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Senior Citizens Filing Bankruptcy

CreditCard.bmpMany seniors no longer have sufficient assets to maintain their lifestyles. There is a tendency in these situations to go into debt. Seniors use credit cards to finance routine purchases with the hope that they will be able to pay their credit cards back at some point in the future.

In some instances, they are unable to accomplish this goal. Most seniors will not ask family, friends or charities for help. This is true even in cases where seniors have previously helped other family members. Most senior citizens are too proud to ask for help!

The credit card debt that seniors are maintaining has been growing. Seniors also require more medical treatment than younger Americans. In situations where the medical treatment is not covered by insurance, seniors find themselves in debt.

The average age of individuals filing bankruptcy has been rising for the past few years. The group with the largest increase in bankruptcy filings are Americans older than 55 years of age.

The primary reason for seniors filing bankruptcy has to do with their inability to pay credit card debt. The medium credit card debt for seniors filing bankruptcy is over $27,000. Medical expenses are the second largest cause for seniors to file bankruptcy.

In addition to problems involving credit card debt and medical expenses, more and more seniors in their late-fifties and sixties are still carrying mortgages on their principle place of residence. Today, 63% of all Americans in their late-fifties and sixties are still making mortgage payments. This is up significantly from the 49% of individuals in this category that were carrying mortgages in 1989. These figures were obtained from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

About Our Law Firm

The Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo represents individuals filing for Chapters 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies. We are also involved in the preparation of wills and trusts. We probate wills and we represent individuals in contested will cases and estate proceedings.

Elliot S. Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and has been assisting New York seniors in dealing with all types of legal problems for over 20 years. Our phones are answered 24 hours-per-day, 7 days-per-week. Our phone numbers are 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802. You may also contact us by email.

Mortgage Mediation, Nevada Style

untitled.bmpSeveral years ago, Nevada was a state where home prices skyrocketed. Today, Nevada suffers from one of the highest foreclosure rates of any state in the country. RealtyTrac.com claims that one out of every eighty-four households in the state of Nevada has received a foreclosure notice. This is 4.5 times more than the national average.

To deal with the high foreclosure rate, Nevada has implemented a foreclosure mediation program. The purpose of the program is to get troubled borrowers and lenders to negotiate amicable resolutions concerning foreclosure issues. The program has been in effect since July of 2009. As of this date, almost 9,000 mediation requests have been received. Nevada is currently the only state that requires banks to enter into a mediation program.

Since the mediation process started, in excess of sixty-percent of all foreclosure cases have been resolved through mediation. Not all of the resolutions resulted in the homeowner keeping their home. In some cases, as a result of the mediation, the homeowner realized they have no possibility of affording their home and agreed to vacate the premises; however, a large majority of the cases were resolved with the financial institution and the homeowner working out a mortgage modification plan.

New York Foreclosure Defense

The law in New York does not require mediation for foreclosure lawsuits; however, New York Governor David Patterson signed into law a statute that requires mortgage companies, banks and other financial institutions to participate in settlement conferences.

The settlement conferences are required whether or not there are mortgage modifications that are pending. In most situations where there are mortgage modifications pending, the lawsuit is put in abeyance until such time as there has been a decision made with regard to the mortgage modification. In many respects, the settlement conferences have a mediation-type of impact due to the fact that the judge will explore alternatives to the case moving forward.

Our law office has been representing individuals with financial problems who face foreclosure and other types of lawsuits for more than thirty years. Should you have financial problems or find your house in foreclosure, feel free to call us. There are alternatives to foreclosure and we can assist you with regard to these alternatives. Contact our office as 1-800-344-6431, or by email.

Judge Punishes Bank For Unfair Mortgage Agreement

Mortgage Agreement

Justice Spinner of Suffolk County New York has taken Immigrant Savings Bank to task for refusing to engage in good faith settlement conferences required by a 2008 amendment to the New York Banking Law.

Judge Spinner has ordered Immigrant Mortgage Company to pay a Huntington New York couple a $100,000 as compensation for the banks “deplorable” mortgage agreement and its bad faith foreclosure negotiations.

In his decision Judge Spinner stated “the court…determines that the imposition of exemplary damages upon (the plaintiff bank) is equitable, necessary, and appropriate in light of plaintiff’s shockingly inequitable, bad faith conduct, as well as to serve as an appropriate deterrent to any future outrageous, improper and wrongful activities”. His decision was in the case of Immigrant Mortgage Company v. Corcione, Q009/28917.

In addition Justice Spinner has also “forever barred” Immigrant from collecting interest on the $302,500 mortgage as well as any legal fees, cost “or any sums other then the principal balance”.

In their lawsuit defendants Jane Corcione and Anthony Corcione claimed that Immigrant refused to engage in good faith settlement conferences, as explicitly required by the 2008 amendment to the banking law.

The judge singled out in his decision a half a dozen of the mortgage agreements “deplorable” and “distressing” provisions. One of the provisions singled out by Judge Spinner was a clause which forever prohibited the Corcione’s from seeking protection under the United States Bankruptcy Code. In his decision Judge Spinner stated that if this clause was enforceable against the Corcione’s it would be able to preempt federal insolvency statutes. Judge Spinner’s decision stated that a pre-bankruptcy waiver should under no circumstances be enforced against consumer debtors. His decision found the waiver was unconscionable, unreasonable, over reaching and absolutely void as against public policy.

Judge Spinner criticized the mortgage agreements “general release” which discharged the bank from any potential liability in “any and all claims that are relating to, concerning, or underlying the loan, and brokering, closing, servicing, or administration of the loan.” Justice Spinner’s decision stated “the obvious and factually clear intent of this clause is to circumvent each and every state and federal law in the State of New York intended to regulate the mortgage banking industry.”

This decision by Justice Spinner is the third time he has sanctioned a mortgage lender for its conduct in a foreclosure proceeding. Justice Spinner is the presiding judge in Suffolk County Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Conference Part. Suffolk County has the most foreclosure cases pending in the State of New York.

Should you find yourself facing a foreclosure on your home contact the foreclosure defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo. We have more than 30 years experience in defending lawsuits by creditors. Call us at 1-800-344-6431 or send us an email.

Picture courtesy of desparateexes.com.

Congress Should Help Homeowners

house-underwater1The federal government has bailed Wall Street firms out to the tune of $700,000,000.00. This is a form of corporate welfare. The restructuring was done to prevent large Wall Street firms from going bankrupt. Instead of amending the Bankruptcy Law to help these Wall Street firms, the government simply gave them $700,000,000.00 in loans.

Recently, Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase and Lloyd Blankfein received millions of dollars in salary packages. The government bails out Wall Street and the Wall Street tycoons get richer and richer. During this period of time, between 7.1 million and 7.9 million households according to mortgage bond trader, Amherst Securities, fell behind in their mortgage payments and are subject to losing their home.

It is estimated that as many as 25% of all the homes in the United States have mortgages on them that are greater than the value of their home. The term used to describe this situation is calling the home “under water”. President Obama had initially asked that when individuals do mortgage modifications with their banks that the banks restructure their mortgage so they only have to pay an amount equal to the value of their home. The banks have refused to do this. The mortgage modifications by banks in the United States modify the payments but do not reduce the amount that is owed.?

The Bankruptcy Law Needs to Be Changed

The United States Constitution reserves all rights to make laws concerning bankruptcies to the federal government. Congress passes all laws that deal with bankruptcy.

Congress needs to strengthen the bankruptcy court’s ability to restructure mortgage loans when individuals file bankruptcy. Congress has already bailed out Wall Street. Now they need to bail out the American homeowner. Unfortunately, the large financial institutions in this country oppose any modifications to the Bankruptcy Law to help out homeowners.

Congress needs to help the American homeowner and modify the Bankruptcy Laws to deal with the issue of restructuring mortgages that are under water. Congress has already bailed out the financial industry to the tune of $700,000,000.00, now they need to bail out the American homeowner!

Should you have questions concerning bankruptcy or mortgage modifications, feel free to contact the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo to discuss these matters at 1-800-344-6431 or email us at schlissel.law@att.net.

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq.

Picture courtesy of grassland properties.

Foreclosure Rates Going Up in 2010

outstandingforeclosureswebg1111Projections have been made that there will be as many as 3,000,000 foreclosures in the United States in 2010. This will surpass the foreclosure rate for 2009.

The United States Treasury Department has been in negotiations with many of the country’s largest financial institutions regarding their participation in a new second mortgage program designed to modify foreclosures. Unfortunately, negotiations have not been successful up to this point.

New loan modification programs are necessary to help individuals going into foreclosure this year. Foreclosures have a negative effect on the value of real estate in local communities. In 2009, mortgage modifications set a record. However, foreclosure still were at an all time high in 2009. Hopefully, the new mortgage modification programs being proposed to the Treasury Department will stem the tide of new foreclosures.

If you need help with loan modification, foreclosure, or bankruptcy help, you can always e-mail us or call us anytime at 800-344-6431.

Foreclosure Rates Going Up in 2010

outstandingforeclosureswebg1111Projections have been made that there will be as many as 3,000,000 foreclosures in the United States in 2010. This will surpass the foreclosure rate for 2009.

The United States Treasury Department has been in negotiations with many of the country’s largest financial institutions regarding their participation in a new second mortgage program designed to modify foreclosures. Unfortunately, negotiations have not been successful up to this point.

New loan modification programs are necessary to help individuals going into foreclosure this year. Foreclosures have a negative effect on the value of real estate in local communities. In 2009, mortgage modifications set a record. However, foreclosure still were at an all time high in 2009. Hopefully, the new mortgage modification programs being proposed to the Treasury Department will stem the tide of new foreclosures.

If you need help with loan modification, foreclosure, or bankruptcy help, you can always e-mail us or call us anytime at 800-344-6431.

Foreclosure Dismissed- Mortgage Cancelled Due to Bank’s Bad Behavior

foreclosure2Justice Jeffrey A. Spinner, sitting in a Supreme Court Part in Riverhead, New York (Suffolk County), has recently ordered that a $292,500 mortgage be deemed “cancelled, voided, avoided, nullified and set aside”. He took this action due to the fact that IndyMac Mortgage Services, a division of One West Bank FSB and its representor were engaged in “harsh, repucnic, shocking and repulsive” behavior.

Greg Horoski and his wife, Diana Wano-Horoski, bought a four bedroom, three bath home 1994. They paid $178,000 for their home. They refinanced their home in 2004 for $292,500.

They eventually fell behind on their mortgage. Mrs. Horoski was in failing health. She had undergone triple bi-pass heart surgery in 2006.

Every two or three months Mr. Horoski would contact his bank for the purpose of avoiding foreclosure. He would advise them that he could make payments in various amounts. He asked if they would accept these payments as a good faith measure and that they reinstate the loan. Greg and Diana Horoski appeared at every court appearance. Court conference were rescheduled on five separate occasions due to IndyMac Bank’s failure to cooperate.

Judge Spinner’s decision indicated that IndyMac Bank displayed an intransiness in its continuing failure and refusal to cooperate with the court. The Judge said a bank officer who appeared on September 22nd had a “Opprobrious demeanor and condescending attitude” . He would not accept any offer by the homeowners including an offer by their daughter to purchase the house.

The Judge further indicated on November 18, 2009 court conference the bank did not even know the specific balance due in owing of the house. The Judge felt due to the extremely inappropriate behavior of the bank, severe sanctions would have to be imposed to prevent the bank from engaging in further abuse. In the end, IndyMac Bank would not consider any loan modification arrangements. The bank has indicated they will appeal Judge Spinner’s decision.

Are you behind in your mortgage? Are you in foreclosure? Problems with your bank or mortgage company? The mortgage renegotiation and defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Schlissel DeCorpo may be able to help you with these problems. Contact us by e-mail or call anytime at 1-800 344-6431.

Picture courtesy of ncbm.org.

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