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Jacqueline Alicia Salcines

OBTAINING THE RIGHT FORECLOSURE ATTORNEY CAN SAVE YOUR HOME

Fotolia_17219981_XS.jpgGovernor Rick Scott signed a bill that aims to move foreclosure through the court system more quickly, but some homeowners are weary that this will strip them of crucial rights they have as homeowners and mortgagors. House Bill 87 places on the Plaintiff/Bank, the responsibility of filing cases with a clear "chain of ownership" of the mortgage and note as well a clear chain of how the delinquency occurred. This translates into a more time consuming task for the lender prior to filing suit, but less defenses and time for the borrower once the suit is commenced.

If the lender has filed all the required documents and the file is in order, the Plaintiff/lender seeks what is called a "show cause" order asking the Judge to aware it a final judgment, and ultimately the sale of the home. Resulting in the home owner losing their home and the bank retaining a judgment against them.

More and more judges have also been appointed to cover the backlog. Judges that are either retired senior judges or other, which neither face re-election or re-appointment, as required by the Florida Constitution. So this opens up a whole other can of worms as to accountability, qualifications and credibility.

Florida attorneys, specially in the Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, have done a huge disservice to their clients by merely charging a monthly fee to keep their homes in foreclosure, but pulling the plug when the cases are set for trial or sale. This is when, after $15,000 or $20,000.00 in legal fees, the attorneys usually withdraw or disappear. Miami Dade County Judges have started the practice of reporting many of these no-show attorneys to The Florida Bar. Clients show up to court for either a Final Judgment hearing or trial, and the attorney, who claims monies are owed, fails to show. Even after such sums were paid. The Judge may enter a summary final judgment against the borrower and now they are left with a balance owed and no home.

The proper foreclosure defense must, in my opinion, entail the finding of a viable solution for the homeowner/borrower. To merely buy time (which in some cases may work), leaves the borrowers free and clear of a mortgage payment, but with a judgment and no home. When clients come in to defend a foreclosure, it makes more sense to review their files for either a loan modification or a short sale, whichever the numbers support. And then start the loss mitigation procedure immediately.

Some short sale homeowners want to continue to live for free for as many months as possible. And while the proper foreclosure defense will certainly offer them this, the property can be listed for sale with a realtor, the package initiated with the lender and a short sale, without contract approved. Afterwards, once the price is determined, a buyer is sought at their leisure that will come in at the approved price. It is never advisable to just sit back and ride out the foreclosure without a solution in sight. While this may pad the pockets of attorneys charging monthly, many of which have already been disbarred or cited for their behavior, mitigating damages for the borrower and lender alike is the far better alternative.

In my firm, when a client is losing a home to foreclosure, we offer sound, clear and knowledgeable defense in court. But also run the numbers to either advise on a loan modification or a short sale. Perhaps the borrower can qualify for a loan modification with a reduction of some expenses, or just recently started working and does not have bank statements to prove income. By counseling them at the time the foreclosure is started, they have time to get their act together, their statements and incomes/expenses in order and then can apply 4 or 5 months afterwards.

At the Law Offices of Jacqueline A. Salcines, PA, our knowledgeable attorney and staff will review your information and enter it into our loss mitigation programs to determine what you qualify for. We have been defending homeowners in foreclosures for many years and offer sound legal advise and protection. And the best news of all, we DO NOT CHARGE A MONTHLY FEE. But rather a flat fee paid once for the duration of your foreclosure.

Call us today for a free, no obligation consultation.

JACQUELINE A. SALCINES, ESQ.

305 | 669 | 5280

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