Real Estate Law

Real Estate Litigation(Only available in California)

POTENTIAL CAUSES OF ACTION Predatory Mortgage Litigation

Olympia Law Group also extends its service of helping homeowners in distress nationwide through its Of Counsel attorneys. Olympia Law Group has Of Counsel attorneys in multiple states who assist homeowners who are seeking viable and permanent solutions to their hardship and mortgage problems by providing legal consultation, review of mortgage situation, analysis of mortgage and financial information and a lot more. Predatory mortgage lending, according to the office of inspector general of the FDIC, is “imposing unfair and abusive loan terms on borrowers.” This has led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”), the federal governmental agency responsible for protecting consumers from improper conduct by banks, to establish  strong protections for homeowners who are facing foreclosure. Regulations X and Z, also known as the “Dual Tracking Prohibition,” were established to assure that homeowners are treated fairly. These federal regulations of the CFPB require the lender to provide alternatives to foreclosure, and do not allow foreclosures under certain circumstances, assuring that the homeowner must be treated fairly. Olympia Law files lawsuits on behalf of plaintiff homeowner(s) in State or Federal Court. We file actions on an individual basis.

Causes of action may include: ROSENTHAL FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT (VIOLATION OF CAL. CIV. CODE § 1788 et. Seq.) – If the servicer has been calling the Plaintiff in an attempt to collect on the loan when they are not supposed to. For example, calls before 8 am or after 9 pm or calling neighbors, friends or family. Double collection also pertains to this action. Double collection is when the lender servicing the loan transfers the loan and both the old and new servicer attempt to collect the same payment. BREACH OF CONTRACT – An example of breach of contract could be when the servicer has breached a loan modification agreement or not offered a permanent modification after the trial payment plan has ended even though the Plaintiff has abided by the terms of the trial payment plan. CALIFORNIA HOMEOWNER BILL OF RIGHTS The California Homeowner Bill of Rights became law on January 1, 2013 to ensure fair lending and borrowing practices for California homeowners. The laws are designed to guarantee basic fairness and transparency for homeowners in the foreclosure process. Key provisions include:Restriction on dual track foreclosure: Mortgage servicers are restricted from advancing the foreclosure process if the homeowner is working on securing a loan modification. When a homeowner completes an application for a loan modification, the foreclosure process is essentially paused until the complete application has been fully reviewed. Guaranteed single point of contact: Homeowners are guaranteed a single point of contact as they navigate the system and try to keep their homes – aperson or team at the bank who knows the facts of their case, has their paperwork and can get them a decision about their application for a loan modification. Verification of documents: Lenders that record and file multiple unverified documents will be subject to a civil penalty of up to $7,500 per loan in an action brought by a civil prosecutor. Lenders who are in violation are also subject to enforcement by licensing agencies, including the Department of Business Oversight, the Bureau of Real Estate. Enforceability: Borrowers will have authority to seek redress of “material” violations of the new foreclosure process protections. Injunctive relief will be available prior to a foreclosure sale and recovery of damages will be available following a sale. (AB 278, SB 900)(clickable link to here) 11_chaptered.html Tenant rights: Purchasers of foreclosed homes are required to give tenants at least 90 days before starting eviction proceedings. If the tenant has a fixed-term lease entered into before transfer of title at the foreclosure sale, the owner must honor the lease unless the owner can prove that exceptions intended to prevent fraudulent leases apply. (AB 2610) (clickable link to here) 925_chaptered.pdf Tools to prosecute mortgage fraud: The statute of limitations to prosecute mortgage-related crimes is extended from one to three years, allowing the Attorney General’s office to investigate and prosecute complex mortgage fraud crimes. In addition, the Attorney General’s office can use a statewide grand jury to investigate and indict the perpetrators of financial crimes involving victims in multiple counties. (AB 1950, SB 1474) (clickable link to here) Tools to curb blight: Local governments and receivers have additional tools to fight blight caused by multiple vacant homes in their neighborhoods, from more time to allow homeowners to remedy code violations to a means to compel the owners of foreclosed property to pay for upkeep. (AB 2314) (clickable link to here) The California Homeowner Bill of Rights marked the third step in Attorney General Harris’ response to the state’s foreclosure and mortgage crisis. The Mortgage Fraud Strike Force was created in May 2011 to investigate and prosecute misconduct at all stages of the mortgage process. In February 2012, Attorney General Harris secured a commitment from the nation’s five largest banks for up to $18 billion for California borrowers. A thorough review of your loan documents and/or factual inquiry is usually necessary to determine if a case exists. Contact the Real Estate Law Center specialized attorneys to see if we can help. Website has been reviewed and approved by lead attorney Matin Rajabov.

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