Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button
Technorati button
Reddit button
Myspace button
Linkedin button
Webonews button
Delicious button
Digg button
Flickr button
Stumbleupon button
Newsvine button

Fresno foreclosure rates continue to fall

Local News

Fresno County librarians leave the branch behind, hit the road

Article source:

Texas lawmaker to push bill on foreclosed gas leases

McDonald said Chesapeake was aware of the problem and, besides renegotiating leases with a few landowners, opted not to address it. He said other drillers have a better track record in dealing with disputed leases.

“They knew it was a problem after the financial crisis,” McDonald said. “All of a sudden, you had all these drillers where their leases had been extinguished by these foreclosures.”

Keffer said the idea for the bill came from banking institutions as well as the oil and gas industry after the downturn put so many properties in foreclosure.

An analysis of the bill by the House Research Organization cited concern by “knowledgeable parties” that wells would not be developed because the entity that typically takes over a property is a bank or federal agency with little interest in leasing to the operators.

Under Keffer’s previous bill, that problem would have been addressed by amending the Texas Property Code to establish that an oil and gas lease would continue through foreclosure and that the royalties would go to the property buyer.

Perry’s office, in a June 2013 veto statement, said that while the bill would benefit parties to leases in urban environments like the Barnett Shale, it was less suited to leases in rural areas, particularly where a foreclosure would block the drillers’ right to use the surface property.

His office also took exception to a provision that would subject a driller to lawsuits for what it described as “reasonable and minimal damage to the land” through lawful production. Perry’s office said that “could have a serious chilling effect” on oil and gas production statewide.

The governor’s office did not respond to requests for comment from the Star-Telegram. Keffer said he tried to meet with Perry’s staff but couldn’t get a better explanation of its concerns. He said he thought the bill was narrow enough and “a pretty good solution.”

“We’ll try it again and see if we can come up with a better conclusion this time,” Keffer said. “I’m not sure how much slimmer we can make it.”

McDonald said Chesapeake and other drillers could have protected themselves initially from losing their leases in foreclosure by filing a subordination agreement that would have allowed the original lease to survive and be automatically transferred to the new owner.

“But everyone was going so fast — they were going at light speed to lease acres — and what bit people is that they didn’t anticipate the worst-case scenario that involved tens of thousands of foreclosures,” McDonald said. “We had a nightmare situation.”

McDonald, who learned of the problem while his firm was researching leases for a different lawsuit against Chesapeake over royalties, said he plans to look at how other energy companies handled the situation.

“It can be fixed. All you have to do [if you’re a driller] is have the land department figure out what has been foreclosed and send the landman over to the new owner and say, ‘I have to write you a check and negotiate a new lease’ just like they would do if it was a brand-new project,” McDonald said.

Max B. Baker, 817-390-7714 Twitter: @MaxBBaker

Article source:

Foreclosures can open the door to homeownership

3624 Hill St., Fairfax, Va. The custom-designed, stone-front, single-family house in Fairfax, listed for $824,500, has four bedrooms, six bathrooms, a three-car garage and a finished lower level with a home theater, rec room, wet bar, den and bonus room. Sharon Will Buy Photo

Nationwide, the foreclosure crisis has abated, and thousands of foreclosures have been purchased by investors and homeowners. The opportunity to buy a bargain-priced foreclosure hasn’t completely passed, though, because some foreclosures are still coming on the market in the Washington area, particularly in Prince George’s County.

When Anne Guglik, a fire investigator in the District and 10-year member of the National Guard, wanted a larger condominium in her Greenbelt neighborhood, she didn’t specifically look for a foreclosure. But when she found a three-
bedroom condo foreclosure listed at $128,400, she jumped at the opportunity.

“I paid $109,000 in 2004 for my one-bedroom condo, so this is definitely a great price,” Guglik says. “Fannie Mae owned the condo and sold it as is, so I’m going to have to do some work to get it into the condition I want, but it’s still a good value.”

Guglik expects to spend about $3,000 or more to fix some plumbing and electrical problems, replace some carpet and paint her new home. She plans to do a lot of the work herself to save money.

“In the long run, I think this will pay off, but I think anyone looking at a foreclosure should set aside money for repairs and think about that cost when making an offer,” she says. “If you like doing work yourself or just want the home finished the way you want it, a foreclosure can be a great option.”

Will Stein, broker/owner of Belair Realty in Bowie, works with investors who are looking to buy and flip foreclosures and buyers who are looking for a home to purchase as their primary residence.

“Prince George’s County’s housing market has been recovering well in recent years, but it has a higher number of foreclosures than other parts of the D.C. region,” Stein says. “Banks have been holding onto their inventory of foreclosures, so we’re expecting an increase in the availability of these properties over the next 18 months. This is a great opportunity for buyers and investors.”

According to the RealtyTrac U.S. Foreclosure Market Report for September, the latest month for which data is available, Maryland has the second-highest foreclosure rate in the nation, with one in every 204 housing units in the state having a foreclosure filing. Only Florida has a higher rate of foreclosures. Maryland foreclosure activity in the third quarter increased on a year-over-year basis for the ninth consecutive quarter, according to RealtyTrac, and lenders repossessed 19 percent more homes during the third quarter of 2014 than in the same quarter a year earlier.

“In Virginia, foreclosures were processed and sold more quickly, but in Maryland, homeowners have had lots more time to remedy their situation if they’re having trouble paying their mortgage, which is why we’re seeing more foreclosures here now,” says John Lesniewski, an agent with Re/Max United Real Estate in Upper Marlboro.

This bungalow in D.C.’s Woodridge neighborhood is priced at $321,000. The interior has been completely gutted. (Photo by Mina Sultani)

Home prices in Prince George’s have been climbing and inventory continues to be tight, so for first-time buyers, a foreclosure may be the most-affordable option.

According to the latest Long Foster Market Minute report, the median sales price in the county rose 14 percent from $206,000 in October 2013 to $235,000 in October 2014. Median sales prices were also up 4 percent in October 2014, compared with the previous month. The number of homes listed for sale declined by 30 percent year-over-year.

“Foreclosures represent a segment of the market that appeals to investors, first-time buyers and repeat buyers,” says Michael Vaughn, an agent with Long Foster Real Estate in Mitchellville. “The biggest challenge for buyers is the condition, because many of them have not been well-maintained.”

While market conditions change daily, Vaughn says foreclosures represented about 13 percent of the market in Prince George’s in mid-October.

Vaughn says there are good deals available for buyers willing to put in the time and energy to find contractors who can fix the property.

He says that some buyers simply eliminate foreclosures that are in disrepair but that they could be missing out on a bargain.

“A home in serious disrepair or one that has mold will take longer to sell, so the bank will discount the price a lot more if it sits on the market,” he says. “The worse the condition, the better the discount, but some buyers don’t realize that homes can be fixed for less money than they think.”

Stein says that not all foreclosures are in terrible shape. In fact, he says, this is the biggest misconception about foreclosures.

“If a home has been vacant for a while, that can have an impact on maintenance, but I tell buyers to turn on their optimism because there’s lots of potential in an ugly home,” he says. “The worse a house smells, the happier I am for my buyers because the price will be lower and with a little sweat equity the place can be better than ever.”

The biggest advantage of buying a foreclosure may not necessarily be that it is a bargain, Stein says, but that buyers can find a larger home or fix up a home the way they want while keeping well within their budget.

Lesniewski says that the main reason to buy a foreclosure is to get a below-market price and to fix up the house the way you want.

“If you’re looking in an area where homes are priced at $200,000 and you’re able to buy one for $120,000 and finance $40,000 in repairs into the loan, then you end up with a $160,000 home that’s in better condition than the $200,000 home you might have bought,” he says.

Vaughn says most buyers think they don’t want a foreclosure but will look at one that meets their criteria for location and size. He says once buyers understand that they have the option of using a renovation loan to wrap their purchase and repair costs into one loan, they’re more enthusiastic about a foreclosure.

“An advantage of a foreclosure is that it can be more straightforward than a traditional transaction,” Stein says. “Banks are just looking for the right price so you won’t have to negotiate a seller rent-back or accept a contract contingent on the seller finding a place to buy. Foreclosures are typically immediately available once you go to settlement.”

But buyers should expect to have to do more repairs or modifications to a foreclosure because the property won’t usually have been improved for sale the way traditional sellers prepare their property.

“With a foreclosure, you give up the option of buying a home in stellar condition for the opportunity of a lower price,” Stein says.

Lesniewski says that foreclosure buyers sometimes get into trouble if they get excited by the element of competition and overpay for a property or underestimate the cost of repairs.

Foreclosures are sold as is, which means that buyers cannot request repairs or improvements to be made by the sellers. But buyers can have an inspection of the property before finalizing their purchase.

This Arlington house is listed at $459,900. The floors and walls of the four-bedroom are in good condition. (Courtesy of HD Bros.)

Real estate agents recommend that foreclosure buyers hire a home inspector to evaluate the condition of the property and find major potential problems. However, sometimes utilities are not turned on in vacant properties so it can be harder to test the heating and air conditioning systems, says Lesniewski, who recommends working with an inspector and real estate agent familiar with foreclosure issues.

While some inspections are an “information only” inspection, it’s also possible to terminate your offer based on the findings of a home inspection, Vaughn says.

“You should always have the option written into your contract for a return of your deposit if your inspection reveals property conditions that are unacceptable to you,” he says.

Buyers should anticipate competition from investors for foreclosures, particularly if the price is low.

“Investors often pay cash [and] it can be tough to compete against that, so some banks offer a 14- or 21-day opportunity for owner-occupants to make offers before they open up the sale to investors,” Lesniewski says.

Lesniewski says owner-occupants are often more willing to bid above the asking price to get a good home, while investors need to pay as little as possible to increase their profit.

Vaughn suggests that buyers who anticipate competition offer $5,000 to $10,000 above the list price and offer better terms such as a shorter inspection time, a shorter financing contingency or agreeing to use the selling bank’s settlement company.

“Another offer came in from an investor for my condo on the same day I bought it,” Guglik says, “but I think it helped that I made a full-price offer, had an approval for a VA loan and, most important, that I planned to live in the property.”

A strong loan preapproval is essential to winning a multiple-bid offer for a foreclosure.

While Guglik set aside savings to renovate her new home, most foreclosure buyers opt for a renovation loan, says Michael Chelst, branch manager with Norcom Mortgage in College Park.

“Most buyers choose an FHA 203(k) loan because they can buy the property with a down payment of just 3.5 percent and finance almost any renovation,” Chelst says. “It’s not just for major repairs like replacing the roof; you can finance new floors or new kitchen cabinets or nearly anything other than luxury items like a swimming pool.”

If your repairs will cost more than $35,000, you’ll need to work with a HUD-approved consultant, Chelst says.

“The loan is based on an as-is appraisal plus the cost of repairs based on contractor estimates,” he says. “We have a list of contractors that we’ve worked with, and most real estate agents have recommendations, too, so even first-time buyers can feel comfortable buying a home this way.”

Chelst says the Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation loan is similar to the 203(k) loan but requires a minimum down payment of 5 percent. “The Fannie Mae loan is a little more rigid in terms of requirements, so borrowers have to have a higher credit score and their income needs to be a little higher, so you have to be a solid buyer to qualify,” he says.

Both of these loan programs can be used with down-payment assistance programs. Chelst says programs are available in Prince George’s with up to $60,000 in home-buyer aid. He says Federal Housing Administration loans allow 6 percent of the home price in closing-cost assistance, while conventional loans allow up to 3 percent.

“Typically, banks pay 3 percent of the closing costs for foreclosure purchasers, which is a benefit to buyers,” Chelst says.

The two-bedroom, one-bathroom condo in Upper Marlboro is priced at $79,900. It has new carpent, paint and a gas fireplace. (Courtesy of Mike Torrey)

Chelst recommends that foreclosure buyers be ready with the names of contractors they want to work with as well as a preapproval letter for a mortgage before they start to look at a property. He recommends working with a lender who offers renovation loans because not all do.

“You don’t want to restart the entire loan process if you end up deciding you want a renovation loan,” he says.

Chelst says buyers need to work with an agent who understands the foreclosure process and will help them understand the fine print in the contract. Sometimes banks attach addendums to the contract after a verbal agreement has been made, so it’s important to read everything before signing the contract.

“Buyers need to be careful to analyze the worst-case scenario of any foreclosure in terms of problems with the condition,” Lesniewski says. “They need to make sure they are working with a good team of professionals such as a Realtor, a home inspector, a lender and contractors who can help them make a smart buy.”

Michele Lerner is a freelance writer.

A foreclosure can be an affordable option for home buyers — but it can be risky. Here’s what you need to know to avoid potential pitfalls and make the purchase a positive experience:

Get pre-approved for financing. Attractive foreclosures in good locations are a magnet for investors, who are often able to pay cash for the purchase. To compete, you need to be fully ready to finance your purchase with a pre-approval for a loan.

Check out home buyer assistance programs. You may qualify for down payment or closing cost assistance through your state or county government. Many banks pay up to 3 percent of closing costs when you buy a foreclosure, so be sure to ask about the availability of that assistance when you identify a home to buy.

Save some cash. A strong earnest money deposit and larger down payment can help you if you’re competing with other buyers. If you make a slightly higher offer you’re in a better position over other buyers.

Know your market and your priorities. Be wary of getting caught up in a bidding war or in the excitement of finding a bargain. This will be your home, so make sure the location is what you want and the structure and floor plan meet your needs. While you can make cosmetic improvements to a home, you can’t always change the layout or expand the living space.

Be ready to buy the home “as is.” Bank-owned properties are typically sold as is, meaning that buyers cannot request repairs to be made as part of their offer. Not all foreclosures are in terrible shape; in fact, some may have had improvements made so that the house can be sold.

Have a home inspection anyway. Buyers should still have a home inspection so that they understand the condition of the home and can decide to withdraw their offer and have their deposit returned if the condition is unacceptable.

Be prepared with trustworthy contractors. If you lack the skills or time to make improvements yourself, it’s a good idea to identify contractors before you make an offer on a foreclosure so you can get their input into the cost of making it livable.

Consider renovation financing. The FHA 203(k) loan program and the Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation loan allow borrowers to finance their home purchase and renovation costs into one mortgage. Consult a lender experienced with these loan programs if you think you may buy a foreclosure.

Article source:

One-stop financial centers spreading throughout Eastern Mass.

When Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen visited Boston in October, she stopped at a Chelsea center where low-income residents boost their job skills, take classes on building their savings, and apply for public benefits, such as food stamps — all under one roof.

It was a chance to see how nonprofits were pooling their resources to help struggling families pull themselves out of poverty.

Continue reading below

These one-stop sites, called financial stability centers, are now spreading throughout Eastern Massachusetts as cities and nonprofits look for ways to collaborate, save money on staff and office space, and make it easier for residents to get needed services. Seven centers will open by spring of 2015, including three in Boston. The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley has already budgeted $1.5 million in the next two years to support six of these initiatives.

“It’s not only cost efficient, it’s convenient for the city residents,” said Trinh Nguyen, the director of Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s Office of Jobs and Community Services. “Instead of sending clients to one site on one day and then another site for another need on anther day, once you catch them you can work with them.”

The United Way started putting these centers together in 2009 after realizing that people who need one service often have other financial challenges and need long-term support that they can find under one roof.

When people come to these centers, many need immediate help paying rent or buying food. But they also face more persistent problems, such as credit card and student loan debt or bad credit that forces them into high-interest loans or disqualifies them from traditional banking services, diminishing their chances to break the cycle of poverty, advocates for the poor said.

Those issues can takes months and years to address, said Mike Durkin, the United Way’s president. The centers can provide the mix of programs needed to help low-income families to climb the economic ladder.

“This is not a move away from helping families with their basic needs,” he said. “We’re trying to build out the whole path.”

The centers offer different services depending on the needs of the communities. In Lawrence, where nearly three-quarters of the residents are Hispanic and many speak Spanish, the financial stability center run by the nonprofit Lawrence Community Works provides English classes, foreclosure prevention counseling, and programs on how to save for college.

Oscar Cabrara, 33, who came to Lawrence four years ago from the Dominican Republic, wants to eventually move out of his parents’ place, where he and wife have been living, and into his own home.

He started coming to the center for English-language classes about two years ago, but has attended counseling for first-time home buyers and taken courses on saving for a home. His improving English has made a difference, helping him to get promoted a month ago, from dishwasher at a nursing home to chef’s assistant.

The new job meant a $2-an-hour raise to $11, which will help toward a down payment, Cabrara said through a translator. “It’s provided me security,” Cabrara said of the classes.

For Raysa Mateo, 26, of Lawrence, the center is helping her build her nest egg to go back to college for a master’s degree in human resources. She has tried on her own, but daily expenses and old college debt eat up much of her savings, she said.

But one of the programs offered through Lawrence Community Works matches a participant’s savings up to $1,200, meaning if Mateo sets aside $1,200, she ends up with $2,400. So, every month the mother of two tries to put aside about $100 to return to school.

“It creates a habit,” she said. “For me it’s a way to make a commitment.”

Ultimately, financial stability centers help residents develop better financial practices that will pay off, said Arisleyda Veloz, the director of asset building at Lawrence Community Works. And these efforts appear to be working.

In both Lawrence and Chelsea, three out of four clients improved their credit score or net income. The average increase in credit scores was 31 points and the average monthly net income increased by $697, according to the United Way.

Eric Rosengren, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston president and a regional United Way director, said the economic crisis set many back. People struggling don’t simply need food or rental assistance, but help with a range of financial challenges, from building job skills to rebuilding bank accounts.

“An individual seeking out support, usually needs support in multiple dimensions,” he said. “Nonprofits are starting to work together on a more collaborative method.”

Reach Deirdre Fernandes at Follow her on Twitter @fernandesglobe.

Article source:

US-Backed Mortgages Put to Test in an Innovative Lawsuit

Log in to manage your products and services from The New York Times and the International New York Times.

Don’t have an account yet?
Create an account »

Subscribed through iTunes and need an account?
Learn more »

Article source:

Thousands of people can now buy back the homes they lost to foreclosure


Jeff Turner/Flickr

Thousands of people who lost their homes to foreclosure are now eligible to buy back those properties at current market value if their loans were backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

Fannie and Freddie previously required borrowers who wanted to repurchase their homes to buy them for whatever amount they owed on the mortgage – even if that amount exceeded the fair market value of the home.

That policy was scrapped by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie. “This is a targeted but important policy change that should help reduce property vacancies and stabilize home values and neighborhoods,” Melvin L. Watt, FHFA director, said in a statement.

The change affects 121,000 foreclosed homes owned by Fannie and Freddie as of Nov. 25. But it’s unclear how many people will be in a position to take advantage of it. Some former homeowners may have moved on, and a repurchase may not be practical for them. Many may not qualify for financing.

Some of the financing challenges have to do with Fannie and Freddie’s own rules, which require borrowers to wait at least three years after a foreclosure before they can qualify for a mortgage. That rule will not change, which means most of the people interested in a buy back would have to look for alternative financing, such as loans provided by non-profits such as Boston Community Capital.

BCA, created in 2010, buys homes in Massachusetts, Maryland, Rhode Island and Illinois that are in foreclosure or close to it. It then resells or rents the homes to the former owners at a price that reflects the property’s current market value.

“I applaud the FHFA for taking this step and allowing homeowners to have the potential to remain in their homes,” said Elyse Cherry, BCA’s chief executive. “This has been a long time coming and it makes a lot of sense.”

For years, Fannie and Freddie barred buy-back arrangements because they basically amount to a “principal reduction,” a form of mortgage relief that reduces the size of a troubled borrower’s mortgage.  This type of relief has been a hot button issue ever since the housing market unraveled and home prices plunged. Millions of homeowners saw the equity in their homes get wiped out, and they could not sell or refinance their way out of trouble. Principal reductions are one of the most effective ways to ward off foreclosure in such cases.

The Obama administration had pressed for Fannie and Freddie to allow such debt reductions through the government’s main foreclosure prevention program, known as the Home Affordable Modification Program. In 2012, the Treasury Department even offered to pay Fannie and Freddie to participate.

But the FHFA, under Watt’s predecessor, feared that such relief would entice homeowners to intentionally default on mortgages in a bid to get cheaper loans. The agency also warned that such relief could be costly for taxpayers, who had already spent billions of dollars to bail out Fannie and Freddie in 2008.

Last week, when pushed at a Senate hearing to take a position on principal reduction, Watt said that this type of mortgage relief was not “off the table.” He said the issue was “perhaps the most difficult he has faced” as FHFA director.

But even before Tuesday’s announcement, there were signals that the agency was easing up on its position on buy-backs in particular.

After years of wrangling, Fannie recently allowed Jaime and Juana Coronel to buy back their Los Angeles area home at its fair market value after it slipped into foreclosure in 2010. The couple been living there for 20 years when Jaime Coronel’s landscaping work dried up during the recession and they fell behind on their mortgage payments. Fannie let them rent the property for a few years but tried to evict them when it wanted to sell the house.

The couple refused to budge and asked to buy back the home, a plight detailed in The Washington Post in July.  Fannie eventually agreed, and the Coronels purchased the home for $280,000. The deal closed two weeks ago, according to the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, which has been helping the couple.


Article source:

D-FW home foreclosure filings for 2014 at lowest level in 13 years

Dallas-Fort Worth home foreclosure filings in 2014 were at the lowest level since 2001, year-end statistics show.

For the 12-month period, lenders scheduled more than 18,500 homes in the four-county area for forced sale, according to data from Foreclosure Listing Service. That’s down 34 percent from 2013 totals.

Next month’s foreclosure auctions in Dallas, Collin, Tarrant and Denton counties show 1,460 properties up for sale — a drop of 26 percent from December 2013.

Foreclosure filings this year were less than a third of what they were in 2010 during the worst of the housing sector shakeout, Foreclosure Listing Service’s numbers show.

December’s postings show the biggest declines from the same month in 2013 were in Denton County, down 33 percent, and Dallas County, down 29 percent. Foreclosure filings for the month are down 26 percent in Collin County and down 19 percent in Tarrant County from December 2013.

Real estate analysts credit this year’s sharp decline in foreclosures to rising home values, which have made it easier for owners to sell or refinance problem properties.

“Over the past three years, D-FW has experienced accelerated house price appreciation due to the extraordinarily tight supply of available housing inventory,” said Ted Wilson of Residential Strategies Inc. “As a result, housing prices are now more than 12 percent higher than the pre-crash highs.

“There are very few households today that are underwater on their mortgages, and those that are in a forced-sale situation are able to move their unit quickly.”

Also, many lenders now prefer to handle distressed properties with short sales or other negotiated settlements rather than take the property through foreclosure.

Not all homes scheduled for foreclosure each month actually sell at auction. Many times the foreclosure is delayed while the borrower and lenders negotiate or reach other agreements.

Recent reports by CoreLogic show that completed home foreclosures are running about 25 percent less this year in the area compared with 2013 levels.

D-FW home foreclosures hit an all-time high in 2010 when almost 64,000 homes were posted for forced sale.

Follow Steve Brown on Twitter at @SteveBrownDMN.

Article source:

Get your house back after foreclosure?

Timely market news and advice for consumers ready to buy, sell or invest in real estate. Delivered weekly.

Article source:

Wilders’ ex-lawyer Moszkowicz facing foreclosure


Wilders’ ex-lawyer Moszkowicz facing foreclosure

Bram Moszkowicz (Picture: Twitter/@Quotenet)

Former lawyer Bram Moszkowicz is facing hard days. If the judge rules against him, his assets will be publicly auctioned on December 3rd.

More and more creditors are demanding money from Moszkowicz, while all of his income is going directly to the tax authorities. In early November the tax authorities again seized 300 thousand euro from Moszkowicz. This was revealed yesterday in a lawsuit in Alkmaar between Moszkowics and his former counsel Gabriel Meijers.

According to Moszkowicz’ lawyer, Herman Loonstein, the seizure by the tax authorities early this month is the reason why Moszkowicz can not pay Meijers. Meijers represented Moszkowicz for two years in the disciplinary proceedings brought against him. But Moszkowicz has yet to pay the 16 thousand euro bill.

Meijers initiated the seizing of Moszkowicz assets, including his dining table, chairs, vases, laptop, flat screen TV and crystal work. In a summary proceedings yesterday, Moszkowicz tried to stop a foreclosure auction. According to Loonstein, the possessions are primary needs and represent a low value.

Meijers represented Moszkowicz during the disciplinary proceedings for a moderate rate of 200 euro. “Because they know each other well”, said Meijers’ lawyer Klaas Luijten. Moszkowicz suggested that he would pay in installments and promised to so. In an email he said that he could, in dire need, sell his expensive watches or ask his brother to help.

Luijten finds it strange the Moszkowicz had enough money last May to hire a personal assistant and that he presents himself in the media as someone who is ‘not exactly insolvent’. “In interviews he said that he earns less than before, but enough. He also posed in Gucci shoes and with white gold on his collar.” said Luijten. Moszkowicz can expect more claims from Meijers. “The note of 16,000 is only for the first instance proceedings. Meijers has not yet sent the bill for the appeal”, said Luijten.

Moszkowicz was not present at the hearing. According to Loonstein, he was at the Tax Office. The court will rule on the foreclosure on December 1st.

Bram Moszkowicz was disbarred in April 2013. In his time as criminal lawyer, Moszkowicz had many high profile clients, including Geert Wilders and Willem Holleeder.

Article source:

CFPB Seeks Expansion of Foreclosure Protections


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has announced proposed additional measures to ensure that homeowners and struggling borrowers are treated fairly by mortgage servicers. The proposal would require that servicers provide certain borrowers with foreclosure protections more than once over the life of the loan, to put in place additional servicing transfer protections, and to take steps to protect borrowers from a wrongful foreclosure sale. The proposal would also help ensure that surviving family members and others who inherit or receive property have the same protections under the CFPB’s mortgage servicing rules as the original borrower.

“The Consumer Bureau is committed to ensuring that homeowners and struggling borrowers are treated fairly by mortgage servicers and that no one is wrongly foreclosed upon,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Today’s proposal would give greater protections to mortgage borrowers.”

To address questionable mortgage servicing practices, the CFPB put in place rules designed to eliminate surprises and runarounds for homeowners. The rules, which went into effect on Jan. 10, 2014, require servicers to maintain accurate records, give troubled borrowers direct and ongoing access to servicing personnel, promptly credit payments, and correct errors on request. The rules also include strong protections for struggling homeowners, including those facing foreclosure.

Among other things, the CFPB’s foreclosure protection proposal would:

►Require servicers to provide certain borrowers with foreclosure protections more than once over the life of the loan: Currently, a mortgage servicer must give the borrower certain foreclosure protections, including the right to be evaluated under the CFPB’s requirements for options to avoid foreclosure, only once during the life of the loan. Under the proposed rule, servicers would have to give those protections again for borrowers who have brought their loans current at any time since the last loss mitigation application. This change would be particularly helpful for borrowers who obtain a permanent loan modification and later suffer an unrelated hardship—such as the loss of a job or the death of a family member—that could otherwise cause them to face foreclosure.

►Expand consumer protections to surviving family members and other homeowners: If a borrower dies, CFPB rules currently require that servicers promptly identify and communicate with family members, heirs, or other parties, known as “successors in interest,” who have a legal interest in the home. The proposal would expand the circumstances in which consumers would be considered successors under the rules. The expanded circumstances include when a property is transferred after a divorce, legal separation, through a family trust, between spouses, from a parent to a child or when a borrower who is a joint tenant dies. The proposal also ensures that those confirmed as successors generally receive the same protections under the CFPB’s mortgage servicing rules as the original borrower. Such protections include the right to get information about the loan and right to the foreclosure protections.

Require servicers to notify borrowers when loss mitigation applications are complete: When a borrower completes a loss mitigation application, key foreclosure protections take effect. If consumers do not know the status of their application, they cannot know the status of their foreclosure protections. The proposal would require servicers to notify borrowers promptly that the application is complete, so that borrowers know the status of the application and their protections.

Protect struggling borrowers during servicing transfers: When mortgages are transferred from one servicer to another, borrowers who had applied to the prior servicer for loss mitigation may not know where they stand with the new servicer. The proposal clarifies that generally a transferee servicer must comply with the loss mitigation requirements within the same timeframes that applied to the transferor servicer. If the borrower’s application was complete prior to the transfer, the new servicer generally must evaluate it within 30 days of when the prior servicer received it. For involuntary transfers, the proposal would give the new servicer at least 15 days after the transfer date to evaluate a complete application. If the new servicer needs more information in order to evaluate the application, the borrower would retain some foreclosure protections in the meantime.

Clarify servicers’ obligations to avoid dual-tracking and prevent wrongful foreclosures: The rules currently prohibit a servicer from proceeding to foreclosure once they receive a complete loss mitigation application from a borrower more than 37 days prior to a scheduled sale. However, in some cases, borrowers are not receiving this protection and servicers’ foreclosure counsel may not be taking adequate steps to delay foreclosure proceedings or sales. The Bureau is proposing to clarify what steps servicers and their foreclosure counsel must take to protect borrowers from a wrongful foreclosure sale. The Bureau is proposing that servicers who do not take reasonable steps to prevent the sale must dismiss a pending foreclosure action. The proposed clarifications would aid servicers in complying with, and assist courts in applying, the dual-tracking prohibitions in foreclosure proceedings to prevent wrongful foreclosures.

Clarify when a borrower becomes delinquent: Several of the consumer protections under the Bureau’s rules depend upon how long a consumer has been delinquent on a mortgage. Today’s proposal would clarify that delinquency, for purposes of the servicing rules, begins on the day a borrower fails to make a periodic payment. Under the proposal, when a borrower misses a payment but later makes it up, if the servicer applies that payment to the oldest outstanding periodic payment, the date of delinquency advances. The proposal also would allow servicers the discretion, under certain circumstances, to consider a borrower as having made a timely payment even if the borrower’s payment falls short of a full payment by a small amount. The increased clarity will help ensure borrowers are treated uniformly and fairly.

Provide more information to borrowers in bankruptcy: Currently, servicers do not have to provide periodic statements or loss mitigation information to borrowers in bankruptcy. The proposal would generally require servicers to provide periodic statements to those borrowers, with specific information tailored for bankruptcy. Servicers also currently do not have to provide certain disclosures to borrowers who have told the servicer to stop contacting them under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The proposal would require servicers to provide written early intervention notices to let those borrowers know about loss mitigation options.

The proposal would make additional changes to the mortgage servicing rules. These changes include providing flexibility for servicers to comply with certain force-placed insurance and periodic statement disclosure requirements. The changes would clarify several early intervention, loss mitigation, information request, and prompt crediting of payments requirements, as well as the small servicer exemption. Further, the proposal would exempt servicers from providing periodic statements under certain circumstances when the servicer has charged off the mortgage.

Article source: