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Delaware insurance rates are skyrocketing

When will it stop?

Last year, a CBS News Moneywatch article reported Delaware was the fourth most expensive state in the nation for car insurance, with rates 41 percent above the national average. In the past five years, Delaware has suffered the largest increase in workers’ compensation insurance in the country. Our neighboring states of New Jersey and Maryland, are keeping rates almost the same, and Pennsylvania is actually decreasing them.

Why the difference?

Because Delaware’s current Insurance Commissioner has been a rubber stamp for the multi-billion dollar insurance industry. Karen Weldin-Stewart approved the deal for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware to be acquired by industry giant Highmark of Pennsylvania. Late Attorney General Beau Biden was quoted as saying it was a “bad deal for Delaware.” Public hearings were staged to give the appearance of transparency, but the deal was sealed. What did we get? This year alone, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield raised rates in Delaware by 21 percent.

Many types of insurance are mandated by law, such as auto insurance for drivers and workers’ compensation for businesses. These policy holders are caught between a rock and a hard place. Skyrocketing insurance premiums are bad for Delaware consumers, bad for Delaware’s employment situation and bad for Delaware’s economy.

The insurance industry employs thousands of lobbyists nationally, many work locally. Their job is to advocate on behalf of the insurance companies who want to raise rates to increase their profits. However, Delaware has an elected official who should be acting on behalf of consumers and our economy. By every measure, the current commissioner has failed Delawareans.

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I know that I can do better for Delaware. I’ve lived in Delaware all my life and have been a conscientious public servant for over 25 years. I grew up in New Castle and worked part time jobs to put myself through college. As a young adult, I was a licensed insurance agent, working for my dad, until I got my dream job as a New Castle County Police officer. I served almost 20 years as an officer, and over 5 years as your Sheriff in New Castle County. As an officer, I took pride and received great satisfaction standing up for people who were victims of crime and suffered loss. Nothing has been as rewarding to me as helping people who were down and out and providing them with help to improve their situations. As New Castle County Sheriff, I streamlined processes and procedures, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.

My staff and I reviewed thousands of home foreclosure cases and found dozens with funds owed back to people foreclosed upon. I’ve returned about a quarter million dollars to those people who were down and out who probably wouldn’t have seen a dime. These funds didn’t belong to the big banks. They didn’t belong to the county or the state. The money belonged to people who lost their homes, and I made sure they got it back.

I’ve dedicated my career to looking out for the consumer and the people who have been pushed around in life. The insurance industry has run roughshod over Delaware for too long. My promise to you is that I will be the people’s voice to advocate for fairness in the insurance industry that serves Delawareans. We need a strong voice and a strong administration to protect insurance consumers. We need to level the playing field with the insurance industry. Delawareans and Delaware’s economy depend on it.

I will be the voice that’s been missing in the Delaware Department of Insurance: yours.

Delaware deserves better, and we will do better.

Trinidad Navarro is a 2016 candidate for Delaware Insurance Commissioner. He currently serves as New Castle County Sheriff. 

Article source: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2016/04/26/delaware-insurance-rates-skyrocketing/83557584/

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Issues Bulletin to California Law Enforcement Agencies Detailing Eviction …

Los Angeles, California – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued an information bulletin to California law enforcement agencies to reinforce integral eviction procedures under the California Homeowner Bill of Rights. Under current California law, occupants of a foreclosed property who are not named in eviction documents – such as tenants – can present a “Claim of Right to Possession” form to temporarily stop the eviction process up to and including when the Sheriff comes to remove them from the property.

Following the 2012 national mortgage settlement, Attorney General Harris sponsored the landmark California Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR), which took effect on January 1, 2013. The legislation package included additional protections for homeowners and tenants facing foreclosure. Although HBOR has been in effect since 2013, advocacy groups have reported cases in which Sheriffs proceed with the eviction process despite being presented with a Claim of Right to Possession form. This bulletin provides guidance for Sheriffs performing evictions following a foreclosure. 

“This bulletin clarifies integral protections and due process available under the Homeowner Bill of Rights,” said Attorney General Harris.  “I sponsored this bill to provide a fair process for vulnerable Californians who are facing the loss of their homes. I thank the advocacy organizations for their tireless work on behalf of those affected by the foreclosure crisis.”

Prior to HBOR, occupants who were not named in an Unlawful Detainer Complaint were required to respond to a “Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession” within 10 days of service. This is no longer the case.  Under HBOR, certain post-foreclosure occupants, such as tenants, can temporarily stop the eviction process by presenting a Claim of Right to Possession, including at the time of the lockout, to the Sheriff at the property. Once a claim is presented, the Sheriff should take no further action until notified by the court.  The bulletin further instructs Sheriffs on how to respond when presented with a Claim of Right to Possession. 

“HBOR provides critical protections for tenants in foreclosed properties.  Western Center on Law Poverty is grateful to the Attorney General for providing guidance to the sheriffs who play a key role in implementing these protections and ensuring that innocent tenants will not be evicted without notice,” said Madeline S. Howard, Senior Staff Attorney at the Western Center on Law and Poverty. 

“Over 1 million California tenants suffered displacement after their landlords’ foreclosure from 2008-2012.  The tenant protections of HBOR helped address this crisis, and the Claim of Right to Possession gave tenants a new tool to assert their rights. However, many tenants have had difficulty using this procedure because it was new and education was limited.  Tenants Together believes that this Bulletin will significantly improve the use of the Claim of Right to Possession and ensure that Sheriffs across the state are able to properly follow the legal process,” said Leah Simon-Weisberg, Legal Director at Tenants Together. 

Western Center and Tenants Together have received calls asking for assistance with the prejudgment claim process and reports of post-foreclosure eviction abuse from tenants in the Central Valley, Inland Empire, and the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Attorney General Harris has worked to ensure that California’s homeowners are treated fairly and with consideration during the foreclosure process. In 2011, she created the Mortgage Fraud Strike Force, which was tasked with the responsibility to investigate and prosecute misconduct related to aspects of the mortgage process. In February 2012, Attorney General Harris secured more than $20 billion for struggling California homeowners from the nation’s five largest banks.

The Attorney General has also taken steps to improve relations between the public and law enforcement agencies. In 2015, she directed a review of her Division of Law Enforcement’s policies on implicit bias and the use of force. Following the 90-day Review, Attorney General Harris created the first POST-certified course on Procedural Justice and Implicit Bias in the United States. In 2016, she sponsored legislation that would create a stand-alone course for peace officers on principled policing, procedural justice and implicit bias. She later formed the 21st Century Policing Working Group, which has convened several times to discuss its current progress and strategies to improve policing policies to fit the needs of today.   In addition, Attorney General Harris sent a bulletin to law enforcement making clear that federal immigration detainers are voluntary and that law enforcement agencies should direct resources in a manner that best serves their community.

Article source: http://www.imperialvalleynews.com/index.php/news/california-news/8965-attorney-general-kamala-d-harris-issues-bulletin-to-california-law-enforcement-agencies-detailing-eviction-protections-for-californians.html

Mad Minute stories from Friday, April 29th

Some people are cat people, others clearly aren’t. Apparently, that includes a postman in Patchway, England. 
The Royal Mail has told Matthew Simpson to restrain his cat, or they’ll stop delivering his mail. Simpson says he was told his 4-year-old cat, Bella, is a potential hazard, and a threat to staff, because every time the postman pushes mail through the letterbox, Bella snatches the mail with her claws. Royal Mail says that can be dangerous to the postman’s fingers. 
Now, the only way Simpson can continue getting mail at his house, is to either provide a safe, alternative post box, or restrain Bella at all times. 
Simpson says he thinks Bella is just trying to play — thinking it’s a game, but he’s noticed the postman has been hesitant about putting the mail in. 
He says he has no plans to restrain Bella, and is still trying to figure out a solution.

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PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) — A Princeton University professor has published a CV of his career failures as a way to give perspective to students who are feeling discouraged.
Johannes Haushofer (YO’-hawn HOWS’-haw-fer) writes atop the CV that most of what he tries fails, but those failures are often invisible. The assistant professor of psychology says it gives the wrong impression that most things work out for him, so people “are more likely to attribute their own failures to themselves.”
The CV is divided into sections with titles like “Degree programs I did not get into” and “Academic positions and fellowships I did not get.”
He says he got the idea from an article in the journal Nature.
The list ends with a “Meta-Failure” that the CV has received “way more attention” than his entire body of academic work.

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EASTON, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man has pleaded guilty to what his attorney called a “crime of stupidity”: burglarizing a neighbor’s home by cutting a hole in the wall between his basement and the neighbor’s.
Public defender Anthony Rybak told a Northampton County judge he didn’t see how anyone could think he’d get away with such a crime.
The (Allentown) Morning Call says that’s why 22-year-old Sammy Paul Buskirk pleaded guilty Thursday to burglary, telling the judge he’s a heroin addict.
Buskirk acknowledged sawing through his wall on Dec. 4 to create a hole to get into the neighbor’s home where he stole $200 worth of quarters.
The judge sentenced Buskirk to three months in jail followed by five years of probation, which will include long-term inpatient drug treatment.

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NASHVILLE, TN – A south Nashville man was ordered by his homeowners association to remove a zombie statue from his front yard. 
You’ve probably seen the statue in question if you’ve ever looked through a Sky Mall catalog while you’re on a plane. 
Jim Grinstead says he and his wife have had the statue, which they call “Clawed” for five years, so the letter from the HOA came as a surprise. 
He says what’s more shocking, is that he recently spent $12,000 to redo his yard, but that’s what the HOA focused on. 
Grinstead says he and his wife have a good sense of humor, and the statue is a reflection of their personality. 
Here’s a copy of the letter: 
“The Covenants, Conditions Restriction for Bayview state, ‘Section 6. Duty to Maintain Lot. From and after the date construction of a single family residence on a lot is begun, it shall be the duty of each lot owner to keep the grass on the lot properly cut, to keep the lot free from weeds and trash, and to keep it otherwise neat and attractive in appearance. Should any owner fail to do so, the declarant, or the association, may take such action as it deems appropriate, including mowing, in order to make the lot neat and attractive and the owner shall, immediately upon demand, reimburse declarant or the association for all expenses incurred in so doing, together with interest at the rate provided herein, and declarant or the association shall have a lien on that lot and the improvements thereon to secure the repayment of such amounts. Such lien may be enforced for foreclosure against that Lot and the improvements thereon, but such lien shall be subordinate to any mortgage or deed of trust thereon.”
Grinstead says he plans to removed “Clawed” this week. 

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SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) — It literally was a whale of a job.
Crews on Friday finished removing the 60,000-ton carcass of a rotting whale from a Southern California beach.
A contractor working for the state parks department spent two days using an excavator to cut up the 40-foot whale, which was hauled off to a San Diego County landfill.
The end of the two-day, $30,000 project included skimming the top layer of sand off the Lower Trestles, a surfing beach near San Clemente where the whale washed ashore on Sunday.
That was to eliminate any sand contaminated by the whale’s body fluids.
“As they started to dismember the carcass, they said it was messy but it wasn’t as messy as it could have been,” Rich Haydon, area state parks superintendent, told the Orange County Register.
“It’s to be expected there will be a little bit of a smell down there for a while,” he said, “but I think we dodged a bullet.”
The whale was a tourist attraction for a few days. Despite an overpowering stench, some people skipped work or school to snap photos with the towering carcass.
However, few people were on hand Friday for the finish.
Nick Lind of Newport Beach and Matthew Howell of San Clemente were surfing as the last remnants of the whale were being removed.
“It did have an interesting stench to it, sort of like a rotten baked potato,” Lind said. “It was overpowering when we were near shore.”
Lind said he wasn’t worried about sharks that might have been attracted by the whale’s remains.

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GENEVA (AP) — It’s one of the physics world’s most complex machines, and it has been immobilized – temporarily – by a weasel.
Spokesman Arnaud Marsollier says the world’s largest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN outside of Geneva, has suspended operations because a weasel invaded a transformer that helps power the machine and set off an electrical outage on Thursday night.
Authorities say the incident was one of several small glitches that will delay plans to restart the $4.4 billion collider by a few days.
Marsollier says Friday that the weasel died – and little remains of it.
Officials of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN, have been gearing up for new data from the 27-kilometer (17-mile) circuit that runs underground on the Swiss-French border.

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DURHAM, N.H. (AP) — The University of New Hampshire now acknowledges that spending $17,000 on a custom-made chef’s table with LED lights for the campus dining hall was a mistake.
Initially, university officials thought the light-up table would allow the dining staff to interact with students and demonstrate healthy cooking techniques.
But word soon got out about the $17,570 price tag on the 16-seat table, which was installed several weeks ago. The school newspaper wrote about it, and other media outlets picked up on it.
The table costs nearly as much as in-state students pay annually for tuition and fees.
On Friday, UNH spokeswoman Erika Mantz told The Associated Press that having a chef’s table was a good idea, but much less money should have been spent.
The university plans to keep the table.

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KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – When police need help, who do they call? Firefighters apparently.
WDAF-TV reports that several officers recently became stuck in an elevator at a Kansas City, Missouri police academy building.
A commander at the St. Louis Fire Department tweeted a photo of the subsequent rescue, saying, “This shot of @KCMOFireDept #Firefighters rescuing @KCPolice from a stalled elevator wins the internet for today.”
No injuries were reported, and everyone was in good spirits, reports WDAF-TV. 

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FRESNO, CA (WCMH) – Deputies in Fresno, California arrested a man they say was watering his lawn naked.
Neighbors called 911 when they spotted Robert Lopez, 37, outside with no clothes on drinking beer.
When deputies arrived, they told Lopez he needed to get dressed. The police report says Lopez then got angry, swore at the deputy and threw a beer bottle. Lopez then threatened to get a gun and shoot him.
The deputy then called for backup and grabbed the rifle from his car. Lopez then put on a pair of shorts and went inside his house.
A short time later, Lopez came back outside holding a knife with an 8-inch blade. The deputy ordered Lopez to drop the knife or else he would be shot.
Lopez then threw the knife at the deputy, but it missed. A second deputy, no on scene, then shot Lopez in the stomach with a bean-bag round from his less than lethal shotgun. Lopez fell to the ground and was taken into custody.
Lopez now faces felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, resisting arrest and a misdemeanor for indecent exposure.

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Police in Barcelona, Spain are trying to find two people who were caught on camera having sex at a subway station. 
People were literally walking by as it was going on, but somehow police didn’t notice at the time. Officers say it’s possible the pair wasn’t actually having sex, and instead may have been doing some kind of performance, but that’s unclear. Either way, they could still face charges. 
If they were trying to keep their relationship underground, clearly this was not the best way to do that. 

Article source: http://www.khq.com/story/31852584/mad-minute-stories-from-friday-april-29th

Celebrating the Rule of Law – Visalia Times

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.”

Americans hear those words as fictional suspects in countless TV crime shows are taken into custody. Even young school children can recognize those as words the police must say when arresting someone. For many, the words have become rote, part of scripts – pure Hollywood. They are, however, far more than just words.

Those words are the Miranda Warnings. In 1966 the US Supreme Court held in Miranda v. Arizona that interrogation of a suspect without proper warning of the consequences was a violation of the 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination and the 6th Amendment right to counsel. As then Chief Justice Earl Warren said in opening the Miranda decision, “The cases before us raise questions which go to the roots of American criminal jurisprudence: the restraints society must observe consistent with the Federal Constitution in prosecuting individuals for crime.” The American Bar Association has chosen “Miranda: More than Words” as the theme of this year’s Law Day.

In 1958 President Eisenhower instituted Law Day on May 1 as a celebration of the rule of law in the United States in hopes that it would serve as an antidote to the spread of communism. Though the “red scare” no longer occupies a central place in our consciousness, Law Day continues to be celebrated with a focus on educating the public on the importance of the rule of law to our democracy.

The Miranda warnings are representative of the protections provided to American citizens by the Bill of Rights. Since 1966, courts have continued to refine the rules of Miranda. Many decisions have sought to define when a person is truly in custody and therefore, entitled to being Mirandized.

Ask any of the hundreds of Tulare County students who took part in this year’s Mock Trial Competition about the importance of the circumstances under which a suspect has waived his Miranda rights. A central issue in their case facts this year was whether a suspect’s waiver was voluntary. The failure to properly Mirandize a suspect can lead to the inability to successfully prosecute that person. It is tempting to say that the accused “got off on a technicality.” The reality is that the technicality was the protection of the person’s constitutional rights. The Constitution protects us all – guilty and innocent.

Does this mean that the guilty sometimes go free? Yes, it does. That concept is fundamental to the American justice system. We place an admirably high value on personal freedoms, and in return we are willing to accept that a certain percentage of errors will occur. Innocence Projects across the country reflect that those errors occur for both the guilty and the innocent.

Though our justice system is not perfect, courts and legal professionals, who devote their careers to protecting the rights of citizens and maintaining the rule of law, strive every day to come as close as possible to the goals set forth by the Founding Fathers. Attorneys, judges and other legal professionals do not take lightly our pledge to uphold and protect the Constitution. Whether we practice in the criminal, civil, probate, family law or juvenile arenas, every day we accept the charge to work towards a just society. Law Day is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the crucial role of our legal system in American democracy.

The Tulare County Bar Association celebrates Law Day with a series of events. Monday, the Bench and Bar will join together in the annual Law Day ceremony at 8:30 a.m. in Department 6 of the Superior Court. The public is welcome to join us as we reflect on this year’s theme and honor attorneys who have been actively practicing 40 years or more. We will also remember association members who have passed away this year.

The Office of the District Attorney will present its Justice Award, and special recognition will be paid to the Public Law Library on its 125th anniversary.

On Tuesday, we will celebrate attorneys and legal professionals who exemplify the best in our profession at our annual Barrister’s Banquet. We will present our annual Distinguished Service Award to Russ Hurley of Dowling Aaron. For 30 years, Mr. Hurley served on the Central California Legal Services Board of Directors as a representative of the Tulare County Bar Association. Mr. Hurley has donated hundreds of hours to ensure that low-income citizens of Tulare County receive appropriate legal services.

We will also present our Liberty Bell Award, given to a non-attorney who has contributed significantly through law-related work, to Maria Villa, a CSET counselor who worked with Central California Legal Services in a cooperative project that helped many families avoid foreclosure during the mortgage crisis.

Whether you are able to join in our observances or not, we do hope that the next time you tune in to your favorite crime drama you will listen for the familiar words of the Miranda warning with a new appreciation of their significance. A statement of your Constitutional rights is far more than just words.

Carla R. D. Khal is president of the Tulare County Bar Association

Article source: http://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/story/opinion/2016/04/30/celebrating-rule-law/83711000/

Foreclosures: What Role Should a Trustee Play?

Fill in the blank with “Deutsche Bank” and this is precisely the boilerplate supplied by the PR folks when I’ve made inquiries regarding foreclosures brought by Deutsche as trustee. These cases include a 2007 foreclosure/eviction of a Maryville, Tennessee, couple, Bob and Stacy Schmidt; a 2010 foreclosure of a Los Angeles postal worker, Carlos Marroquin; a foreclosure initiated in 2011 against an Akron, Ohio, couple, Glenn and Ann Holden, and in 2014, a foreclosure targeting Houston, Texas, homeowner, Tommy Cooper.

Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joel-sucher/foreclosures-what-role-sh_b_9724792.html

More seniors face foreclosures as reverse mortgages bite back



Posted Apr. 30, 2016 at 6:00 AM


Article source: http://www.telegram.com/article/20160430/NEWS/160439984

Foreclosure information reaches 2300 homeowners

More than 2,300 Tacoma homeowners have received information on how to prevent home foreclosure, the city says.

Only one in 10 homeowners ask for help when foreclosure looms, state data shows.

Tacoma began the door-to-door program in mid-November. After more than three months, the Home Ownership and Mediation Education program also talked in person to 685 people, including 165 who were in danger of imminent foreclosure.

The initiative was a partnership between the City’s Neighborhood and Community Services Department and the Foreclosure Mediation and Outreach Project at Seattle University School of Law.

The city will continue to send information packets to property owners who receive a Notice of Trustee’s Sale.

Article source: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/business/real-estate-news/article74696217.html

Two-year foreclosure nightmare ends for elderly couple

EsserHouse

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – It was December, 2013: the City of Buffalo had foreclosed on the house Dawn Gonzales and her husband bought for Dawn’s parents on Esser Avenue, and the property was sold at an In Rem auction, two months earlier, to cover a $440 bill for unpaid garbage user fees.

The New Jersey investor who bought the property sent a relative to the house and told Dawn’s parents, Lillian and Bob Rabatoy, they would have to start paying rent or move.

Gonzales was furious when she contacted Call 4 Action, “My mother has Parkinsons, my father is sick. They don’t want to leave the house.”

The Rabatoys were all packed up but had no place to go, then shortly after the Call 4 Action story aired, one of Buffalo’s prominent law firms took their case, pro bono. After more than two years of uncertainty the Rabatoys’ ordeal ended and the case was settled, returning the property to the Gonzales’.

But there was a confidentiality agreement attached to the settlement, precluding anyone connected to the case from discussing the terms, although court records show the New Jersey investor was compensated for his troubles.

“User fees really are the nemesis of the whole system at this point,” said Buffalo attorney Loran Bommer who is a seasoned veteran at representing property owners whose homes or businesses have landed in foreclosure.

The city’s user fees are a hidden danger to the unschooled, even to the banks, according to Bommer, “When it is all said and done the bank, after I speak to them, they will look at me and say, ‘what is a user fee? Why don’t we know about this? Where did this come from?’”

Bommer said the garbage user fee is often a mystery because it is paid separately from property taxes, and even at separate windows at City Hall. A simple solution, said Bommer, would be a written reminder on individual tax bills that user fees have to be paid separately from taxes.

“If there was that line item on the tax bill that said, don’t forget your user fee, I think that would solve at least 50% of the cases that go into court after the In Rem auction process.”

City officials have made some changes in their foreclosure process, in recent years. Councilmembers now try to notify all homeowners whose properties are on the auction block in their respective districts, and officials wait a little longer before foreclosing due to unpaid user fees.

But the safety net that is supposed to protect property owners from unnecessary foreclosure still has a big hole in it–and it needs a patch.

Article source: http://wivb.com/2016/04/29/two-year-foreclosure-nightmare-ends-for-elderly-couple/

Westland couple to keep home after foreclosure fight

A Westland couple likely will keep their home, after arguing in court they weren’t aware they were facing foreclosure over an unpaid $3,000 tax bill.

Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree said his staff and an attorney for Ron and Bernice King are working on a deal that would allow the Kings to keep the home after the delinquent 2012 taxes are paid.

The Detroit News last month profiled the couple in an article about allegations that foreclosure notices don’t always arrive by mail or get posted on doors. They said they sent payments to the county and believed they were on a plan to avoid foreclosure.

“It is a world of relief,” Ron King, 57, said Friday. “I was scared to death about having to start over. And my health is not good.”

“I am glad the Wayne County Treasurer was able to work with us.”

Sabree said the buyer who bid $40,000 on the King’s home at last fall’s auction backed out recently because of the delay caused by the Kings’ lawsuits.

“The buyer got tired of waiting, so that enabled us to sit down at the table and work something out,” Sabree said.

County officials hadn’t commented directly on the Kings’ or other similar lawsuits because they are pending, but have said in court filings they followed the law.

Along with the Kings, 18 families have sued Wayne County and several suburbs in federal court, alleging their foreclosures were illegal because the owners didn’t receive notices and believed they had more time to pay taxes and save their properties. All face possible eviction. A hearing in federal court is scheduled for June.

Among the allegations: certified letters are listed “in transit” more than two years after being mailed. And owners say they never received a foreclosure notice from the company tasked with personally visiting properties.

The Detroit News obtained records of certified mailings through the Freedom of Information Act and sampled 1,000 of the 333,000 sent by Wolverine Solutions in late 2014. The News found more than half are still listed in the U.S. post office’s tracking system as “in transit.”

Sabree said his office hasn’t always received proof from the U.S. Postal Service that a person signed for the letter or that delivery was attempted. But he said he has no evidence to believe the post office didn’t try to deliver the certified letters.

The postal service has agreed to refund the county $75,000 over the problems, Sabree said on Friday. The county spends about $1 million a year on postage for mailings.

The Kings said they knew they owed $3,000 in back taxes from 2012. They fell behind while getting out of a sub-prime mortgage that more than doubled their monthly payments.

They paid their delinquent 2010 and 2011 taxes through a payment plan and called and left a message on a county hotline in March 2015 to start a new one for 2012’s debt. When no one called back, the Kings sent three monthly payments to the treasurer. The couple said they thought they were OK because their money orders weren’t returned and they didn’t get any foreclosure notices.

They also made regular payments for 2013, 2014 and 2015 taxes, because they said a county staffer had told them to do so or they would face foreclosure.

That wasn’t true, their lawyer Andrew Strahan said. The couple could have used those funds to pay the 2012 taxes and avoid foreclosure.

“I am thrilled the treasurer has done the right thing under these unique circumstance,” Strahan said.

cmacdonald@detroitnews.com

Article source: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/wayne-county/2016/04/29/westland-tax-foreclosure-fight/83701470/

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Issues Bulletin to California Law Enforcement Agencies Detailing Eviction …

Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2016 4:29 pm

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Issues Bulletin to California Law Enforcement Agencies Detailing Eviction Protections for Californians


0 comments

LOS ANGELES – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued an information bulletin to California law enforcement agencies to reinforce integral eviction procedures under the California Homeowner Bill of Rights. Under current California law, occupants of a foreclosed property who are not named in eviction documents – such as tenants – can present a “Claim of Right to Possession” form to temporarily stop the eviction process up to and including when the Sheriff comes to remove them from the property.

Following the 2012 national mortgage settlement, Attorney General Harris sponsored the landmark California Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR), which took effect on January 1, 2013. The legislation package included additional protections for homeowners and tenants facing foreclosure. Although HBOR has been in effect since 2013, advocacy groups have reported cases in which Sheriffs proceed with the eviction process despite being presented with a Claim of Right to Possession form. This bulletin provides guidance for Sheriffs performing evictions following a foreclosure.

“This bulletin clarifies integral protections and due process available under the Homeowner Bill of Rights,” said Attorney General Harris. “I sponsored this bill to provide a fair process for vulnerable Californians who are facing the loss of their homes. I thank the advocacy organizations for their tireless work on behalf of those affected by the foreclosure crisis.”

Prior to HBOR, occupants who were not named in an Unlawful Detainer Complaint were required to respond to a “Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession” within 10 days of service. This is no longer the case. Under HBOR, certain post-foreclosure occupants, such as tenants, can temporarily stop the eviction process by presenting a Claim of Right to Possession, including at the time of the lockout, to the Sheriff at the property. Once a claim is presented, the Sheriff should take no further action until notified by the court. The bulletin further instructs Sheriffs on how to respond when presented with a Claim of Right to Possession.

“HBOR provides critical protections for tenants in foreclosed properties. Western Center on Law Poverty is grateful to the Attorney General for providing guidance to the sheriffs who play a key role in implementing these protections and ensuring that innocent tenants will not be evicted without notice,” said Madeline S. Howard, Senior Staff Attorney at the Western Center on Law and Poverty.

“Over 1 million California tenants suffered displacement after their landlords’ foreclosure from 2008-2012. The tenant protections of HBOR helped address this crisis, and the Claim of Right to Possession gave tenants a new tool to assert their rights. However, many tenants have had difficulty using this procedure because it was new and education was limited. Tenants Together believes that this Bulletin will significantly improve the use of the Claim of Right to Possession and ensure that Sheriffs across the state are able to properly follow the legal process,” said Leah Simon-Weisberg, Legal Director at Tenants Together.

Western Center and Tenants Together have received calls asking for assistance with the prejudgment claim process and reports of post-foreclosure eviction abuse from tenants in the Central Valley, Inland Empire, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Attorney General Harris has worked to ensure that California’s homeowners are treated fairly and with consideration during the foreclosure process. In 2011, she created the Mortgage Fraud Strike Force, which was tasked with the responsibility to investigate and prosecute misconduct related to aspects of the mortgage process. In February 2012, Attorney General Harris secured more than $20 billion for struggling California homeowners from the nation’s five largest banks.

The Attorney General has also taken steps to improve relations between the public and law enforcement agencies. In 2015, she directed a review of her Division of Law Enforcement’s policies on implicit bias and the use of force. Following the 90-day Review, Attorney General Harris created the first POST-certified course on Procedural Justice and Implicit Bias in the United States. In 2016, she sponsored legislation that would create a stand-alone course for peace officers on principled policing, procedural justice and implicit bias. She later formed the 21st Century Policing Working Group, which has convened several times to discuss its current progress and strategies to improve policing policies to fit the needs of today. In addition, Attorney General Harris sent a bulletin to law enforcement making clear that federal immigration detainers are voluntary and that law enforcement agencies should direct resources in a manner that best serves their community.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016 4:29 pm.

Article source: http://www.highlandnews.net/news/political/attorney-general-kamala-d-harris-issues-bulletin-to-california-law/article_12160ab2-0d99-11e6-83c6-5b95e95734eb.html