An advocate is someone who speaks on behalf of another person, especially in a legal context. Implicit in the concept is the notion that the represented lacks the knowledge, skill, ability, or standing to speak for themselves. The broad equivalent in many English law-based jurisdictions is "barrister". (

Although the homeowner path to recovery and justice will be long and painful, that path would not be possible without the determination and perseverence of so many dedicated attorneys and homeowner advocates.

Stories from Advocates

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Q:     The Servicer (the bank) has filed suit to foreclose on our property but just before trial, sold the alleged Note to a third party, and then 30 days later bought is back. What is the effect of this on their suit?

A:     We have a few of these including one in Yamhill county. We have contacted the attorneys on the other side and asked them if they intend to represent the new note holder and if they plan to substitute the new note holder in as plaintiff in the case. If the note has been sold back to the original plaintiff in the case and they have possession of the note endorsed in blank or endorsed to them specifically I don't see that the sale did anything for you one way or the other.

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Q:     Does 12/31/2013 mean that I must file Request for Mortgage Assistance (RMA) with lender by 12/31/2013? Or lender should process or submt this application to government by this date?

A:     You must submit the RMA by that date. You should plan to send it so as to be received no later than 12/312013.

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Q:     I fought my foreclosure for 6 years. I never did a loan mod or filed for bankruptcy during that time. My case was just recently dismissed without prejudice but the statute of limitations has expired. How do I go abut clearing up the title and mortgage.

A:     I agree with the other counsel. Quiet Title is a very special remedy and it is not treated lightly by the courts because, particularly in your case, of the gravity of the result to the parties. See the link below to some explanation of the process, and carefully chose an attorney that you feel comfortable with and who makes sense.

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Q:     They applied it to the principal instead of deducting it.We are all aware of the fraud and foreclosures that have initiated class action suits nation wide and believe we fit into all of them but cannot find anyone who can help us do that.Could you please refer us to someone who can help us before it becomes to late?

A:     People lost their home from scrupulous lender and fraudsters . yes there are many action and maybe you fit the profile but you really need a lawyer to review your documents and guide you in this issue
Immediate action is a must .

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Q:     A real estate agent sent us a letter stating, 'Because you lease is not 'FVM' Full Market Value for the area, the Saving Tenants From Protection Act will not help you. She also has been regularly contacting the real estate agent managing the property and told her, 'The bank will get them out one way or another...they have an army of lawyers.'

A:     It is impossible to say anything definitive without knowing more, but it sounds like you are being lied to,a no it also sounds like the banks realtor is engaging in unauthorized practice of law. The Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act requires that the rental be "arms length".

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

Q:     I have heard that once the sale is complete, that we have 90 days to leave. Is that true in all cases? I am not sure we are considered "bona fide" tenants as we have not been paying rent for the last year (at the homeowner and their attorneys request) though we do have a lease that "requires" payment of rent, as the law states.

A:     You are not protected by the Protecting Tenants in Foreclosure Act unless you have a bona fide lease that is not expired and you have been paying rent. Once the sale is complete the court will issue a title to the new owners after 10 days and they will also obtain a writ of possession to remove you (if you were named in the foreclosure suit).

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Q:     My lender filed a foreclosure complaint early in 2011 and it was dismissed later in the year. At that time, I had 3 outstanding unpaid judgments that appeared in the title search results. The judgments were paid in Oct 2012. The NJ judiciary site has shown all 3 as closed since Jan 2013. Lender refiled foreclosure complaint in Sept 2013 and shows these same 3 debts as open judgments.

A:     Title reports and searches are typically dated. It's in the interest of the lender to have a current title report and name all junior lien holders. Only be naming the junior lien holders (in the foreclosure) can their liens be removed.

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Q:     I received a lis Pendens/ Summons in Sept.2012. I filed a motion to dismiss on time in Oct 2012. The Plaintiff filed a motion for default in June 2013. The notice of default was not entered July 2013 because everything was filed on time. How long does the plaintiff have....

A:     The rules of procedure require that the Plaintiff file something - anything - at least once every 12 months. If there is no record activity for a period of 10 months, the court could send the Plaintiff a notice indicating that it intends to dismiss the case unless a filing is made within 60 days.

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Q:     I purchased a home through a first-mortgage's foreclosure auction, and I was the highest bidder. The home has a HOA, and am I aware of FS that indicates a third party purchaser is jointly liable for ALL ASSESSMENTS becoming due before acquisition of title (in addition to future, obviously), however I read the HOA documents more closely, and it appears there are clauses that might suggest otherwise, that might take precedence.

A:     That is interesting and unusual language, and it creates an interesting issue, amid tension between the statute and the declaration. My gut is that the declaration will control, however this is an issue that requires research. You should retain the services of a knowledgeable attorney.

Friday, December 13th, 2013

‘The bottom line is that the notice of substitution of Plaintiff in judicial states, or notice of substitution of Trustee in non-judicial states should be the first line of battle. Neither one of them is valid and in both cases you have a stranger to the transaction being allowed to name itself as creditor, name its own controlled entity or subsidiary as trustee, and then ignore the realities of the money paid to the real creditor. They are claiming damages from the borrower — all for a debt that in the ordinary course of things has already been paid several times over. But it is true that it wasn’t paid to THEM because THEY were never and are not now the creditor fulfilling the definition of a creditor who could bid at the foreclosure auction. It is not that the borrower doesn’t owe money when he borrows it, it is that he doesn’t owe it to any of the people who are claiming it. And that is what gives rise to liability of law firms to borrowers.” Neil F Garfield

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

The primary payment we are focusing on today is servicer advances which come in different flavors — non-stop, limited and none. Most loans (96%) are subject to claims of securitization regardless of what the current servicer or trustee is telling you. And most of those (my guess is around 75%-90%) come with third party obligors, which is why there is so much confusion. Besides servicer advances, the agents for the trust beneficiaries at the investment bank who sold them the bonds received on behalf of the bond holders, insurance payments and other funds from other contracts designed to limit the risk associated with the terms of the bond repayment of interest and principal.

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

The first thing is judges are moving cases toward resolution at speeds far greater than has ever before occurred.  It’s a tidal wave of foreclosure actions that is ripping across Florida like a wildfire.  And as in any great fury, there are mistakes being made…..many of them.  But far worse than the outcome for consumers who go into court without an attorney and see first hand that they are losing their homes are the consumers who do not have any notice that they are losing their homes….

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

We, the homeowners of America claim the tortious actions of the Banks have created Unjust Enrichment, evident in the fact that their wealth and size has increased 40% since the Great Recession they caused. The basic purpose of restitution is to achieve fairness and prevent the unjust enrichment of a party.   In tort law, restitution applies to the measure of damages required to restore the plaintiff to the position he or she held prior to the commission of the tort.

Monday, December 9th, 2013

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Popular Democracy today filed a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to compel the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to provide details about the agency's relationship with the financial industry and its efforts to block municipalities from using eminent domain to prevent foreclosures.  Banks have foreclosed on millions of homes, and vast numbers of homeowners remain at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure because their mortgages are “underwater,” meaning homeowners owe more than their properties are now worth.

Monday, December 9th, 2013

The answer appears to be a lawsuit to quiet title which really can be met with little opposition. And a second action for slander of credit and identity theft looks promising to clear the negative credit reports and collect damages. For more information on this see my blog posts in 2007 and 2008, where I predicted we would get to exactly this point. While the policy makers were passing laws and enacting draconian rules of procedure to clear the calendar of foreclosure cases caused by what they thought were dilatory defenses, it is now revealed that it is the plaintiffs that have delayed the cases not the homeowners. And while all of that was happening an increasing number of cases were being tried and won by homeowners as lawyers came up to speed on the facts and the law applied to these ridiculous instruments that are treated as though they were true notes and mortgages.

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Q:     No one bought my house at a foreclosure auction. Is it true that the property now legally belongs to the bank? What happens next - do they have the right to evict me upon notice? What happens if they want to conduct another foreclosure auction?

A:     Foreclosure auctions differ by state. But typically, a foreclosure auction is held by the bank or the bank's trustee on behalf of the bank to get higher bids from third parties on the home. If no bids are made, the home is sold back to the bank by default.

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Q:     Hi. I have a question please. After the Final Judgment of Foreclosure is recorded, approximately how long do you have until the foreclosure auction in Central Florida? And then do you have to move out immediately after the house is sold? Thanks in advance.

A:     Typically on the day the judge enters the Final Judgment, he will also set a sale date. This sale date may be anywhere from 30 to 120 days after the final judgment is entered. Refer to your court docket for that specific date, or consult the attorney who handled your case.

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Q:     I am trying to work out a Bank of America Co-op short sale, we are just submitting an Signed offer today, The bank is asking 206,400; the offer is for 190, the bank just did a drive by valuation, the house needs New AC, Stove, Dishwasher.

A:     You will get nowhere with an OCC Complaint. The OCC is hugely bureaucratic and far too friendly with the banks.
See a knowledgeable Chapter 13 attorney and file Chapter 13 requesting the LMM program.

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Q:     I am in foreclosure and on the 8th the court is going to side with the bank. How long will I have before I have to be out of the house?

A:     How do you know the court will side with the bank on the 8th? Is there a default hearing scheduled that day? If so, you should consult a foreclosure attorney because you may still be able to file an answer and avoid judgment.

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

The problem, as these small financial institutions are just beginning to realize, is that the MBS instruments that were supposedly so safe, are not safe and may not be worth anything at all — especially if the trust that issued them was never funded by the investment bank who did the underwriting and sales of the MBS to relatively unsophisticated community banks and credit unions. In a word, these small institutions were sitting ducks and probably, knowing Wall Street the way I do, were lured into the most toxic of the “bonds.”