CALIFORNIA JUDGE HITS BANK OF AMERICA WITH $46M IN FINES FOR DISHONESTY AND HEARTLESS CONDUCT DURING WRONGFUL FORECLOSURE

April 10, 2018

Finally, some justice for homeowners. A California Judge has issued a 107-page opinion in which he slays Bank of America for “brazen and heartless conduct, institutional obstinance, and dishonesty” during a wrongful foreclosure which involved BOA inviting and entertaining 20 loan modification applications since 2009 which the Judge found that BOA had no intention of granting. All of the applications and supplements were deemed by BOA to be “lost”, “insufficient”, or “incomplete”.

The female homeowner suffered PTSD as a result of BOA’s incomprehensible conduct, and her husband attempted suicide as a result of the stress inflicted by BOA’s actions.

Judge Klein hit BOA with fines totaling $46M. The full text of the opinion can be found by googling “California Judge Bank of America $46M”.

We hope that this is a bellwether of things to come, and that more Judges will refuse to permit, and will severely punish, the banksters and their pawns (the servicers) which continue to frustrate homeowners by simultaneously interposing every obstacle to a homeowner obtaining relief while actively pursuing their real goal, which is to take someone’s home under the guise of “your loan modification request has been denied.”

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com

NEVER TRUST A SERVICER, INCLUDING SLS AND OCWEN

April 4, 2018

Recent experiences with “servicers” have lead to this post, which is a cautionary warning for all homeowners dealing with “servicers” on any level.

As we all know, Ocwen Loan Servicing has been sued for fraud by the government (again). Despite this, Ocwen continues to lie and commit fraud upon homeowners by first agreeing to payment plans and loan resolutions only to then reneg on their prior position, and in more than one case, claiming that it did not receive modification payments and declaring the homeowner to be in “default” despite the fact that Ocwen signed for receipt of the payments.

In another case, SLS made a detailed settlement offer which the homeowner accepted. When the homeowner requested that the settlement be reduced to writing, SLS then attempted to impose several harsh additional conditions on the settlement which were not part of the offer made by SLS and were thus not accepted by the homeowner.

The lesson to be learned here, in the vernacular, is that one can never, ever, trust a servicer under any circumstances. They will lie, fabricate events, fail to disclose the truth, and engage in fraud for their own selfish ends.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com

 

COLORADO DISTRICT JUDGE ORDERS DEUTSCHE BANK TO PROVE UP OWNERSHIP OF NOTE IN CRCP 120 PROCEEDING

February 21, 2018

A Colorado District Judge has ordered Deutsche Bank to prove up a claimed “original” Note in a CRCP 120 proceeding. The attorney for Deutsche Bank requested the Judge to take “judicial notice” of a claimed “original” Note in an apparent effort to bypass the evidentiary proof requirements, and without any evidence being presented that the alleged Note is in fact an “original”. Section 202 of the The Colorado Evidence Code, which governs requests for judicial notice, does not provide for a court to take judicial notice of a disputed document.

The borrower disputes the claimed “original” nature of the Note given that (a) the original lender filed for bankruptcy in 2007, and (b) there was no evidence that the Note was either a retained asset of the bankrupt original lender or that it was sold before the bankruptcy was filed. There is thus no evidence as to how Deutsche Bank could be in possession of the alleged “original” Note.

Jeff Barnes, Esq. represents the borrower, who has also raised the defense that the Note is not enforceable as it is a prohibited “negative amortization” Note, as “neg am” loans were declared to be illegal by Colorado statute long before the origination of the loan. The Judge remarked that the case has significant legal issues as to real party in interest under CRCP 17 and the case law in Colorado.

The Judge thus declined to entertain Deutsche Bank’s CRCP 120 request for an Order Authorizing Sale, and has scheduled a full evidentiary hearing on all issues for March 9, 2018.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com

LITIGATION ACADEMY OF FLORIDA TO BEGIN SCHEDULING CLASSES IN JUNE, 2018

February 5, 2018

Over the years, a significant number of people, both clients and others, have requested if Mr. Barnes, who is a former teacher and professor, provides classes to students in college who are interested in becoming litigators. Many students who are “pre-law” express an interest in learning about the litigation process including drafting of lawsuits, motions, and discovery, and also arguing motions and trying a case, but do not have the opportunity to obtain this type of experience while in college.

Litigation Academy of Florida, Inc. was formed today in response to this request. Mr. Barnes, who will be conducting the course, has been a career litigator for almost thirty (30) years, and developed curricula while a teacher before becoming an attorney. He has also given numerous CLE seminars to attorneys which have been accredited by The Florida Bar and the Supreme Court of Ohio, and also recognized for CLE credit in Pennsylvania.

The one-week course is designed for college students who are interested in pursuing a career as litigators. The course will take the students through the various court systems, drafting of lawsuits and motions, serving discovery, and actual argument of a significant motion (such as a Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment) or a simple trial. The students will be grouped into teams who will argue against each other, and so that all students will be able to observe the presentation and argument of a significant motion or a simple trial.

Classes are anticipated to be held in June and August, 2018, after the time when college students are finished attending their regular classes so as to not interfere with college studies and exams. The classes will begin at 8:30 a.m. on a Monday and run through 5 p.m. on the Friday of the scheduled week, with oral argument for motions and trial(s) being held on the Friday. Written materials will be provided, and participants who complete the course will be issued a Certificate as well.

In view of the intensive nature of the one-week course, class size is limited to twenty (20) students per session (either June or August). The course will be held in the Atrium Building at 1515 North Federal Highway, Boca Raton, Florida 33432.

Those who are interested in the course may inquire by going to the “Contact Us” link on this website, or e-mailing Mr. Barnes at jeff@wjbarneslaw.com. Classes are limited to college students who are “pre-law” or who are genuinely interested in pursuing a career in litigation.

Jeff Barnes, Esq.

APARTMENT HOUSE SAVED FROM FORECLOSURE IN NEW YORK

This Monday, January 22, 2018, Mr. Barnes was successful in saving an apartment house in New York from foreclosure and sale. The effort took many months and several motions prepared by Mr. Barnes to vacate the Final Judgment and bring the case back to a posture of defense on the merits.

The homeowner’s prior attorney withdrew the client’s affirmative defenses and a previously filed opposition to U.S. Bank’s Motion for Summary Judgment at the summary judgment hearing without any notice to or consent of the homeowner client. The Court noted this withdrawal in its prior Order granting the MSJ, which was followed by the entry of a Final Judgment.

Mr. Barnes and local NY counsel Oliver Budde, Esq. successfully had the Final Judgment vacated after two separate hearings, as NY law provides that defenses cannot be withdrawn by an attorney without consent of the client, and that the actions of the prior attorney constituted those which amounted to ineffective assistance of counsel. US Bank vigorously opposed the Motions prepared by Mr. Barnes, who has been admitted pro hac vice into the case.

Mr. Barnes has prepared an Amended Answer which will now be filed and extensive discovery which will to be served upon US Bank, as the case has been restored to active litigation status.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com

FORECLOSURES ON THE RISE IN ARIZONA; LEE COUNTY, FLORIDA; AND NEW YORK

January 19, 2018

There appears to be no slowdown of foreclosures despite the recent rumors of the economy “recovering”. Foreclosure filings in Maricopa County, Arizona (Phoenix) have risen 1000% over last year; more than 600 new foreclosure cases have been filed in Lee County, Florida; and foreclosures in New York (with over 11,000 pending cases in Kings County (Brooklyn) alone) continue to increase.

Prior to the end of 2017, Mr. Barnes’ Firm was retained in a number of new foreclosure actions in Tennessee, New Jersey, New York, and Washington state as well. FDN has brought on new local counsel in Washington to assist with the cases pending there.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com

BEWARE OCWEN

December 26, 2017

We are issuing a caution to any homeowner who is dealing with Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC in connection with a loan modification application. In several cases we have involving Ocwen and loan mods, Ocwen has proven, in writing, that it has lied as to receipt of both loan mod applications and trial mod payments, apparently in an effort to manufacture a “default” to permit a foreclosure to proceed.

Most states presently have a mechanism which prevents “dual-tracking”: that is, permitting a foreclosure to proceed while a loan mod application is pending. The procedure, either by statute or rule or court procedure, prevents a foreclosure case from continuing while a loan mod application is being processed.

In one case where Mr. Barnes is representing the homeowner, Ocwen approved a trial modification and the borrowers have been sending in the trial mod payments by Fedex with a signature required upon receipt. Although Ocwen signed for and accepted the client’s December, 2017 trial mod payment, Ocwen sent the client a statement DENYING RECEIPT OF THE DECEMBER PAYMENT AND THREATENING A DEFAULT.

In another series of cases where Mr. Barnes is representing the owner of contiguous properties both involving Ocwen as the servicer, Ocwen signed for and accepted the client’s loan mod package, yet has told its attorney that it HAS NOT RECEIVED THE PACKAGE AND THE ATTORNEY IS REFUSING TO STOP THE FORECLOSURE CASE.

It has been widely posted and is public knowledge that Ocwen has been cited for numerous fraudulent foreclosure practices and has had to pay millions of dollars in fines in connection with its wrongful conduct. The two examples above prove that Ocwen has learned nothing, and will continue to commit fraud with the apparent goal of assisting its clients (including securitized mortgage loan trusts) in stealing homes, with the fines assessed against Ocwen being nothing more than a “cost of doing business”.

The bottom line is that if you are dealing with Ocwen on a loan mod, YOU MUST DOCUMENT EVERYTHING; HAVE EVERYTHING SIGNED FOR BY OCWEN; AND KEEP SCRUPULOUS DOCUMENTATION AS TO EVERY EVENT, as you are dealing with what numerous people have already suggested to us to be a criminal enterprise which engages in lying and misrepresentation for what appears to be the intent of stealing homes under fraudulent pretenses.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com

BANK CONDUCT APPROACHING THE SURREAL AND UNCONSCIONABLE

December 17, 2017

Mr. Barnes has recently been retained in a case where a known foreclosure mill foreclosed on the client’s property in a lawsuit which was filed against a different borrower. The mill put the wrong legal description into the foreclosure case (that of the client, and not the named homeowner defendant), and the client’s home was sold to the Bank of New York as securitization trustee after a “default”, which the client obviously knew nothing about as she was not named as a Defendant in the case. The foreclosure mill refused to correct the mistake. Mr. Barnes is thus initiating litigation against the foreclosure mill and its client (Bank of New York as a securitization trustee) for quiet title and significant damages.

In a separate case, Citibank as the securitization trustee had, since 2014, claimed to be the “holder” of the clients’ Note and Deed of Trust, and substituted itself in to the foreclosure case. Although the party which was substituted out (U.S. Bank as securitization trustee) submitted a credit bid at the sale, Citibank purchased the property and was issued a trustee’s deed and certificate of purchase and thereafter initiated eviction proceedings which Mr. Barnes has consolidated into a separate foreclosure challenge case which he had previously filed.

Mr. Barnes took the deposition of Citibank’s designated representative (from Ocwen), who testified under oath that Citibank NEVER had ANY interest in the loan; should not have filed the foreclosure case or the eviction case, and that the loan was never, ever, placed into a Citibank securitization trust. Mr. Barnes has filed an action to this reverse the entire foreclosure and for damages against Citibank.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com

FREE FORECLOSURE SEMINAR IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK ON FOR THIS FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2017

November 28, 2017

Mr. Barnes’ free foreclosure seminar will take place this Friday, December 1, 2017 in Brooklyn, New York as we previously posted. The seminar will begin at 5:00 p.m. and run until 7:00 p.m. The start time was chosen so that it would not interrupt with the normal workday.

The location is 16 Court Street, 7th Floor, Suite 711, Room 2 in Brooklyn. To enter the building, enter 16 Court and show your identification to the receptionist. Take the elevator to the 7th Floor. Turn right as you exit the elevators. Suite 711 will be on your right.

Written materials will be distributed to those who confirm that they will attend. We ask that those who plan to attend to e-mail us at jeff@wjbarneslaw.com so that we may prepare the appropriate number of materials packets.

Additional details as to directions, space, and the door code can be found at https://brt.hr/r/SAVQmlwbCVM.

Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com