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Pradyot Sharma Staff Writer The Troy University Board of Trustees approved a five percent increase in tuition for the 2017-18 academic year. Undergraduate tuition was raised $15 from $301 per credit hour to $316 per credit hour and graduate tuition increased by $20 from $397 to $417 per credit hour.  There will also be a $3 increase in University general fees raising it to $42 per credit hour. According to Jim Bookout, the senior vice-chancellor for financial affairs, the main reason for the increase in tuition was the lack of […]

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Pradyot Sharma Staff Writer The Troy University Board of Trustees approved a five percent increase in tuition for the 2017-18 academic year. Undergraduate tuition was raised $15 from $301 per credit hour to $316 per credit hour and graduate tuition increased by $20 from $397 to $417 per credit hour.  There will also be a $3 increase in University general fees raising it to $42 per credit hour. According to Jim Bookout, the senior vice-chancellor for financial affairs, the main reason for the increase in tuition was the lack of […]

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Risk of taking expired viagra – Reddit viagra

Pradyot Sharma Staff Writer The Troy University Board of Trustees approved a five percent increase in tuition for the 2017-18 academic year. Undergraduate tuition was raised $15 from $301 per credit hour to $316 per credit hour and graduate tuition increased by $20 from $397 to $417 per credit hour.  There will also be a $3 increase in University general fees raising it to $42 per credit hour. According to Jim Bookout, the senior vice-chancellor for financial affairs, the main reason for the increase in tuition was the lack of […]

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Rep. Keith Ellison Riles Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin Over ‘Robo-Signing’

Steve Mnuchin may have been confirmed as President Trump’s Treasury Secretary, but he’s still facing pushback from his colleagues in Congress. During a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Keith Ellison sparred with Mnuchin over his past work at OneWest, a bank that’s been labeled a “Foreclosure Machine.”

The argument occurred when Ellison brought up the financial term “robo-signing,” in reference to Erica Johnson-Seck, a OneWest’s vice president for bankruptcy and foreclosure who notoriously robo-signed countless OneWest documents. (“Robo-signing,” as explained by Wikipedia, is “a term used by consumer advocates to describe the robotic process of the mass production of false and forged execution of mortgage assignments, satisfactions, affidavits, and other legal documents related to mortgage foreclosures and legal matters being created by persons without knowledge of the facts being attested to.”)

“Do you even know what Robo-signing is?” Mnuchin asked Ellison, before spending several more minutes laying in to the Minnesota Democrat.

Linda Tirelli, a bankruptcy attorney in White Plains, N.Y., certainly knows “what robo-signing is,” and she took the time to respond to Mnuchin in a letter published on the Huffington Post:

Secretary Munchin: I do know what robo-signing is and while you don’t think it’s a “legal” term all you need to do is enter the term “robo-signer” into a search engine and, lo and behold, discover it’s a widely used and accepted term found in legal documents, deposition transcripts, and judicial opinions throughout the country. I’ve spent the last ten years of my legal career calling out the systemic fraud that is robo-signing; a practice that’s been adopted as a “business as usual model” by the largest financial institutions in our country. Just for fun, Secretary Munchin, please Google “Linda Tirelli robo signer” and you’ll find no less than eight hundred and forty hits highlighting my work as a consumer advocate exposing the fraud that is robo-signing and document fabrication. Next: Google “Steven Mnuchin robo signer” and you’ll come up with nearly the same number of results; essentially, pointing out your rationalizing the practice. Some background: falsified documents are routinely robo-signed by low-income wage earners trying to make ends meet. In depositions (I dare you to ask me for transcripts) they freely admit that they aren’t the person whose name is on the document, be it the VP of CitiBank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo,Chase or any other financial institution, Many admit to signing or notarizing hundreds of documents per day. In one case involving Bank of America I discovered three robo-signed documents purporting to assign a homeowners note and mortgage and it was signed by the same person, David Perez, on the same day, in front of the same notary; with the signatory claiming to be a Vice-President with authority to sign as an agent for three different banks. In fact — not mentioned in any of these assignments — he was working for just one bank: the aforementioned Bank of America.

I was also instrumental in uncovering the Wells Fargo Attorney Foreclosure manual. Have you read it Secretary Mnuchin? I’ve got twelve different editions if you’re interested and only one has been made public. It isn’t very long but it reads like a blueprint for fraud. There’s no provision in this manual that allows Wells Fargo lawyers to admit any wrong-doing no matter how legally defective they find the documentation to be. The manual simply white washes any notion that Wells Fargo may not have the right to enforce a mortgage lien or foreclose on a property. I no longer count how many cases I see involving fraud against unsuspecting homeowners. Just to remind myself that it’s a fraudulent document I’m reading, I went on-line and for $9.99 and bought my own rubber stamp (with a red-ink pad). What does it say? “WTF!” in big letters. Now, before you dismiss me as a fanatic Hillary supporter, let me disabuse you of that notion. I don’t wear pussy-hat caps nor Birkenstocks and I don’t scarf down granola. I’m not a bleeding heart liberal. I’m a well educated lawyer and successful business owner who is also a registered Republican and Trump supporter. I call it like I see it and as I see it the Mega-Banks and servicers sold out and gave up any semblance of integrity. They went down the very wrong path of lies and deception and, in the process, wreaked havoc with Main Street. As a hard working conservative, I come from a place where I acknowledge a problem when I see it, and do whatever I can to fix it. Secretary Mnuchin: pull your head out of the sand and admit the problem of robo-signing exists and persists. Stand up to those who want to give the financial services industry a free pass — like former AG, Eric Holder — allowing them to buy their way out of jail with some “settlement money.” As recent history demonstrates, that does nothing to fix the problem. I encourage you to take a stand and hold the corporate blood sucking thieves accountable. I’m not a proponent of over-regulation because I believe it does hurt smaller local banks and credit unions. However, I do want the sleazy predatory Mega-Banks ― the ones that continue to engage in practices like robo-signing ― to be held accountable and, for Pete’s sake, let’s stop trying to emasculate the one Federal agency that is the consumer’s watch-dog: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). As far as taking offense at being called a “Foreclosure King?” Grow up. Your July 27th appearance before the House Financial Services Committee made you look like a pompous jerk. Wipe the smirk off your face, roll up your sleeves and go do something to restore Main Street’s confidence in our financial institutions. If you need further input and suggestions I might be able to find some time in my schedule.

Watch the the tense exchange between Mnuchin and Ellison in the video above.

–Posted by Emma Niles.

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Democrats Are Already Fighting About Kamala Harris, and They Need to Stop

We’re only eight months into Donald Trump’s presidency, and the left is already fighting over who will run against him in 2020. While no official candidates have been announced, there’s speculation that Senator Kamala Harris (D-C.A.) is an early frontrunner. One faction cheers her on as a vocal opponent of the Trump administration, who asked some tough questions during confirmation hearings earlier this year—and was repeatedly silenced by her white, male colleagues. Another faction sees her as too moderate, with the kiss of death “ties to Wall Street” and a not-progressive-enough record as a prosecutor.

So far, the conversation around Harris has played out, over and over, something like this: A progressive digs up an unsavory detail of Harris’ record, and questions whether she’s the best person to lead the Democrats against Trump. A more mainstream Democrat calls that progressive racist and/or sexist, saying that Harris wouldn’t face the same scrutiny if she weren’t a black woman. Another progressive chimes in to point out that it’s not just so-called “Bernie Bros” who have a problem with Harris, and that the criticism of her has nothing to do with her demographics and everything to do with her record. Another mainstream Democrat accuses the progressives of divisiveness and declares that the left will lose in 2020 if we don’t unite behind a candidate. Everyone walks away feeling that they’ve made their point, and no progress is made.

The thing is, all four of these perspectives is a little bit right.

First of all, no, it’s not racist or sexist to dig through the political record of a potential presidential nominee. Anyone who’s being considered for the country’s highest office, and to represent the Democratic party’s opposition to Trump, will be—and should be—subject to scrutiny. And there are things in Harris’ record that are worth examining closely. For example, as a prosecutor, she conspicuously declined to prosecute Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s old company OneWest for what The Week called “numerous instances of almost certain illegal foreclosure,” and then got a donation from Mnuchin in 2016. She defended the death penalty, and California’s extremely punitive three-strikes law, which imposes life sentences for repeated offenses, even if they’re all minor. She also led the charge against Backpage, the online classifieds site used by sex workers to make their jobs safer. It makes sense that the left, for which criminal justice reform is a major issue, would be skeptical of Harris.

But the resistance to the resistance to Harris isn’t about whether it’s racist or sexist to raise any concerns. It’s a reaction to what looks like early warning signs that the far left will do to Harris what it did to Hillary Clinton; dig their heels in and refuse to accept a standard bearer that’s less than perfect. It looks like the beginning of the kind of infighting and division that lost us the last election, and could lose us the next one, too, if we’re not careful. It’s less about not wanting her to be criticized at all, and more about pleading with the divided left to agree on someone so that we don’t have to live through seven-and-a-half more years of Trump. And yes, the fact that Clinton and Harris are women, and that Harris is black, are undeniable factors in just how much scrutiny they’re subject to—that can be true without it being racist or sexist to ever criticize either of them at all. But anyone who still believes that sexism had nothing to do with Clinton’s loss, and even the hatred for her within her own party, is deluded.

So the real question is, can we vet Harris (or any other non-white-male candidate), examining her record and raising legitimate concerns, without Clinton-ing her? That is, without getting so caught up in demanding perfection from our own candidate that we self-immolate and leave ourselves stuck with Trump? A perfect candidate would be great, but there’s no such thing. Also apparently in the running are Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, neither of which is any better suited than Harris to pass the progressive purity test. We could always run Bernie Sanders again and prove once and for all whether he “would have won,” but even Saint Sanders is not without his flaws.

The criticism of Clinton was warranted, just as the criticism of Harris is. And during the primary process (or in this case, before it even starts), it makes sense to poke holes in any candidate’s carefully focus-grouped façade, to demand the best and ferret out any potential shortcomings. We should be doing all of that with Harris, just like we should have done it with Clinton. But once Clinton was the candidate, the more progressive wing of the party, who wanted Sanders, didn’t stop that primary-phase nit picking. We should be critical of Harris now, but if she does turn out to be the best candidate (or, truly, if she ends up the nominee, regardless of whether a more progressive favorite loses out) we desperately, crucially, need to stop fighting amongst ourselves about what exactly a progressive utopian reimagining of the United States would look like, and what kind of Platonic ideal leader we’d like to see at the helm.

Let’s do our due diligence, vet the candidates and pick one to rally behind. Let’s not destroy each other before the election even starts.

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Oakland buys affordable apartment complex to prevent foreclosure

Oakland is purchasing an affordable housing apartment complex to prevent it from going into foreclosure.

The City Council has approved buying the E.C. Reems Gardens Apartments from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development for $3.8 million. HUD had indicated it would otherwise foreclose on the property July 31.

“We are simply trying to keep this project affordable. If we do not go through with this and have an approval by July 31, HUD will put this on the open market,” Michele Byrd, director of the city’s housing and community development department, told the council before its vote July 24.

“We could lose 126 units of affordable housing. Those individuals who are there now will be displaced,” she said.

Oakland has loaned a total of $4.1 million to the apartment complex’s owners and received no repayments, according to a staff report. Both the city and HUD had put the owner in default, with the city’s lien in second position behind feds’.

A foreclosure sale would have cost the city a $4.1 million loss, Byrd said. The city plans to find an interim property management company to operate the apartments until they can be sold, according to the staff report.

The apartment complex at 2600-2795 Alvingroom Court in East Oakland has had a troubled past.

“Back in the ’80s and ’90s, it was not a safe place to raise a family,” Councilman Larry Reid said in an interview. It had a reputation for drug traffic and violence, according to the report.

In 1995, the bank foreclosed on the privately owned property, and the city helped a Southern California nonprofit, Corporation for Better Housing, acquire the buildings and convert them to affordable housing. Then-Mayor Elihu Harris had the developer reach out to the Reems, an Oakland family that has a church, shelter, senior complex and other buildings near the site, offering them a 1 percent share, Reid said.

The Reems do not  operate the apartments, said John Guillory, a real estate broker who is working with the family. “It’s the CBH people who run everything,” he said in an interview.

The property has not been maintained and has a high vacancy rate despite an affordable housing shortage in Oakland, the report said. There have been frequent management turnovers and cash-flow problems.

“They basically bled the project dry,” Reid said of Corporation for Better Housing. Guillory agreed with that assessment.

Corporation for Better Housing could not be reached for comment.

The city was alerted to some of the problems when apartment residents approached it to ask for help moving, saying they felt threatened by the property’s manager and that the mold in their units was making their children sick, Reid said.

Oakland sent out an inspection team, which found missing or damaged fire extinguishers, broken or missing hand rails, and broken, missing or damaged appliances.

“It’s not a place where you or I would want to raise our families,” Reid said of what inspectors found.

A city crew also had to make emergency repairs to stop raw sewage from leaking into a nearby creek, he said. The developer has not been willing to meet with city officials or respond to correspondence despite repeated attempts, Reid said.

“It’s deplorable,” with mold, broken stairs and poor light, one resident who asked not to be identified said of the apartments. “The police are called all the time. It’s pretty scary.”

The mailboxes were broken into six months ago and still haven’t been fixed, the resident said. As a result, tenants have to go the post office to get their mail, the resident said.

Councilwoman Desley Brooks objected to the city not recognizing the Reems family’s equity share as part of the council’s resolution authorizing the purchase.

“They should get something for putting their name up and taking all the hits over the years,” she said.

“There is no equity in this project,” Byrd said. “This project is underwater.”

The motion to buy the property passed 5-3, with Brooks, Rebecca Kaplan and Noel Gallo voting no. The city will now find an interim property management company to handle the site, with the goal of seeing it sold, according to the staff report.

“We’re hoping an affordable housing developer will acquire the site and either bring the units up to standard, or tear it down and build new affordable housing,” Reid said.



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Attorney Linda Tirelli Defines Robo-Signing For Clueless Steven Mnuchin

The ghosts of banking’s past seemed to surface with a vengeance when the term “robo-signing” — a foreclosure short-cut liberally used by OneWest — was hurled his way by the Congressman. This, in turn, proved too much for the normally passive Treasury boss who decided, like Network’s, Howard Beale, he was angry, really angry and wasn’t going to take it any more.

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Columbiana County Common Pleas

Cameron E. Boggs, 26, Vine Street, East Liverpool, was placed on community control for four years for theft and misuse of credit cards. Between April 21 and May 22, Boggs took a debit card belonging to Darrel Locke, an elderly person, and used it to withdraw $11,816 in funds.

Brandon L. Barnes, 21, state Route 154, Lisbon, was found eligible for treatment in lieu of conviction and placed on a four-year treatment plan for a possession of drugs charge in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court. Barnes had hydrocodone during a traffic stop conducted on June 15, 2016.

Erich W. Henkel, 33, East Main Street, Leetonia, pleaded guilty to theft and was placed on four years community control. Starting in April 2016 and continuing through June 2016, Henkel took miscellaneous tools, a camera lens, diamond earrings, a stRobe light and miscellaneous collectibles belonging to Robert Snow.

Zachary E. Bangor, 25, Highland Colony Street, East Liverpool, was found eligible for treatment in lieu of conviction and placed on a three-year treatment plan for possession of drugs. Bangor had .211 grams of powder containing heroin in his wallet on May 11, 2016.

New Cases

MB Financial Bank vs. Kenneth and Mariel Beckman, et al., foreclosure sought for property on state Route 39, Wellsville.

Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC vs. Harry and Tracy Fishback, et al., foreclosure sought for property on Sprucevale Road, East Liverpool.

Farmers National Bank vs. Tammy Blake, Lisbon, $11,169 plus interest sought for alleged debt owed.

Navy Federal Credit Union vs. Carl Allen Landsberger, Salem, $25,811 plus interest sought for alleged debt owed.

Michael and Kathleen Paster, Salem, vs. Ford Motor Co., excess of $25,000 sought for allegations of deceptive practices and ineffective repair attempts, leaving the vehicle worthless.

Shane Allen Miller, East Palestine, and Darla Jean Miller, East Palestine, dissolution sought.

Aleasha Backus, East Liverpool, vs. Tylor Backus, East Liverpool, dissolution sought.

Melissa Lynn Noland, Wellsville, vs. Paul Bryan Noland, Ashland, divorce sought.

Docket Entries

James R. Beam Jr., vs. Joshua Hunter, supplementary proceeding dismissed.

Thomas Demarco vs. Ford Motor Co., case settled and dismissed.

Cowboy Industries LLC vs. Elite Oilfield Services Inc., defendant ordered to pay plaintiff $31,543.

U.S. Bank National Association vs. Alan Wilcox, et al., two properties in Center Township to be sold by Rick A. Kigar through

Amy Tatta, Leetonia, vs. Dustin Chapman, Columbiana, divorce granted.

Kelly Marie Lee, East Liverpool, vs. Ralph Kenneth Lee, Lebanon, divorce granted.

Leasa E. Beachley, Canfield, and Devon O. Beachley, Columbiana, dissolution granted.

Amber C. Waller, Columbiana, vs. Scott Waller, Mineral Ridge, dissolution granted.

Joseph M. McCoy, Rogers, vs. Candy D. McCoy, East Liverpool, dissolution granted.

Alexander Canja vs. MAC Trailer Enterprises, Inc. et al., case dismissed.

Bank of New York Mellon vs. Marley D. Nordine, et al., foreclosure ordered for property on Ceramic Street, East Liverpool.

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Stop enabling sex traffickers – The Blade

The Communications Decency Act has unwittingly supported the explosion of online sex trafficking since its enactment in 1996. It is high time that something be done about it.

Websites, such as, that have been accused of knowingly facilitating sex trafficking, have been able to exploit a loophole in Section 230 of the CDA to escape legal and civil liability. The results have been gut-wrenching.

Click here to read more Blade editorials

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there was an 846 percent increase in reports of suspected child-sex trafficking from 2010-2015, mostly attributed to the Internet marketplace.

Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) has been tenacious in trying to close this loophole. Mr. Portman, along with a bipartisan coalition of 19 senators, introduced the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act of 2017 last week. The act would strip the protections for websites that knowingly facilitate sex trafficking, even in ads posted by third parties. Sex-trafficking victims would also be able to sue sites implicated in their exploitation, and state law enforcement officers, not just the U.S. Justice Department, could take action against online sites hosting third-party content violating trafficking laws.

The bill is a no-brainer, despite concerns of some that it could be a step toward Internet censorship. Mr. Portman’s effort specifically targets the heinous online sex-trafficking trade, not law-abiding interactive computer service providers.

The intentions behind Section 230 were good. It makes sense to not hold Facebook or Twitter liable for what a third party posts on their sites. But a two-year investigation by Mr. Portman’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations uncovered evidence that Backpage worked with advertisers to create ads that would not raise suspicion, even when Backpage had reason to believe that the ads were trafficking women or young girls.

As recently as November, Backpage CEO Carl Ferrer and company founders Michael Lacy and James Larkin were cleared of pimping charges after using the Communications Decency Act defense. Several women who claimed they were knowingly trafficked on the site have lost civil lawsuits.

“Congress struck a balance in favor of free speech in that Congress did not wish to hold liable online publishers for the action of publishing third-party speech and thus provided for both a foreclosure from prosecution and an affirmative defense at trial,” Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman wrote in clearing the company officials. “Congress has spoken on this matter, and it is for Congress, not this court, to revisit.”

Now Congress has revisited the issue. The legal loophole allowing for the exploitation of so many women and girls must be permanently closed. 

Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don’t attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor’s agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on To find out more, please visit the FAQ.

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Setting Priorities: When You Refinance A First Mortgage, Is It Still A FIRST Mortgage?

It is a question I have been asked a number of times over the past few years: If a lender refinances an existing mortgage, does the new lender step into the shoes of the old lender in terms of priority? In other words, if you refinance a first mortgage, does it remain a FIRST mortgage or is it a new mortgage that is junior to other mortgages that may have been recorded after the first mortgage? Granted this is not a question as weighty as, say, “what is the meaning of life?” but if you are a lender, it is an important one. I have written about this topic before, but the Appellate Division’s recent decision in Ocwen Loan Services, Inc. v. Quinn, added a new wrinkle. In that case, the question was whether a refinanced first mortgage retains its first status over a life estate, as opposed to another mortgage or lien, that was recorded prior to the original mortgage.

In Ocwen, defendants conveyed their residential property to their daughter but retained a life estate in the property. (In other words, the daughter owned the property, but defendants could live there until they died.) One year later, defendants, their daughter, and her husband acquired a loan from plaintiff that was secured by a mortgage on the property. Two years after that, the daughter refinanced the mortgage for a higher amount. The title commitment that plaintiff obtained did not disclose the recorded life estates, so defendants were not required to sign the mortgage. Through the refinancing, the daughter, among other things, paid off the prior mortgage, which defendants had signed.

Two years later, the daughter defaulted on the refinanced mortgage and plaintiff foreclosed. The parties cross-moved for clarification on the status of defendants’ life estate. Plaintiff argued that the life estate was subordinate to the refinanced mortgage, meaning defendants could not rely on it to stop the foreclosure. Defendants argued that the foreclosure had to be dismissed because “they did not sign the [refinanced] mortgage nor pledge their life estates in connection with the [ ] loan refinancing.”

The trial court granted plaintiff’s motion and denied defendants’ motion. The general rule in New Jersey is “first in time, first in right,” which means that if you are the first one to record your interest in real property — mortgage, lien, life estate, etc. — then you have priority over all later-filed interests. There are equitable exceptions to this rule, however, when it comes to mortgage modifications, and the trial court applied one of these exceptions in Ocwen. The trial court allowed plaintiff to “step into the shoes of its prior mortgage which its own funds satisfied.” As a result, plaintiff could foreclose, notwithstanding defendants’ life estate. The trial court rejected defendants’ argument that they were not bound by the refinancing because they did not sign it. Specifically, the trial court held:

Defendants signed [the original mortgage] as possessors of a life estate. While defendants may have signed the mortgage as an act of kindness and love to their daughter, the fact remains defendants were parties to the [original] mortgage and thus subjected their life estate to this foreclosure action . . . . Enforcing the refinanced mortgage against defendants puts them in the same position they were in as signers of the original mortgage. The life estates of defendants are subject to the refinance because of their participation in the signing of the original mortgage.

Defendants appealed, but the Appellate Division affirmed the trial court’s decision. It held that, when dealing with the replacement or modification of a mortgage, prejudice to the “intervening lienor” is the key issue. If there is no prejudice, then the refinancing lender steps into the original lender’s shoes. In Ocwen, the Appellate Division agreed with the trial court that the “replacement of the [original] mortgage with the [refinanced] mortgage did not prejudice defendants in any meaningful way.” As the Appellate Division observed, :”[i]t [was] without doubt that defendants agreed to subordinate their life estate to the lien of plaintiff’s [original] mortgage.” Therefore, the Appellate Division held that “enforcing the [refinanced] mortgage against defendants put[] them in the same position they were in when they signed the [original] mortgage.”

Finally, the Appellate Division approved the decision by the trial court to “cap” the amount of plaintiff’s priority at the amount of the original loan. As the trial court held, “to the extent that the refinance exceeds the value of the [original] mortgage, such a portion of the refinance does not maintain priority over defendants’ life estates.” So, if you are keeping score at home, the priority stands as follows: (1) the refinanced mortgage up to the original loan amount; (2) defendants’ life estate; (3) the balance of the refinanced mortgage. Thus, while defendants could not stop the foreclosure, they might be able to share in some of the proceeds of the sale of the property if a sheriff’s sale resulted in payment above the original loan amount.

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