Real Estate David v Goliath
Representing homeowners in wrongful foreclosure cases has made me feel like David fighting Goliath.
In these cases the borrowers signed and complied with the trial payment plans. They were working towards a permanent loan modification that would enable them to keep their homes.
In spite of following all the rules the banks moved forward with foreclosure proceedings.
The key issue is…… Are banks allowed to foreclose when the homeowners have complied with trial payment plans or while in the process of a loan modification?
I believe the banks were wrong in foreclosing. In order to help my clients I needed to research adjudicated cases that supported my theory.
I was able to find cases which assisted me in presenting a persuasive argument.
In one case my argument was the bank had admitted the trustee sale was in error, they accepted her trial plan payments up to the day before the trustee sale; the bank treated my client at the owner by having her pay the property taxes and keep insurance on the home….. these arguments resulted in the judge changing his tentative ruling in my client’s favor saving the case from being dismissed.
In the next case I successfully pleaded ……that the bank did not have the right to foreclose on the property; that the borrower was in compliance with the trial payment plan; and there were numerous violations of the foreclosure regulations with invalidated the trustee sale. The judge agreed with my arguments and denied opposing party’s demurrer (a pleading which says the case has no merit.)
Winning these first battles allowed the borrowers to stay in and possibly keep their homes. These cases are far from seeing a final resolution, however, they live to see another day.
While working these cases I have seen a positive change in the legal attitude. …. The judges are beginning to look at the whole picture, not just the fact that the borrower is in default, but that the lenders have breached their contractual agreements, disregarded the foreclosure regulations and are counting on the fact that most borrowers do not have the money to fight back. This may be a sign that borrowers do have a chance to win in court.
Because I am a sole practioner I have enjoyed the satisfaction of being like David winning battles against Goliath law firms.