Gallagher & Associates Team

Gallagher & Associates Team

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Foreclosure Experts….Or Are They?

Foreclosure Experts….Or Are They?

Foreclosure Experts....Or Are They?

“Expert” foreclosure advise is seemingly available everywhere these days. But who exactly is the expert offering advice on your most precious asset, your home.

Realtors, real estate brokers, mortgage brokers, appraisers and self professed real estate experts have set up shop offering advice to distressed homeowners in default of their mortgage or in foreclosure. Consumers looking for guidance often fall into the trap of seeking advice from real estate sales professionals without appropriate credentials to render opinions on the legal implications of foreclosure. Further still are realtors or mortgage brokers that offer valuation opinions, without a state appraiser certification.

“Almost every day I speak with homeowners who are operating under some misinformation about foreclosure provided by non-attorney experts” said Attorney Charles R. Gallagher III. “Homeowners need to be careful of the source of the information and should seek the counsel of a licensed Florida attorney with foreclosure litigation experience.” “Realtors and brokers are not in a position to offer legal advice regarding foreclosure issues.”

Homeowners need to inquire on basis for such expert opinions with some pointed questions. What are your professional credentials or licenses? Do you lecture or teach on the subject? And most importantly, who has characterized you as an expert?

About G&A: “Gallagher & Associates Law Firm, P.A. is a boutique consumer law firm in offering concierge legal services to individuals, consumers and small businesses where clients have 24/7 access to their attorney. Our practice areas include foreclosure defense, insurance litigation, real estate litigation and business law and consumer litigation.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Nationwide Foreclosure Inestigation Stalls

Attorneys general negotiating the settlement of a nationwide foreclosure investigation have yet to approach banks with a proposed dollar amount that would fund principal reductions for borrowers, a state official said.

The states have agreed on some terms while failing so far to reach an accord on monetary payments by lenders, a person familiar with the talks said last week. Eight Republican attorneys general have publicly challenged the concept of principal reductions as part of a 50-state settlement.

Last month, state officials and federal agencies, including the Justice Department, submitted settlement terms to five mortgage servicers, including Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) They called for a "substantial portion" of an unspecified monetary amount to go toward a loan modification program.

The six-month probe by the states was triggered by claims of faulty foreclosure practices following the housing collapse, which state officials said may violate their laws. Geoff Greenwood, a spokesman for Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat who leads the investigation, said in an interview that the states haven't presented a dollar figure to the banks, declining further comment.

Any state agreement with servicers or banks on principal reductions will depend on the size of the writedowns, the incentives for the servicers built into the settlement and other details, which continue to be sorted out, said the first person familiar with the negotiations.

"Our position has been that principal reductions are one tool in the toolbox, and should only be used in appropriate circumstances," Iowa's Miller said yesterday in an e-mailed statement.

In addition to Bank of America and JPMorgan, also taking part in those agreements were San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, New York-based Citigroup, the GMAC unit of Detroit-based Ally Financial, Aurora Bank FSB, EverBank Financial Corp., HSBC Holdings Plc, OneWest, MetLife Inc., PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (PNC), Sovereign Bank, SunTrust Banks Inc., and US Bancorp.

Iowa's Miller said earlier this month that the state effort to reach a nationwide agreement would continue "unabated."

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