Three Defenses That Can Stop Foreclosure (Plus 1)



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Proper Foreclosure Procedures Were Not Followed

A lender seeking to foreclosure a home has to follow strict
foreclosure procedures set by the Connecticut Supreme Court. If these procedures and steps are not followed, the borrower can challenge the foreclosure. If the problem is serious, the case can be dismissed and the lender forced to start the foreclosure over. Connecticut does have a rule that absent some fraud or mistake, once the foreclosure is completed, it is done aunt here inso going back.

You Are An Active Member Of The Military

If you are an active member of the military serving our country, no foreclosure can proceed. The lender has to certify to the Court that they have investigated whether or not you are an active service member before they re allowed to obtain a judgment of foreclosure. Military members can utilize the protections afforded by the
ServiceMembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), which offers assistance to members of the military facing foreclosure.

Mortgage Terms Are Deemed To Be Unconscionable

Unconscionable mortgage terms presents a rarer defense to foreclosure. The mortgage's terms may be unfair or illegal. If you were not represented by a lawyer or otherwise unable to make an informed decision about the mortgage loan, a court could refuse to enforce the mortgage at all.

The Best Defense Is A Good Offense

Connecticut, like many states, has a
mediation procedure that offers homeowners a chance at working out the mortgage problems. If requested, the Court will refer the case to an impartial mediator who will facilitate communication between the parties to see what resolution can be made. Solutions include a temporary or permanent reduction in the interest rate, an extension of the life of the loan or a temporary forbearance in the payments. There are also several government programs available, but they are not expected to last after the end of the year.

Three Things You can Expect After Filing For Bankruptcy

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You can find a bunch of information on the internet about filing for bankruptcy, but what happens afterwards?

Here are three things that you can expect:

  • Debts are discharged - For consumers, the best part of filing for bankruptcy is the elimination of your debt without giving anything up.  The Bankruptcy Trustee may try to take your property to pay back your creditors, but a skilled bankruptcy lawyer can help you keep it without losing anything.

  • Creditor Go Away, Don't Come Back Any Day: There are several types of bankruptcy for consumers and they all offer an automatic stay, which immediaty stops any attempts to collect. This is true for civil judgments that may have already entered bu also for phone calls and collection letters, wage garnishments, repossessions and most kinds of court actions.

  • A Fresh Start: IMost people believe that filing for bankruptcy will have an effect on their credit score. The Credit Score is the great marketing gimmick of the credit industry and it does not matter much. Many consumers can rebuild their credit immediately, but the secret is to avoid getting back into debt.  Planning for the future is more important than having that shiny new thing. It is more important to have only a few current credit accounts that can rebuild your credit.

A study by the Federal Reserve found that when dealing with debt, it was better to file bankruptcy than struggle monthly to pay off debt.

Attorney Melchionne Speaks at NACBA Convention

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Attorney Melchionne was a featured speaker at the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys in San Francisco on May 20 - 22, 2016. During the Convention in, Attorney Melchionne met with colleagues from around the country to share ideas and new developments in Bankruptcy Law, Foreclosure Defense, Credit and Student Loan forgiveness. In his role on the Board of Directors for NACBa, he also helped plan the three days of seminars and spoke at several of the sessions.

Foreclosures in Connecticut buck the National Trend

The number of new foreclosures filed in Connecticut increased in November increased over the number of foreclosures field in October. Not only does this buck the national trends, but it also runs contrary to the usual fall off that occurs as winter approaches.

Banks do not like to take homes in the winter months if they are occupied. They would rather let you shovel the snow, heat the house, and secured the house so that it is not vandalized. It does seem, however, that banks are in a rush to take back homes faster than before. Or maybe they realize that just filing a foreclosure does not guarantee a quick result as the Mediation process does slow things down a bit. Since Mediation can add a few months onto the foreclosure process, timing the filing of the foreclosure so that mediation completes in the spring might be the reason for these filings.

Me. I'm speechless. Even FannieMar and FreddieMac have a heart in not putting anyone out of their home during the holiday season. They have
suspended evictions from December 18, 2015 to January 3, 2016. On one hand, I hope that this increased foreclosures is not the banks being heartless during the holidays. On the other hand, I also hope that this is not an indication that homeowners in Connecticut are not falling further into financial distress.

Check out my interview in the newspaper
here.

Bankruptcy Filers Beware: Con-Artists Posing As Attorneys

Telephone-Scam Soliciting Wire Transfers Prompts NACBA and Vermont Attorney General to Issue Consumer Warning

Across the country, consumers are falling prey to a new scam targeting people who have filed for bankruptcy and others just getting started with the process. Bankruptcy attorneys are joining forces with public officials to sound the alarm bell to unsuspecting consumers.

The con artists are using software that 'spoofs' the Caller ID system so that the call appears to be originating from the phone line of the consumer’s bankruptcy attorney. Victims of the scam are being instructed to immediately wire money to satisfy a debt that supposedly is outside the bankruptcy proceeding. Some consumers have been threatened with arrest if they fail to wire money to pay the debt.

In some instances, the perpetrators are using personal information from public filings to identify consumers, assume the identity of their attorneys and sound more convincing by phone. These calls are typically placed during nonbusiness hours, making it difficult for clients to verify the call by getting in touch with their attorney to ask about it.

The
National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) and its individual members want consumers to know that under no circumstance would a bankruptcy attorney or staff member telephone a client and ask for a wire transfer immediately to satisfy a debt. Nor would the bankruptcy attorney and staff ever threaten arrest if a debt isn’t paid. The United States Court System has posted a bulletin and warnings have been posted in the states of Virginia and Vermont as well.

Consumers should be advised that legitimate debt collectors and agencies cannot threaten arrest in order to satisfy. If you or a family member receive this kind of call, the best thing to do is to hang up and contact your bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. Do NOT give out any personal or financial account information to the caller.

My office will never call after hours and you should always verify any such instruction by emailing me directly if you should receive such a call.