Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Bay State Law Requires "Just Cause" Before Booting Renters From Foreclosed Properties

In Boston, Massachusetts, Harvard Law School News reports:

  • Groundbreaking legislation originally drafted by students from the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau (HLAB) to protect tenants from losing their homes after foreclosure was signed into law on August 7 by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick ’82, former president of HLAB. [...] The new law, if applied appropriately, will be a very important tool in keeping people in their homes and protecting neighborhoods from falling into decay, says [HLAB Director and Clinical Professor of Law David] Grossman. “It provides rights to tenants that no law in Massachusetts has for years,” he says. “It could solve the problem that’s plagued our communities and cost us thousands of hours trying to solve in a less-efficient fashion, through litigating against banks in court.”


  • HLAB students drafted what is considered the heart of the bill, a critically important “just cause” section that prohibits banks from evicting tenants from foreclosed-on properties unless the tenant fails to pay rent, harms the property, or otherwise gives “just cause” for eviction. It is believed to be the first “just cause” law in the country pertaining specifically to tenants in foreclosed-on properties.

  • In addition, the bill imposes a longer pre-foreclosure period on banks that don’t make a good-faith attempt to restructure loans with homeowners, and it criminalizes mortgage fraud. It also provides property tax exemptions for purchasers of foreclosed properties.

For the story, see Massachusetts enacts landmark foreclosure protections drafted by Harvard Law School students.

Tenant Hit w/ Civil "Pigeon-Feeding" Charges; Faces The Boot Over Health, Safety Issues; Bread-Supplying Bakeries Eyed As "Unindicted Co-Conspirators"

In Coney Island, Brooklyn, the New York Post reports:

  • Coney Island is a continent away from Alcatraz, but the spirit of the "Birdman" lives on in a neighborhood woman who loves and feeds pigeons -- and it might cost her her home. Sabina Mickiewicz's landlords have taken the disabled woman to Housing Court and are trying to evict her for creating "a health and safety issue" in her apartment complex, according to legal papers.

  • And it doesn't stop at birds. The landlord, Bay Park Two Co., claims she "has been observed" feeding opossums, squirrels and cats. Now Mickiewicz, 59, who says she has an inoperable brain tumor, has hired a lawyer to fight the avian eviction.

  • Mickiewicz, who grew up behind the Iron Curtain, has established relationships with several of Brooklyn's large Italian and Russian factory bakeries, which give her about 20 loaves of unsold bread a day.

Source: Pigeon lover may lose nest.

Texas Woman The Latest "Blame Obama" Bandwagon Jumper; Lawsuit Claims Prez, Housing Officials Hypnotized & Abused Her, Forcing Her To Flee Home

In Jefferson County, Texas, The Southeast Texas Record reports:

  • Claiming she had to flee her government sanctioned home because of psychological and sexual abuse, Amy Modica, who has filed around a dozen suits in the past three years, filed two fresh lawsuits Monday against President Barack Obama. This is the second time in two months Modica has sued a government official. In June, Modica sued Jefferson County Judge Ronald Walker claiming he and his secretary caused her personal injury when they would not allow her to fill out commitment papers on her mother.

  • In her most recent lawsuits, filed July 30 in Jefferson County District Court, Modica alleges Obama, along with the Housing Authority of Beaumont and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, psychologically abused her to the point that she had to flee her apartment home.

  • Modica claims officials hypnotized her against her will and then performed "inappropriate actions" on her, court papers say. The suit does not give specific dates but does state that she was living at the Loree Grand Apartments and the Seville Apartments when the alleged abuse occurred. Both complexes have also been named as defendants. "All of the wantonly acts and or incompetence has pushed me to the limit and a lawsuit is definitely due deserving," the suit states. Modica is seeking punitive damages to punish the defendants. She is representing herself. Modica's previous lawsuits have been dismissed.

Source: Latest Modica suit alleges she was hypnotized by Obama, housing officials.

Foreclosed Homeowner Faces Felony Theft, Criminal Mischief Charges For Stripping Fixtures Before Vacating Premises; Damages Estimated At Approx. $50K

In Baxter County, Arkansas, KAIT-TV Channel 8 reports:

  • A Midway woman turns herself in on felony charges of theft of property and criminal mischief following a complaint filed April 9 by First National Bank and Trust Company of Mountain Home. According to police reports, Cathy Jo Cain, 39, of Midway turned herself in after damaging her previous home after it was foreclosed.


  • Following the foreclosure sale, the bank representative came back to the property and found the home to be stripped of all fixtures including sink faucets, handles, doorknobs, deadbolts, floor moldings, chandeliers, cabinets, center-island and marble, appliances, all interior doors, and the back deck. Most of the carpet was pulled up and the front desk was partially dismantled. Estimated damages to the home are approximately $50,000.

For the story, see Region 8 woman turns self in after destroying own home.

Several Homeowners In Foreclosure Win Unexpected Extension In Cases As Judge Gets Trapped In Elevator, Causing Hearing Cancellations

In Sarasota, Florida, the Sarasota Herald Tribune reports:

  • A judge was stuck in an elevator at the Sarasota judicial center for more than 30 mintues Monday morning. Several foreclosure hearings scheduled for 9:30 a.m. were cancelled after Magistrate Deborah Bailey could not get off the elevator to go to her 5th floor courtroom.

  • Bailey said the elevator car went up to the fifth floor, and the doors only opened slightly as she tried to go to the courtroom. Then the elevator went up to 10th floor — the building’s highest floor — before again opening only a slight amount.

  • The elevator is behind the scenes and unavailable to the public, one of two that provide service from the secure judge parking to the judges offices and back doors to courtrooms. After elevator workers removed Bailey from the elevator car, they told her the problem would have to be repaired. Bailey got to court in time to hear the rest of the cases on her morning docket.

Source: Judge trapped in elevator.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Duo To Snatch Control Of Financially Troubled 110-Building, NYC Housing Complex For $45M? 11,000-Unit Property Sold For $5.4B In 2006

In New York City, Crain's New York Business reports:

  • If all goes according to plan, next Thursday a new partnership led by hedge fund honcho William Ackman will buy Manhattan's largest housing complex—the 110-building Stuyvesant Town / Peter Cooper Village—paying as little as $45 million in a foreclosure auction. Incredible as such a scenario may seem, real estate experts say that it—or something like it—could well come to pass.


  • In a surprising development, Mr. Ackman announced last week that his hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, had been tapped by Winthrop Realty Trust, one of Stuy Town's creditors, to help it take control of the 80-acre complex. Acting in concert, the duo quietly paid $45 million—15 cents on the dollar—to scoop up a $300 million mezzanine loan, a key slice of the complex's debt that stands between the owner's equity and the first mortgage.(1)

  • Mr. Ackman also scheduled an auction for Aug. 25, when he plans to foreclose on the property and take control of Stuy Town. If he succeeds, he intends to assume the complex's nearly $4.5 billion in debts and quickly begin a voluntary, noneviction co-op conversion on the rental property to generate cash to pay off its loans.


  • [Mr.] Ackman appears to have a key advantage. If the foreclosure auction is held, he can open with a bid of $300 million, the face value of his mezzanine debt. Other bidders will have to pony up $300 million in cash for a property now estimated to be worth a mere $1.8 billion. In addition, the first notice of the auction appeared in the papers on Aug. 8, giving bidders little time to get their act together.

For the story, see Upstart roils Stuy Town battle (Fledgling duo may get complex for as little as $45 million in foreclosure).

Go here for other posts on the Stuyvesant Town / Peter Cooper Village fiasco in NYC.

(1) According to the story, several recent deals suggest that the partner's chosen route to ownership may work, such as one involving the 60-story John Hancock Tower in Boston, which was bought by a partnership that had snapped up the mezzanine debt and put the property into foreclosure. At the auction, the partnership won the tower with a bid of $20 million and an agreement to take on its $640 million first mortgage, the story states. The story also cites the W Union Square Hotel, 100 Church St. and several other properties in New York City that have also been successfully foreclosed on by their mezzanine lenders. “This trend will continue as more troubled assets hit the fan,” says Edward Hunter, chair of the real estate practice group at law firm Lowenstein Sandler.

Victimized Homeowners Receive $125K+ Restitution For Unpaid Taxes & Insurance In Escrow Ripoff; State Loan Originators Pick Up Tab For Defunct Racket

From the Office of the Indiana Attorney General:

  • Attorney General Greg Zoeller [] announced 97 financial fraud victims have received $125,679.22 in restitution for taxes and insurance bills that went unpaid by defunct American Escrow, a Chicago-based company.

  • "Paying property taxes and insurance is not optional for homeowners. Escrow accounts give people a peace of mind that critical bills will be paid on time by money held in trust. That peace of mind turned into a nightmare for thousands of homeowners all over the country when they discovered their tax and insurance bills had not been paid and the money had been squandered," Zoeller said. "This restitution will not undo the stress or erase the experience of being defrauded, but it will hopefully allow them an opportunity to gain back the financial stability for which they have been fighting."


  • Zoeller filed suit against American Escrow in June 2009 for violations of state consumer protection laws. A court judgment was ordered in January requiring the company to pay more than $600,000 in fines, attorneys' fees and consumer restitution.

  • The judgment proved uncollectible because the company had no assets so the state legislature passed a new law making restitution funds available for the fraud victims. The new law, House Enrolled Act 1332, set aside $150,000 out of a loan broker account held by the securities division of Secretary of State Todd Rokita's office. The account is funded from license registration and renewal fees collected from loan brokers, mortgage loan originators, and principal managers.

For the Indiana AG press release, see Victims of escrow fraud receive $125,000 in restitution (Indiana lawmakers created unique solution to aid fraud victims).

Ex-Ski Area Operator Accuses Connecticut Town, Officials Of Wrestling Away Ownership Of 278 Acre Property; Files Suit Seeking $11M In Damages

In Middlefield, Connecticut, The Middletown Press reports:

  • The former Powder Ridge operator and his family announced [last week] that they have filed a lawsuit against the town of Middlefield and several of its officials after they used “bully tactics” to take over the approximately 278 acres where the former ski area once stood.

  • Ken Leavitt, who has spent the last seventeen years of his life purchasing, developing and maintaining the Powder Ridge Ski Area, said he is seeking, among other things, $9 million from the town and $2 million in damages from an investment company, Middlefield Holdings, LLC.

  • While operating Powder Ridge for ten seasons, certain town officials who had their own personal designs on the ski area, have played every devious trick in the book to obstruct our business and take over the property at the lowest possible point,” Leavitt said. Town officials mentioned in the lawsuit are First Selectman Jon Brayshaw and former Chairman of the Middlefield Board of Finance Paul Pizzo.

For more, see Former Powder Ridge owner files suit against town.

"Sovereign Citizens" Continue On Home-Snatching Binge By Using Phony Deeds To Snag Property Titles; Actions Characteristic Of Domestic Terrorist Group

In Augusta, Georgia, The Augusta Chronicle reports:

  • "Richard-Terence: Jenkins" appeared to be a man of means, with deeds in his name to six Augusta houses and a seventh in Snellville, Ga., all notarized and on file with the clerk of Superior Court. He also had a mailing address at a house in Hephzibah and a car tag specifying "diplomatic corps."

  • The houses -- Jenkins doesn't actually own them -- were toward the low end of a portfolio being assembled by nine "sovereign citizens" now wanted on federal racketeering charges out of DeKalb County. While his actions seemed merely strange to Augusta Realtors, whose listings Jenkins deeded to himself for "one silver dollar," they're actually characteristic of a domestic terrorist group beginning to gain ground in Georgia.


  • Members of the group wanted in DeKalb were found actually moving into higher-valued homes around Atlanta after having the locks changed and utilities switched on.


  • At least 100,000 Americans consider themselves "sovereign citizens" and actively practice a bizarre set of behaviors, including adding punctuation marks to their names, said lawyer Mark Potok, spokesman for the Southern Poverty Law Center. Jenkins, for example, added the colon and hyphen to his name. Sovereigns believe the U.S. government established by the Constitution was replaced during a secret, treasonous takeover, according to an article in the center's upcoming Intelligence Report.

For more, see 'Sovereignty' basis for area racketeering (Group doesn't obey statutory laws).

NH Homeowner Gets 60-Day Reprieve From Foreclosure; Bad Media PR May Have Caused BofA To Reconsider Borrower's Requested Loan Mod

In Sandown, New Hampshire, the Eagle Tribune reports:

  • All Victoria Gauvin wants to do is pay her mortgage and stay in her home. But since May, she has called Bank of America repeatedly. Her attorney has called Bank of America repeatedly. Mail has been received by the bank, but has gone unanswered. And though Gauvin said she was just two months behind on her payments, the bank is asking her for more than $86,000. She doesn't have much time left to get any answers or reach any agreements: The foreclosure date on the notice she received in May is Aug. 5.

For more, see Sandown mother faces foreclosure Thursday.

For story update, see Sandown woman gets 60-day reprieve on foreclosure:

  • Bank of America has postponed — for 60 days — foreclosure on her home of 14 years. Gauvin said she is talking to a bank representative about changing the terms of her mortgage. [...] On Tuesday, the bank assigned an employee to her case. Prior to that, numerous calls from Gauvin and her lawyer to the bank had gone without a response from anyone familiar with her case, compounding Gauvin's frustration as foreclosure loomed closer.

  • On Tuesday, a Bank of America customer service representative called four times, Gauvin said. "It's a step in the right direction," said attorney Christopher Perry, who is representing Gauvin for free. Gauvin has a 60-day postponement while the bank reviews her file, Perry said. He said he thinks bad publicity motivated the bank's actions.

Thanks to Mike Dillon of for the heads-up on the stories.

Another Successful Intervention For Atlanta TV Station's 11Alive Help Desk; Helps Homeowner Work Out House Payments After Getting Loan Mod Jerk-Around

In Covington, Georgia, WXIA-TV Channel 11 reports:

  • For a Covington homeowner, it was a refinancing nightmare as documents could not be found and it could have meant foreclosure. Lisa Dailey was one of thousands who sat for hours at last month's Neighborhood Assistance Mortgage event in downtown Atlanta, hoping to refinance a home loan and keep her house. She sat for 19 hours, then came back a second for another 4 hours.But it was worth it. She got an assurance from Freddie Mac that she'd get a rate lower than the 6% she currently had.

  • She left with the basic paperwork and awaited the final documents from Freddie Mac. "I came home ecstatic. I have this deal and everything will be okay. Then 35 days later, no one knows what I was talking about," Ms. Dailey said.

  • Then, the bottom fell out. "No paperwork. Nobody remembered me being there and the promise that was given to me," she added. "My mortgage company was calling me. They kept saying I was behind and I needed to pay up arrears or I would be foreclosed in about 30 days. They have no record of me ever speaking to Freddie Mac," she said.

  • The 11Alive Help Desk got right on it. We contacted Freddie Mac in Washington. They wasted no time in sorting it out. "You've got the 3.25% and it's done," we told Ms. Dailey. "Thank you so much. You did for me in a day what it took a year for me to do. Thank you so much. I am just beyond excited. My kids can breathe. I can breathe. I can breathe," Ms. Dailey said. Her home and mortgage are now secure.

Source: Homeowner Saved from Foreclosure; Refinance Found.

See Another Lender Changes Its Tune When Local Media Intervenes On Behalf Of Screwed-Over Homeowner Seeking Loan Modification for another recent successful intervention for the WXIA-TV 11Alive Help Desk.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Targeting Foreclosure-Related Scams A Good Talking Point For State AG's Running For Governor?

Sarasota Herald Tribune columnist Tom Lyons raises a question on the timing of the recent announcement by Florida Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum regarding the probe into three foreclosure mill law firms that have been the target of many accusations alleging the manufacturing of phony legal documents in foreclosure actions.

  • What does it take for our Attorney General to finally notice the smell of potential fraud? I'm wondering if maybe it helps that he is in a scary dead heat primary race with his hope of becoming the Republican nominee for governor. Targeting sneaky lawyers in a criminal fraud investigation could make for a nice talking point.(1)

For the entire column, see Investigation's timing is reason for skepticism.

(1) Other state attorneys general who are running for governor of their respective states who may be getting pretty decent mileage out of targeting foreclosure-related scams are:

Spotlight Continues To Shine On Florida Foreclosure Mills

The American Bar Association's ABA Journal recently weighed in with coverage of the alleged fraudulent document rackets being run by Florida foreclosure mill law firms.

For the story, see Fla. AG Probe: Did 3 Law Firms Get 1,000s of Foreclosure Judgments By Possible Wrongdoing?

For earlier ABA Journal stories on one of the foreclosure mill operations, see:

"Buy & Bail" Activities By "Underwater" Homeowners Continue, Despite Beefed Up Fannie, Freddie Mortgage Lending Underwriting Standards

Bloomberg News reports:

  • Harvey Collier, a mortgage broker in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, says he gets as many as 10 calls a month from people planning to default on their loans. The twist: They first want financing to buy another home.

  • Real estate professionals call it “buy and bail,” acquiring a new house before the buyer’s credit rating is ruined by walking away from the old one because it’s “underwater,” or worth less than the mortgage. It’s an attempt to escape payments on a home whose value may never recover while securing a new property, often at a lower price with a more affordable loan.

  • The practice, which constitutes fraud if borrowers lie on loan applications, is continuing even after Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the biggest U.S. mortgage-finance companies, beefed up standards to prevent it, according to brokers such as Collier and Meg Burns, senior associate director for congressional affairs and communications at the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

For more, see 'Buy and Bail' Homeowners Get Past Loan Restrictions.

New York To Use New Law To Hammer Loan Servicers Giving Financially Strapped Homeowners Loan Modification Jerk-Around

In New York City, ProPublica reports:

  • New York regulators have crafted new laws to give the state authority to punish mortgage servicers -- something the Treasury Department, in administering its struggling mortgage modification program, has so far failed to do. The new rules set clear standards for how servicers must handle homeowners seeking a modification.(1)

  • "We will not hesitate to bring an enforcement action or to refer an enforcement action," said Richard Neiman, the New York superintendent of banks. "In fact, we'll be looking for that case in the event of any wrongdoing, because we know the message it will send to the entire industry."


  • The New York laws, which go into effect Oct. 1, lay out how servicers should handle homeowners in danger of foreclosure.(2)

For more, see New York Jumps Ahead of Feds With Law Holding Mortgage Companies Accountable on Mods.

See also, Housing Wire: NY Establishes Loss Mitigation, Fair Dealing Duties for Mortgage Servicers.

(1) See ProPublica: Bankruptcy Judges, Justice Dept. Rip Mortgage Companies for the type of abuses and egregious practices by mortgage servicers that precipitated the need for this new law.

(2) Among other things, the new laws require servicers to have adequate staffing and systems to ensure that homeowners "are not required to submit multiple copies of required documents," a frequent problem, and prohibit servicers from continuing foreclosure proceedings if the homeowner is being evaluated for a modification, the story states. ProPublica has previously reported that foreclosures occurring during the modification process have been a persistent problem.

Unwitting Tenant Evicted From One, Faces Boot From Another Home In F'closure w/in 6 Months; Loses Cash Paid For Home Repairs In Bogus Rent To Own Deal

In Reno , Nevada, The Reno Gazette Journal reports:

  • In just six months, Stephanie Williamson was evicted from one home that she was renting, and she is about to be evicted from a second. Both of the Reno homes Williamson rented were foreclosed on. “As a single mom with two boys, I don’t exactly have all this extra income to be shelling out deposits,” Williamson said.


  • Williamson’s first rental was a lease-to-own, and the 39-year-old thought she’d found the perfect spot for her family. She and her two sons were settled on the quiet cul-de-sac and friendly with neighbors. A garden was starting to flourish. But when she finally learned her landlord had been skipping mortgage payments for nearly a year, Williamson’s life was uprooted.

  • Despite investing in multiple home repairs, Williamson was forced to pack everything up and move across town in March.(1) Her children changed schools, leaving their friends behind. She found a new home through a property management company and thought she would be safe. But she wasn’t. Just three weeks after she moved in, before everyone finished unpacking, she found a notice of default taped to her door.


  • Though she hasn’t been formally evicted yet, Williamson said she’s “playing the waiting game” in a house that hardly looks like a home, because, “I don’t want to bother putting up pictures if I’ll just be taking them down in a few weeks.” “I’m just waiting for someone to come knock on the door and tell me to move out,” she said.

For the story, see Growing number of renters displaced (Legislation helps foreclosure victims assert their rights).

(1) While not to suggest that these methods of dealing in real estate are in any way nefarious in and of themselves, "rent to own" deals and sales pursuant to what are referred to in different parts of the country as land contracts, contracts for deed, agreements for deed (among other names) have long been used as handy ways for unscrupulous property owners to milk every last dollar out of a property with significant legal problems (ie. homes in foreclosure, homes with a defective title, building/health code violations, encroachments, improvements made without proper permits, etc., etc.) by unloading them on unsophisticated home buyers/tenants who fail to obtain title insurance or otherwise fail to check the legal status of the property being bought or rented.

Nowadays, it's gotten to the point where a prospective tenant can't even enter into a standard one-year lease without first checking the title history (and possibly obtain some evidence as to the fair market value of the property in the case of a 1 to 4 family home or condo) for the property being rented to see:

  • that the prospective tenant is dealing either directly with the property owner or someone with proper authorization to act for the owner,
  • that a foreclosure notice (ie. a lis pendens or a notice of default) hasn't been filed against the property, and
  • if a foreclosure notice hasn't been filed against the property, how far "underwater" the landlord is on the property being rented (the more "underwater" the landlord is - the greater the chance he/she will begin pocketing the rents and stiffing the bank out of its mortgage payments in the future - assuming, of course, he/she hasn't already started doing so).

Another Novice Homebuyer Gets Screwed Over In Land Contract Deal; Sinks $15K Into Property Rehab, Now Faces The Boot Over Undisclosed Title Claim

In Racine, Wisconsin, The Journal Times reports:

  • After transforming a hovel into a source of neighborhood pride, Noelia and Joaquin Raygoza have been ordered to leave. Not long after moving into a house they had agreed to buy at 1404 Buchanan St., the couple began receiving eviction notices - in someone else's name. Because of an apparent mix-up with an old foreclosure, the Raygozas and two grandchildren are the ones scheduled to be tossed out in a week.

  • That's a big blow to a family that spent much of the past seven months turning it into a habitable place, upgrading plumbing, repairing sidewalks, putting in floors and more. They remember hauling out 14 loads of garbage, too, all to the relief of neighbors.


  • In January, the couple signed paperwork to buy the property for about $26,000. A company called Original Resources Inc., based in San Jose, Calif., entered into a land contract that was supposed to transfer full ownership to the Raygozas after a two-year probationary period. Noelia and husband Joaquin, 53, moved in along with grandsons Sergio, 21, and Eric, 18. [...] Family members are skeptical that they'll get back what they put into the house. They put profits from previous sales and other savings toward the estimated $15,000 in renovations.(1)

For more, see Fixed up, then forced out? - Mix-up threatens family's eviction after extensive renovations.

For story update, see Family gets month reprieve from eviction over mix-up:

  • Noelia Raygoza said someone from Original Resources Inc., the California company that sold [the couple] the house, planned to arrive here soon to help sort it out. She also plans to meet with Legal Action of Wisconsin(2) for possible legal assistance.

(1) In all likelihood, the novice homebuyer failed to either obtain a title insurance policy or otherwise check the status of the property title, including the status of any unsatisfied liens, or other clouds on title / title defects that may require the filing of a lawsuit to clear up. See generally, The Quiet Title Lawsuit; Fixing Title Defects in Real Property.

This story provides a good example of what can happen to a homebuyer who begins sinking in cash and sweat equity into a home without first getting legal advice or doing any due diligence when attempting to buy the property.

(2) According to their website, Legal Action of Wisconsin is a non-profit law firm with offices in six cities serving 39 southern Wisconsin counties providing free legal representation for low-income people.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Victims: Crooked Contractor Left Trail Of Homeowners Facing Possible Mechanics Lien F'closures; Accused Of Pocketing Customer Deposits, Stiffing Subs

In West Palm Beach, Florida, The Palm Beach Post reports:

  • Roofer Gregory Haddox followed Hurricane Wilma to the tarp-covered homes of Palm Beach County. Soon after, in 2006, he was jailed because he had no license.

  • Despite his guilty plea, Haddox has continued to operate, leaving a trail of lawsuits and angry home­owners and subcontractors in his wake. The people who hired United Roofing Systems LLC say Haddox has failed to perform in a variety of ways:

    1) He has taken their deposits and done no work.
    2) He has installed shoddy roofs.
    3) He has failed to pay subcontractors, leaving homeowners with the bill.

  • At least 30 homeowners are now facing possible foreclosure from unpaid [sub] contractors.


  • In May, Lido Holdings, doing business as Campany Roofing of West Palm Beach, was awarded an $893,000 judgment plus $446 a day in interest against United in Palm Beach County Circuit Court. [...] In late July, Campany sent 30 homeowners notices of intent to file foreclosure, [Campany's attorney Duncan] Farmer said. Before that, the firm worked out arrangements with 17 other homeowners. The majority are in Palm Beach County.

For more, see West Palm roofer leaves long trail of lawsuits, unpaid bills, misery.

(1) Reportedly, Haddox, 37, came to South Florida from Ohio, where he had a string of judgments, foreclosures, bankruptcies, federal and state tax liens and other problems, according to court records. In October, an Akron municipal court issued a warrant for his arrest on theft charges, the story states.

Blind Senior Bilked For $100K+ In Home Improvement Horror Story After Fire Damages Home

In Jacksonville, Florida, The Florida Times Union reports:

  • [Mary] Lindsey, 66, has gone totally blind since [a] January 2009 fire devastated her Westside Jacksonville home. But she doesn't need her eyes to see that things have gone horribly awry.

  • Where a contractor promised new replacement appliances, there is an old, cracked stove and an aging refrigerator. Where she believed there were improvements to her backyard, the old fence still stands and her pool is filled with construction debris. Where she thought she was financially stable if not comfortable, she now finds herself out more than $100,000.

  • And although advocates call her case extreme, they also believe that there could be more and more seniors who, like Lindsey, are falling victim to fraud and scams. Yet there have never been more resources to help seniors avoid them or get help if they do have a problem. It's just a matter of finding them before it's too late.


  • For Mary Lindsey, there is now a glimmer of hope in the 18-month ordeal that left her with incomplete home repairs and facing foreclosure after she signed one too many papers at the request of a contractor. Her daughter and son-in-law have arrived to help. And after a well-placed call to ElderSource,(1) she is getting legal help as well as help from volunteers in the community who heard her story.

For more, see First Coast seniors get more help to avoid scams (New programs offer assistance to those in need of protection from fraud and scams).

(1) According to their website, ElderSource is a a private, not for profit, independent agency, is the state designated Area Agency on Aging and Aging Resource Center for Northeast Florida covering Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, St. Johns and Volusia counties, and belongs to a nation wide network of over 650 Area Agencies on Aging.

More Journalists Sought To Report On Victimized Homeowners' Loan Modification Horror Stories

ProPublica announces:

  • Earlier this year, to help shed light on problems with the federal mortgage modification program, we launched ProPublica's Reporting Matchmaker, a project designed to capture the stories of struggling homeowners by matching them with reporters in their area. To date, this partnership has generated stories like that of 65-year-old Karol Enferadi and her experience with Wells Fargo, which was published on MarketWatch last week.

  • Journalists, it is not too late to join the Reporting Matchmaker network. When you do, ProPublica will connect you with homeowners in your area who want to talk with local reporters. A quick look at the Reporting Matchmaker map will show you whether there is currently a match in your area.

Source: The Reporting Matchmaker Is Looking for More Loan Mod Stories.

Whistleblower Lawsuit: Fannie Made Mess, Mishandled Money In Handling HAMP

The Center for Public Integrity reports:

  • Fannie Mae executives bungled their stewardship of the federal government’s massive foreclosure-prevention campaign, creating a bureaucratic muddle characterized by “mismanagement and gross waste of public funds,” according to a whistleblower lawsuit by a former Fannie Mae executive and consultant.

  • Caroline Herron, a former Fannie vice president who returned to the mortgage giant in 2009 as a high-level consultant, claims that the homeowner-relief effort was marred by delays, missteps and executives preoccupied with their institution’s short-term financial interests.

  • It appeared that Fannie Mae officers were focused on maximizing incentive payments available to Fannie Mae under various federal programs – even if this meant wasting taxpayer money and delaying the implementation of high-priority Treasury programs,” she claims in the lawsuit.

For more, see Whistleblower: Fannie Mae Bungled HAMP Anti-Foreclosure Program.

In related stories, see:

For the lawsuit, see Herron v. Fannie Mae, et al.

Woman Wins Battle To Escape Legal Grasp Of Guardianship "Kidnapping"; Now Faces Possible Loss Of Home To Satisfy $100K+ In Unpaid Guardian, Legal Fees

In Hennepin County, Minnesota, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:

  • Isabelle Jessich went to court Friday with two goals: to regain her liberty from a court-appointed guardian and to prevent him from selling her Edina home to pay $100,000 in fees for himself and seven lawyers.

  • Jessich succeeded in getting control of everything but her money, but she now faces the prospect of being sent back to a nursing home while her 17-year-old daughter could be placed in foster care.

  • Jessich, 57, has been battling for 20 months to take control of her life from Joseph Vogel, a professional guardian and conservator appointed by a Hennepin County judge in December 2008 to make decisions for her. Last year, Jessich made major strides to overcome the eating disorder, neurological problems and alcoholism that had made her a ward of the court. But Vogel would not let her leave a Robbinsdale nursing home and rejoin her daughter Allison, who was left to fend for herself.

  • After the Star Tribune reported on Jessich's situation in August 2009,(1) state inspectors investigated and cited Robbinsdale Rehab and Care Center for failing to release Jessich. She moved back home in December. Since then, Jessich testified Friday, she has continued with physical therapy and other recovery activities. She said she is leading a "normal life."

  • But her struggle with Vogel over her finances could bring chaos back into her life. Vogel said he's owed almost $25,000, and lawyers in the case -- whose fees must be paid by Jessich -- have racked up more than $80,000 in bills.(2)


  • [Her] house was nearly lost at a foreclosure auction, but Jessich arranged for someone to pay the back mortgage payments. Jessich refused to identify her "guardian angel," and the judge warned that failing to answer the question would hurt her position.

For more, see Edina woman gets control of life, may lose home (Isabelle Jessich got rid of her court-appointed guardian, but her house could be sold to pay legal fees).

(1) See Minneapolis Star Tribune: 'I feel like I'm in jail' (A court is keeping Isabelle Jessich in a nursing home even though a doctor says she's sane, sober and fit to leave. Is this how guardianship laws should work?).

(2) For other posts and links to other media reports on state-sanctioned, court-ordered guardianship ripoff rackets, see:

These guardianship ripoff rackets have been going on for decades, as evidenced by a New York Times story that dates back to June 29, 1988. See 3 in Surrogate's Office Charged With Thefts.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

State AG's Office: News Of Earlier Probe Into Central Florida Foreclosure Mill Triggered Flood Of Complaints Against Current Trio Under Investigation

A short excerpt from a larger story in the Sarasota Herald Tribune on the recently-announced probe into Florida foreclosure mills Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson in Fort Lauderdale, Shapiro & Fishman in Tampa, and the Law Offices of David J. Stern in Plantation:

  • Another foreclosure mill, Florida Default Law Group in Tampa, is already the focus of a civil investigation by the AG's office into whether it presents faulty bank paperwork in thousands of foreclosures each month. News of that investigation led to a flood of complaints from lawyers and citizens about the three other law firms now under investigation, the attorney general's office said.(1)(2)

Source: State subpoenas records from 'foreclosure mills'.

(1) In a recent story in the St. Petersburg Times (see Attorney general investigates law firms in alleged falsified foreclosures), noted foreclosure defense attorney April Charney weighed on this probe:

  • "We have fraudulent documents in each and every foreclosure case of mine and in every foreclosure case filed in this country," said lawyer April Charney, a foreclosure expert with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid. "There is layer upon layer of bogus documents in the assignments, powers of attorney, pleading, judgments, affidavits, service of process, etc., from one end to the other," she said. The largest of what Charney and other critics call "foreclosure mills" is the Stern firm.

(2) Does anyone know if Florida U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene has started "selling short" the corporate stock of David Stern's public-held company in order to make another billion??? See St. Peterburg Times: Jeff Greene's real estate dealings need explaining.

The PSA & "The Alphabet Problem" In “Proving Up” Unbroken Chain Of “Assignments & Transfers” Of Notes, Mortgages In Foreclosure Defense Litigation

Consumer bankruptcy litigation attorney O. Max Gardner III writes:

  • The Pooling and Servicing Agreement (PSA) is the document that actually creates a residential mortgage backed securitized trust and establishes the obligations and authority of the Master Servicer and the Primary Servicer. The PSA also establishes that mandatory rules and procedures for the sales and transfers of the mortgages and mortgage notes from the originators to the Trust. It is this unbroken chain of assignments and negotiations that creates what I have called “The Alphabet Problem.”

For more, see The Alphabet Problem and the Pooling and Servicing Agreement.

For 20 of the reasons you need to request through formal discovery in any mortgage-related lawsuit the PSA Agreement and why it is relevant, see Max Gardner’s Top Reasons for Wanting a Pooling & Servicing Agreement.

See Finding Investor Restrictions on Loan Modifications for some guidance on locating pooling and servicing agreements.

Indiana AG Files Three More Lawsuits Against Foreclosure Rescue Outfits For Violating State Rules; Runs String Of Legal Actions To 22 This Year

In Indianapolis, Indiana, The Indianapolis Star reports:

  • Despite a two-year crackdown by his office, the state attorney general said for-profit foreclosure consultants are still ripping off Indiana homeowners by promising mortgage foreclosure relief but not providing it. Attorney General Gregory Zoeller filed three more lawsuits Friday against "foreclosure rescue" companies, using new state regulations meant to make it easier to put shady operators out of business.


  • A new state law, effective July 1, requires for-profit foreclosure prevention companies to post a $25,000 bond with the attorney general in order to do business in the state. The three lawsuits are the first against foreclosure prevention companies under the new law.

  • The new cases make 22 lawsuits that the attorney general has filed this year against foreclosure consultants. Investigations are under way on an additional 154 consumer complaints that might lead to additional lawsuits. Last year the AG filed 11 lawsuits against foreclosure consultants.


  • The new lawsuits were filed against Foreclosure Relief Services National of Indianapolis; Home Loan Modification of San Diego; and a group of eight interrelated companies and individuals in Florida. All are charged with not paying the Indiana bond and other violations of state consumer laws.

For the story, see State warns against 'foreclosure rescues' (Attorney general files 3 new lawsuits and says rip-offs are continuing).

Monday, August 16, 2010

Southern California Man Gets 4 Years After Copping Grand Theft Plea In $300K Home Equity Refinancing Ripoff

In Southern California, The Downey Patriot reports:

  • A convicted con man who operated a Montebello realty company was sentenced Aug. 6 to four years in state prison, the District Attorney’s office has announced. Raul Altamirano, 53, pleaded guilty on June 14 to one count of grant theft and admitted an allegation that the taking was more than $150,000. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Bianco ordered Altamirano to pay $301,470 in restitution. Bianco dismissed three counts – grand theft, loan application fraud and filing a false document – under the terms of the plea agreement.

  • Altamirano was charged on May 13 for defrauding a victim in 2007. The victim sought the defendant’s assistance for the purpose of taking $100,000 out of the equity of her home. Without the victim’s knowledge, Altamirano went on to take out two loans worth $429,000, stripping the home of all its equity. The victim never received any money, prosecutors said.

  • Altamirano, owner of Wings Realty Inc., was the one-time subject of investigative news reports(1) for allegedly baiting victims through foreclosure and loan modification seminars. Altamirano began holding seminars shortly after pleading no contest to one count of grand theft and being placed on five years probation in a 2004 real estate fraud case.

Source: Man sentenced in real estate fraud case.

(1) See Predators Prey On Homeowners Facing Foreclosures for video report showing Altimarano in action.

Cops: Unwitting Homebuyers Face F'closure After Seller Pockets $100K In Sale Proceeds Due To Lienholder; Title Insurer's Police Report Triggers Probe

In Monroe County, Pennsylvania, the Pocono Record reports:

  • The owner of Signature Real Estate in East Stroudsburg was charged Friday with falsely reporting a property he owned as being mortgage-free, selling that property and then keeping the money from the sale for himself. Eric Kerchner, a detective with the Monroe County District Attorney's Office, arrested John E. Fitzmorris, 55, of Stroud Township, who was then placed in Monroe County Correctional Facility in lieu of $10,000 bail.

  • Kerchner began an investigation after a Stewart Title Guarantee Co. representative on Feb. 17 reported a theft of $99,674.25. The investigation revealed the following:

    In November 2001, Moises T. Ramos bought a 161 E. Wood Drive, Penn Estates, property with a Wells Fargo home mortgage.

    In February 2007, Ramos sold the property to Fitzmorris with the understanding that Fitzmorris would pay off the mortgage in one lump sum, but Fitzmorris did not do so and continued making monthly payments on that mortgage.

    In November 2008, Fitzmorris sold the property to Eltrice and Rawle Davidson. At the closing, Fitzmorris submitted a false owner's affidavit that did not list the Wells Fargo mortgage and received $99,674.25 from Bank of America, the Davidsons' mortgage company. He kept that money as if it were his own, instead of using it to pay off the Wells Fargo mortgage. He also stopped making the monthly Wells Fargo loan payments on the property.

    Wells Fargo later initiated a mortgage foreclosure action against the Davidsons as the property owners and against Ramos as the mortgage holder.

  • Charged with theft and tampering with public records, Fitzmorris will appear in district court at a future date.

Source: Eastburg Realtor charged in theft case.

State Regulator, California Bar Have Hands Full Hammering Real Estate Agents, Attorneys In Loan Modification, Short Sale, "Lawyer-Renting" Scams

California Watch reports:

  • Amid the downturn in California's real estate market, the state has disciplined a record number of real estate licensees and is investigating thousands of attorneys involved in loan modification and short-sale scams.


  • The [California Department of Real Estate] revoked, suspended or accepted the surrender of 886 real estate licenses from July 2009 through June 30, 2010. That's a 60 percent jump during the past three years. The department has nearly 5,400 open investigations, many for scams involving loan-modification scams and, increasingly, short sales. It has also issued nearly 600 desist and refrain orders to unlicensed firms and individuals since July 2006.

  • Similarly, the State Bar of California is investigating more than 2,000 of its members for involvement in foreclosure fraud. Twelve attorneys have resigned, three have been disbarred, and five have trials pending, said Suzan Anderson, supervising trial counsel of the bar's special team on loan modification. "I can't remember a time, not to this extent," when so many attorneys were being disciplined for misconduct, Anderson said.


  • The attorneys tend to join companies that want to purport being a law firm, she said. "The attorney is pretty much renting and leasing his bar number to the loan modification company," she said.(1)

For the story, see Real estate, attorney scams rise amid foreclosures.

(1) See ETHICS ALERT: Legal Services to Distressed Homeowners and Foreclosure Consultants on Loan Modifications for guidance on the types of loan modification activities The State Bar of California discourages its members from engaging in.

Mortgage Industry Move To Wipe Out Paperwork Maintenance Hassles Continues; Use Of Fraudulent Practices In F'closure Cases May Become Harder To Detect

Housing Wire reports:

  • BNY Mellon Corporate Trust launched a new eVault service for its clients to receive, process and store electronic mortgage documents. The service is the latest in the industry to provide deliver and secure storage for electronic documents. Xerox has its own MERS-compatible eVault system, introduced earlier this year.

  • BNY Mellon Corporate Trust is the corporate brand for The Bank of New York Mellon. The company said transforming paper-based processes into an all-electronic one boosts efficiency, creates transparency for participants to see data and exchange information and eliminates delays that come with physically mailing documents and manually entering data into computer systems allows faster delivery to the secondary market.

  • We’re excited to be redefining the role of a document custodian through our introduction of eVault, a service that changes how mortgage documents are generated and handled,” Rick Stanley, executive vice president and head of structured credit at BNY Mellon Corporate Trust, said in a press statement. “Documents no longer have to be printed on paper to be signed, and they don’t have to be manually shipped or physically stored. By making the mortgage process fully electronic, eVault allows lenders to reduce their costs through automation.”

  • The eVault system integrates with the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), an industry-led initiative to identify and track individual mortgages and related information electronically. “By using electronic commerce, eVault eliminates paper and helps streamline the mortgage process, which is one of the goals of MERS,” Stanley added.

For more, see BNY Mellon Launches eVault Service for Digital Mortgage Docs.

In related stories on the ongoing move to paperless mortgage lending, see:

Thanks to Mike Dillon of for the heads-up on the story.

State AG Announces Probe Into Florida Foreclosure Mills For Allegedly Manufacturing Phony Documents Used To Take Homes Away From Delinquent Borrowers

The Palm Beach Post reports:

  • The Florida Attorney General's office announced this morning investigations into the state's three largest foreclosure law firms for allegations of unfair and deceptive actions. The firms, sometimes called "foreclosure mills," are the Fort Lauderdale Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson, Tampa-based Shapiro & Fishman, and the Law Offices of David J. Stern, based in Plantation.

  • Last month, a lawsuit seeking class action status was filed by a Fort Lauderdale attorney against Stern claiming the firm generated fraudulent mortgage assignments when pursuing foreclosures. An assignment is held by the entity that has the right to receive mortgage payments. Stern's practice, which the lawsuit claims filed up to 7,000 foreclosure cases in Florida every month last year, also is alleged in the suit to have pursued foreclosures for lenders that didn't own the debt on the homes.


  • A press release from Attorney General Bill McCollum's office says because many mortgages have been bought and sold by financial institutions multiple times, key paperwork involved in the process to obtain foreclosure judgments is often missing. "On numerous occasions, allegedly fabricated documents have been presented to the courts in foreclosure actions to obtain final judgments against homeowners," the press release states. "Thousands of final judgments of foreclosure against Florida homeowners may have been the result of the allegedly improper actions of the law firms under investigation."(1)

Source: State probes whether three law firms falsified foreclosure documents.

See also:

Sarasota Herald Tribune:

  • Sarasota's legal community has sounded the alarm for years over shoddy or fraudulent paperwork being used to take thousands of properties from Florida homeowners in foreclosure. Local judges have reversed foreclosure sales, thrown cases out of court and created extra reviews to help ensure that attorneys for lenders follow the rules. On Tuesday, Attorney General Bill McCollum took the fight statewide, launching investigations into three of the state's largest "foreclosure mills."

South Florida Sun Sentinel: Three South Florida law firms investigated over foreclosure cases:

  • The Florida attorney general issued [] subpoenas this week, requesting reams of paperwork by the end of the month from attorneys working in the foreclosure capital of the country. [...] The subpoenas request documents going back to at least Jan. 1, 2008.

Mother Jones: Florida AG Unveils Foreclosure Mills Probe:

(1) Those who have recently bought a home that had been previously foreclosed upon within the last several years better pull out and review their title insurance policy to determine that they are protected against future title claims that could arise by reason of these potentially void foreclosure judgments.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Unpaid Water Bill Leads To Another Shutoff For One S. Fla. Condo; Unpaid HOA Fees Cause Assoc's Cash Shortage; May Need To Start "Reverse F'closures"

In Lake Worth, Florida, WPEC-TV Channel 12 reports:

  • Residents of a Lake Worth condo are once again without water. People who live at the Sun Home Condominium say the water went out Monday. Residents fear a repeat of what happened in June when the water was off for a week. Tuesday, the condo's bookkeeper tells us the building is again behind on its utility bills by $1,400.

  • With many owners overseas, the bookkeeper says it's hard to raise the money needed. Compounding the problem, sources tell us half the units are in foreclosure and those owners are not paying the maintenance fee which pays the water bill.(1) Condo resident Tenille DeJesus says, "My boyfriend had to go to work without taking a shower. I can't cook really. I can't clean my dishes. My toilet, I can't flush." The condo's bookkeeper says she hopes to get the water back on in a few days.

Source: Condo residents left without water-again.

(1) This condo association may be a prime candidate for the process being referred to in Florida as "reverse foreclosure." See South Florida Sun Sentinel: South Florida homeowner associations get tough collecting delinquent fees.

  • Homeowner associations throughout South Florida are becoming more assertive in the fight to maintain property values and their own bottom lines amid one of the worst housing collapses since the Great Depression.

  • A new legal strategy and a sweeping condominium reform bill are empowering boards hit hard by budget shortfalls after a deluge of foreclosures in recent years. Associations now are attempting so-called reverse foreclosures, which force lenders to seize homes more quickly than they otherwise would. Banks often delay taking back these troubled properties to avoid having to pay past-due assessments.

Sacramento DA Beefs Up Forces Targeting Loan Modification, Home Equity, Forged Land Document Ripoff Rackets

In Sacramento, California, CBS13 reports:

  • Sacramento County is cracking down on criminals targeting desperate homeowners. The DA's office is beefing up their Real Estate Fraud Task Force. They're going after people claiming they can bail out homeowners from foreclosure, and also those who steal home equity, and forge documents.

  • "It was a crime we didn't prosecute much before the real estate crash, but criminals are entrepreneurs, they see an opportunity and they move in," said Sacramento County Chief Deputy DA Marv Stern. The dedicated staff is fully funded by a fee paid for every document filed in the Sacramento County Clerk-Recorder's Office.

Source: Sac DA Task Force Targets Real Estate Fraud.

23-Year Old Med School Dropout Seeks $1.7B From Lender In F'closure Defense Suit; Bank Try To Move Case To Federal Court Gets Boot Back To State Forum

In Pomona, California, the Los Angeles Times reports:

  • As foreclosure fights rage in the nation's courts, the battle over Shahida and Ather Ali's house in Diamond Bar looks like a classic mismatch. In one corner, weighing in at $2.5 trillion in assets, sits Deutsche Bank, which is attempting to evict the Alis from their home of 24 years.

  • In the other is Zeenat Ali, the couple's diminutive 23-year-old daughter, who dropped out of medical school and sued Deutsche Bank after it foreclosed on the property. Hoping to reclaim title for her parents, Ali has spent half a year litigating in state and federal courts without the help of a lawyer. And though she has no formal legal training, the soft-voiced, 120-pound bantam is more than holding her own.


  • The banks have learned not to underestimate her. In a challenge to her budding legal skills, they sought in May to move her lawsuit to federal court in Los Angeles, where they thought they'd have an easier go of it. Ali responded with 170 pages of legal filings. After reviewing them, U.S. District Judge Gary Feess sided with Ali and last month sent the case back to Pomona Superior.(1)

For more, see Fighting parents' foreclosure, Diamond Bar student wins rounds against Deutsche Bank (With no legal training, Zeenat Ali, 23, has been doing battle in court, winning judgments against the bank and two other companies mainly on procedural grounds).

For a story update, see Eviction stayed 45 more days in Diamond Bar woman's foreclosure fight.

(1) For a Willamette Law Review article that addresses, among other things, the apparent abuse by some corporate defendants in civil cases of removing state court cases to Federal court (which imposes a cost in time and money on plaintiffs and the court system) in an attempt to shop for a friendlier litigation forum, see Erroneous Removal As A Tool For Silent Tort Reform: An Empirical Analysis Of Fee Awards And Fraudulent Joinder (article also available at

Appeals Court Boots Back Another Florida Trial Judge's Rubber-Stamped F'closure Ruling; "Uncontested Facts Of Record" Show "No Evidence" Of Assignment

In Northern Florida, the state's First District Court of Appeal has recently issued this short & sweet unanimous ruling in a foreclosure action, vacating and booting back a rubber-stamped judgment of Walton County Circuit Court Judge Kelvin C. Wells (bold text is my emphasis, not in the original text):

  • In this mortgage foreclosure action, appellee, American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc., obtained a final summary judgment. This judgment relies in part upon appellee's allegation that it is the assignee of the original holders of the mortgage and note executed by appellant. As all parties acknowledge, however, the uncontested facts of record do not establish that appellee is presently entitled to foreclose because the record contains no evidence of any assignment or comparable transaction.

    Accordingly, we VACATE the final summary judgment and REMAND this case for further proceedings.

For the ruling, see Kontos v. American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc., Case No. 1D09-2803 (Fla. App. 1st DCA, August 10, 2010).

Attorney Matthew W. Burns, Destin, Florida represented the homeowner.

Homeowner Facing Foreclosure Scores $45K & 2% Loan Modification Workout In Lawsuit Settlement With BofA, Countrywide, Fannie

In Northern California, the Appeal Democrat reports:

  • A Linda woman who once faced eviction from her home will be paid $45,000 and have her loan modified as part of the settlement to her legal challenge to the foreclosure by a bank and a government agency. "You've got to use a big stick to get their attention," Mary Carter, 60, said of the lawsuit filed against Bank of America, Countrywide and Fannie Mae.

  • Gregory Guth, the Yuba City attorney who represented Carter, said he took on the case convinced the Linda resident hadn't been dealt with fairly by the large institutions. "She had been wronged," Guth said. Her situation stemmed in part from the size and number of the institutions Carter faced in the foreclosure. "Nobody was on the same page," Guth said.


  • Now secure in her home with the case resolved, Carter thanked Guth, who represented her after other attorneys who set up appointments with Carter told her they wouldn't take the real estate-related issue. "Without him, this would not have happened," she said. [...] Carter's loan, as part of the case settlement, will be 2 percent through 2015 and caps at 5.125 percent.

For the story, see Linda woman wins legal battle to keep her home.