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EDITOR’S COMMENT: As the title problems roll in like a storm surge, and the evidence mounts that many if not most of the foreclosures were wrongfully procured, homeowners are finding inventive ways to challenge the wrongful foreclosure, get back into the property and get title too. No guarantees here and you need tot alk to a really knowledgeable attorney who is licensed in the jurisdiction in which your property is located. You also need the COMBO and probably a forensic analysis as well.

Some homeowners regain properties after foreclosure

By Paul Owers, Sun Sentinel6:20 p.m. EDT, October 19, 2011

The housing bust has put thousands of South Florida residents on the sidewalk, but when a mortgage is foreclosed there is hope — sometimes even after a lender has repossessed the home.

In some cases, foreclosures are set aside, and the homeowners regain their properties because of errors by courts or lenders.

In at least one instance, a bank reversed its foreclosure and sold the home back to the former owner at a deep discount, apparently for no other reason than the deal made financial sense for the lender.


Video: Man discusses damage caused by storm to brother’s house in Sunrise


How can homeowners score these victories? Be persistent and get lawyers or consumer advocacy groups to work on your behalf, observers say.

“Most folks don’t fight it or don’t know there was a problem,” said Arden Shank, president of the non-profit Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida.

When foreclosure sales are overturned, the delinquent borrowers don’t get to live in the homes for free. Banks can move to refile the foreclosures, but they may agree to mortgage modifications that allow the homeowners to stay put.

Dan Francis found that out after losing his three-bedroom Margate home this summer.

Francis, 69, said he was laid off from his construction job and fell behind on the mortgage payments. Bank of New York Mellon, as a trustee for the owner of the mortgage, filed for foreclosure in March 2010 but dismissed the case the following month in what may have been a simple mistake, said his Fort Lauderdale lawyer, Manny Singh.

Mellon’s motion to have the case reinstated was never heard by a judge, but the case continued anyway, and the foreclosure sale occurred in February, Singh said.

Ownership of the home was transferred to Bank of New York Mellon in June, though Francis continued living there because the bank had not yet tried to evict him.

A real estate broker recommended that Francis contact Singh, who discovered that the foreclosure sale happened despite the procedural error. A judge ultimately vacated the foreclosure in July.

“Maybe prayers do get answered,” Francis said.

A spokesman for Mellon referred calls to the loan servicer, GMAC Mortgage, and a spokeswoman there could not provide details on the case.

United Financial Counselors, a non-profit consumer advocacy group based in North Miami Beach, says it is negotiating a loan modification on behalf of Francis that would turn his adjustable-rate loan with an 8.5 percent interest rate into a fixed-rate loan at 3.275 percent.

More than 2,500 Broward County homeowners were in some stage of foreclosure in September, according to RealtyTrac Inc., a foreclosure listing firm. Palm Beach County had nearly 1,900. Last year alone, lenders repossessed 20,400 homes in Broward, and roughly 11,000 in Palm Beach County, according to CondoVultures, a consulting firm.

But in the rush to complete foreclosures across the country, some bank employees, called “robo-signers,” admitted in depositions that they signed off on thousands of cases without knowing the details.

United Financial Counselors has helped get more than a dozen South Florida foreclosure sales overturned in the past five months, President Jason Walowitz said.

United Financial helped overturn the foreclosure sale of Annette and Ellison Hixson’s three-bedroom home in Miami Gardens. The couple faced financial difficulty after Ellison, a truck driver, suffered two heart attacks and a stroke.

The mortgage servicer, Ocwen Loan Servicing, rejected a loan modification and completed the foreclosure in August 2010, Annette Hixson said.

Fearing that she and her husband would be evicted at any moment, Hixson made a series of phone calls and eventually found United Financial.

The agency convinced Ocwen that, even though the foreclosure had occurred, it was in the servicer’s best interest to sell the home back to the Hixsons for the $59,000 market value, Walowitz said.

But there are limits to what consumer groups can do.

They likely can’t help people who are unemployed with no income or those who have defaulted on a loan modification. Despite the Hixsons’ experience, homeowners shouldn’t expect relief if there were no errors in the foreclosure process, Walowitz said.

Still, he said, clients are stunned to learn that there is assistance available.

“It’s beyond satisfying,” Walowitz said. “We gain friends for life after this.”

Powers@tribune.com, 561-243-6529

10 Responses

  1. foreclosureinfosearch

    First, you need a judge that will allow an audit.

    You need a judge that will allow discovery.

    No offense — but what is your solution to control in courts???

  2. E.Toile, you’re too funny!!!

  3. Federal Reserve Tarullo is planning a scheme again with the TAX payers money under the name of QE3 along with the purchase of BAC mortgage back securities. I am telling you that FED is buying back all those MBS in trouble….

    http://www.housingwire.com/2011/10/20/feds-tarullo-supports-large-scale-mbs-purchases

  4. @M.Soliman—thank you—but can you please be more succinct?

  5. Yep I am over $ 200,000 upside down on my house. The neighborhood is now Obama’s ghetto. The predicated recovery is 2033. If you continue payment then you are screwed and fleeced to the wall. I can file BK, strip the second (HELOC) but still upside down on the first. Makes no sense what so ever. These loans / appraisals were designed to kick you to the curb, Someone needs to go to jail. So far the home owner continues to be punished for the crimes committed by Wall Street and the Banks. The US government continues to stand by and watch the suffering. Hell most of these Congressman and Senators rest and sleep at night with no worries. Only a few like Bernie Sanders make a stance.

  6. “RESPAAAAA TILAAAAAA, Finger food and FILAAAAAA . ..This is serious business”

    Need I say anything here?

  7. As for an audit

    Cannot sell what you do not own. Why .. Lender sells the loan yes. The entity alleged to purchase the asset is owned 100% BY THE LENDER

    Robo Signatures: Harmless Take $1000 in monopoly money to the super market . They run you out as your laughed all the way out to the car.

    Then get a good color copier and calibrate it . Photo a $10.00 bill and etc etc …take that back to the store the next day and Secret Services is on you A$$ and your in prison ! Why was no one laughing at the store

    Why ? I said WHY!.. . LOL
    Has nothing to do with the currency , funny money or otherwise . Its the signatures on the monopoly Elmer Fudd and Secretary of the Treasury on the currency . Whoops One is clown money and the other is bearer paper.

    So is a note “bearer paper ? People I am not wasting your time – if you cannot answer these questions your better off going to a rally with Sally in the Valley.

    If a note is bearer paper …why ? and is bearer paper not tender ? Chicken tender …?

    And we know this mortgage crisis got really abusive in 2005 thru 2007. These deal made the least sense and were a stretch. Why are the second mortgages always trailing ?

    Why are the First mortgages almost always fixed. The US capital markets a repulsed by long term fixed rates. So why the fixed rates followed by a trailing second mortgage? Hey , Hey Hey ….what U got to say …

    Just thinking here – When testifying a while back , I was confronted by Bank of NY – their counsel , this officer of the court , practitioner, licensed member of the Bar , court clown…what ever.

    He said he knew of me ( wonder from where..LL? Do ya thank – maybe the Zipp off report ) Anyway . (L.A. Superior Court Possession hearing scheduled on merit for arguments of no standing to bring foreclosure and claims for voidable transfer) By the way…that just described is the lowest probability of any court proceeding I have attended. )

    So Perry mason say’s he is ready to kick my A$$$ and get out of the way . . . Clients have NO chance of making it past morning round. he says

    I say – Look my level headed friend – I am not arguing here – I agree!

    So he says have the client capitulate and get it over now. I say I appreciate that – But your transfer deed …I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer …but it says that your client was highest bidder?

    So
    Its says your client “Paid” the amount at auction as stated ?
    So
    Its says your client is the foreclosing beneficiary ?
    SO What ?
    it says your client credit bid the sale …
    yeah again…so WHAT .

    IF YOUR CLIENT IS A INNOCENT PURCHASER OF VALUE …yeah…
    YOU KNOW COUNSEL – ARMS LENGTH….
    Yeah..I’m waiting he says…..

    Well what came first …I said the CREDIT or the TRANSFER

    His Eyes pop out and he grabs the copy of the instrument from my hands and says…Ill be right back . .He then gets on the phone and calls …..Litton the servicer ???Remember , He said he was counsel representing Bank of NY ?

    Anyway – Judge sends it to trial in the after noon session .

    And what about all these Fannie Mae and Freddie and Ethyl Merrtz loans the government says they own – BEFORE FORECLOSURE !

    Why is the Government involved in guaranteeing these high cost BS loans at a time [2005-2007] when the market was about to implode.? Why ?

    And What does a robust condition have to do with your defense? What “Vatt” Where? Think? …and what about Gumby and those Block Heads? Huh Ever think about why the loans they sell into a REMIC are never sold by the Lender …Why ? Huh ?

    If the Sponsor is the Seller then what the Hell …I can tell …you don’t really wanna go …No. ? Fed’s tap your mobile phone ? Yes

    If the Trust holds assets limited to securities , then why is the depositor holding all the securities and broker dealers all the deposit receipts and cash Huh?

    Who is the beneficiary of the trust ? And WTF ( What is Fed) is a Master Servicer ? Anyone know ? Master Servicer hanging out by the laundry mat vent ….baking the cookies of discontent? Yeah?

    Here’ s one for fun under the sun …take a $1 million pool at 8% WAC and slice it into CD’s offering 3 month terms ..each at a 1% coupon . That’s 8 X 1 = 8 times . Right ? Or is that $8 million ? Or did they sell your note 8 times?

    Hey , if a note is an asset that represents your debt …why would the trust hold paper when a custodian could do that ? And if Good will is often attributed to the strength of a franchise (well kind of ) …like if you have two restaurants on both sides of a street and both are brand new and both cost $50,000 to build. . The right corner is valued at $10.0 Million and the other is valued at $50,000. And they both are built to the same size . Maybe Goodwill is the restaurant with the Golden Arches ? Yeah .Fillet of Flesh . If Good will is an intangible asset ? It is an asset right ?

    Stay with me here my economic Chitlins. If good will hunting is in the name of the franchise ….Is Cities name , Wells and Barf of America N.A commingling asset in private placements used to sell accredited investors? NO CAN DO Lou! I, I, I have poison eye .

    I don’t get it ? Really confusing if you think about it. Here is one to contemplate while at work making license plates.. When Andy and Ope open the show and are walking with fishing pole along the lake – where was that filmed Anyone ? last one I promise . . .

    How come you all keep talking abut the Servicer . There is NO servicer …get it. The FDIC will try and sell you this as will these alphabet “help you out of home” modification firms .

    Something to think about

    XXX .

    M.Soliman

    and slice it up into 1% short term yeilds .

  8. Attorney withut linens …LOL

    attorney without a license

  9. Forensic Audit. WTF ( Fed get it the Fed )

    You guys keep emailing me this junk. First only a CPA can do an Audit, not a compilation or review …but audit.

    Now why does an attorney believe one cannot practice law withut a linens and anyone can go out and do a forensic? You need the names of all payees from the HUD I All parties to escrow and closing
    All securities issuers and rating agencies name s and addresses.
    The Guidelines used to underwrite the loans The Quality Control managers’ statement On site audit of the IT system the organization used Full qualified understanding of GAAP and all the recent and past codified rules under al l applied accounting criteria for formation of the Not for Profit, The issuing entity, The depositors and broker dealers Audit 1122AB material compliance reports Verification of exceptions under FDIC authority Random on site sampling of files (yeah right – no subpoena).

    Then recreate the general ledger . Hell , the Vulkas report was a 2200 page audit that got Vulkas ..Bubkus

    The pain of the ignorance and quest to make money – it’s appalling. Or do you mean RESPAAAAA TILAAAAAA, Finger food and FILAAAAAA . ..

    This is serious business and when called to the mat – you better not be guessing here.

    M.Soliman
    expert.witness@live.com

  10. The Dan Francis story seems like a temporary victory. All they have to do is refile and reforeclose. While it’s certainly a big deal for him, it hardly matches up with the title of the article.

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