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Thread: Lawyer: If Repossession is Imminent, Stop Making House Payments

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    Politics.ie Member rhonda15's Avatar
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    Default Lawyer: If Repossession is Imminent, Stop Making House Payments

    Some practical tips from a prominent foreclosure/repossession defense attorney (written mainly for a US audience but I'm sure much of it applies here):

    You have to give lawyer Mark Stopa points for bluntness.

    He's one of a number of Tampa Bay foreclosure defense attorneys who have been marketing a simple strategy:

    If you suspect foreclosure is imminent, stop making your monthly house payments. Hire a lawyer to frustrate the bank. Use the yearlong delay to build a nest egg with the deferred house payments. Enjoy living in the house mortgage-free.

    "The biggest mistake homeowners make is to keep paying when they know they're in trouble," Stopa said this week...

    His prime delaying tactic is asking a judge to dismiss a case under the loophole that the originating lender isn't the same one initiating the foreclosure. It can take bank attorneys half a year to sidestep the legal minefield.

    Stopa assumes bankers are more amenable to modifying and refinancing mortgages once they've been slapped around a bit. He said lenders have stiffed consumers of their share of billions of dollars of stimulus the government poured into the banking system.

    Delaying foreclosure can lead to ethical 'heebie jeebies' - St. Petersburg Times

    My heart goes out to anyone having difficulties and I am very thankful I am not in that position - though I have a brother who is now in considerable negative equity (but he should be ok as long as his job holds out).

    If anyone is having difficulty it is obviously worth getting expert advice (because you can be damn sure the banksters are).
    Last edited by rhonda15; 21st October 2009 at 09:27 PM.
    "The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.'' ~ J. Edgar Hoover http://tiny.cc/b2jo9

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    American law is not Irish law.
    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair.

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    Politics.ie Member rhonda15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by He3 View Post
    American law is not Irish law.
    Are you a lawyer?

    If so please point out to me why the above would not be an option?
    "The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.'' ~ J. Edgar Hoover http://tiny.cc/b2jo9

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    As has been pointed out here and in the media before, in the US a defaulting homeowner generally is freed from any continuing debt when they hand back the keys. No further liability follows them.

    In Ireland they remain liable for the balance of the debt if the sale proceeds are inadequate to clear it in full.
    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair.

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    Politics.ie Member ManOfReason's Avatar
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    I would have to agree to a certain extent. If you see no way to avoid eventual foreclosure, e.g. you are in a 750K house that is now only worth 500K and you have 50K in other debths and your household income has dropped by 40-50% and you can't even make the interest only payments, then tell your no-longer-friendly bank manager that you are in a bind but that you are expecting a parent to sell a site soon and give you 75K soon (or some other cock-and-bull story) and then you will clear the arrears blah blah blah....anyway hopefully you can string it out for a couple of years rent free. Remember however your credit will be toast and you will still owe the bank the outstanding money (plus fees and penalties) after the house is repossessed so you might want to make plans to emigrate with your savings to a country a long long way away or they will hound you for life.
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    Offering or taking legal advice on an internet forum isn't the best idea, but rhonda15 does suggest getting expert advice.

    In the US, when someone defaults on a mortgage, they can hand the house back and owe nothing.
    In Ireland and the UK, the bank will sell the house and if they get less for it than you owe, you still owe the difference and they'll pursue you for it. +You won't be able to get another mortgage. in future.

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    Politics.ie Member rhonda15's Avatar
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    @He3

    Yes I know that.

    The point is - what is the point of continuing to crucify yourself trying to make monthly payments when in all liklihood you will get an eviction notice anyway?

    The strategy here is to give yourself a little breathing space and get a nest egg together for your near to medium term situation.

    In the long term I'm sure the banks will be glad to get anything back on their investment and maybe you can negotiate yourself a better term.


    p.s. whose side are you on anyway?
    "The individual is handicapped by coming face to face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.'' ~ J. Edgar Hoover http://tiny.cc/b2jo9

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    Contrast what happens when the developers stop paying back their development loans with what happens when a homeowner stops paying.

    For an insight into government attitudes, start by reading the NAMA Bill which says the developer's home generally cannot be touched.
    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair.

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    Politics.ie Member NewGoldDream's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by He3 View Post
    For an insight into government attitudes, start by reading the NAMA Bill which says the developer's home generally cannot be touched.
    I know it's not the subject of this thread. But you got a link to the section or any debate on that aspect. Know little about the NAMA legislation, but have heard a few ask about this aspect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NewGoldDream View Post
    I know it's not the subject of this thread. But you got a link to the section or any debate on that aspect. Know little about the NAMA legislation, but have heard a few ask about this aspect.

    Read it and weep.

    http://www.oireachtas.ie/documents/b...009/B6009D.pdf
    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair.

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