Due to the housing crisis of the past 5 years, efforts have been made to give homeowners every conceivable chance to avoid the foreclosures of their properties, so that they are not forced out of their homes. While well-intentioned, some of these provisions have resulted in unintended consequences. One such impact has been the rise of “zombie foreclosures.”
The number of New York vacant and abandoned houses in foreclosure have skyrocketed in the past few years as a result of the incredibly long foreclosure process in New York, causing a blight on residential neighborhoods and prompting outrage from local municipalities. (See my article - Zombie Foreclosures Are They Coming For You?)
By now, most servicers are fully familiar with New York’s Statute of Limitations and the nuance that it only begins to run on each installment when it becomes due unless accelerated. (See my article about the Statute of Limitations).
A real estate “closing” is the event where parties meet in order to consummate a real estate transaction. At a typical real estate closing, where one party is selling real estate to another, the parties who will attend the closing consist of the sellers and their lawyer, the buyers and their lawyer, the bank's attorney, the title closer, and one or more real estate brokers.
Oftentimes, a Debtor files a Bankruptcy petition that will stay a pending foreclosure. Should the Debtor seek relief under Chapter 7, all property of the Debtor becomes property of the Bankruptcy Estate and subject to disposition by the Chapter 7 Trustee, with court approval. Should the Chapter 7 Trustee determine that there is no equity in the mortgaged premises, he/she will “abandon” the property, and title will then revert back to the Debtor. The Debtor must then either pay the secured debt, or “surrender” the property to the Secured Creditor in satisfaction of, at least, the secured portion of the debt.
How much can you sell your house for?
The “fair market value” of real estate is defined as the amount that the house will sell for if the seller is not under any pressure to sell and the buyer is not under any pressure to buy. Accordingly, if you are selling your house, have already signed a contract to buy another one, and only have a two-month timeframe to sell, you are under pressure to sell and may have to accept a “below fair market value” offer. (See my article - “Should I Buy a New Home Before I Sell My Own”).
Should I buy a new home before I sell my own? The short answer is: It depends.
If you want to minimize your financial risk, then you should sell your current house first and then buy a new one. If on the other hand, you want to minimize your inconvenience, then you should buy your new house first and then sell your current one.
Prior to the establishment of the United States, people in England who did not pay their debts were sent to debtor's prison. Today, in the United States, there is no debtor’s prison and creditors can only enforce judgments if they can locate the assets of the judgement debtor, and have them sold to liquidate the debt or by garnishing their wages. If a debtor truly has no job or assets, he is said to be “judgement proof” because a judgment creditor has nothing to sell or garnish. Many debtors, however, merely pretend to be judgement proof! They really do have assets, but attempt to hide them.
On December 3, 2015, the United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, decided the case of Kevin Prescott v. Seterus, Inc., 635 Fed. Appx. 640, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 20934 (11th Cir. Fla. 2015) and held that the inclusion of estimates or anticipated costs that have not yet been incurred, in a payoff or reinstatement letter, is a violation of the FDCPA.
In our last article, we discussed the different types of short sales available and some of the details of the HAFA short sale program, in particular. In this article, we discuss some of the requirements and provisions of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac short sales.
In my previous article, “How Short Is the Short Sale Process?” I described the process of having a short sale approved. In this series of articles, I will be discussing the specific requirements that must be satisfied in order to be approved.
My previous article regarding New York's Statute of Limitations (CPLR 213) described how New York provides an affirmative defense to actions based upon contractual obligations that accrued more than six (6) years ago.