For the next several days we will consider the use of professionals in connection with mortgage disputes. We’ll cover everything from the most modest modification to bankruptcy, litigation, and appeals. These will also be the subject of several free videos that I’ll record from my home office.

The first thing you need to do is decide what you want. Do you want to stay in the house? Do you want to fight for a principal reduction? Do you simply want to delay proceedings? I’m starting this series off with the attorney because everything you do from this point forward must be viewed from a legal context even if you never hire an attorney.

I’m starting off with the lawyer even though it is more likely that you will start with one of the other professional services. We will cover all the other services including title search, securitization search, mortgage analysis, firms that specialize in modification, firms that specialize in short sales, and firms that specialize in restructuring. Each service has a value, but that does not mean that you need to employ any or all of them. You will probably need some combination of professional services, but remember that you are the boss and nobody has the right to tell you what decision you should make.

As you probably know, the number of professional service firms offering to relieve your distress is increasing virtually every day. Several states have passed laws to protect consumers from unscrupulous people who are neither professional nor honest. As a general rule, if the firm is not licensed, and they are asking for a substantial fee before they begin work, it would be wise to make further inquiry on the Internet, with the Better Business Bureau, and on this blog or other resources on the Internet. Unfortunately there are a number of firms that “take the Money and run” leaving you deeper in the hall than you started. However the fact that a firm is not licensed does not raise a red flag by itself. There are several experienced and knowledgeable people providing mortgage assistance whose service is simply not covered by any licensing board. State legislatures are still catching up with this.

Any professional or any other person that guarantees a result should be avoided. Even if they have references they should still be avoided. The references are probably a sham. The practical effects and outcomes for any one particular case cannot be predicted with certainty. In fact, it would be fair to say that in the best of circumstances there is a probability that the matter could be resolved at least partially to your satisfaction.

When it comes to picking a lawyer the first thing you want to look for is someone who is licensed in the state in which the property is located. There are some exceptions–lawyers who practice in many states as nonresident attorneys by establishing a relationship with a local attorney. The second thing you want to look for is someone who both offers you help and hope and can explain the services being offered and the reasons those services could be helpful to you. When I say that they can explain it, I mean that they can explain it in words and concepts that you understand. From my Wall Street days I have always followed the rule that one should never buy anything they do not totally understand. Some lawyers may try to impress you with complex terms and abstract theories. If they are able to translate those terms and theories into language that you can understand, you are in the right place. If you’re a left in the position of not knowing anymore than you did when you walked into the lawyer’s office, I would suggest you go find another lawyer.

Like any other profession lawyers, in multiple varieties. Some specialize in Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcies. If they are familiar with at least some aspects of securitized mortgage loans there are quite a lot of things that they can do. One thing they can do (and guarantee it) is file a petition for bankruptcy relief which automatically results in a STAY of all proceedings or actions against you that are attempts to collect a debt. So even if a sale is pending the filing of a bankruptcy would cancel the sale until the bankruptcy judge enters an order lifting the automatic stay.

Other attorneys specialize in mortgage litigation. I find that each attorney has their own style and favorite tactics and strategies. There is no magic bullet. These attorneys will generally file a law suit or counterclaim based upon a number of theories (causes of action) and at the same time file a motion for emergency temporary injunction to stop the pretender lender from going forward with the foreclosure proceedings or the sale of the property.

The advantage of going to an attorney is that an experienced, knowledgeable and competent attorney will be able to tell you where you stand and give you a reasonable description of your prospects. The best way to keep the cost down and the quality of the advice high is to be able to provide the attorney with as much information as possible on your particular loan.

At a minimum, you should walk into an attorney’s office with a fairly complete title search, title report, copies of relevant documents, and comments from the title examiner, who should be familiar with the practical consequences of securitization. No professional likes to sift through a pile of papers that is disorganized. So the more you can do to organize those papers chronologically, the more the attorney will be favorably disposed to accept a retainer on your case.

There are a number of law firms around the country that have organized themselves in opposition to the foreclosure mills that are employed by the pretender lenders. So far, my experience with several of them indicates they are pretty good and getting better and better at representing homeowners on a mass basis. They also have the ability to reduce the fees that you might pay to a legal practitioner on a single case.

For more information, wait for the video to come out. It’s free, and it will give you more information than any single article on the blog.

12 Responses

  1. In FL or CA & need help from a GREAT ATTORNEY?


  2. What I want may very well be a far fetched wish, but I still want it. I want every family, couple, single parent, foster family, tight group of friends, hermit, elderly couple, teacher college student, farmer, fisherman, transient, squatter and anyone and everyone in this country to own at least one home free and clear and no more than two max for anyone, without being terrorized with everyday never ending fear, and I want the greedy leaches teeth ripped out so they will stop sucking the life out of humanity.

  3. zurenarrh

    Stand in fight..You have nothing to loose and everything to gain.








  6. Wednesday 28 July 2010

    I am at the opposite extreme on this one. I would never hire a lawyer. For anyone with a lawyer, you are
    considered incompetent, a ward of the court. The lawyer’s first duty is to the state, then, as an officer of the court, to the judge, and the”client” represented is at the bottom of the food chain, but pays top dollar for the “privilege.”

    I have beaten lawyers at their own game. Were it not for judges who either twisted the truth or just outright ruled against me because they know they can get away with it, I would have won more often.

    Anyone who appplies him/herself with diligence can
    “steal” information from successful pleadings that apply to most anyone’s situation. Opposing “debt collector” foreclosure mills often do not know how to fight when opposed. They have been accustomed to someone appearing without the slightest clue in what to do.

    In my opinion, a court room environment is “dirty,” for lack of a better word. Great if one runs into a judge with a conscience, but as I have said many times, the judge can often be one’s most formidable opponent.

    When one learns to challenge the heart of any case, its basis for its existence, ie, jurisdiction, the capacity of the plaintiff to even bring a suit, it places the burden of proof where it belongs, and let them do the two-step with no legs.

    Also remember, few, if any, plaintiffs ever have a representative show up, leaving only the plaintiff attorney, and he/she CANNOT OFFER TESTIMONY.
    Learn to object when they open their mouth and shut them up! They have no standing to talk in place of plaintiff

    How do you know when the opposing attorney is lying?
    When his/her lips are moving.

    Just my point of view…

  7. To zurenarrh- sounds like you’ve got the right attitude! I have read all your other posts and you know one helluva lot more than I do. If push comes to shove, I will be pro se at some point in the future. I still find it hard to fathom that the other side has done such an incredible job blaming homeowners who bought too much house, lied on their loan applications, used their houses like an ATM, were deadbeats, etc. There has got to be a way to let 100 million people know the truth. I am working on it. Regards and best wishes, Ian

  8. Well said Zurenarrh. I have yet to see an attorney perform effectively and I’ve given 3 separate attorneys the opportunity to pursue blatantly fraudulent assignments and they failed miserably. This battle is our own to fight because we need the knowledge. Every time we go to court, draft a complaint, do our own research, file a motion, set a hearing, argue our points, etc. we gain priceless knowledge. That knowledge leads to confidence, confidence leads to power, power leads to self-reliance, self-reliance leads to sovereignty…a force to be reckoned with.

  9. My experience with lawyers was abysmal. The lawyer who got me the initial TRO that stopped the foreclosure was sympathetic to my plight, but didn’t really believe there was anything we could do. Or more precisely, there wasn’t anything HE could do, despite the glaringly obvious evidence against the “lender” and the other defendants.

    I believe that is because he is concerned about his career, which he has every right to be. He can’t go in with guns a-blazin’ on what most regard as a stall tactic–the judge would see him as foolish and frivolous. He has to behave himself. He is an officer of the court.

    But I’m not. I’m looking out for my rights, not my career. I’m relentless. I’m bloodthirsty. I pull no punches. My former lawyer’s complaint was all about pulling punches. I had to amend it to give it some teeth, and let me tell you, that complaint now has pit bull teeth.

    My attorney said it would cost me $30K over a year for him to pursue the case and we’d only end up losing it anyway. Well, that wouldn’t have been smart. But it costs me nothing to defend myself. Even if I end up losing the house, that’s what was going to happen if I did nothing, so why not do SOMETHING and increase my chances, however slightly, of prevailing. That’s my attitude.

    Because the only thing the “lender” CAN get from me is the house. I’ll declare bankruptcy and surrender the house–they’ll never get another dime from me. They don’t want the house, they want money. I can’t lose either way. So for the time being, I’m in their face. I’m not playing with these people–I mean business.

    I wish I could get a lawyer that would mop the floor with these thieves, but there ain’t no such animal in my neck of the woods. So it’s me or nothing–and I’m putting all my chips on me.

  10. I shouldn’t be here, in a court, hiring an attorney.
    I should be able to exercise an unalienable right to life, liberty, and property. What’s the use of a right to life when a right to shelter is not included? It is included.

    I have a right to not have anyone bear false witness against me.
    I have a right to face my accuser and not my accuser’s representative.

    If i hire a law firm, my representative will face my accuser’s representative and they can come to some agreement, of the human factor of the representatives can come into play where one knows the other has more experience, or has won more cases, or is favored by the courts, and many things I won’t be privy to, because I pulled a rabbit out of a hat and asked it to represent me.

    If I stand face to face with my opponent and tell a third party there is no contract between us, and they opponent submit papers that create the illusion of a contract and I lose the battle, I still can win the war.

    There is more than one way to skin a dead .

    I learned that what happens in court is not real, it’s an illusion.
    I learned that because I am dealing with another civil case and as part of my studying for both, there is some commonality in all of it.

    I learned I”m going through this because I asked too go through it.
    I’m strong enough, and I’m smart enough to face Goliath and tell him he has no power over me. I’m wise enough to not broadcast to everyone how to defeat Goliath, only those that ask to know because I will not infringe on anyone’s right to ‘not know anything’.

    I know that most battles aren’t won by the first stone thrown. There are many times each side does something that the other side can either overcome by response or answer, or accept by silence and acquiescence.

    I almost believe, and since I didn’t do it, don’t anyone dare try, but I almost believe that any suit from a person you’ve never done business with could be shut down with a simple statement of
    I don’t know them I’ve never done business with them, the court has no jurisdiction over one stranger trying to create a dispute with another stranger who does not want a dispute relationship.

    The Plaintiff trying to ‘create’ the relationship would have the burden to prove there is one, and then prove there were terms to the relationship, prove the terms were not met, and then prove a right to sue.

    That’s what I believe, but since I didn’t go that route, I believe that if you tell someone the only reason I’m here is to keep a default judgment from being made against me, I don’t know these people;
    and a court tries to create a contract since what the court has in common is that you both showed up so know you know who each other are, and the court decided who should have the upper hand, then I believe you can tell the court, you cannot accept their contract to enjoin you and the other party. (as if it created a marriage of sorts). You can cancel the court’s contract within 3 days and that makes the court go back to the other side and say, “She didn’t accept the agreement, what else you got?”

    I believe some judgments are final like when you get a ticket, and they make you sign and they hand you a copy, then you know what the ‘decision is’, that you have to come back to court and talk to someone else about your ‘purported behavior’ on the road, and then that person makes a decision and sends you to the clerk to pay or sign up for adjudication or driving classes, but that decision is final and you see it and have a copy right there.

    But court, it was different. There was a verbal decision (verbal contract, that I objected to verbally), and following that was going to be a written decision (if I didn’t appeal in a timely fashion).

    I am divorced, and I took my ex to court for lack of child support.
    The proceeding seemed fair, (to me at the time when I believed in he judicial system) he’d testify and so would I. He has no job someone will loan him money, whatever…so the judge rules in my favor, and we walk out.
    I ask my attorney, now what…she said we wait.
    I asked for what? She said for the judge to sign the order.
    I said I thought she said she was signing it.
    My attorney said, well the other side had to accept or reject the offer.
    I asked more questions about that, wondering how can someone accept or reject an offer an judge made when she said she was signing the order, and the attorney would not speak to me.
    It offended me because I pay her money, and women, we know we aren’t best friends with people, but our conversations are based on connections we make with people. If we don’t make a connection with you we don’t speak to you, and the level of our conversation depends on the level of connection we’ve made.

    My conversation was based on a trust connection, and when the attorney shut up it felt like she didn’t trust me to know the answer, so I was offended because I trusted her enough to hire her, trusted her enough to advice me, represent me in court, tell me things that I believed about what was happening with the case, and here we get to a point where she doesn’t trust me enough to answer what I thought was a simple question. She shut me out. For women, that breaks the trust relationship. When a guy shuts out a woman, whether he walks out the house, leaves her, won’t answer he calls etc…its’ the beginning of an end. May take a day, a week, or 10 years, but the trust is broken and will never be the same.

    Anyway, bottom line is, the judge ruled and said she’d sign and that was a verbal contract, and she needed to put her signature on a document which would be a written contract, and she was waiting on the other side to accept or reject the terms of her contract so to speak before she signed the document that they would have to appeal, or demand reconsideration, or whatever.

    So I felt really good, based on my life’s experience, where I know all the answers are not in one place, but a accumulation of all my experiences will give me clues as to what to do in any situation, that if I rejected the judge’s terms then it was as if the order never existed, and the Plaintiff would have to start over, and if there is a rescission period like there is in any contract you sign outside your home, then I was going to ‘presume’ one existed and take advantage of it.

    Now many will scoff at the idea that I would think such a thing.
    Good news, I didn’t listen to the things they spewed to me as truth.
    I didn’t believe anyone could enter into my trust agreement because they know it’s in the public. I didn’t believe I owe people because they can demand money and hire attorneys if I didn’t. I didn’t believe my home was foreclosed on via non-judicial foreclosure, because if it had, they could just knock on the door and say it’s theirs and have the support of law enforcement. I believe possession is 99 and 9/10ths of the law, and I believe it takes a lot more than a few pieces of paper and a judge to tell me why I was in a home for 10 years, but in the last month I’m a Tenant and not a Homeowner.

    I believe there is a lot to an illusion and the slight of hand will have you watching what they want you to see and miss what you should see.

    I had no idea their notice of foreclosure sale would be destroyed within two years, and leave all the documents that were built off it in the public as statements of fact after two years.

    I believe that’s the reason they set the two year deadline for foreclosed homes because within that time, the evidence is in the public even if it’s not recorded in the public, it’s filed in the public and can be pulled from the courthouse.

    I believe that anyone who has lost their home to a foreclosure and who has not filed an assignment would be served, to write a letter to the court, and make a statement that a mistake was made in the decision, and tell the court the parties were unknown to each other (if you were unknown), state the parties were not in a (landlord tenant) relationship and state the other side cannot produce a contract that shows a landlord tenant relationship, and move on to that document this is a notice that appeared in the public, and tell them a notice is considered an opinion before the court (the court can tell you it isn’t, but I doubt the court will, in my opinion), and tell the court, the basis for their ruling and your dispossession from your property was a misrepresentation of the notice being a statement of fact when it’s only an opinion and all documents that have that notice as the foundation for their existence are based on an opinion. Ask the court to ‘relieve’ you of the order or final judgment, or vacate the order or final judgment or provide you a remedy that give you a right to possess your property again, because I can almost guarantee you a newly foreclosed home doesn’t even get occupied within the first two years of the foreclosure unless it’s sold to some person who ‘believes’ they bought a cheap home, and when they find out they have no right to it, they have to sue the entity that sold it to them.

    If it’s less than two years, do that. cases never close. I learned that in the patriot community, that’s why you can always refer to them in the public. My brother divorced in 1999 and his ex wife died in 2003. He’s in jail, and to this day 2010, his ex wife’s mother and law has activity in that divorce case from 1999, trying to take possession of his kids.

    So yes, things can be filed in old court cases because they are always open, until closed, expunged, or whatever it is they do to make it disappear so you can’t find them any more.

    I know nothing and if I think I know something I know nothing. I do not give legal advice because I don’t know legal things. Everything written is an opinion, even my experiences with the legal system are only my opinion of what I experienced.

    Light and Love,

  11. Jeffrey Barnes, you are the best!

  12. It’s getting easier to find attorneys, that’s for sure.

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