Archive for July, 2011

Attorney Walker M. Duke Stops Two More Dallas-Fort Worth Foreclosures with TROs

Two more would-be foreclosures were stopped by Dallas attorney Walker M. Duke of Duke Law Office, P.C.  In one instance, Bank of America/BAC Home Loans tried to foreclose on a Fort Worth, Texas house through BOA’s foreclosure henchman Recontrust Co.  “The problem was,” attorney Duke stated, “Bank of America had played ‘hide the ball’ with ownership of the loan so many times, nobody really knew who owned it.” 

This homeowner faced the same problem many others face–the reality that residential home loans are sold, pooled together with similar loans, and resold by banks and asset-backed trusts, so that the true owner of the loan is a mystery, at least to those outside Wall Street.  “Bank of America and Recontrust seemed to forget that you can’t foreclose on what you don’t own…or what you can’t prove you own,” said the homeowner’s lawyer Walker Duke.

In another case, JP Morgan Chase tried to foreclose on a North Texas home, until Mr. Duke stopped the process with a temporary restraining order.  “We had direct evidence that the homeowner’s loan was owned by an asset-backed trust, not Chase.  And the court has agreed with our position at this point.”  The foreclosure attempt by Chase happened just as the bank seemed to be trying to work on a modification with the homeowner.  “On the one hand, the bank tries to look like it’s working in good faith on a modification, but then it tries to foreclose before the mod process is finished.  Sadly, it’s yet another example of how homeowners must be proactive in protecting themselves and their house.” 

In Texas, foreclosure sales are required by law to take place on the first Tuesday of the month, and homeowners are to receive notice of foreclosure sales 21 days in advance.  Duke warns, “If you have received notice of a foreclosure sale–often called a ‘notice of substitute trustee sale’–your house will be sold.  Do not expect the lender to make any effort to prevent it, even if you’re in the middle of a modification.”

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Did you lose your home to foreclosure? Fight back now!

Has the bank foreclosed on your home?  Have they threatened eviction, or even had you forcibly removed?  Did you have a loan with Countrywide, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citi/CitiMortgage, IndyMac, or PNC?  Have you been harassed by Recontrust, BAC Home Loans, Chase Home Finance, or any other bank or servicer?

Your home is–or perhaps used to be–your fortress.  It was where family memories were made, and your place of retreat.  But in far too many instances, the home has been disfigured into a point of constant stress and worry thanks to questionable practices of many of our nation’s biggest banks and their zeal for foreclosures.

The more work I do on behalf of homeowners who have had problems with their lender, including foreclosures and evictions, and the more I see of the banks’ sloppy, careless, and outright reckless treatment of my clients’ loans and houses, the more I want to help homeowners fight back.

As I’ve written about before, if you purchased a home in the last 10 years, there is a very high probability a complex Wall Street concoction called an asset-backed trust (which forms the basis for mortgage-backed securities) actually owns your loan.  Yet very rarely do these trusts actually initiate foreclosure proceedings.  To the contrary, foreclosures are usually conducted by what I call the “foreclosure arm” of the big banks, such as Recontrust (Bank of America) or Chase Home Finance (JP Morgan Chase).  I believe that in many, many instances, these foreclosure actions are tantamount to fraud.

These complex trusts have well-defined, complicated rules for how they are to handle their assets (i.e. your loan, and the loans of thousands of other homeowners).  These rules are no secret–they are published with the Securities and Exchange Commission and are readily available to view on the SEC’s website EDGAR.  And yet, local property record filings consistently suggest that these rules are rarely, if ever, followed.  I have yet to find a single case where the chain of title in the county property records matches up with the chain of title that is supposed to happen according to these asset-backed trusts’ own rules (which, by the way, they created for themselves).  In fact, in the 1990s, lenders got together to form a company called MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration System) to allow banks to swap, trade, and sell your loan with the greatest of ease without ever having to let you know where it went.  One of MERS’ fundamental purposes is to avoid filing records with the local county clerks so that the chain of title can be determined.

I’m tired of seeing this kind of abuse, and I know I’m not alone.  But there is only one way to stop it from continuing–FIGHT BACK!  One homeowner, or former-homeowner, at a time.

If Chase, Bank of America, Citi, Wells Fargo, Countrywide, Deutsche Bank, IndyMac, Wachovia, or any other bank has foreclosed on your home, call the attorneys at Duke Law Office, P.C. to learn more about your rights and how you can fight back.  Even if you have moved out of your home or been evicted.  Even if you took a cash-for-keys deal.  The consultation is absolutely free and without any obligation whatsoever.

You can call us at (214) 523-9033.  You can email me personally at wduke@dukelawpc.com.  You will speak with an attorney, not some call center operator.  I am a Texas-licensed attorney, and we are a Texas law firm, with capabilities in Utah as well.  We’re not a mitigation or modification company.

Lenders and banks insist that they are just enforcing contracts and availing themselves of the protections afforded them under the law.  That’s fine, but they don’t get to pick and choose which contracts they get to enforce and which laws apply to them.  All I want, and all most homeowners want, is to hold banks to the same standards that homeowners are held to.  That is fairness, and that is what I do on behalf of homeowners.

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