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Frustrated California Borrowers Increasingly Turning to Lawsuits to Save Homes

April 8, 2011

One of the most powerful weapons we have as Ontario foreclosure defense attorneys is a lawsuit. A lawsuit gets our clients' cases in front of a judge, who is a neutral third party and an expert in the law with the power to correct mistakes and rights violations by lenders. So we were very pleased to see an April 2 article from the Ventura County Staron the difficulty of getting a loan modification for county residents, and the increasing use of lawsuits to shed light on an often under-the-radar process. The newspaper said lawsuits at one major servicer, Bank of America, have nearly doubled between 2009 and 2010, from 14 to 22, and seven have already been filed this year.

The article started with the story of Patrick Rawlings of Simi Valley, who got behind on his mortgage when he lost his job in 2008 and then was hospitalized for three months in early 2009 with a tumor. Not surprisingly, he lost some income, so he contacted Wells Fargo to ask for a loan modification. Since then, he said, he has submitted all of the information the bank asked for several times, but it's never been enough for Wells Fargo. The bank is currently trying to foreclose on the home he's lived in since 1994, but Rawlings took a friend's advice last fall and hired a foreclosure attorney. His lawsuit alleges that because Wells Fargo took bailout money in 2008, it has an obligation to help borrowers -- help Rawlings is not getting.

Our Los Angeles foreclosure defense lawyers frequently pursue lawsuits like this, for people who have been wrongly denied modifications or endlessly delayed as they watch their savings dwindle. Many clients come to us after months or even several years of delays -- just like Rawlings -- from loan servicers that don't seem to be satisfied with anything they submit. Borrowers have been told that they didn't submit paperwork, even when they did; that their information is out of date, after the lender sat on it for months; or that paperwork was lost repeatedly. Having practiced in this area since the beginning of the housing crisis, we know servicers stand to lose nothing if the bank forecloses, but gain a lot in fees. That's why it's very important to hold them accountable whenever possible -- their financial interests are opposed to yours.

At Howard Law PC we focus our practice on lawsuits and aggressive negotiations with banks responsible for an avoidable or wrongful foreclosure. Many of our clients are people who have been denied a HAMP loan modification, or denied a permanent modification after completing a trial modification. In both of these cases, there are rules -- the lender must grant the modification unless the borrower fails to meet standards or make payments on time. Our Orange loan modification attorneys sue lenders that choose to ignore those rules, with the goal of making an affordable, sustainable loan workout permanent. We also handle numerous cases of borrowers who were foreclosed before they even had a chance to talk to the lender about their situation.

If you're tired of calling your loan servicer or lender and sitting on hold or getting mixed and confusing messages, you should call Howard Law instead. To set up a free consultation, you can reach us at 1-800-872-5925 or send us a message online.