At long last, the much dreaded knock on your front door, many times at a somewhat odd hour of the day or perhaps even on your day of rest, from an unknown individual seeking only to greet you and introduce you to a lawsuit in Supreme Court. Your name will be prominently and most publicly proclaimed as a defendant wherein your lender is seeking redress for injuries and damages it sustained and now wishes to foreclose upon your home or business property.
Most ordinary folks , more than likely, would struggle to gather their resources to engage one or several law firms and most certainly, their lawyers would rarely reside on Avenue of the Americas, or Park Avenue or Madison Avenue. And when presented with an opportunity to negotiate a settlement, the figures would not climb anywhere near $202 million. Yet, that is exactly what occurred in a recent settlement of a civil mortgage fraud lawsuit brought by the United States against Deutsche Bank, a name that many of our clients have seen acting as the plaintiff in the lawsuits commenced against them in a mortgage foreclosure lawsuit.
Our government attorneys alleged that through a series of reckless acts, the Bank blatantly violated rules that would otherwise have determined whether borrowers could make mortgage payments. If you are one of the thousands of families who now face default and foreclosure, many with arrears in FHA mortgages, do read on.
Careful underwriting manuals and regulations, quality control plans and compliance with good and honest due diligence rules were violated with repeated lies and failures on the part of these defendants. The determination of whether a borrower could and would repay the mortgage debt, the probability of default and attitude towards credit promises were flagrantly ignored. And you, my new callers and clients of our law firm were participants, so many unwittingly in the quest for the American dream of homeownership, by repeated and fraudulent brokers. It was a one way road for financial disaster to the homeowner and business owner, paved by untold riches to the lending institutions that wove these patterns for profit.
A jury trial was demanded, but as we now know, a jury of your peers will never see these stories and tales unfold. A stipulation and Order of Settlement and Dismissal was reached in which the defendants paid the sum of $202.3 million dollars and effectively were released from further civil prosecution as explicitly outlined in the terms of the Order. Fortunately, payment of this money did not render the Bank’s financial situation insolvent and believe that it will remain solvent following the payment whereupon the action was dismissed.
These unjustified and unreasonable actions, bad faith misrepresentations and collusive dealings, with no intention of honor or sense of fair play, serve as the underpinnings and foundations of so many of the lawsuits affecting our neighbors, callers and clients. Small potatoes…..but what happens to the callers and clients unable to achieve the permanent modifications? What happens to the thousands of families who unknowingly make countless trial modification payments only to suffer the indignity of the visit from the process server with a summons and complaint for the foreclosure of their residence or business? What happened to the HAMP guidelines from the Treasury Department to provide lenders and servicers with mandatory instructions on the evaluation of borrowers and permanent modifications? These questions, and more, are answered when the stranger knocks on your door with a summons and complaint. Quite simply stated, all too often, the deny and delay tactics succeed in so many cases.
The “buck stops here”….. The decision is within your hands. You are presented with the opportunity to preserve, protect and defend your rights when served with the summons and complaint. Hundreds and thousands of your neighbors, associates and clients suffer similar financial harm and breach of their rights as a direct result of these types of conduct. Take notice that the false representations, fraudulent promises of modification, delaying tactics and intentional or reckless acts on the part of the lenders and institutions serve as the foundation for defending your homes and business properties.
Millions of dollars helps. No doubt about that. But do not despair as the simplicity of the process will similarly serve to help you defend and maintain all that you have worked to earn. Seeking professional guidance and legal representation by lawyers of your own independent choice and selection; these are the keys to………KEEP HOME YOUR OWN.