Tag Archives: Florida

Have You Heard About Florida’s Foreclosure Rescue Statute?

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Many Florida homeowners are not aware of a helpful law called the “Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Prevention Act of 2008 (the “Act”).” If you are struggling to pay your mortgage loan and you believe foreclosure is in your future, it is important to understand how this relatively new law protects you.

The Act requires a foreclosure rescue consultant to enter into a written contract with a homeowner before providing any services. It also prohibits them from collecting or taking action to secure payment prior to completing all services agreed upon in the contract.

If you decide to obtain the help of a foreclosure rescue consultant the Act requires:

  • The services to be provided by the consultant must be clearly outlined in writing in 12-point upper case font
  • You must be provided at least one business day to read the contract prior to executing it
  • You have three business days to cancel the agreement without penalty, and this provision cannot be waived by either party
  • The date of the contract cannot be earlier than the date the homeowner executes it
  • If you cancel the contract, the consultant is required to return any payments received by you within 10 days after receipt of notice of cancellation
  • Any notice of cancellation is required to be printed above the signature line in 12-point upper case type

If you are facing foreclosure, you are probably feeling lost. Don’t make matters worse by turning to somebody unqualified to assist you, or worse, a con artist waiting to take advantage of you. Contact Faro & Crowder, PA to discuss your individual circumstances with an experienced foreclosure defense attorney. If you have questions regarding defending a foreclosure action or other ways we can help you, contact us for a free consultation.


Florida Foreclosure Process

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If you are past due on your home loan payments, you are considered to be in default and the mortgage lender has the right to foreclose on your home. Your lender will typically send you notice of your default and the lender’s intent to accelerate the total amount due on the loan if you do not cure your default within a certain period of time.

If you fail to timely cure your default, the mortgage lender or servicer will refer your loan to an lawyer to pursue a foreclosure action. The lawyer will file a Lis Pendens in the county where the home is located, which provides notice to any other interested parties that there is a lawsuit being filed which impacts title to the property. A Complaint and summons are filed with the court clerk and they will be served on you.

Once you have been properly served, you have 20 days to respond to the allegations in the Complaint. If you fail to do so, the lender can obtain a default judgment against you. If you do respond, you can raise defenses, request documents and information regarding the lender’s claims, and other actions to protect yourself. At this point, the lawsuit proceeds until a settlement or judgment is reached.

If the lender is granted judgment against you, the court clerk will schedule a foreclosure sale. If no objections to the sale are filed, the clerk will transfer title to the property to the party who purchased it at the auction. Once title has transferred to the purchaser, you are no longer the property owner and you can be evicted if you are still living in the home.

The above is a very general summary of the foreclosure process in Florida and it is important to remember that no two cases are identical. If you believe foreclosure is in your future, contact us for a free consultation. The sooner we get involved in your case, the better. Our office is located in Melbourne, Florida.

Contact a Brevard County Bankruptcy Attorney at Faro & Crowder, PA

If you are interested in learning more about how a bankruptcy filing will impact your debt, contact Faro Crowder, PA to schedule an appointment. We are located in Melbourne, Florida on Sarno Road and serve residents and businesses of the Space Coast and Brevard County.

Services Areas

We provide services throughout Central Florida including: Melbourne, Titusville, Palm Bay, Merritt Island, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, West Melbourne, Cape Canaveral, Viera and Eau Gallie.

Get In Touch with Faro & Crowder, PA

Faro & Crowder, PA
Phone: 321-784-8158
Address:
1801 N. Sarno Road, Suite 01
Melbourne, FL 32935
Email: info@farolaw.com

The information on this blog or any blog is not intended as, and should not be taken as, legal advice.

Foreclosure Deficiency Judgments in Florida

Florida has one of the highest foreclosure rates in our country. If you are facing foreclosure, it is important to be mindful that there are certain companies purchasing a large number of mortgage foreclosure judgments in the State. Once they are the owner, the company sues you for a deficiency judgment after the foreclosure of your home is finalized. Losing your home is difficult, but facing a judgment against you for a large sum of money can be devastating.

Foreclosure Deficiency Judgment | Brevard County Foreclosure Defense

There are two main steps involved in the foreclosure process. First, the mortgage lender or servicer files a foreclosure lawsuit seeking a judgment from the court granting the lender the authority to foreclosure and sell your home. This judgment may include the ability of the court to enter a deficiency judgment after completion of the foreclosure sale if the house is sold for less than the judgment amount. The deficiency balance is usually a significant sum.

Florida residents who have had their home foreclosed can obtain some relief under the “Florida Fair Foreclosure Act.” Among other things, this Act significantly reduced the statute of limitations and a creditor’s ability to pursue a deficiency judgment from five years to one year. The Act also increased the pleading requirements the plaintiff must meet in order to pursue a deficiency judgment, and it in some cases it may reduce the deficiency balance. However, because the Act makes the process move faster, it can inhibit a homeowner’s ability to investigate and discover valuable defenses. Thus, if you believe a lender will pursue a deficiency judgment against you, it is imperative to obtain legal assistance as quickly as possible.

If you are delinquent on your mortgage payments or you have a foreclosure action pending against you, contact us for a free consultation to learn how filing for bankruptcy could help. Filing a personal bankruptcy may allow you to discharge the full amount of the deficiency balance left after your home is foreclosed.

Contact a Brevard County Foreclosure Defense Attorney at Faro & Crowder, PA

If you are interested in learning more about how a deficiency judgment will affect you, contact Faro Crowder, PA to schedule an appointment. We are located in Melbourne, Florida on Sarno Road and serve residents and businesses of the Space Coast and Brevard County.

Services Areas

We provide services throughout Central Florida including: Melbourne, Titusville, Palm Bay, Merritt Island, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, West Melbourne, Cape Canaveral, Viera and Eau Gallie.

Get In Touch with Faro & Crowder, PA

Faro & Crowder, PA
Phone: 321-784-8158
Address:
1801 N. Sarno Road, Suite 01
Melbourne, FL 32935
Email: info@farolaw.com

The information on this blog or any blog is not intended as, and should not be taken as, legal advice.

Are Payday Loans Dischargeable in a Chapter 7?

Payday loans are generally dischargeable without any arguments in a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, because these loans are unsecured debts. There are, however, a few special cases.

Payday Loans

Fraud

If you borrowed money within 90 days prior to filing bankruptcy, there is a presumption of bankruptcy fraud. Simply stated, the law presumes that you never intended to repay the money and that you used your bankruptcy filing as a sword instead of a shield. In such a situation, the payday lender may file an objection to discharge and a motion to remove the stay.

Many bankruptcy judges do not like payday lenders, believing that these lenders charge usurious rates and take advantage of consumers. Whether that perception is true or false is not the point. Because of this attitude, some judges may require the payday lender to prove fraudulent intent. Intent is particularly hard to prove if the actual loan was originally taken out more than 90 days prior to filing, and the consumer had to keep renewing the loan.

Postdated check

Some payday lenders may require you to surrender a postdated check. After you file, they may attempt to cash the check, arguing that they deposited the instrument in the normal course of business.

But the automatic stay prohibits creditors from taking any action against you, and the payday lender is clearly a “creditor” at that point.

Vehicle title loan

Many people place title loans and payday loans in the same category. For non-bankruptcy purposes, this classification may be appropriate. But, by accepting cash and putting up your car title as security for repayment, the vehicle title loan is a secured debt. The debt itself may be dischargeable, but the lender’s lien on your car title is still valid.

One option is a cram-down. If you borrowed $3000 but your car is only worth $1000, you may be able to pay the $1000 and keep your car. Another option is a conversion to a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, when the automatic stay stays in effect much longer, giving you time to pay off the loan.

To find relief from your creditors, contact us in Melbourne, Florida for your free consultation.


Open Meeting Cancelled

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Recent scheduled meetings of the Bankruptcy Rules Committee were cancelled, apparently due to lack of interest.

There had been two meetings scheduled in January 2014, one in Chicago and one in Washington, D.C. According to federal law, meetings may be cancelled if there is a lack of public interest, the Standing Committee sees a need for expedited rule change that bypasses public comment, or the proposed amendment is so technical in nature that it does not require a hearing.

The Standing Committee also discusses proposed changes in civil rules, criminal rules and rules of evidence. No further bankruptcy meetings are scheduled at this time.

Bankruptcy filing

In 2011, Florida had the second-most bankruptcy filings (94,815) in the country. California held the top spot with a staggering 240,151. Georgia, Illinois and Ohio rounded out the top five.

A cursory glance at these statistics shows the diverse nature of bankruptcy filings. There is no single cause-and-effect relationship. There is no discernible pattern, according to geography or number of filings. People simply get into financial trouble, and bankruptcy is perhaps the best way out.

That being said, a closer look behind the numbers is revealing:

  • The “average” filer is married, has a high-school education and earns less than $30,000 per year.
  • The median filing age is 45; the number of filers younger than 25 is lower than ever.
  • Repeat filers account for 16% of all bankruptcy cases overall.

Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can put you back on the right path, by restructuring some debts and eliminating others. In ten years, your bankruptcy filing will fall off your credit report entirely.

Contact us for a free consultation with attorneys who work hard for you.

Contact a Brevard County Bankruptcy Attorney at Faro & Crowder, PA

If you are interested in learning more about how a bankruptcy filing will impact your debt, contact Faro Crowder, PA to schedule an appointment. We are located in Melbourne, Florida on Sarno Road and serve residents and businesses of the Space Coast and Brevard County.

Services Areas

We provide services throughout Central Florida including: Melbourne, Titusville, Palm Bay, Merritt Island, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, West Melbourne, Cape Canaveral, Viera and Eau Gallie.

Get In Touch with Faro & Crowder, PA

Faro & Crowder, PA
Phone: 321-784-8158
Address:
1801 N. Sarno Road, Suite 01
Melbourne, FL 32935
Email: info@farolaw.com

Court Stops Lawsuit against Debtor

The Middle District of Florida recently ruled that the automatic stay is a blanket protection that applies to multiple creditor claims, even if there is not a perfect symmetry of parties.

Facts

In Peterson et al v. Avantair et al, Avaintair informed its employees that it could not make payroll almost simultaneously with its bankruptcy filing. Mr. Peterson, along with some other employees, personally sued Avantair’s corporate officers and senior managers for breach of contract, failure to pay minimum wage and several other causes of action.

The defendants argued that the case should be stayed as to the individual defendants while it was stayed as to Avantair under Section 362 of the Bankruptcy code, , while the plaintiffs stated that their case should be allowed to proceed, as the defendants had not technically filed bankruptcy.

Holding

The district court agreed with the defendants and stayed the case. Citing a 1936 case, the court stated that it had broad powers to stay a case to avoid “duplicative discovery, multiple hearings and inconsistent results.”

The court was convinced that, although there may have been some minor differences, the essentials of the case against the defendants and Avantair’s bankruptcy were substantially similar. The evidence would have been the same and the legal arguments for each side would have been much the same as well. The district court issued an order staying the case.

Bringing a business through bankruptcy is complex, and requires an attorney who understands the interplay of the business’s liabilities and the liabilities of its officers, directors, and owners.  We have experience representing small businesses and their owners through the bankruptcy process.

Contact our office in Melbourne, Florida for a free consultation with attorneys who are there to protect you.

Contact a Brevard County Bankruptcy Attorney at Faro & Crowder, PA

If you are interested in learning more about how a bankruptcy filing will impact your debt, contact Faro Crowder, PA to schedule an appointment. We are located in Melbourne, Florida on Sarno Road and serve residents and businesses of the Space Coast and Brevard County.

Services Areas

We provide services throughout Central Florida including: Melbourne, Titusville, Palm Bay, Merritt Island, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, West Melbourne, Cape Canaveral, Viera and Eau Gallie.

Get In Touch with Faro & Crowder, PA

Faro & Crowder, PA
Phone: 321-784-8158
Address:
1801 N. Sarno Road, Suite 01
Melbourne, FL 32935
Email: info@farolaw.com

Can Bankruptcy Help You Get a Loan Modification?

Investment Real Estate

Distressed homeowners in the Northern District of Florida now have an additional option to try and keep their home.

The court’s Mortgage Modification Mediation service allows homeowners, and lenders, access to experienced Chapter 13 mediators at a reduced cost. Although the parties are not required to reach an agreement, courts are generally much more inclined to enforce agreements between the parties as opposed to imposing their will in a given situation.

The plan is designed to streamline the process, reduce time and, above all, get the parties talking.

Mediation success

The normal loan modification process can be frustrating, to say the least. By most accounts, at least 80% of eligible homeowners are denied mortgage modifications by their lenders. Although there are no hard numbers, and no guarantee of success, these statistics are often reversed in mediation.

There are two primary reasons for the big difference in results:

  • Dialogue: Only about a third of at-risk borrowers are even in regular contact with their lenders. Although an open dialogue is no guarantee of success, a nonexistent dialogue is a guarantee of failure. You don’t get anything unless you ask.
  • Good faith negotiation: The largest single reason for denial is failure to timely submit all required documents. While a bank may very well deny a loan modification because one form was one day late, such a stance is not a “good faith” denial under the law. The rule of thumb is that if the bank cannot issue a denial based on anything other than a technicality, there is no good-faith basis for the denial.

Mediation may be available in other cases and in other districts. Speak with your attorney about some ways that bankruptcy can save your home.


Court Upholds Bankruptcy Rights

In a boon for debtors, a federal court recently interpreted Section 523(a)(6) very narrowly.

Facts

In Communitywide Federal Credit Union v. Laughlin, Mr. Laughlin purchased a new car, with an $18,000 loan from CFCU. Ms. Laughlin was awarded the car in their divorce. A short time thereafter, Ms. Laughlin returned the car to Mr. Laughlin, asserting that she had paid off the note. The car was in very poor condition. Mr. Laughlin had the car repaired, and then sold it to a local dealership, unaware that the CFCU lien had not been paid off or otherwise extinguished.

CFCU sued Mr. Laughlin and obtained a default judgment against him. When the credit union garnished his wages, Mr. Laughlin filed Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. When CFCU filed an adversary proceeding, the trial judge held that the underlying debt was dischargeable, since Mr. Laughlin did not act in bad faith.

Holding

Mr. Laughlin apparently took his ex-wife’s story at face value, although it would have been reasonable to do a quick title search and verify that the lien had indeed been paid off. But the appeals court looked instead to the plain language of the statute to determine if the debt was dischargeable. Under Section 523 (a)(6), an otherwise dischargeable debt is nondischargeable if a debtor’s actions “1) caused an injury to the property interest of the creditor; 2) the action causing the injury was willful; and 3) the action was done in a malicious manner.”

While Mr. Laughlin definitely impeded the value of the property by selling it, it did not appear, based on the record, that he had any malicious intent towards the creditor.

Application

Although this decision is not binding in Florida, it is instructive that a court should not draw its own conclusions based on the evidence, but rather base its findings on the evidence itself. Malicious intent is very difficult to prove, so there is a good chance that you may receive your fresh start even if the circumstances are less than 100% in your favor.

For a free consultation with bankruptcy attorneys who fight for you, contact our office in Melbourne, Florida.

Contact a Brevard County Bankruptcy Attorney at Faro & Crowder, PA

If you are interested in learning more about how a bankruptcy filing will impact your debt, contact Faro Crowder, PA to schedule an appointment. We are located in Melbourne, Florida on Sarno Road and serve residents and businesses of the Space Coast and Brevard County.

Services Areas

We provide services throughout Central Florida including: Melbourne, Titusville, Palm Bay, Merritt Island, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, West Melbourne, Cape Canaveral, Viera and Eau Gallie.

Get In Touch with Faro & Crowder, PA

Faro & Crowder, PA
Phone: 321-784-8158
Address:
1801 N. Sarno Road, Suite 01
Melbourne, FL 32935
Email: info@farolaw.com

When the Spotlight Dims

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A group of former NFL players recently filed a lawsuit against the league, claiming that it exposed them to probable brain damage.National Football League players aren’t the only footballers who struggle with life after retirement.

According to a charity set up for former English League soccer players, 33% of players are divorced within one year of retirement, 40% file bankruptcy within five years, and 80% ultimately suffer from osteoarthritis. While the average salary in the Premier league is about 23,000 £ (38,000 USD) per week, that salary drops to 5,000 £ (8,000 USD) per week in the Champions league.

Causes of bankruptcy

While it is difficult to have sympathy for some professional athletes on both sides of the Atlantic, there is a connection between their bankruptcy and your bankruptcy. They each emerge from common causes:

  • Divorce: One of the most common marital stress factors is money, so it is little wonder that couples who are in divorce court sooner or later wind up in bankruptcy court. After divorce, the two new families must often try to survive on drastically reduced incomes, which makes these problems even worse.
  • Medical bills: Even if you have insurance, the cost of long-term rehabilitative care is staggering, to say the least. Medical bills can eat away your savings almost before you know what’s happening.

While bankruptcy cannot eliminate child-support payments and alimony, bankruptcy can eliminate many of your other unsecured debts to free up your limited cash for other obligations. Bankruptcy can eliminate medical bills, in most cases, giving you the financial fresh start that you need so desperately.

Contact us for your free bankruptcy consultation.

Contact a Brevard County Bankruptcy Attorney at Faro & Crowder, PA

If you are interested in learning more about how a bankruptcy filing will impact your debt, contact Faro Crowder, PA to schedule an appointment. We are located in Melbourne, Florida on Sarno Road and serve residents and businesses of the Space Coast and Brevard County.

Services Areas

We provide services throughout Central Florida including: Melbourne, Titusville, Palm Bay, Merritt Island, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, West Melbourne, Cape Canaveral, Viera and Eau Gallie.

Get In Touch with Faro & Crowder, PA

Faro & Crowder, PA
Phone: 321-784-8158
Address:
1801 N. Sarno Road, Suite 01
Melbourne, FL 32935
Email: info@farolaw.com

We’re Number Two!

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New Jersey recently passed Florida as the state with the highest number of home mortgages at-risk for foreclosure.

Although there are more mortgages in the Sunshine State that are delinquent overall, 11.7 percent of these loans are “seriously delinquent,” compared to 11.8 percent in New Jersey. New York is third with 9.1 percent. All three states are judicial states, meaning that a lender must go through the courts before it can foreclose on a mortgage, so there is a mortgage foreclosure backlog. Observers also stated that Superstorm Sandy might have had some effect.

Saving your home with bankruptcy

A past-due mortgage can be one of the most stressful items in life. The best thing that bankruptcy can do, especially Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, is give you time to catch up on a delinquent home loan account.

Payment Plan

Working with the bankruptcy trustee and your creditors, you can devise a repayment plan for either three or five years. You have the first opportunity to draft a plan. If the creditors do not object and the trustee approves, the plan automatically goes into effect.

If you do not plan to keep your home, bankruptcy can help. When you file your petition, an automatic stay generally applies to all creditors in the case. They can take no adverse action against you without specific, prior permission from the bankruptcy judge.

Contact Faro & Crowder today to learn about your bankruptcy options

Contact us to receive your financial fresh start today.  We offer a free initial bankruptcy consultation to individuals, families and businesses in Melbourne, Palm Bay, Brevard County and the Space Coast area.  Consultations typically last about an hour in length.  During that time, you will sit down with the attorney and discuss your debt relief options.  Give us a call today at 321-784-8158 to set up your initial consultation.

Contact Us For A Free Consultation






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