As Southern California loan modification lawyers, we were interested to see a Feb. 22 article in the Chicago Tribune about an unusual tactic homeowners are using to stave off foreclosure: lawsuits. The lawsuits generally claim that the homeowners are victims of predatory lending, but according to the article, they are not exclusively intended to correct injustices caused by predatory lending. In addition, it says, the lawsuits intend to delay foreclosure in time for the homeowners to save for additional payments or give them added bargaining power.
Frequently, the newspaper said, these lawsuits ask the lender to produce documents proving the debt is owed. Without those documents, a judge is free to cancel the foreclosure. That can be a problem for lenders because documentation can be lost when four or five financial companies are involved. Once, homeowners rarely challenged lenders to prove the debt -- but with foreclosures at record levels, more may be trying it.
As Orange County predatory lending attorneys, we know predatory lending lawsuits are nothing new, because we file them whenever necessary to protect our clients' legal rights. However, it looks like many of the lawsuits described in the article are less about predatory lending than exploiting a technicality in the law. Judges dislike it when any party shows a lack of respect for the legal process, and some are willing to punish lenders for failing to meet basic requirements to prove the debt, even when it's clear they own that debt. However, we wonder if this isn't just delaying the inevitable for homeowners who know they legitimately owe the debt.
Howard Law LLP's Buena Park predatory lending attorneys vigorously defend victims of unfair or misleading tactics and violations of the federal Truth in Lending Act. But even if you're not a victim of predatory lending, our Garden Grove mortgage loan modification lawyers may be able to help you come to a more workable agreement with your lender without litigation. Sometimes, merely the knowledge that they could be sued gives lenders an extra incentive to discuss changing the interest rate, repayment period or other features of your loan.
Howard Law offers free, confidential consultations to potential clients, so you have nothing to lose from speaking to us about your rights and your situation. To set up a free consultation, please contact us online today or call toll-free at 1-800-872-5925.