Show Me the NOTE…….

Homeowners’ rallying cry: Produce the note
By MITCH STACY – 19 hours ago
ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. (AP) — Kathy Lovelace lost her job and was about to lose her house, too. But then she made a seemingly simple request of the bank: Show me the original mortgage paperwork.
And just like that, the foreclosure proceedings came to a standstill.
Lovelace and other homeowners around the country are managing to stave off foreclosure by employing a strategy that goes to the heart of the whole nationwide mess.
During the real estate frenzy of the past decade, mortgages were sold and resold, bundled into securities and peddled to investors. In many cases, the original note signed by the homeowner was lost, stored away in a distant warehouse or destroyed.
Persuading a judge to compel production of hard-to-find or nonexistent documents can, at the very least, delay foreclosure, buying the homeowner some time and turning up the pressure on the lender to renegotiate the mortgage.
“I’m going to hang on for dear life until they can prove to me it belongs to them,” said Lovelace, a 50-year-old divorced mother who owns a $200,000 home in Zephyrhills, near Tampa. “I’ll try everything I can because it’s all I have left.”
In interviews with The Associated Press, lawyers, homeowners and advocates outlined the produce-the-note strategy. Exactly how many homeowners have employed it is unknown. Nor is it clear how successful it has been; some judges are more sympathetic than others.
More than 2.3 million homeowners faced foreclosure proceedings last year and millions more are in danger of losing their homes. On Wednesday, President Obama will unveil a plan to spend at least $50 billion to help homeowners fend off foreclosure.
Chris Hoyer, a Tampa lawyer whose Consumer Warning Network Web site offers the free court documents Lovelace used to file her request, has played a major role in promoting the produce-the-note strategy.
“We knew early on that the only relief that would ever come to people would be to the people who were in their houses,” Hoyer said. “Nobody was going to fashion any relief for people who have already lost their houses. So your only hope was to hang on any way you could.”
Tom Deutsch, deputy executive director of the American Securitization Forum, a group that represents banks, law firms and investors, dismissed the strategy as merely a stalling tactic, saying homeowners are “making lawyers jump through procedural hoops to delay what’s likely to be inevitable.”
Deutsch said the original note is almost always electronically retained and can eventually be found.
Judges are often willing to accept electronic documentation. And lenders are sometimes allowed to produce other paperwork to establish they are the holder of a loan. Still, assembling such documents to a judge’s satisfaction takes time, which to homeowners is the point.
Lovelace filed her produce-the-note demand last fall after the bank acknowledged that her original mortgage document had been lost or destroyed. Since then, there has been no activity on the foreclosure — no letters from the lender, no court filings.
The law firm handling the foreclosure for the lender refused to comment.
A University of Iowa study last year suggested that companies servicing mortgages are often negligent when it comes to producing the documentation to support foreclosure. In the study of more than 1,700 bankruptcy cases stemming from home foreclosures, the original note was missing more than 40 percent of the time, and other pieces of required documentation also were routinely left out.
The first big success of the produce-the-note movement came in 2007 when a federal judge in Cleveland threw out 14 foreclosures by Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. because the bank failed to produce the original notes.
Michael Silver, a lawyer for two of the families in that case, said at least one eventually lost their home. Still, he considers that a success.
“From the perspective of the person who’s in the home, you may have kept them in the house another 10 or 12 months,” he said. “If I can get a result with economic benefits to a client, then I think I won.”
Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio endorsed the strategy in a fiery speech on the House floor during debate on the federal bank bailout last month.
“Don’t leave your home,” she said. “Because you know what? When those companies say they have your mortgage, unless you have a lawyer that can put his or her finger on that mortgage, you don’t have that mortgage, and you are going to find they can’t find the paper up there on Wall Street.”
April Charney, head of foreclosure defense for Jacksonville Area Legal Aid in Florida, said the strategy has been so successful for her that she now travels around the country to train other lawyers in how to use it. She said she has gotten cases delayed for years by demanding that lenders produce paperwork they cannot find.
“This is an army of lawyers getting out there to stop foreclosures so we can get to the serious business of creating solutions,” Charney said. “Nothing good is going to happen as long as we continue to bleed homeowners.”
On the Net:
Consumer Warning Network:
American Securitization Forum:
Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Prices are probably as LOW as they are going to go

Daily Real Estate News September 9, 2008

Why This Autumn is a Great Time to Buy

This fall could be a particularly great time for first-time or buyers
long out of the market to jump in, say a variety of real estate professionals.

Here are the reasons why:

Prices are probably as low as they are going to go as the market stabilizes,
thanks to the government takeover of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Interest rates are likely to decline as Freddie and Fannie get government help.
The Federal Housing Administration recently boosted its loan
limits to $729,750 in expensive areas. It’s going to take some of that back
come Jan. 1, when the loan limit will shrink to $625,500.
The FHA allows down payments of as little as 3 percent, but that
will rise to 3.5 percent as of Oct. 1.
People scraping dollars together for a down payment should try to
set their closing for the end of this month.
The tax credit will shave $7,500 off a first-time buyer’s federal tax
bill due April 15. Buyers who don’t owe tax, will get the money
as a refund.The government’s definition of a first-time buyer
is anyone who hasn’t owned a home in the last three years.

Source: The Washington Post, Elizabeth Razzi (09/07/08)

Foreclosure Crisis

Unfortunately is isn’t over. There are still lots of home owners that will be having an adjustable rate mortgage adjust up. I have spoken to home owners who have been in there homes for years and because of a job loss, or an illness they can no longer afford to pay all of their credit debt, buy gas and food, medicine and pay for the roof over their head. It’s sad to see someone who has lived in their home for 15-20 years now have to pack it up & try to find an affordable place to live. You read it every day in the papers and hear it on the news. Some will say that “they” should have read the fine print, “they” should have realized what they were getting in to, etc., etc. But allot of these home owners were never told the truth about the adjustment on their rate. Some were told one thing and then as they are sitting at the closing table with all their belongings in the moving truck, the mortgage papers they are signing have a totally different term for them than what was originally given. They feel like I will lose my deposit, I have no place to sleep, etc., etc., if I don’t sign these papers. I am not saying that some of these home owners didn’t know what the future held for them with the payment adjustments, I am just saying that I am sure no one went out of their way to stress what the terms would be in a year, 2 or 3 from today. And with everything else that has been going on with the gas, food and heating going up by the second, I don’t think any of us were prepared for this either! I just hope anyone who is in a situation that they are finding is getting to be too much, that they start making phone calls to the bank, to the credit card companies and to the other professional that might be able to help them figure out a way to reduce some of the monthly payments or to help them find a new place to live and get out from under the situation now rather than later. We should all be trying to live a happy, healthy life.


Building Brockton’s Future
Offered By Brockton Community Banks and Credit Unions
The Buy Brockton mortgage program is a loan program offered by the Brockton area Community banks and Credit Unions. The program was designed to alleviate some of the negative impact from the current foreclosure crisis by offering qualified buyers financing to purchase a home currently owned by a bank, in foreclosure, or one that will be sold in a short sale.
The Property
> Single Family Home or Condo
> Bank Owned, In Foreclosure, being sold in a Short Sale
> Located In Brockton
> Purchase Prices up to $417,000
The Loan Program
> 30 year Fixed Rate Loan
> Maximum Loan-To-Value of 100%
> Owner Occupied only
> Discounted Interest Rate
> Discounted Closing Costs
> Unemployment Benefits via MI Plus Mortgage Insurance from Mass Housing
The Buyer
> Does not have to be a First Time Home Buyer
(But cannot own another home)
> Income cannot exceed $108,000
> Individuals or families
> Employed and have documented Income
> Must have Acceptable credit profile
Brockton Housing Partnership Member Organizations Financial Institutions: Bank of Canton, Crescent Credit Union, Dedham Institution for Savings, Eastern Bank, HarborOne Credit Union, Mutual Bank, North Easton Savings Bank, Rockland Trust Company, Sovereign Bank, The Community Bank and Webster Bank.
Community Partners; Brockton Housing Authority/, Brockton Interfaith Community, Brockton Redevelopment Authonty, Crty of Brockton
Fannie Mae, Habitat for Humanity of me South Shore, Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, Neighborhood Housing Services of the South Share, Plymouth County Housing Alliance, South Shore Housing Development Corp. and Self Help Inc.

HarborOne Credit Union

Steve Sullivan 508-895-1188

Rockland Trust Company

Steve Borgerson 781-982-6599
Red Hilton 781-982-6248
Bernadette Connelly 781-982-6324

North Easton Savings Bank

Kami Azevedo 508-238-2084

Crescent Credit Union
Donald Shemnitz 508-269-4058
Samira Rodrigues 508-580-6511 x217

Community Bank

John Whitaker 508-631-2169
Kevin Fitzpatrick 508-468-4054

Mutual Bank

Robert Kelley 781-524-5020

Avon Co-operative Bank

Kevin Hayes 508-586-1355

Dedham Institute for Savings
Beth Santella 781-320-4885
Beverly Somerville 781-320-4888