November 21, 2011
We have been asked this question repeatedly, and more and more in the last few weeks as 2011 draws to a close. Although we cannot predict the future, we do offer some information which has been relayed to us, and some personal observations as well based on recent events.
First, foreclosure is now a well-established business among the banks and servicers, and more and more foreclosures are being filed. We were recently advised that approximately 4 million NEW foreclosures are to be filed in the next few months.
Second, the attitude of the foreclosing parties is becoming increasingly hostile. The often told story of someone who was put through hoop after hoop by a “lender” or servicer in connection with a loan mod request (loss of documents, denials that documents were sent, inconsistent communications concerning the status of a mod application, refusal of the party offering the mod to affirm in writing that the foreclosure will be cancelled pending the loan mod neogitations, etc.) are becoming more and more rampant.
Several months ago, an attorney working for a foreclosure Firm told me point blank: “You are not a real foreclosure lawyer until you kick a single mother with 4 kids out into the street on Christmas Eve.” There was no laughter when this comment was made to me.
Third, in view of the Attorney General lawsuits and the litigation against the banks, we are seeing more and more homeowners questioning whether a prior foreclosure was legal, with requests to seek to “unwind” or reverse the foreclosure. Most states have one or more remedies to make this challenge, and as many of our clients are investors who lost their life savings on properties which were foreclosed, we are being asked more and more to seek to undo past foreclosures.
One thing seems fairly certain: foreclosure is going to continue for several years. I even had a Judge tell me this in a recent hearing. What we have to do is to continue the challenge. More and more courts are deciding in favor of homeowers on critical issues, which we view as a very good sign.
Jeff Barnes, Esq., www.ForeclosureDefenseNationwide.com