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Dan's insights on legal issues that may affect you

City unveils new program to
combat home foreclosures
By John Byrne Clout Street :: August 17, 2011
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is targeting nine hard-hit neighborhoods in Chicago's latest effort to stem the tide of home foreclosures and, as with many recent announcements, the mayor is counting on private investment to make his plans work.

The "Micro-Market Recovery Program" is distinct from several attempts by the city to combat the housing crisis in recent years because it better coordinates the efforts of not-for-profits, banks and community groups, the mayor sai While it will start with roughly $15 million in loan money from the John T. and Catherine D. MacArthur Foundation, Emanuel said it also will tap federal funds. And officials will reach out to banks to invest in keeping people in their houses or rehabilitating foreclosed properties, which Emanuel hopes will bring the total to $50 million.

A measure passed by the City Council last month that requires banks to secure and maintain buildings left vacant after foreclosures gives the banks incentive to work with the city, said Andrew Mooney, commissioner for Housing and Economic Development.

"We will approach (banks) and tell them 'You have specific responsibilities in this neighborhood,'" Mooney said.

Emanuel said he chose parts of nine neighborhoods -- Humboldt Park, Chatham, Chicago Lawn, West Woodlawn, Auburn-Gresham, West Pullman, Belmont-Cragin, Englewood and Grand Boulevard -- because they have high concentrations of recent foreclosures and have active community organizations that can help the administration focus its resources.

60 Minutes with coverage of
the robo-signing fraud issue

Scott Pelley from 60 Minutes explains an epidemic of forged and missing mortgage documents. Read Article

My take:

Essentially, because the banks do not always have original paperwork, including mortgages, notes, assignments, and indorsements of mortgage loans, they resorted to making up documents from thin air to show ownership of those mortgage loans. I have seen these mystery documents appear in a mortgage foreclosure case many times, and it is crucial that these documents are challenged in a mortgage foreclosure defense case. Do not let a bank take your home in a foreclosure without a proper legal defense. For more information and a review of court documents in your mortgage foreclosure case, contact us today.
Dan Stamm

Altered documents halt some
Cook County foreclosures
"According to the Chicago Tribune a Cook County Circuit judge has temporarily stopped at least 1,700 foreclosures" Read Article

My take:

These aren’t the only suspect documents that show up in mortgage foreclosure cases. Foreclosing banks and their attorneys have a difficult time with affidavits, mortgage assignments, mortgage notes, and many other documents. These issues pop up in trying to prove how much you purportedly owe on the mortgage and whether the bank that is foreclosing on your home even has the right to bring the suit. A careful analysis of all mortgage documents and other documents filed in your case is vital to any defendant challenging the plaintiff banks in a mortgage foreclosure case. If you think your foreclosure has been the result of suspect documents, or you are currently facing mortgage foreclosure and want to know if you have a defense against the foreclosure, contact us today.
Dan Stamm

50-state deal over foreclosures
criminal prosecutions
not ruled out
A number of reports suggest that regulators are drawing near to a settlement with major banks over foreclosure practices. Read Article

My take:

While this may seem like good news – stopping foreclosures while a homeowner seeks modification of a mortgage loan - it isn’t true yet. Homeowners are often confused that while on one hand, they are working with the bank on mortgage loan modification, but on the other hand, lawyers for the same banks are moving right along with the mortgage foreclosure in court. Some judges will tell the homeowners that this is happening, but since most homeowners do not appear in court – often thinking that they don’t have to while they are seeking modification – they end up losing their homes just when they thought the bank was going to modify the loan.
Dan Stamm

Remember: you can’t trust that the foreclosure is going to be on hold just because you are trying to modify the loan with the lender. Having an attorney in court for you is usually the best way to keep the bank from foreclosing while you seek modification. Contact us if you are in a similar situation.

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