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Central Coast Couple Loses Home After More Than a Year of Paperwork Delays

February 24, 2011

As Corona foreclosure defense attorneys, we work every day with clients who are fighting the seeming incompetence or apathy of their mortgage lenders in order to merely be considered for a loan modification. So we were interested to see a Feb. 13 report from the San Luis Obispo Tribune on foreclosures in the county, with particular emphasis on the troubles of Art and Joyce Espinoza. The Espinozas lost their home in Paso Robles after trying for more than a year to win a loan modification, then finding a buyer who made an offer on a short sale. All of those efforts were ultimately rejected, and the couple, both in their 70s, is planning to move out of the home they originally planned for their retirement.

The Espinozas bought their home with an interest-only loan in 2005 and planned to make payments from Art Espinoza's income as a custom cabinet maker. But the economic downturn took away much of his business, and they started to look into a loan modification. As their savings dwindled, Joyce Espinoza tried repeatedly to be considered for a loan modification, only to be met with bureaucratic delays and nitpicking. Once, she said, she faxed a 42-page document to the lender, only to have it rejected because she forgot to sign the back of one of the pages. Eventually, their application was rejected because Art Espinoza did not have full-time income. He said he was staying positive, but wonders whether he and other homeowners were truly given a fair chance to modify their loans.

In our opinion as Los Angeles County foreclosure defense lawyers, they are not. Mortgage lenders have repeatedly blamed their problems making loan modification decisions on the volume of foreclosure work. But the truth is, the other arms of these mortgage lenders are competent and profitable, and they've had ample time to hire help, along with a depressed economy making more workers available. We've come to believe that lenders and servicers don't want to make loan modifications, but aren't willing to say so. Instead, they drag out the process, then deny the modification or decline to make it permanent for no good reason. This is against HAMP rules, but because there's no built-in enforcement mechanism, homeowners who've drained their savings may have no option left but to sue.

If this sounds far too familiar to you and you're tired of being jerked around, you should call Howard Law PC for a free, confidential consultation on your legal rights. We are experienced Mission Viejo foreclosure defense attorneys with an active practice in enforcing homeowners' rights through predatory lending lawsuits. HAMP rules require lenders to grant trial loan modifications whenever the numbers add up, and to make them permanent if the borrower's finances haven't changed. We vigorously pursue lenders who break these rules, using a lawsuit whenever appropriate as leverage to negotiate a fair loan workout. We also hold lenders responsible for breaking state and federal fair lending laws, including a law requiring them to discuss foreclosure alternatives with the borrower before foreclosing.

Howard Law offers free, confidential case evaluations, so you can speak to us about your rights and your legal options at no financial risk. To set up a meeting, send us a message through our website or call us at 1-800-872-5925 today.