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Real Estate & Property Law

The Home Equity Theft Reporter The Home Equity Theft Reporter

Welcome to The Home Equity Theft Reporter, a blog dedicated to informing the consumer public and the legal profession about Home Equity Theft issues.
By r morris

Post Frequency: 38.4/day

Last Entry: September 15, 2014 at 04:00:00

Recent Entries: 9453

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No Brotherly Love In Philly (Birthplace Of U.S. Constitution) As City's 'Seize & Seal' Method Of Snatching Homes Out From Under Homeowners Over Minor, Unprosecuted Drug Allegations (w/out Criminal Charges or Convictions) Continues To Draw Light, At Heart Of Recent Federal Lawsuit

Posted on September 15, 2014
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Pennsylvania Record reports: A group of homeowners have asked a federal judge to grant a preliminary injunction against the City of Philadelphia?s practice of seizing homes accused of involvement with drug sales,(1) according to a motion filed at the U...

NJ Supremes Adopt Eight-Factor Standard For Equitable Mortgage Determination In Sale Leaseback Transactions; May Serve As Comprehensive, Practical Guide In Attempts To Undo Equity Stripping Foreclosure Rescue Scams

Posted on September 13, 2014
Reprinted from a recent Justia.com Opinion Summary: The issue this appeal presented for the New Jersey Supreme Court's review centered on an agreement for the sale of a residential property and a subsequent lease and repurchase agreement, specifically whether the transactions collectively gave rise to an equitable mortgage, violated consumer protection statutes, or contravened its decision in "

Another Out-Of-Control Condo Association Feels The Bite After Jerking Around Disabled Veteran & His Emotional Support Dog In Violation Of Federal, Florida Fair Housing Acts; Appeals Court OKs $5K In Compensatory Damages, Sticks HOA w/ $127K+ Tab For Homeowner's Legal Fees

Posted on August 30, 2014
Courthouse News Service reports: A condo association must pay $5,000 in damages, plus $127,000 in attorneys' fees, for insisting that a veteran with PTSD get rid of his emotional support dog,(1) the 11th Circuit ruled. Ajit Bhogaita is a U.S. Air Force veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after he was sexually assaulted during his military service...

Maine Supremes: Despite Lender's Sufficient Proof Of Its Status As Holder Of Note, Its Failure To Prove Ownership Of Mortgage Proves Fatal To Its Standing To Proceed With Foreclosure Action; Indicates That Mortgage May Not Always Follow The Note

Posted on July 04, 2014
A recent ruling by the Maine Supreme Court involving a foreclosure action serves as a reminder that, at least under the state law of Maine, the principle that the "mortgage follows the note" apparently does not necessarily apply where the foreclosing party merely proves its status as holder of the promissory note...

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Lowlife Lawyer/Church Pastor Gets Six Years For Swindling Multi-Million Dollar Harlem Apartment Building Out From Under Elderly Widow; NYC Feds Frog-March Felon Away To Prison While Weeping Wife, Kids Watch; Deportation To Nigeria May Be Next For Foreign National

Posted on June 12, 2014
In New York City, SaharaReporters reports: A former Brooklyn-based civil attorney, and Pastor of the Deeper Life Bible Church, Ifeanyichukwu Eric Abakporo, was [] in federal court in New York sentenced to six years in a United States prison in a case of defrauding banks, mortgage lenders, property owners, and property buyers...

'Disability Dog' Takes $300K Bite Out Of Rogue Condo Association For Jerking Around His Wheelchair-Bound, Reasonable Accomodation-Seeking Owner In Violation Of Fair Housing Act

Posted on June 10, 2014
In Davie, Florida, The Miami Herald reports: Calling the behavior of a Davie condominium association ?absurd? and ?unreasonable,? a federal judge has ordered a Davie condominium to allow a disabled resident to keep her service dog. The two-year dispute will carry a hefty price tag for the Sabal Palm Condominiums: $300,000...

Loan Modification Deals That Leave Homeowners Bound & Gagged Grow More Widespread, Preventing Borrowers From Bad-Mouthing Banksters Or Suing Them In Court For Future Misconduct

Posted on May 22, 2014
Reuters reports: Joseph and Neidin Henard thought they had finally fixed the mortgage that was crushing them. In January, the couple reached a settlement with every company that had a stake in the mortgage on their house in Santa Cruz, California, a deal that would have slashed their monthly payment by almost 40 percent to $3,337...

Lender Ordered To Swallow $200K 'Cramdown' On Home Loan Modification In Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Case Despite Fact That Loan Was 1st Mortgage On Borrower's Primary Residence

Posted on May 17, 2014
In Miami, Florida, the Daily Business Review reports: Even though a Miami man made money renting part of his duplex, a judge ruled in his favor and lowered the debt on his residential mortgage by nearly $200,000 in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case. The question wasn't whether the duplex was Luis L...

Unwitting Real Estate Owners Get Roped Into Co-Owner's Bankruptcy Proceeding As Chapter 7 Trustee Seeks Court Approval For Sale Of Entire Jointly-Owned Property, As Opposed To Just Debtor's Interest

Posted on April 08, 2014
From a recent post from Bankruptcy-RealEstate-Insights.com by attorney Vicki R. Harding, Esq.: A chapter 7 debtor owned real estate jointly with three other people as tenants in common. The chapter 7 trustee sought court approval to sell the entire property, as opposed to just the debtor?s tenant in common interest...

Court OKs NY Woman's Use Of Divorce Settlement To Buy Home From Son-In-Law, Then File Bankruptcy & Claim Homestead Exemption To Stiff Her Now-Fired Divorce Attorney Out Of $93K In Legal Fees

Posted on April 07, 2014
In Buffalo, New York, the New York Law Journal reports: A Buffalo woman who used a divorce settlement to buy a condominium from her son-in-law? then filed bankruptcy allegedly to avoid paying her divorce lawyer?can use a homestead exemption to shield her assets, a Buffalo bankruptcy judge has held in a case of first impression...

Bay State Homeowner Ordered To Demolish Newly-Constructed Home Over Zoning Violations After Discovery That Town Issued Building Permit In Error; Family Estimates Losses Close To $500K

Posted on August 16, 2013
In Rockland, Massachusetts, MyFoxBoston reports: A Rockland man claims he was given the green light to build his three-bedroom house, but now he's being ordered to tear it down because of an alleged mistake made by the town. In 2010, Robert Del Prete reportedly purchased a lot at 320 Concord St...

Court Nixes Ex-Wife's Belated Attempt To Invoke California's $100K Homestead Exemption To Justify Pocketing Tax Refund Proceeds That Victims Of Convicted, Ponzi-Scheming Ex-Hubby Were Entitled To

Posted on August 16, 2013
In Monterey, California, The Monterey Herald reports: When convicted embezzler Jay Zubick signed over all his assets to the victims of his $16 million Ponzi scheme in 2007, the agreement meant every penny, a judge ruled Friday. Judge Lydia Villarreal rejected a bid by Zubick's ex-wife to retain a $43,000 income tax refund she had received before Zubick's conviction...

Ex-Michigan High Court Justice Begins Prison Time At West Virginia's "Camp Cupcake" For Role In Using Short Sale Shuffle On Underwater Home To Hide $1M+ In Assets From Bank; Stay Expected To Be 9-10 Months On 366-Day Sentence

Posted on August 16, 2013
In Detroit, Michigan, The Detroit News reports: Former state Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway arrived at a federal prison in West Virginia on Tuesday to serve one year and a day for bank fraud, a crime critics said brought shame to the state?s highest court...

Religious Congregation Sues Its Treasurer For Allegedly Draining $1.1M+ Of Equity In Church Property With Multiple Mortgages, Diverting Proceeds For Personal Use While Allowing Loan Collateral To Be Lost In Foreclosure Sale

Posted on August 15, 2013
In Las Vegas, Nevada, Courthouse News Service reports: A Lutheran church sued its treasurer, claiming he embezzled $1.1 million - some of which he spent to buy land from a distant monastery. Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, of Las Vegas, sued Gregory R...

Ex-Pastor Charged For Allegedly Using Short Sale Scam To Screw Financially Strapped Homeowner Out Of Nearly $150K While Leaving Existing Mortgage Unpaid

Posted on August 15, 2013
In St. Petersburg, Florida, The Tampa Tribune reports: The former pastor of a south St. Petersburg church who also founded a foreclosure-prevention company was booked into the Pinellas County Jail this week, accused of swindling nearly $150,000 from a Palm Harbor woman who no longer could afford to live in her house...

Lehigh Valley Man Faces Forgery, Theft/Securing Execution Of Documents By Deception, Other Charges For Allegedly Ripping Off His 93-Year Old Uncle Of $200K+ Cash/Other Assets; Suspect Allegedly Abused POA To Drain Bank Accounts, Home Equity With HELOC While Since-Foreclosed Victim Was Confined In Nursing Home

Posted on August 15, 2013
In Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, The Express Times reports: A Pen Argyl man is charged with 17 counts of theft and related crimes for depleting the life savings of his 93-year-old uncle by using power of attorney and converting property and money for his personal use, according to the Lehigh County?s District Attorney?s Office...

Saga Continues For Maine Family Victimized By State Bureaucrats Who Allegedly Used Conservatorship Proceedings To Move In & Hijack Possession, Then Unload, Waterfront Home, Other Assets At Fire-Sale Prices Of Man Who Was Involuntarily Admitted To State-Run Psychiatric Facility While Giving Beloved Pet Date With 'The Euthanizer'

Posted on August 15, 2013
In Rockland, Maine, the Bangor Daily News reports: The sale of a Rockland man?s waterfront home in Owls Head by the state for less than half its value was only the beginning of a nightmare that has seen an undetermined amount of valuable personal items sold for little in return, according to attorneys working on the case...

More On "Show Me The Note!"

Posted on August 14, 2013
The following is the abstract of a recent article by law professors Bradley T. Borden & David J. Reiss, and law student William KeAupuni Akina, all of Brooklyn Law School, published in a recent issue of Westlaw Journal Bank & Lender Liability (June 3, 2013): News outlets and foreclosure defense blogs have focused attention on the defense commonly referred to as "show me the note...

Toxic Land Titles & Title Insurance

Posted on August 14, 2013
The following is the abstract of a recent article by Molly Rose Goodman, Suffolk University Law School published in a recent issue of Real Estate Law Journal: By failing to properly transfer ownership of loans and mortgages, recording fraudulent documents, and performing unlawful foreclosures, financial institutions and law firms have generated property titles that range from defective to toxic.

The Payday Playbook: How High Cost Loan Peddlers Fight To Keep Their Consumer Debt Traps Legal

Posted on August 14, 2013
Investigative reporter Paul Kiel writes in ProPublica: [O]utrage over payday loans, which trap millions of Americans in debt and are the best-known type of high-cost loans, has led to dozens of state laws aimed at stamping out abuses. But the industry has proved extremely resilient...

WV Attorneys Providing Free Legal Services To Low-Income Consumers Continue Hammering Banksters With Predatory Lending Lawsuits Alleging Ripoffs In Originating Home Loans

Posted on August 13, 2013
In Huntington, West Virginia, The West Virginia Record reports: A lawsuit filed against Nationstar Mortgage LLC alleging predatory lending practices has been removed to federal court. Nationstar is formerly known as Centex Home Equity Company. Mark Greenlee was also named as a defendant in the suit...

NC Appeals Court Leaves Sloppy Lender Holding The Bag By Voiding Wife's Loan Guarantee Given By Hubby Acting As Her Attorney In Fact; Bank Failed To Read Recorded Instrument, Missed 'Surprise' Provision In POA Making Husband's Authority Ineffectual

Posted on August 13, 2013
From a client alert from the law firm Poyner Spruill LLP: On November 6, 2012, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled in a unanimous decision that several commercial guaranties were invalid when signed by an attorney in fact, pursuant to a power of attorney which contained a condition precedent that had net yet occurred...

Judge To Those Facing (Potentially Faulty) Non-Judicial Oregon Foreclosures: Avoid "Presumption Of Finality" - Don't Sit On Your Rights; Time For Properly-Noticed Homeowner To File Court Challenge Is Before The Sale, Not Afterward

Posted on August 13, 2013
In Portland, Oregon, LegalNewsline reports: A federal judge ruled last month that an Oregon homeowner could not sue following a completed trustee sale of his property. Though MERS, the national mortgage registry, was not a party to the action, the plaintiff in the case ? Alan Chen ? alleged that the foreclosure was wrongful based, in part, on MERS? role in his deed of trust...

Pennsylvania Appeals Court: OK To Void Assignee Bankster's Mortgage, Promissory Note When Homeowner Raised TILA Rescission, Other Issues Involving Originating, Now-Defunct Lender's Pre-Assignment Conduct As Foreclosure Defenses; FIRREA Liability Limitation Involving Certain Asset Transfers Between Financial Institutions Applies Only To Counterclaims

Posted on August 12, 2013
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Law360 reports: The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled Thursday that federal law does not prevent judges from voiding mortgage agreements through counterclaims brought during foreclosure proceedings, affirming a lower court's ruling voiding the mortgage agreement for a woman whose closing agent absconded with nearly $80,000...

Federal Appeals Court Kiboshes Bankster's "Heads I Win, Tails You Lose" Method Of Offering Trial Period Loan Modification Plans To Financially Strapped Homeowner; Judge: Wells Fargo's Continuing Option Of "Modifying The Loan Or Stiffing Him ... A Fraudulent Coin Toss"; Court Says HAMP "Seems To Have Created More Litigation Than It Has Happy Homeowners!"

Posted on August 12, 2013
In San Francisco, California, Reuters reports: Wells Fargo must face lawsuits by homeowners who claim the largest U.S. mortgage lender refused to offer them permanent mortgage modifications for which they had qualified, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday...

California Appeals Court: Mortgage Transfers To Securitized, NY-Organized Trust After Closing Date Are Void, Giving Homeowners Standing To Challenge Loan Assignments

Posted on August 12, 2013
In Fresno, California, the Central Valley Business Times reports: In a ruling that could impact other home foreclosures in California under similar circumstances, the state?s 5th District Court of Appeal says ?that a borrower may challenge the securitized trust?s chain of ownership by alleging the attempts to transfer the deed of trust to the securitized trust ? occurred after the trust?s

Heat Continues For Colorado Foreclosure Mills As State AG Probe Lays Out Theory Of Conspiracy, Price-Fixing That Two Firms Allegedly Engaged In To Corner Lucrative Piece Of State Foreclosure Market

Posted on August 12, 2013
In Denver, Colorado, The Denver Post reports: Colorado's two biggest foreclosure law firms, Castle Law Group and Aronowitz & Mecklenburg, appear to have manipulated and influenced the foreclosure process ? in practice and at the Capitol ? in a way that guaranteed themselves millions of dollars in profits at the expense of homeowners and taxpayers, according to state investigators...

Outraged Banksters, Feds Pair Up In Tag-Team Effort To Squelch Municipalities' Plans On Invoking Eminent Domain To Snatch Deeply Underwater home Mortgages

Posted on August 12, 2013
The Washington Post reports: The nation's top housing finance regulator threatened to choke off mortgage lending in cities that use eminent domain to seize underwater loans from lenders. The salvo from the Federal Housing Finance Agency came Thursday, on the heels of a lawsuit directed by major Wall Street firms and U...

Mississippi Attorney Gets 46 Months For Bankruptcy Scheme Used To Hide His Fraudulently Snatching Of Property Co-Owned With Business Partner, Then Pocketing Proceeds From Subsequent Refinance

Posted on August 11, 2013
From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Jackson, Mississippi): Michael E. Earwood, 61, an attorney from Madison, Mississippi, was sentenced [] in U.S. District Court to 46 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for bankruptcy fraud, announced U...

Disbarred Florida Closing Attorney Who Got Bar Boot For Exposing Title Insurance Fund To $10M+ In Claims Exposure For Allegedly Failing To Record At Least 17 Deeds & 21 Mortgages Continued To Practice Law, Now Receives A 2nd "Permanent" Boot

Posted on August 11, 2013
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports: Okechukwu Josiah Odunna of Lauderhill was permanently banned after he first was disbarred in 2010 for appearing to be "causing great public harm." Odunna was accused of failing "to record at least 17 original deeds and 21 original mortgages, exposing a title insurance fund to more than $10 million in claims exposure," according to Florida Bar records...

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