Foreclosure Defense; Real Estate/Mortgage Litigation; Loan Modifications
We represent clients in all stages of foreclosure, including pre-foreclosure and post-foreclosure.
If you are facing foreclosure, or received a Notice of Default or Notice of Trustee Sale there is hope. Our firm has litigated numerous cases against lenders and loan servicers, such as Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Select Portfolio Servicing, Specialized Loan Servicing, Ocwen, Rushmore, etc.) for violations of California Homeowner’s Bill of Rights (“HBOR”) and negligence in loan modification review process, including breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
You can use pre-foreclosure period to your advantage to stop the sale of your home, postpone the foreclosure process or sue your lender for behaving in a negligent, fraudulent or predatory way. If a lender acts in a negligent or fraudulent manner, resulting in the foreclosure of your home, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit under California Homeowner Bill of Rights.
In order to raise a defense to the foreclosure action, you must bring the issue before a judge. This is automatic in about half the states, where foreclosures are typically accomplished through civil lawsuits and judicial foreclosure orders. In the other states, foreclosures typically take place outside of court (these are called nonjudicial foreclosures) and you have no automatic means to mount a legal challenge. To have your defenses ruled on by a judge in these states, you have to file a lawsuit alleging that the foreclosure is illegal for some reason and asking the court to put the foreclosure on hold – pending the court’s review of the case.
California is nonjudicial foreclosure state. This means that borrowers need to file a lawsuit in order to defend themselves against wrongful foreclosure under California Homeowners Bill of Rights.
We help borrowers to file a lawsuit, trying to stop foreclosure sale by recording a document called Lis Pendens, announcing to general public that there is a pending litigation related to the property. This usually deter potential buyers to purchase your property at sale.
Once mortgage litigation is filed, you and your attorney are able to get involved in loan modification process. Having legal representation in this process increases your chances to be approved for a loan modification and trail payment plan.
Another option to protect your interests in your home is to file for a bankruptcy under chapter 13 to stop the sale of your property, as well as to be approved for repayment plan for 60 or 36 months. Essentially, chapter 13 bankruptcy is another way to be allowed to repay your arrearages over 3 or 5 years. This is very similar to loan modification. If loan modifications are approved by lenders and are very subjective, a chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding is commenced under federal law and under supervision of federal judge.
Ultimately, it is the litigation that is going to help you to find the best loss mitigation option that meets your financial potential and is available to you based on your circumstances. Once litigation is commenced we are also able to represent your interests in loan modification process, and, if not successful, to file for chapter 13 bankruptcy.
We maintain a dynamic bankruptcy practice, representing clients in Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings, handling bankruptcy related adversary proceedings, loan modification process, eviction and foreclosure litigation.
Whether a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy is the right choice for you depends on your income, assets, debts, and your financial goals. We will assist you in making the right decision. However, not every debtor qualifies for Chapter 7. In some cases, repaying debt over time in a court-approved Chapter 13 repayment plan provides benefits that are unavailable in Chapter 7.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy will discharge most types of unsecured debt (immediate elimination of most unsecured debt). The trustee will sell any significant nonexempt property in order to repay your creditors. In Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you repay your creditors (some in full, some in part) through a Chapter 13 repayment plan (payment of your debts, in full or in part, over three to five years).
Keep in mind that when you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you must compare your family income to the median income in California for the same household size. In Chapter 7, this is an important part of the means test. In Chapter 13, this is important in determining how long your repayment plan will last and also what expense figures you can use.
The Census Bureau publishes annual family median income figures for all 50 states. To compare your current monthly income to the family median income for your state, you’ll need to multiply your current monthly income by 12 (or divide the annual family median income figure by 12). You can find the most recent family median income at the website of the U.S. Trustee at www.justice.gov/ust (select “Means Testing Information” and then choose the correct filing date from the dropdown menu.)
Chapter 13 is one of the tools to protect you during foreclosure, but it isn’t for everyone, because Chapter 13 requires you to use your income to repay some or all of your debt, thus, you’ll have to prove to the court that you can afford to meet your payment obligations. If your income is irregular or too low, the court might not allow you to file for Chapter 13.
If your total debt burden is too high, you are also ineligible. Your secured debts cannot exceed $1,184,200 and your unsecured debts cannot be more than $394,725 (as of April 2016). A “secured debt” is one that gives a creditor the right to take a specific item of property (such as your house or car) if you don’t pay the debt. An “unsecured debt” (such as a credit card or medical bill) doesn’t give the creditor this right.
The most important part of your Chapter 13 paperwork will be a repayment plan. Your repayment plan will describe in detail how (and how much) you will pay each of your debts. There is no official form for the plan, but many courts have designed their own forms. Before you can file for bankruptcy, you must receive credit counseling from an agency approved by the United States Trustee’s office. (For a list of approved agencies, go to the Trustee’s website at www.usdoj.gov/ust and click “Credit Counseling and Debtor Education.”)
We have handled many divorce, domestic violence, child custody and child support cases with competence, compassion, and personalized attention. Hiring an attorney early in the process often prevents the mistakes that occur when parties try to divorce represent themselves before the court.
California is a no-fault divorce state. This means that either party may file for divorce simply due to irreconcilable differences. Property settlements are not affected by the behavior of either spouse – although child custody and visitation may be. Despite the emotions often involved in divorce, it is in the best interests of both spouses to work out an agreement and avoid divorce litigation. Settlement affords more control than going to court, where the final decision lies with a judge. It can also allow a couple to resolve their case quicker and more affordable. If an agreement cannot be reached, however, we vigorously defend our clients’ interests in court to ensure a fair divorce settlement
California is a community property state, meaning all assets acquired during the marriage – including increased value of assets brought to the marriage – are part of the “marital pot.” Spousal support may be granted when one partner’s income exceeds the other, especially if the party receiving support has less education or a lower earning capacity. The amount of spousal support depends on many factors, including the income levels of both parties, custody arrangement, housing situations and more. The duration of spousal support depends upon the length of the marriage and other factors. If the marriage has lasted more than 10 years, support might be granted indefinitely until the death or remarriage of the receiving spouse.
We will discuss all your legal options in divorce, child custody and visitations, child and spousal support, and domestic violence cases. Call us to get a clear picture of your situation and start moving towards your goals. We will empower you to make the best possible decisions and avoid costly mistakes.
We will help you resolve issues in:
• Divorce, including issues for community property division of assets and debts, child custody, child visitation, child support, spousal support or alimony. We can also modify your existing child custody or child support order after your divorce.
• Domestic violence and paternity cases, including cases to establish your rights for child custody, support and visitation when you have child or children born outside of the marriage.
We offer free initial consultation by phone.
General & Commercial Litigation
We provide a full range of counseling and litigation services to our clients at a competitive cost. We are able to represent you in a variety of sophisticated commercial litigation matters in areas:
- Commercial Litigation;
- Employment Litigation (wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, unpaid wages, etc.);
- Foreclosure Litigation;
- Professional Liability (with a special emphasis on medical, legal and accounting malpractice); and
- Real Estate Litigation (fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent or intentional misrepresentation, etc.).
We handle employment related cases (including litigation) that may include hour-wage disputes, Labor Board hearings, claims under rest and meal break rules, wrongful termination, discrimination based on age, race, sex, national origin, religion, pregnancy or disability and so forth. We are here to protect businesses from employment related claims, including those under Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employee class actions, claims under Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), hostile work environment, overtime and wage disputes, sexual harassment claims, Title 7 discrimination claims, and wrongful termination actions.
We also handle pre-litigation disputes, i.e. matters that have risen to the level of a “dispute” where no lawsuit has yet been filed.
The legal information presented on this web site is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages may be taken as formal legal advice. The legal information presented on this web site does not create and the viewing of this information does not constitute an attorney client relationship.
**Circular 230 Disclosure:
This or any other written or oral advice is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.
***Conflict of Interest:
Loyalty is an essential element in the attorney – client relationship. The attorney’s professional judgment must be exercised solely for the benefit of the client. Absent the necessary informed consent, a lawyer must not represent a client if a conflict of interest exists. A conflict of interest arises when there is a substantial risk that the attorney’s representation of the client will be materially and adversely affected by the attorney’s own interests or duties to another current client, a former client, or a third person. If informed consent of the affected client will not solve the problem, then the attorney must withdraw.