplete” without advising what information or documentation is missing and notwithstanding that correspondence from the servicer states that it will notify a homeowner of what information or documentation is missing.

In other situations, denials are being issued on the alleged ground of “exceeding the number of times you can request modification” where there has been no prior request to the specific servicer and where the prior application was made over 10 years ago, and notwithstanding the fact that the modification request was made due to a change in financial circumstances and where the servicer’s guidelines provide that applications for modification may be made due to a change in financial circumstances.

In one case, the servicer changed its position no less than 4 times in as many months, first advising the homeowner that the application was complete, then stating that it was incomplete, then reversing itself again to state that it was complete, and on and on.

In another case, the homeowners applied for a loan modification over 15 years ago and there was never a decision on the application. The servicer’s principal, a “trustee” of a securitization Trust, then filed a second foreclosure action which has taken the position that the recent loan modification application cannot stand as there was a prior application.

In yet another case, the servicer was provided with a complete loan modification application no less than five (5) times. The servicer never advised that the application was incomplete, and the homeowner never received any letter from the servicer as to the application. An alleged “denial letter” was first produced over a month after the homeowner filed a Motion in the foreclosure case asserting that applicable Code of Federal Regulations precluded the advancement of the foreclosure once the completed loan modification application was submitted, with the letter being dated less than one week after the homeowner submitted his complete application to the servicer. The letter claimed that the application was denied because there was a prior application and thus the homeowner had “exceeded the maximum number of opportunities” to seek loan modification even though (a) no prior loan modification had been submitted to that servicer, and (b) the prior application was submitted to a different entity over 13 years ago.

It thus appears that it is time to sue these servicers for their misconduct including violating the very provisions of their own documents upon which homeowners rely in applying for a loan modification in the first place; failing to provide information which their own documents say they will provide; and to stop the nonsense which appears to be interposed for no other reason than to permit foreclosures to proceed. Significant here is that there is evidence that servicers are paid a fee for helping a foreclosure to proceed (by denying a request for loan modification), thus indicating that servicers may be part of a corrupt enterprise.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com

VICTORY IN PORT CHARLOTTE, FLORIDA: 2018 FINAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT OF FORECLOSURE VACATED AND DEFENSES DEEMED FILED WHERE JUDICIAL DEFAULT IMPROPERLY ENTERED IN VIOLATION OF LAW

July 15, 2021

A Charlotte County, Florida Circuit Judge has today entered an Order which vacated a Judicial Default and Final Summary Judgment of Foreclosure on the granting of a Sworn Motion of the homeowner prepared and filed by Jeff Barnes, Esq. The July 7, 2021 sale was previously cancelled.

The homeowner filed a pro se appearance in the case and requested additional time to respond to the Plaintiff’s Complaint and Amended Complaint. The Plaintiff thereafter moved for a judicial default. The Court entered a judicial default one day after the receipt date of the request for judicial default given Florida’s 5-day mailing rule.

The Court conducted a hearing, and ultimately found that the judicial default was entered in contravention of law as it was entered without affording the homeowner a reasonable time to respond to the request for a judicial default. The homeowner’s Answer and Affirmative Defenses, which were filed with the Sworn Motion, have been deemed filed.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com

VICTORY IN NEW MEXICO

April 29, 2021

A District Judge in Albuquerque, New Mexico today granted a homeowner’s motion to vacate a default judgment of foreclosure and to void the foreclosure sale. The homeowner is represented by Jeff Barnes, Esq. who prepared the motion and briefing and argued the matter this morning.

The homeowner had suffered years of health problems both personally and as to her family. Her mother passed away in her arms, and she had also been the victim of domestic abuse. Fannie Mae filed a foreclosure action and obtained a default judgment. All of this occurred while the homeowner was being devastated with personal tragedies and monumental life crises of her own and as to her family, and she was also under the understanding that foreclosures had been abated due to COVID.

The property was sold to a third party. Fannie Mae must now return the proceeds paid at the sale, and the property will be deeded back to the homeowner.

The Motion was predicated upon New Mexico rules of procedure which permit the Court to vacate a judgment and orders where there is a reason why the lawsuit was not responded to and where there is a defense, and also where exceptional circumstances exist to vacate a judgment or order.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com

VICTORY IN FLORIDA SECOND DISTRICT COURT OF APPEAL

March 12, 2021

Today, the Florida Second District Court of Appeal, which handles appeals from Circuit Courts in the southwestern part of Florida (Naples, Ft. Myers, etc.), issued its decision in the matter of Gwen E. Christ v. Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, Fla. 2d DCA Case No. 2D19-4131. The 10-page opinion reversed a final judgment of foreclosure with directions to enter final judgment in favor of Ms. Christ, who was represented both at trial and on appeal by Jeff Barnes, Esq.

The opinion is the second Florida victory for Mr. Barnes on what is known as the “paragraph 22” condition precedent issue in a foreclosure case. Paragraph 22 of the Mortgage has certain specific requirements as to a default/acceleration letter which must be complied with in order for a foreclosure judgment to stand. The opinion clarifies that it is the foreclosing party’s burden to prove that it complied with paragraph 22, and not the burden of the homeowner to demonstrate any specific deficiency; the Court held that if the foreclosing party alleges in the Complaint that it complied with conditions precedent and the homeowner denies that allegation and asserts a defense of noncompliance, this places the foreclosing party on notice that it has to prove its compliance at trial.

In this case, the paragraph 22 letter did not have any letterhead; the Plaintiff’s representative admitted that he did not work for the prior servicer (which was claimed to have generated the letter); and had no knowledge of the prior servicer’s business practices as to sending out such letters, and there was no evidence that the letter was ever sent to Ms. Christ.

The Court of Appeals also granted Ms. Christ’s Motion for Appellate Attorneys’ Fees as well.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com

FORECLOSURE AND EVICTION “AVALANCHE” COMING AS OF JANUARY 1, 2021

December 11, 2020

Several months ago, Mr. Barnes predicted to his network attorneys and associates that a foreclosure and eviction avalanche was on the way due to COVID-19 and its affects, and that the deluge would hit beginning in January of 2021 when the CDC eviction ban expired.

Today, a major news network announced that an “avalanche” (their word) of foreclosures and evictions are poised to be filed as of January 1, 2021. The news network previously reported that the CDC moratorium on foreclosures and evictions will in fact expire on December 31, 2020 and will not be extended as the banks’ position is that they have “waited long enough” and are not agreeing to continue to halt foreclosures and evictions.

In Florida alone, more then 12,000 new evictions are scheduled to be filed as of Monday, January 4, 2021. Another source has advised that in Las Vegas, Nevada, over 200,000 (yes, two hundred thousand) eviction cases are slated to be filed beginning in January.

As with the mountain of foreclosures and evictions which were filed after the economic crash of 2008, there will be new defenses to the foreclosures and evictions to be filed in January which have their roots in contract law when an event like a pandemic causes those being foreclosed and evicted from being unable to make their rent and mortgage payments. As those of you who have followed this website over the years are aware, Mr. Barnes spent years developing and presenting new defenses to foreclosures and evictions which arose out of the circumstances of the 2008 crash. He intends to do so again with the current oncoming onslaught of foreclosures and evictions caused by an event which no one in this lifetime has ever seen before.

Our national attorney network and our affiliated full-service company, Foreclosure Resolutions and Solutions LLC, are ready to assist with defense of foreclosures and evictions, debt negotiation and resolution (commercial and residential), mortgage loan services (e.g. refinancing), short payoff negotiations, and relocation services as well.

Please visit the website at www.ForeclosureResolutionsandSolutions.com.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., Foreclosure Defense Nationwide

W.J. BARNES, P.A. JOINS FORECLOSURE RESOLUTIONS AND SOLUTIONS LLC

October 6, 2020

W.J. Barnes, P.A. has joined Foreclosure Resolutions and Solutions, LLC, which is a multi-service company providing debt and loan negotiation services, business management services, defense to foreclosure and eviction actions, real estate services, and relocation services to clients worldwide. The LLC was established by Dr. Andre Larabie and Jeff Barnes, who have worked together for over twenty (20) years.

The website is www.Foreclosureresolutionsandsolutions.com. Profiles of the Team are displayed on a dedicated page. Narratives describing specific aspects and events in a foreclosure are also on separate pages under their respective titles.

Dr. Larabie is an internationally recognized expert in debt restructuring and negotiation and business management, and is the author of several books. Mr. Barnes has been a full-time litigator for over 32 years who has litigated in 39 states and at both the trial and appellate levels in state and Federal Courts and has established law in several states. Dianne Jennings is a real estate expert and financial strategist and a Certified Financial Education Instructor who works with the National Financial Educators Council and served as an instructor at the Brookshire Professional Training Institute.

FRS LLC has already received numerous requests for assistance, and testimonials have been provided from satisfied clients of members of the Team, some of which are posted on the homepage of the website.

Mr. Barnes will continue to represent homeowners and renters through W.J. Barnes, P.A. as he has done for over 12 consecutive years to date.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com

FORCE MAJEURE AND IMPOSSIBILITY OF PERFORMANCE DEFENSES RIPE FOR DETERMINATION BY COURTS IN VIEW OF NO PRECEDENT AS TO A COVID-19 TYPE EVENT

May 15, 2020

Mr. Barnes has been participating in numerous CLE courses concerning force majeure and impossibility of performance defenses. The presentations so far have focused on narrative and cases involving assertion of the defenses in the non-foreclosure arena and have not, as of yet, specifically focused on the application of these defenses to foreclosures or evictions (aka FED and UD cases) in the context of a pandemic. The probable reason is that there has never been a pandemic in recent history which has affected homeowners in the manner that COVID-19 has, and thus there is no case law on the application of these defenses in the present context. Many cases involving foreclosure or eviction issues where these defenses will be raised will thus be “cases of first impression” in the courts.

All of the presenters agree on one thing: that there is going to be a lot of litigation and a lot of new law created as to the application of these defenses to foreclosure and eviction proceedings (which are scheduled to resume next month in numerous states). Several of the presenters have also commented that special COVID-19 mediation procedures will probably be set up as well.

To this end, Mr. Barnes has teamed up with Will Younghans of Coast to Coast Consultants LLC, and have formed a new company which is geared specifically toward assisting homeowners facing foreclosure or eviction as a result of the effects of COVID-19. The company will be involved in the development of new law centered around the defenses of force majeure, impossibility of peformance, and other defenses applicable to COVID-19 related foreclosures and evictions.

Mr. Barnes and Mr. Younghans, who have already worked together for several years on many foreclosure-related cases in several states, will also be assisting homeowners in COVID-19 related loan negotiations and mediations. Mr. Younghans has years of nationwide experience in assisting homeowners with loan modifications and workouts.

Requests for assistance can be made through the “Contact Us” link above.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., ForeclosureDefenseNationwide

FORECLOSURE AND CORONAVIRUS: FORCE MAJEURE, IMPOSSIBILITY OF PERFORMANCE, AND OTHER ISSUES

May 6, 2020

The COVID-19 virus pandemic is having, and will continue to have, a significant effect on foreclosures, evictions, and other collection and possessory actions throughout the United States and the world in an unprecedented way. Although most states have imposed temporary moratoriums on foreclosures and evictions, the restrictions will eventually be lifted, at which time foreclosures and evictions are expected to spike rapidly.

A mortgage and a lease are contracts. Thus, contract-related defenses such as force majeure and impossibility of performance become important if in fact a homeowner or renter was not able to make their payments due to the effects of the virus which then caused the foreclosure or eviction. These are very fact-specific defenses and require proper notice, documentation, and recording of events, and depend on individual circumstances.

As the COVID-19 pandemic is something that has not affected us in modern times, there is a dearth of case law on the force majeure and impossibility of performance defenses outside of the commercial sales/sale of goods arena (where, for example, the defenses come up due to a livestock plauge, revolution or governmental action in the seller’s or buyer’s destination country, etc.). Thus, an entire new area of case law will be developed in the coming months (and probably years) as to how these defenses work in the mortgage loan and rent areas of the law.

Mr. Barnes has already developed several theories of defense for the upcoming onslaught of foreclosures and eviction filings, and is actively engaged in CLE courses on the issues. One thing is for certain: these defenses are very complex, so they should not be randomly asserted without the benefit of an attorney, especially as doing so improperly will lead to bad case law decisions as took place across the nation after the 2008 crash when homeowners tried to advance securitization-related defenses on their own without the assistance of an attorney. Force majeure and impossibility of performance issues, like securituzation, are “rocket science”, and cannot be learned by surfing the internet over a weekend.

We will continue to provide information as to the force majeure and impossibility of performance issues as more information becomes available.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com

FORECLOSURES AND MORTGAGE LOAN DEFAULTS SET TO RISE SHARPLY DUE TO DOWNLINE EFFECTS FROM CORONAVIRUS

March 16, 2020

It is no secret that there will be significant downline effects from the business closings, layoffs, and loss of income as a result of the coronovirus. Governor Cuomo of New York announced today that all restaurants, bars, and casinos in New York, and probably the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) will be closing at 8:00 p.m. this evening. Thousands of employees who depend on income from tips will thus be experiencing financial issues, as will the owners of, investors in, and suppliers to restaurants, bars, and casinos.

We have thus been advised to expect a spike/increase in notices of default and foreclosure threats and filings to occur within the next 30-60 days. Fortunately, the effects of the virus do not, at least at this point, appear to be as extreme as the financial meltdown of 2008, but sources advise that the worst is not over and in any event, the downline effects from even a 30-day shutdown of businesses will have multiple ripple effects on the lives of homeowners in connection with their mortgage loans.

Reuters news agency announced yesterday that the Federal Open Market Committee directed the Open Market Trading Desk to increase holdings of mortgage-backed securities by at least $200 Billion beginning today. Homeowners may thus be receiving communications that they loan has been sold and/or that their servicer is changing.

We will be emphasizing efforts to try to help homeowners negotiate a resolution to any default or threats of foreclosure early on and without lengthy litigation. We have entered into a business relationship with Dr. Andre Larabie, a professional debt negotiator with over 25 years of experience who has handled and resolved debt claims all over the world. Our team will be working towards steering any threats of foreclosure into a resolution arena (e.g. Mediation) early on to help homeowners.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com