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Morning Digest: Foreclosure king Dave Trott may face a real fight in gerrymandered Michigan seat


CT-Gov: This week, state Comptroller Kevin Lembo became the latest Democrat to form an exploratory committee ahead of a potential bid for governor of Connecticut. Lembo has repeatedly clashed with retiring Gov. Dan Malloy, a fellow Democrat who has posted weak approval numbers. Last year, Lembo notably voted against a $22 million incentive package for the huge financial fund Bridgewater Associates, and the two have also come into conflict over the state’s hospital budget and other issues.

Lembo has made it clear that he won’t run if Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman seeks the governorship, but his announcement may be a sign he doesn’t expect her to. However, Lembo insisted on Thursday that his move doesn’t mean that Wyman won’t run, and he reiterated that he’d still defer to her. In Connecticut, potential candidates need to raise $250,000 in small donations to qualify for public financing, which the CT Mirror calls “a key measure of viability in gubernatorial politics.” This is a pretty time-consuming task, so it does make sense for people to start early even if they’re not 100 percent committed to running rather than risk starting their fundraising too late. If he makes his campaign official, Lembo will be the state’s first openly gay candidate for governor.

Lembo is the fourth noteworthy Connecticut Democrat to form an exploratory committee. Middletown Mayor Dan Drew began raising money before Malloy made his decision, while former federal prosecutor Chris Mattei and ex-Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris (who also says he’d defer to Wyman) made their moves this month. A number of other Democrats are considering, and we can add another to the list. Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi recently acknowledged he was thinking about it; Marconi filed an exploratory committee for the open 2010 race, but didn’t end up running. Marconi describes himself as more “purple” politically than red or blue, which could be a drawback in a primary.

HI-Gov: Almost four years ago, then-state Sen. David Ige launched what looked like a very longshot Democratic primary bid against Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie. However, while Ige didn’t have much name recognition or money, Abercrombie had managed to upset pretty much every major faction in the state Democratic Party during his tenure, and Ige ended up defeating him by an astounding 67-31 margin. As Ige gets ready to seek re-election next year, it’s looking quite possible that he’ll at least need to be on guard in case another Hawaii Democrat tries to follow the Ige playbook to the governor’s office.

While Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa says he’s very likely to run for lieutenant governor, he gave a very interesting reason to Civil Beat for why he wants the job. Arakawa says that Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho “is going to run for the governor’s office, and he will be probably be the next governor,” adding that he thinks he’d work well as Carvalho’s lieutenant governor. Carvalho, who is termed-out of his current job, has yet to say anything publicly about his plans, and Arakawa doesn’t seem to have said why he thinks Carvalho would be such an electoral juggernaut.

So far, only one other notable Aloha State Democrat who has made any noises about challenging Ige. However, while state Sen. Josh Green expressed interest back in January, in recent months he’s sounded far more likely to run for lieutenant governor instead, and he came close to declaring earlier in April. Still, at the beginning of the year, Green did lay out some criticism of Ige that the governor’s eventual primary challenger may echo. Green faulted the incumbent for failing to meet his promise to install air conditioners in 1,000 public schools by the end of last year as one of his major concerns, as well as the state’s long struggles with housing costs and homelessness.

MA-Gov: Massachusetts Democrats have a tough job next year if they want to unseat Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, and the party’s top figures aren’t exactly spoiling for a fight. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has a good relationship with Baker, and he didn’t rule out endorsing him on Tuesday.

And while other Bay State Democrats aren’t going that far, they’re not exactly sounding like a party that’s intent on beating the popular incumbent. Back in January, state Senate President Stan Rosenberg had nothing but praise for Baker’s state of state speech. A few weeks ago, Rep. Seth Moulton characterized Baker as a “good man” who is “doing a pretty good job of leading this state, while fellow Rep. Katherine Clark recently gave Baker’s tenure a “B+,” praising him as a “hard worker . . . a really nice guy.”

That’s a massive contrast to Maryland, another very blue state with a GOP governor who is up next year. A number of prominent Democrats have talked about challenging Gov. Larry Hogan, and other Democratic leaders aren’t going out of their way to gush over the governor. Hogan has posted good approval ratings, but unlike in Massachusetts, Maryland Democrats do seem interested in bringing him down to earth.

MN-Gov: This week, state Rep. Matt Dean became the second Minnesota Republican to kick off a bid for governor. Dean served as the chamber’s majority leader after Team Red took control in 2010, but in 2014 he lost the speakership race to Kurt Daudt, another prospective gubernatorial candidate. However, Dean did get to become chair of the powerful Health and Human Services Finance Committee.

Dean joins Ramsey County Commissioner Blake Huffman in the race for the GOP nod. Minnesota parties hold conventions months before the primary, where candidates compete for the state party endorsement. It’s common for candidates to drop out of the race if someone else gets the party endorsement, though some do decide to skip the convention entirely and just run in the primary. Dean says he’ll abide by the party endorsement, while Huffman said he would as well… unless he feels he’s been unfairly attacked, in which case, he “reserve[s] the right to run in the primary.”

The GOP contest may be getting bigger soon. Back in 2014, Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson lost the general election to Democratic incumbent Mark Dayton by a respectable 50-45 margin, and the local tipsheet Morning Take says he’ll announce his plans at the end of May. Rich Stanek, the sheriff of Hennepin County, and a number of other state legislators have also been flirting with running. Democrats have their own crowded contest brewing to succeed Dayton, who is retiring. State Auditor Rebecca Otto is one of the many declared Democratic candidates, and Dean got to the state House in 2004 by unseating her 52-48.

NM-Gov: Former Univision executive Jeff Apodaca, whose father served as governor of New Mexico in the mid-1970s, has been mulling a bid of his own for a while, and we may not need to wait much longer. Local political analyst Joe Monahan writes that Apodaca is expected to kick off his Democratic primary bid in early May. If he runs, Apodaca will face Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state Sen. Joe Cervantes for the Democratic nod. Monahan has said that both Apodaca and Cervantes have moderate images.

Two other New Mexico officeholders have also talked about running in the primary. State Attorney General Hector Balderas said in early March that he expected to decide by the summer, but Monahan doesn’t expect him to get in. Monahan says the same thing about Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales, but adds that Gonzales is currently calling for city voters to approve a 2-cents-per-ounce tax of sugary drinks, and that if the measure passes on Tuesday, it may encourage the mayor to run for governor.

TN-Gov: A few days ago, the communications director for Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett didn’t rule out the idea that his boss could seek the GOP nod next year. Burchett himself now says he is considering, though he says he has no timeline for deciding.

Burchett did acknowledge that fundraising could be problematic for him if he runs for governor, but told the local ABC affiliate that his grassroots platform could break through, because “I think my message is pretty clear. And I don’t need some New York advertising agency to help me talk to the regular folks, because I am the regular folks and I think that’s my appeal.” That’s… not something a lot of successful candidates say.

If Burchett is popular enough in the Knoxville area, he might be able to win a primary with a plurality (unlike in much of the South, Tennessee has no primary runoff). Still, Burchett isn’t even the only possible candidate from Knox County: Rich guy Randy Boyd, who is running, has part of the local zoo named for him.


GA-06: Politico’s Scott Bland reports that Republican Karen Handel is not up on the airwaves following her distant second-place showing in last week’s all-party primary, but the NRCC is stepping into the breach. In a characteristically histrionic new ad for the committee, a narrator quakes: “Hollywood celebrities. Democrat Party bosses. Forcing D.C. liberal Jon Ossoff on Georgia. Ossoff’s support of Obamacare means higher insurance premiums and a trillion in new taxes.”

She concludes, “Jon Ossoff will fight for them,” as photos of Nancy Pelosi, plus the top half of Bernie Sanders’ face and what we think is the bottom half of Barack Obama’s face, appear on screen. Very odd cinematography. Anyhow, the second half of the spot pivots to praise Handel, calling her a “25-year resident” of the 6th District who balanced budgets without raising taxes and “fought voter fraud.”

Independent expenditure reports filed by the NRCC show that the size of the buy is $563,000. But this is a good opportunity to point out that this money won’t go as far as it would had Handel been spending it. That’s because, by law, candidates are entitled to more favorable advertising rates than outside groups.

As a result, though Republicans collectively outspent Democrats by a 61-39 margin prior to the primary, the GOP only wound up with a 52-48 advantage in the total number of ads that were actually aired—called share of voice—because most of the Democratic spending came directly from the Ossoff campaign. That’s an important thing to bear in mind whenever you see figures on ad buys, because not all dollars are equally valuable. What really counts is how many ads you can run.

MN-07: Despite only recently saying that he wouldn’t decide whether to seek re-election until next year, Minnesota Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson unambiguously told Roll Call on Thursday that he was running again. Peterson’s decision will be a relief to his party: Trump carried this rural northwest Minnesota seat 62-31, and it would be extremely hard to hold without him.

Still, the GOP is hoping they can unseat the longtime incumbent. Last cycle, Peterson only beat underfunded Republican Dave Hughes 52-47, and Hughes is running again. But Team Red may have a stronger candidate on tap, with state Rep. Tim Miller jumping in earlier this month. The GOP has only made one serious attempt to unseat Peterson in years, but the incumbent won 54-46 in 2014 even with the red wave crashing on the shores of the Red Lake Reservation (no, that metaphor doesn’t really work.) Peterson is an incredibly formidable incumbent, but Republicans know that once they finally win the 7th District, they’re likely to keep it for a long, long, long time.

NM-01: Two Democrats are currently seeking this 52-36 Clinton seat in Albuquerque, and there may be another contender before long. Joe Monahan writes that outgoing state Democratic Party Chair Debra Haaland is expected to run after her term ends in a few days; according to her supporters, Haaland would be the first Native American woman to ever serve in the House.

SC-05: We have what seems to be the first major outside spending ahead of the May 2 GOP primary. Politico reports that a group called Hometown Freedom Action Network has dropped $113,000 on an ad campaign for state House Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope. Their commercial praises Pope‘s background as a police officer and prosecutor before telling voters how he loves Trump and the NRA and hates abortion and Obamacare. Politico also notes that we really know very little about Hometown Freedom, a group only occasionally gets involved in GOP primaries. If no one takes a majority next week, there will be a runoff in on May 16.

VA-10: The DCCC and EMILY’s List reportedly wanted state Sen. Jennifer Wexton to challenge GOP Rep. Barbara Comstock, and Wexton jumped in last week. However, Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe publicly expressed interest after Wexton made her decision. On Thursday, two members of Virginia’s House delegation, Donald McEachin and Gerry Connolly, endorsed Wexton in what may be an attempt to deter McAuliffe from running. Connolly represents a neighboring Northern Virginia seat while McEachin is a DCCC vice chair whom the Washington Post reports worked to recruit Wexton. A few other Democrats were already running before Wexton entered the race.

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, and Stephen Wolf, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, and James Lambert.

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Appeals court decision in foreclosure case could indicate issues for similar litigation

DAYTONA BEACH — An attorney in Florida has said he thinks the 5th District Court of Appeal’s opinion in a foreclosure case could bring up more issues in the foreclosure appeal process. 

Paul Archer v. U.S. Bank National Association included Archer’s appeal of a “non-final” ruling that dismissed his request for a motion to quash. The district court emphasized that it did not have the authority to rule because it didn’t have personal jurisdiction with Archer. This came after the bank filed for foreclosure against Archer via publication after it claimed it could not reach Archer.

Dustin Zacks of King, Nieves and Zacks law firm specializes in foreclosure appeals in the Florida area and spoke with the Florida Record on the decision. 

“I think it follows the constructive process but I think it implicates other issues that are going on in the foreclosure world,” Zacks said. “Because it only talked about the act of serving process, that’s kind of a practice tip for most attorneys who are doing appeals in this area or any area from service and jurisdictional issues.”

Zacks also said that the constructive process shed light on issues of banks lying about attempting to contact homeowners but really never did, leading to many law firms and services being sanctioned. 

“I can’t tell you if I agree but when Archer appeals, I’m immensely skeptical that they even needed to use the constructive process to serve him,” Zacks said. “I’m always surprised when I read an opinion or face a judge who may have not had a lot of foreclosure cases and they’re not thinking about the same background that I am.”

Zacks said that banks have more resources when it comes to fighting appeals like this. 

“If the homeowner can’t defend it or get a settlement, they can still come after the guy for the money,” he said. “Not necessarily in the same lawsuit, but this seems like it indicates that they’re only going to pursue against property.”

He added that Archer’s ability to appeal is already an advantage for him.

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Supervision Finds Some Student Loan and Mortgage Servicers Illegally Fail to …

Bureau Recovered $6.1 Million for 16,000 Consumers Harmed By Auto Loan Originators

Washington, D.C. –(ENEWSPF)—April 27, 2017.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today announced that its recent supervisory work has found that some student loan and mortgage servicers are violating the law by failing to provide struggling borrowers with legal protections. CFPB examiners found that some student loan servicers failed to refund charges imposed on borrowers who had been wrongly denied the right to defer payments while enrolled in school. The report also found that some mortgage servicers did not deliver the required foreclosure protections to borrowers seeking to save their homes, mishandled escrow accounts, and sent incomplete bills. The report also announced that non-public supervisory activities have led to the recovery of about $6.1 million for 16,000 consumers harmed by auto loan originators.

“We found that some mortgage and student loan servicers are violating the law by failing to provide protections to borrowers,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Their slipshod practices are putting borrowers at risk of financial failure and we will hold them accountable.”

Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the CFPB has authority to supervise banks and credit unions with more than $10 billion in assets and certain nonbanks. These include mortgage companies, private student lenders, payday lenders, and others defined as “larger participants.” Today’s report, the 15th edition of Supervisory Highlights, covers supervisory activities generally from September-December 2016, and shares observations in the areas of student loan servicing, mortgage servicing, mortgage origination, and fair lending.

Student Loan Servicing
Student loan servicers are the primary point of contact about loans for the more than 44 million Americans with student debt. It is a Bureau priority to end illegal practices in student loan servicing. Previously, the Bureau reported that borrowers encounter servicing problems driven by incomplete, inaccurate, or untimely reporting of student data. This can cost some borrowers hundreds of dollars or more. In February, the CFPB warned student loan borrowers to take steps to protect themselves from costly student enrollment status data errors. The Department of Education has also warned that these errors can lead to higher loan costs for borrowers and may contribute to student loan delinquency and defaults. In today’s report, Bureau examiners found that student loan servicers:

  • Routinely acted on flawed information: Most student loan borrowers have a right to postpone payments, called a deferment, while they are enrolled in school. But CFPB examiners found that one or more student loan servicers routinely acted on incorrect information about whether the borrower was enrolled in school. This faulty information was in student data reports used to manage millions of borrowers’ accounts, and was provided by National Student Clearinghouse, an enrollment data reporting company.
  • Failed to reverse charges wrongly imposed on borrowers in school: Because of data errors, one or more student loan servicers routinely failed to reverse certain charges even after it knew it had wrongly ended a deferment. These charges included improper late fees and capitalization of unpaid interest, which occurs when interest that accumulates on a student loan is added to the principal balance.

Mortgage Servicing
Mortgage servicers collect payments from the mortgage borrower and forward those payments to the owner of the loan. They typically handle customer service, collections, loan modifications, and foreclosures. Supervision continues to see serious issues for consumers seeking alternatives to foreclosure, or loss mitigation, at certain servicers. Issues identified during recent CFPB examinations include problems with foreclosure protections, premature foreclosure filings,  mishandling of escrow accounts, and incomplete periodic statements. Bureau examiners found one or more servicers:

  • Kept borrowers in the dark on foreclosure alternatives: One or more servicers failed to identify the additional documents and information borrowers needed to submit to complete a loss mitigation application to avoid foreclosure. They then denied the applications for not including those documents. Supervision directed these servicers to enhance policies, procedures, and monitoring to address the issue.
  • Prematurely launched the foreclosure process: Servicers cannot take certain steps toward foreclosure once they receive a complete loss mitigation application from a borrower more than 37 days before a foreclosure sale. For instance, servicers cannot make first notice of a foreclosure if a borrower has submitted a complete application for a loan modification or other foreclosure alternative that is still pending review. Bureau examiners found that one or more servicers failed to properly classify applications as complete after receiving the information, and failed to give required foreclosure protections to those consumers.
  • Mishandled escrow accounts: One or more servicers used funds from escrow accounts to pay insurance premiums on unrelated loans. This created shortages in the escrow account and forced higher monthly payments onto consumers. Supervision directed the servicer to give redress to affected consumers, and adopt policies and procedures to ensure that insurance payments are made properly from escrow accounts.
  • Issued incomplete periodic statements: Servicers must provide regular statements that include the amount and due date of the next payment; a breakdown of payments by principal, interest, fees, and escrow; and recent transactions. Examiners found one or more servicers used vague language like “Misc. Expenses” and “Charge for Service” when describing certain costs. These insufficient descriptions failed to comply with the rule. Supervision directed the servicer to modify its descriptions to help consumers understand their fees and charges.

Other Highlights
In the lead-up to the financial crisis, many consumers ended up in risky mortgages because lenders did not check to see if they could afford to pay back the loan. Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, lenders must make a reasonable effort to figure out if a consumer can repay the mortgage before making the loan. Today’s report looks at how CFPB examiners assess compliance with the Ability-to-Repay rule, including requirements on how a lender verifies a consumer’s ability to repay a mortgage loan. This includes whether a creditor’s decision relies on verified assets and not income, and whether it can be based on the size of the down payment for a consumer who otherwise lacks verified income or assets.

Today’s report also notes that CFPB examiners alerted one or more companies to spikes in complaint volume, prompting the companies to develop remedies. It also discusses the CFPB’s continued development and implementation of a program to directly examine key service providers to help reduce risks to consumers when a company outsources certain activities to those providers. In today’s report, the CFPB also reminds companies that creating incentives for employees and service providers to meet sales and other business goals can lead to consumer harm if those incentives are not properly managed. In addition, the report includes details about updated and expanded publicly available surname data from the U.S. Census Bureau for use in models that may be combined with geography data in CFPB analysis of fair lending practices.

The report highlights that non-public supervisory activities have led to the recovery of about $6.1 million for 16,000 consumers harmed by illegal practices by auto loan originators. The CFPB’s recent supervisory activities led to or supported five recent public enforcement actions, resulting in over $39 million in consumer remediation and another $19 million in civil money penalties. Today’s report shares information industry can use to comply with federal consumer financial law. In cases where CFPB examiners find problems, they alert the company and outline necessary remedial measures. This may include paying refunds or restitution, or taking actions to stop illegal practices, such as new policies or improved training or monitoring. When appropriate, the CFPB opens investigations for potential enforcement actions.

Today’s edition of Supervisory Highlights is available at:


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing thse rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit:




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Obama Has Always Been Cool with Taking Wall Street Cash

This week, we got a sense of just how many Americans are concerned about the financial prospects of a family that recently won a rumored $60 million book deal. Social media erupted at the news that Barack Obama will accept a $400,000 speaking fee for a healthcare conference run by financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald. Some on the left denounced the buckraking; plenty of others expressed righteous indignation over anyone telling the former president what to do.

And almost no one was honest with themselves.

Talk of optics and norms and appearances of impropriety and who is allowed to take money from whom represents a grand exercise in denial. The truth is that Obama is perfectly comfortable with raking in Wall Street cash. After all, it aligns well with someone who spent massive political capital to shield financial executives from their self-inflicted wounds. Taking this money won’t undermine what Obama believes in; it is what he believes in.

I know this because Obama spokesman Eric Schultz said so in a statement on his boss’s behalf. “Regardless of venue or sponsor, President Obama will be true to his values, his vision, and his record,” Schultz wrote. “With regard to this or any other speech involving Wall Street sponsors, I’d just point out that in 2008, Barack Obama raised more money from Wall Street than any candidate in history—and still went on to successfully pass and implement the toughest reforms on Wall Street since FDR.” (He could have also said “the only reforms on Wall Street since FDR.”)

Contrary to the complaint that liberals unnecessarily hold Obama to a higher standard, it’s the president himself who is boasting that he can take their money, drink their booze, and vote against Wall Street, to paraphrase the legendary California lawmaker Jesse Unruh. But while he did many positive things, when it comes to Wall Street, Obama is either oblivious to his own legacy, or trying to fool you about it. On that front, it’s precisely his values, vision, and record I call into question.

Obama inherited a bailout he whipped Democrats to support while he was still a candidate. In office, he failed to overhaul or shrink a financial system that represents everything wrong with the modern economy. He didn’t even stop the bonuses flowing at AIG.

During his transition, Obama promised up to $100 billion in bailout funds to prevent foreclosure; eight years later, only about $24 billion has been spent, most of it too late to stop the over 9.3 million American families who lost homes in the worst foreclosure crisis in 80 years. The government program Obama’s Treasury Department built to mitigate foreclosures, without congressional interference, became a foreclosure-creation machine instead.

No banker with any real agency in the crisis ever saw the inside of a jail cell in the most punitive nation on earth. Even when mortgage companies got caught falsifying mortgage documents in courts nationwide, and stealing homes with false evidence, Obama’s Justice Department made no effort to hold individuals responsible, instead stonewalling promising investigations and stringing along a disappointing series of no-fault settlements barely worth the paper they were printed on. For those who say a president is not a prosecutor, I’d submit that then-HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan spending two hours on the phone with me in 2012, defending the 49-state foreclosure fraud settlement that let bankers off the hook the day before its announcement, suggests that maybe the White House had something to do with it.

Obama’s legacy isn’t on the line because of a few speaking fees. It’s not even about the money. He made his choice while in office to align with financial power, with the people who write the checks. And this damaged both America’s economy and its sense of fairness, rupturing the nation’s social fabric. It set the stage for the worst leader in modern times to tweet his way into office on a wave of indignation.

I’ve made these points over and over, so let me just illustrate with a story: Robynne Fauley of Sandy, Oregon, is a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy who is probably going to be kicked out of her home on Monday. The case is an absolute mess, replete with a chain of internal emails going back nine years, showing bank employees plotting to fabricate documents so they can evict this woman once and for all. In the absence of accountability, this is what our system has devolved into: three line workers on an email chain figuring out how to squeeze foreclosures past a judge. When nobody pays a price for fraud, fraud proliferates.

Obama’s defenders call this irrelevant when lives are on the line with President Trump. But there will be another president someday (let’s hope), and if Democrats ever want that kind of power, they’ll have to stop pretending about their past, about where they stand while incomes stratify and power concentrates.

In the meantime, as long as everyone’s telling a complete stranger what to do with $400,000, I’d say: give it to Robynne Fauley. She could use it.

Follow David Dayen on Twitter.

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Foreclosure executed by Lanham



Default having been made in the payment of the indebtedness secured by that certain mortgage executed by Nicole R. Lanham, a single woman, originally in favor of Perimeter Mortgage Funding Corporation, on the 5th day of February, 2003, said mortgage recorded in the Office of the Judge of Probate of Lee County, Alabama, in Mortgage Book 2940 Page 564; the undersigned JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association, as Mortgagee/Transferee, under and by virtue of the power of sale contained in said mortgage, will sell at public outcry to the highest bidder for cash, in front of the main entrance of the Courthouse at Opelika, Lee County, Alabama, on July 13, 2017, during the legal hours of sale, all of its right, title, and interest in and to the following described real estate, situated in Lee County, Alabama, to-wit:


Commence at the Northwest Corner of Section 21, Township 18 North, Range 27 East, Lee County, Alabama; thence South 40 degrees 23 minutes 20 seconds East, 2786.92 feet to a point for a corner and point of beginning of the parcel here intended to be described: from this point of beginning, thence South 88 degrees 37 minutes 00 seconds East 348.96 feet to a point on the West right of way of Lee Road 446; thence South 01 degrees 33 minutes 53 seconds West along said right of way for a distance of 99.69 feet; thence North 83 degrees 24 minutes 35 seconds West, 350.10 feet; thence North 01 degrees 23 minutes 22 seconds East, 67.91 feet to the point of beginning. Containing 0.67 acres.


Property street address for informational purposes:  646 Lee Rd 446, Opelika, AL  36804




Alabama law gives some persons who have an interest in property the right to redeem the property under certain circumstances.  Programs may also exist that help persons avoid or delay the foreclosure process. An attorney should be consulted to help you understand these rights and programs as a part of the foreclosure process.


This sale is made for the purpose of paying the indebtedness secured by said mortgage, as well as the expenses of foreclosure.


The successful bidder must tender a non-refundable deposit of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) in certified funds made payable to Sirote Permutt, P.C. at the time and place of the sale. The balance of the purchase price must be paid in certified

funds by noon the next business day at the Law Office of Sirote Permutt, P.C. at the address indicated below. Sirote Permutt, P.C. reserves the right to award the bid to the next highest bidder should the highest bidder fail to timely tender the total amount due.


The Mortgagee/Transferee reserves the right to bid for and purchase the real estate and to credit its purchase price against the expenses of sale and the indebtedness secured by the real estate.


This sale is subject to postponement or cancellation.

JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association, Mortgagee/Transferee


Rebecca Redmond


P. O. Box 55727

Birmingham, AL  35255-5727

Attorney for Mortgagee/Transferee



The Villager

April 27, May 4, May 11, 2017

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CFPB Spring 2017 Supervisory Highlights Focus on Student Loan and Mortgage Servicers

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$45 Million Punitives in Wrongful Foreclosure/Automatic Stay Case

Adam Stone is a partner in the firm’s Business Commercial Litigation Practice Group and practices from the firm’s Jackson office. Mr. Stone has represented lenders, financial institutions, mortgage servicers, insurers, and trusts in a variety of class actions, state and federal suits, and arbitrations involving TILA, RESPA, FDCPA, UCC warranty claims, wrongful foreclosure claims, bad faith, and state law lender-liability claims, and he has presented on RESPA compliance issues to the Mississippi Bankers’ Compliance Task Force. Through his representation of these clients, he has developed extensive experience with issues involving venue and jurisdiction, with an emphasis on compelling parties to arbitration.

Mr. Stone’s representation of the lending industry grew out of his experience handling construction disputes. He is a U.S. Green Building Council LEED Accredited Professional (LEED-AP) and has represented lenders, owners, developers, contractors, subcontractors, material suppliers, design professionals, and manufacturers in construction contract negotiation, drafting, and litigation. Mr. Stone has handled cases dealing with delay, construction defects, bond and lien claims, negligent design, and FHA/ADA accessibility. He regularly presents on construction law issues, and he co-authored the Construction Law Chapter of the Encyclopedia of Mississippi Law and the Mississippi section of the Guide to State Procurement: A 50 State Primer on Purchasing Laws, Processes and Procedures, published by the American Bar Association in 2016. 

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Stonington selectmen keep foreclosure on the table for blighted …

STONINGTON — During its meeting Wednesday night, the Board of Selectmen discussed the ongoing blight at 2-4 Mechanic St. and the possibility of foreclosing on the liens it has put on the property as a result.

Director of Planning Jason Vincent, who is also the acting Blight Enforcement Officer, said the town has received numerous complaints about the property since 2010. In July 2016, the town notified the property owner, Stephen Vacca, of the complaints. In the months after the notification, Vacca failed to take action to fix the broken windows or aging roof on any portion of the building.

“We gave them time to act in accordance with our blight ordinance, issued citations and then filed a lien on the property. We had a conversation with the owner but he wasn’t responsive and didn’t seem interested in engaging,” he said. “The ordinance does not provide guidelines beyond putting a lien on the property, so we forwarded the case to the town attorney’s office.”

Vincent said there are three steps the town can take: foreclose on the liens and take ownership of the property, take steps to resolve violations by going on the premises or do nothing. At the moment, he said, the town doesn’t have any funding to go on the property and resolve the issues.

Ultimately, an action to foreclose would have to be made by the Board of Selectmen. So far, $24,000 in liens have been placed on the property.

Currently 80 percent of the building is vacant, aside from the small portion that’s used by Best Energy, owned by Pawcatuck resident Jim Lathrop, who urged the board to take action. Until Best Energy moved in, the entire building had been vacant since 1982. When it rains, he said there are puddles inside the building from major leaks in the roof.

“There have been numerous problems at the building, which we’ve had to fix at our expense because the landlord is uninsured,” he said. “Blight is more than just appearances in market value in an area. Unused and dilapidated buildings cost the public directly when trees fall on the wires or a fire starts in a vacant adjoining building like what happened in March.”

First Selectman Rob Simmons said that if the town were to foreclose on the property, it would likely want to put it up for sale.

“It’s been a year, there have been fines and the owner has not been responsive to our efforts to remediate the property,” he said. “Before we implement any action, I think we should get a clear reading from the town attorney and perhaps from someone who’s in the business of doing this kind of transaction so we don’t foreclose on the liens, get the property and end up with a whole series of liabilities.”

Vincent agreed, saying the town doesn’t have anyone on its team qualified or trained to manage that sort of transaction.

The board decided that the town’s attorney should do further analysis to review the town’s options for action in greater detail and the topic will be discussed again at its next meeting in two weeks.

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Belevedere, Main Street restaurants facing foreclosure for unpaid taxes

Members of the Saranac Lake High School Class of 1969 celebrate their 40-year reunion at the Belvedere bar in 2009. Franklin County has notified the owners of “the Bel,” as it’s known, that the county will take the property by foreclosure if they don’t start paying nearly $83,700 in back taxes.
(Enterprise photo — Catherine Moore)


Foreclosure proceedings are underway on two well-known local restaurants.

In a legal notice published in this newspaper on April 12, the Belvedere Restaurant at 102 Bloomingdale Ave., Saranac Lake, and the Main Street Restaurant at 79 Main St., Tupper Lake, are named among dozens of properties in a petition of foreclosure that Franklin County Treasurer Bryon Varin filed March 7.

Gerard Cavallo and his sister-in-law Lillian Cavallo are the current owners of the 102 Belvedere property. Shaun LaBarge owns the Main Street Restaurant property.

The last date to redeem the properties from foreclosure is June 26. The owners have until then to either pay the amount in full or to sign a contract to pay in installments. If they do not take steps to resolve the debt, the county will submit a request for judicial intervention. A judge will then decide whether to grant the property titles to the county for auction.

Any decision by a judge in a foreclosure case is subject to the court’s docket. The county treasurer’s staff says the typical turnaround time of late has been six months. County officials expect to bring any foreclosed properties to auction by next spring.

According to the treasurer, the Cavallos owe $83,694.35 for unpaid taxes from 2011 to 2015 and 2017. LaBarge is in arrears for $22,920.87 for the tax years from 2011 to 2015.

Neither Gerard nor Lillian Cavallo could be reached to comment on this story, but LaBarge said he plans to pay the taxes and keep the restaurant.

“It’s all been taken care of,” LaBarge said. “June 26 is the deadline, and I’ve already made an appointment in Malone to bring it up to date.”

LaBarge has owned the Main Street Restaurant for more than 13 years, returning to Tupper Lake for the investment opportunity after spending time out West.

“I’m telling you, 14 years ago, the mountain (Big Tupper Ski Area) was bought, and I was like, wow, what a great time to open a business,” he said, referring to the beleaguered Adirondack Club and Resort development.

But with the ACR bogged down, and with winter traffic lighter in the past few years, LaBarge admits to difficulties.

“It’s a tough business,” he said.

Varin acknowledged the difficulties for property owners facing foreclosure. He said the county has tried to alleviate it by offering installment and partial payment plans. In his more than 24 years at the treasury, he said thousands have taken advantage of these programs.

The Belvedere building dates to the 1890s, and the Cavallo family opened the vintage Italian eatery, commonly known as the “Bel,” in 1933. It’s distinguished by neon lights, grandfathered in from before zoning restricted them. Those neon tubes were considered the probable cause of a small electrical fire March 28 in the wall around the bar entrance.

The Belvedere has been for sale for years and currently has a list price of $495,000. The restaurant and bar are on the building’s main floor, and there are three apartments upstairs.

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Carlyle Care Center to stop providing assisted living for 127 people with chronic mental health issues

By the end of October, the 127-bed Carlyle Care Center will stop providing round-the-clock care to people with chronic mental illness, nonprofit Pioneer Human Services announced to staff and residents on Wednesday, April 26.

The Carlyle, at Post Street and Second Avenue in downt

click to enlarge

  • As of the end of October, the Carlyle Care Center will no longer provide care for 127 people with chronic mental illness.

own Spokane, often serves people who would otherwise be homeless, are transitioning out of Eastern State Hospital or Sacred Heart’s Adult Psychiatric Unit, are in hospice care, or have a court order to be in a residential care facility, according to Pioneer.

The people who live there, long-term or short-term, are referred in, and often on Medicaid. They receive meals, medications, nursing care, room cleaning, activities and other care.

Because Medicaid rates haven’t kept pace with the cost of providing that intensive care, the facility will have to transition and provide a different type of service, says Hilary Young, a Pioneer spokeswoman.

“Like a lot of publicly funded services, rates have not kept pace with the costs,” Young says. “It’s really expensive.”

Some of the residents at the Carlyle already transition in and out in a manner of weeks or months, so some of them would already be on their way to lower-level service facilities, she says. About half the residents stay for more than a year, and the other half stay for less time.

“Over the next six months we’ll be working with partners in the community and other assisted living providers to secure housing for everybody who lives at the Carlyle today,” Young says. “Words like ‘closure’ tend to cause panic, I would say this is a transition. There are still going to be housing resources for high-needs people, and Pioneer still expects to be in that role, just not in assisted living.”

When residents were told about the change on Wednesday, Frontier Behavioral Health, which provides mental health services to many of the people who live at the Carlyle, had staff on site to make sure they knew that a team of people would help them transition through this, says Jeff Thomas, Frontier’s CEO.

“The fact there’s that amount of time is really fortunate,” Thomas says. “It’s really a testament to Pioneer’s commitment to helping people transition out.”

While the news could be unsettling or concerning for the residents and community, Thomas says both agencies will work with the Spokane County Regional Behavioral Health Organization and other care facilities over “the gift of time we do have” to find people stable housing, and patients will continue to receive mental health care from Frontier.

“We were there, so they had a sense there’s a community team approach working to assist them, so they aren’t going to be kicked to the curb or put out in the cold,” Thomas says.

It’s still not clear what the Carlyle will transition into, though it may look more like supportive affordable housing, where residents are typically much more independent, and don’t need meals or nursing services, but still have access to on-site case managers or treatment groups, Young says.

Pioneer bought the Carlyle from the city of Spokane for $3.2 million in 2011, according to property records. The city obtained the property after it went into foreclosure in 2006, saving it as housing for the vulnerable; Pioneer made an offer after the city sought bids for someone to take over providing care there, the Spokesman-Review reported in 2010.

When asked if Pioneer Human Services had looked at partnering with the city, Young says that they’ve “explored a fair number of options.”

Pioneer currently serves about 600 people a day in Spokane across services that help people transitioning out of prison find housing, provide inpatient and outpatient treatment for drug and alcohol use, as well as mental health and more, Young says.  

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