MISSOURI THE NEXT CALIFORNIA FOR OCWEN FINANCIAL

What does a criminal say just before sentencing?  “I’m innocent!”  What does Ocwen Financial say?  “Not true.”  Then Ocwen pays MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in fines.    State regulators in California threatened to suspend Ocwen’s license to operate, saying Ocwen failed to submit paperwork showing that Ocwen complied with state laws.  From one shake down to another the state Department of Oversight instead fined Ocwen only $2.5 million and prohibited Ocwen from acquiring additional mortgage servicing rights for loans.

Ocwen is also being sued by its investors for failing to collect payments on $82 BILLION DOLLAR of home loans.  The investors claim that Ocwen implemented “conflicted servicing practices that enriched Ocwen’s corporate affiliates… .”  The lawsuit also accuses Ocwen of “engaging in imprudent and wholly improper loan modification, … failing to communicate effectively with borrowers or comply with applicable laws, including consumer protection and foreclosure laws… .”

Shockingly, Ocwen has denied the allegations, saying the lawsuit is “baseless”.  We have heard this before.  It is time for Ocwen to once again open up its wallet and pay people to go away.  Not the best business model.  Recently, Ocwen paid a $150 MILLION DOLLAR settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services.  When will Ocwen learn that paying out millions of dollars in fines is not the way to do business.  Ocwen must not care.

St. Louis debt collections

Two recent court cases add fuel to the St. Louis debt collections industry.  Debt collections is covered under the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act).  In McIvor v. Credit Control Services, the United District Court in Missouri ruled in favor of the creditor because the Plaintiff failed to allege enough facts in the petition to show the creditor’s communications were false, deceptive or misleading nor was the communication in connection with the collection of the debt.

In Portfolio Recovery Associates v. Schultz the Missouri Court of Appeal ruled in favor of the creditor and sent sent the case back to the trial court because the Judge did not allow at trial a business record affidavit with 30 pages of records attached. The trial court held the creditor failed to show a valid assignment of the count.  The trial court further determined the creditor violated the law and its actions constituted a misleading representation in connection with the collection of a debt in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1692e of the FDCPA.  … Read More >

Who is a St. Louis Debt Collector?

Who is a St. Louis Debt Collector?  The FDCPA Technical Clarification Act of 2013 (H.R. 2892) would exclude a law firm or licensed attorney from the definition of who is a St. Louis Debt Collector.  This is not an outright exclusion for attorneys, but the new law would not apply to litigation related conduct. The bill has received limited support from Democrats.  The passage of such legislation would reduce the threat of frivolous FDCPA litigation against attorneys and allow the true intent of the FDCPA to be enforced.  If there is a problem with  St. Louis Debt Collector attorneys bringing baseless claims in court, then allow the courts to sanction St. Louis Debt Collector attorneys or dismiss the improper claims.  The intent of the FDCPA was not to regulate the courts and deter creditors and their attorneys.  So, why allow Plaintiff attorneys to bring baseless actions against attorneys who engage in what would otherwise be considered legitimate litigation.

St. Louis Debt Collector attorneys are concerned that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) intends to regulate the debt collection industry using the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act.  This Act was signed by President Obama in 2010 to promote financial stability by improving accountability and transparency in the financial system.  The Act established the CFPB who has the ability to “exercise its authorities under federal consumer financial law to administer, enforce and otherwise implement the provisions of federal consumer financial law”.  Key issues are being raised with Proposed Regulation F, among them are vast changes to key terms such as debt collector.  This term is already defined in the FDCPA; however the CFPB is attempting to further define the term which is an administrative overreach and will definitely cause more confusion.   Proposed Regulation F also wants to impose restrictions on creditor remedies in state court which historically have been the province of state regulations.  The proposal cites potential geographic burdens on consumers to appear in court, a great number of default judgments, and a potential abuse of choice of venue by creditors.

 

ST. LOUIS BANK LOAN

Anyone thinking of getting a loan must read this article.  If you are borrowing money to buy a home or refinance your current home, you must read this article. when meeting for the first time with a loan officer or some other loan arranger, do the following:

  • First, come armed with a list of questions for the person who wants to arrange your loan BEFORE you agree to take out the loan.
  • Second, ask the loan arranger to answer each questions “Yes” or “No”, sign and date your list of questions and give the list back to you. 
  • Third, ask the loan arranger to explain each “Yes” answer and its effect on you.
  • Fourth, if the loan arranger is unwilling to answer the questions or if you are not satisfied with any of the explanations, consider looking elsewhere for a loan.

Important Reminder! There are many other questions that you can and should ask and get answers to before you agree to take out a loan to by or refinance a house. If you don’t know what they are, you have more homework to do before you are ready to take out a St. Louis bank loan.

  1. Know who you are dealing with.  Is it a mortgage broker who is going to sell the St. Louis bank loan after you sign?
  2. Is there a fee for arranging the loan, appraisal, credit report, document prep fee or broker fee?
  3. What are the terms of the loan St. Louis bank loan.  Is there a co-signer required? Is there mortgage insurance required? What is the interest rate and maturity date?
  4. What is the purpose of the St. Louis bank loan?  Is it to purchase a house or refinance an existing loan? Will the refinance cost more or less interest and will the monthly payment be more than before?
  5. Never sign forms that you do not understand.
  6. Never sign forms that are left blank or have spaces that have blanks.

St. Louis bank loan interest rates are low but crooks are even lower like pond scum.  So, ask the right questions to get the right result.

ST. LOUIS CITY TAX SALES MAKE MONEY

St. Louis CITY TAX SALES make money.  St. Louis City Tax Sales happen because of non payment of Real Estate Taxes.  St. Louis City holds sales four times a year as the properties are sold in geographical regions.  The procedure in St. Louis City is a judicial process which is a court process to confirm the sale which was conducted by the Sheriff of St. Louis.

A smart investor is an informed investor. Do your homework for each property you want to bid on. Go to Google Maps or drive by the property.  Remember, you can not go inside.  You should be careful not to walk on the property as you may get shot.  Look at values of comparable houses in the area.  This can be done on Zillow.com or viewing the St. Louis City Collector of Revenue website.  Determine how much you can spend and presume the worst about the interior condition.

Now that you purchased the property, your job, or that of your attorney, is just starting.  You, the purchaser, need to obtain a title report which will reveal all owners, judgments, and other lien holders such as a lender or mortgage company.  You will need to check that the Sheriff gave all interested parties NOTICE that the property was going to be sold for nonpayment of taxes.  Remember our Constitution requires proper notice be given before property can be taken away.  You want to make sure that no one comes back later and claim they did not know of the sale.  NOTICE is critical to these proceedings.  St. Louis City Tax Sales make money.  But only if you follow the rules. The court will always require you to strictly comply with the rules.

Notice must also be given to anyone who remotely had an interest in the property of the hearing on CONFIRMATION of the tax sale.  An appraiser, who you hired, will testify as to the fair market value under forced sale conditions.  Hopefully, the value is equal or less than what you paid at the sale otherwise it is possible that the Judge will require the purchaser to pay more for the property.  

Once the judgment is obtained, you have 10 days to apply for an occupancy permit,  (more money, of course).  You do not have to obtain the permit only apply for it.  Once this is done, go to the Sheriff with your paperwork and obtain your deed and have it recorded.  CONGRATULATIONS. Now you know how St. Louis City Tax Sales make money.

St. Louis Tax Sales Make Money

St. Louis Tax Sales make money.  St. Louis Tax Sales happen because of non payment of Real Estate Taxes.  St. Louis County holds its largest sale every August and St. Louis City holds sales four times a year as the properties are sold in geographical regions.  The procedure to purchase property differs greatly between the County and the City.  The City goes through a judicial process, and the County does not.  The County is part investment for First and Second Sales, the purchaser, for his or her money, receives a Certificate. All is not lost for the homeowner.  The homeowner has one year to to pay the back taxes.  The purchaser will in return receive his or her money back plus 9% interest. St. Louis Tax Sales in the County are coming up and you need to be prepared. A smart investor is an informed investor. Do your homework for each property you want to bid on. Go to Google Maps or drive by the property.  Remember, you can not go inside.  You should be careful not to walk on the property as you may get shot.  Look at values of comparable houses in the area.  This can be done on Zillow.com or viewing the St. Louis County Collector of Revenue website.  Determine how much you can spend and presume the worst about the interior condition.

Now that you own the Certificate, you job, or that of your attorney, is just starting.  NOTICE must be given to all interested parties at least 90 days before the expiration of the one year right of redemption.  Obtain a title report so you know who and where to send the notice.  Send the notice by regular first class mail and certified mail.  Failure to give proper notice will cause you to loose the property. Once this is done and the one year has expired, you can complete an affidavit and obtain a Collector’s Deed.  You now own the property but still you do not have clear title.  It is recommended that you file a lawsuit to “Quiet Title” the property.  A judgment on quiet title will allow you to obtain title insurance which will increase your ability to sell the property.

St. Louis Tax Sales Make Money.  Now, go find your diamond in the rough.

REPLACING FANNIE MAE: CRAPO

Congress was to decide about replacing Fannie Mae; however Senate Banking Committee members again could not agree on anything.   Proposed legislation, by Crapo of Idaho, was to replace Fannie Mae over five years with federal insurance for mortgage bonds. Under the proposed legislation current shareholders of Fannie Mae would be in line behind the U.S. in getting any compensation from the winding down of Fannie Mae.

Fannie Mae buys mortgages from lenders and packages them into securities on which they guarantee payments of principal and interest.  Fannie Mae now backs about two-thirds of new home loans.  As the housing market rebounds, Fannie Mae rebounds, now recording record profits of $84 billion for 2013.

Restructuring the mortgage market is the largest piece of unfinished business from the 2008 crisis.  You may recall that was when the government seized control of Fannie Mae as it was going insolvent.

An impasse between Democrats and Republications leaves Fannie Mae operating indefinitely under federal control and prevents the replacing of Fannie Mae.  So, as of late April, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee delayed indefinitely the bill to replace Fannie Mae.  The result is that efforts to fix the housing finance system will have to start over in 2015.

This status quo is nationalization of the entire mortgage industry.    This is no accident but an intentional government policy decision.   This certainly benefits the shareholders of Fannie Mae who while the market rebounds; they will continue to see the benefits of the billions in profits.  Yet at the same time there may be an unintended result to future first-time borrowers with higher mortgage rates.  Tougher credit standards and increase property prices shut out increasing numbers of first-time home buyers.  First-time buyers accounted for 26 percent of purchases in January 2014, down from 30 percent in 2013.

Senate Republicans’ proposal sought to bring more buyers into the market by creating affordable housing funds.    So, replacing Fannie Mae, what a joke.

 

Alert- SLOWING DOWN Of FORECLOSURES- NEW MORTGAGE SERVICING RULES

Will there be a Slowing Down of Foreclosures:  New Mortgage Servicing Rules are in effect which will cause a slowing down of foreclosures.  This may be old news to some but when talking about having to follow rules, news moves slowly.  Two new changes in Regulation X took effect in January.  (Section 1024.38) sets out general servicing policies and procedures for mortgage servicers (most people just say “my mortgage co”).  Reg. X requires servicers of loans to have policies and procedures in place to provide accurate and timely information to borrowers, properly evaluating loss mitigation applications.  (Section 1024.41) sets out loss mitigation procedures.

The CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) rules protect consumers from risky mortgage servicing business practices.  These rules modify Regulation Z of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Regulation X of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) dealing with the procedures for various servicing of loans.

Servicers are required to acknowledge the receipt of a loss mitigation application within 5 business days if received 45 days or more before foreclosure.  If a complete application is received more than 37 days before a scheduled foreclosure sale, the servicer is required to evaluate the borrower within 30 days for all loss mitigation options and notify the borrower of any loss mitigation offers.

Of significance is the rule’s prohibition of making the “first notice or filing” required by law for any foreclosure process until the loan is more than 120 days delinquent.  If the borrower submits a complete loss mitigation application during that time, the servicer cannot initiate foreclosure until the loss mitigation process is exhausted.  If foreclosure has started and the application is received, the servicer cannot move for judgment or conduct a foreclosure sale until the loss mitigation process is exhausted.  So, “Yes”, there will be a slowing down of foreclosures.

 

 

CAN A MORTGAGOR WAIVE FORECLOSURE DEFENSES?

Can a mortgagor waive foreclosure defenses in a modification or forbearance agreement?  Historically, lenders have routinely included such provisions in return for borrowers entering into a loan modification or forbearance agreement.  The argument favoring barring waivers is that (a) waivers are overly broad and eliminate the borrower’s ability to save the house later when unrelated claims of future conduct cause a foreclosure, (b) homeowners cannot determine whether a waiver is a worthwhile trade-off, (c) allowing for waivers rewards misconduct on the part of lenders.

Recently the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have sought to curtail this practice.  Note that under HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program) modifications are prohibited from containing waivers.  Complicating matters is the fact that some servicers of loans did not elect to participate in HAMP.

The U.S. Department of Justice sanctioned limited waivers with respect to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act litigation. Fannie Mae requires lenders to waive claims against borrowers.(See SVC 2012-19) for guidelines directing servicers to release borrowers from liability from any deficiency upon successful completion of a short sale or deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.  In an attempt to standardize and have consistency in the law, the CFPB states that an agreement between borrower and lender may not be used to prevent the borrower from bringing a claim in court for alleged violations of federal law.  To confuse you event more, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)  entered into an agreement with several large lenders which also limited the use of waivers.

The bottom line is that to waive foreclosure defenses is no longer routine and is no longer permissible.

 

SLOWING DOWN FORECLOSURES

New Mortgage Servicing Rules are in effect which will be slowing down foreclosures.  This may be old news to some but when talking about having to follow rules, news moves slowly.  Two new changes in Regulation X took effect in January.  (Section 1024.38) sets out general servicing policies and procedures for mortgage servicers (most people just say “my mortgage co”).  Reg. X requires servicers of loans to have policies and procedures in place to provide accurate and timely information to borrowers, properly evaluating loss mitigation applications.  (Section 1024.41) sets out loss mitigation procedures.

The CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) rules protect consumers from risky mortgage servicing business practices.  These rules modify Regulation Z of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Regulation X of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) dealing with the procedures for various servicing of loans.

Servicers are required to acknowledge the receipt of a loss mitigation application within 5 business days if received 45 days or more before foreclosure.  If a complete application is received more than 37 days before a scheduled foreclosure sale, the servicer is required to evaluate the borrower within 30 days for all loss mitigation options and notify the borrower of any loss mitigation offers.  All of this will be slowing down foreclosures.

Of significance is the rule’s prohibition of making the “first notice or filing” required by law for any foreclosure process until the loan is more than 120 days delinquent.  If the borrower submits a complete loss mitigation application during that time, the servicer cannot initiate foreclosure until the loss mitigation process is exhausted.  If foreclosure has started and the application is received, the servicer cannot move for judgment or conduct a foreclosure sale until the loss mitigation process is exhausted.