It pains me to have to read some of the posts on this blog, because I see that foreclosures are starting up again and many people are finding themselves without a clue as to what their odds are if they decide to fight, or not. To that end, I’m posting my “Top 10” observations (not legal advice) here:
- You are not alone in your fight. Know that other homeowners are also considering the same options that you are, whether to “fight” or “flight” (run away, which 95% of homeowners do, spineless wimps).
- You will have to get rid of many ill-conceived misconceptions. Because we live in the “Age of Entitlement”, everyone thinks: (a.) the bank did me wrong; and (b.) I deserve a free house. Wrong! You signed a contract and a security instrument! No one held a gun to your head! They dangled “the carrot” and you bit into it, hook, line and sinker! You have to have a “Come to Jesus” meeting with you and your family and chuck all of these preconceived notions because without an open mind, you will dig yourself an even deeper hole!
- You have to understand that judges are homeowners too. Most of them probably still pay on a mortgage. This means you will have to understand how to overcome the conjecture and speculative arguments and derogatory comments that the bank’s attorneys (who have had years at this to perfect their craft) will make in court to sway the emotions of the judge. You borrowed the money from someone, but maybe it’s not just “that guy”, your Honor.
- You at least have your day in court if you live in a judicial foreclosure state. It really pisses me off when homeowners don’t show up in court and least say something! You have your day in court as mandated by law, but sadly, 95% of homeowners freak out and run away. The banks are counting on this. So are the courts. It’s a numbers game folks. The less cases that judges have to hear, the better. They know it. I know it. But you won’t know it if you don’t at least show up and say something!
- If you live in a non-judicial foreclosure state, you have to initiate proceedings to stop the sale of your home! This means you either have to have a lot of time on your hands to do research or you will be like most of the 95% of homeowners who do nothing and wait for the county sheriff to show up and put you (and your family) to the curb. Filing a Notice of Lis Pendens does nothing but “gum up” title temporarily. Filing that means a “suit is pending” and if there is not suit, you filed a fraudulent document in the land records that could land you in jail, where you will do no one any good, especially those who depend on you for survival. You are the Plaintiff and only a temporary restraining order will stop a foreclosure sale! The burden of proof is on you unless you know how to turn the tables on the bank. This is a fact, not legal advice!
- When it comes to foreclosure, apathy reigns supreme! I have never seen a situation more tenuous where people become so in denial about life. Instead of doing something about the scenario when it presents itself, many people go into this “woe is me funk”. As a responsible American homeowner, that is really messed up. Buying a home is one of the biggest, major decisions you will make in your life and most homeowners bit off more than they could chew (when credit was so readily available). The banks are not all to blame. They are crooks (true) … and I don’t trust them. It’s bad enough that this election cycle gives us so little (the lesser of two evils) to choose from, but to have the banks controlling all of the behaviors of Congress and our presidents for the last two centuries is so appalling and what’s even more damning is that homeowners who have the power of the vote, do nothing. So when you’re left with few choices in a time like this, remember, the collective body politic voted to set the system up this way. The “system” has no mercy for those who think they’re “entitled” because someone else has to pay for it.
- The second wave of “foreclosure fraud” starts with unscrupulous foreclosure defense attorneys! They’re out there and these are the types that want to make you their “monthly annuity”. Foreclosure defense is big business and if you’re going to make monthly payments to an attorney to stave off a foreclosure, you’d better have an “end game”. The real attorney will demand you have an end game before even taking your case and if you don’t have one, you’re likely to end up on the street anyway.
- Most people don’t even have an “end game”! This is even more sad in a land where we have lots of hidden opportunities. What I did when I looked at my own scenario, which I discussed in my book Clouded Titles, was to: (a.) examine my finances to see whether I could fight a foreclosure in the first place; (b.) look at my other options as to living scenarios (I had a rental property I could move into, which was becoming vacant, which made my choice easier); and (c.) I had to look at what if any equity I was giving up. Most people took out 30-year mortgages. I find 30-year notes to be a waste of time and money (in interest, which makes most of the 30-year period giving up little equity; just like renting). I only do 15-year notes if at all anymore. If you can’t afford the 15-year note payment, then rent! You may find yourself having a large yard sale and liquidating what possessions you don’t need and then using those proceeds to find yourself other “opportunities”. The opportunities are there if you’d just look for them and stop whining about the dilemma you’re in! If you think things are “hunky dory” right now, wait until the sheriff shows up and moves you out on the lawn. Watch the “99 Homes” movie trailer if you want a real vivid picture! (I still can’t watch it without tearing up and getting an aching feeling in my gut!)
- BOTH SIDES of the political aisle put this whole thing into motion! If you think that either political candidate for president is the “right one”, think again. When’s the last time you studied the Constitution? If you read the manner in which the Founding Fathers set this country up, you would understand that Congress makes the laws, NOT the president. Sure, the president may “influence” what laws get propounded, but the president’s job is to “enforce the law”, as the Chief Executive. Congress voted to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act, not just one side or another. The two-party system has failed us folks! Your average congressperson is the bank’s “bitch” and has been for quite a number of decades! The only way to stop this is to do what California and Illinois are doing to Wells Fargo Bank now … change banks! The mega-banks got us into trouble in 2008 and nothing has changed. Servicers are still robosigning documents and foreclosure mill attorneys are “in it up to their necks” in fraudulent documents in their reliance of such to steal borrower’s homes. The whole thing has turned into one big criminal RICO issue and MERS is the platform, the business model, that facilitates it! When homeowners wake up and smell what is really going on, AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, then things will change, not until. I moved all my money and investments out of the major banks, why aren’t you doing that? The big banks are your enemy! The faster you realize this, the better.
- It’s hard to be right when the government is wrong! The government bailed out the banks. This was all an artificial ploy upon the American taxpayer anyway, as the banks paid the government back. Those who screwed the government out of TARP funds are being (or have been) prosecuted and put in jail. The government is in bed with the banks, otherwise, you wouldn’t have 12 USC (Banks and Banking) passed as law. The banks are the most heavily-regulated industries in the country, but we disrespect ourselves when we stoop so low as to “borrow money” from them and dig ourselves in over our heads and makes ourselves destitute (by design). Those who borrowed to pay for their education are now financial “slaves to the rhythm”. Sorry, but the government’s answers to everything are Hegelian in nature and were put there to make you a slave. I can’t help it that you didn’t do your homework! No one taught you any better. No one taught you finance in school. No one told you that you had to read the damned documents at the closing table before you signed them and if you didn’t understand what you were getting yourself into, then it’s on you. However, the government allowed this mechanism to be put into place for a reason. This is why Snowden is now in Moscow. The only person who can change their life destiny is YOU!
The other side of the coin with Wells Fargo? I wonder … given the 2-million or so phony accounts they set up … how many mortgages did they rehypothecate? Congress hasn’t even started looking into that. Chase has a patented template for creating “ghost accounts” ( jp-morgan-chase-rehypothecation-2 ) … makes you wonder what’s really inside the databases of the DTCC and Cede & Co. huh? I know from talking to other homeowners that dummy mortgage loans have been set up too, not just bank accounts. Maybe Congress is turning a blind eye, maybe they’re just ignorant. Don’t blame me. You elected them. And this is why I don’t trust banks! You are a fool if you think that your money is “safe and sound”!
So, the bottom line here is … not everyone’s strategy is the same as everyone came from different walks of life, has different resources available to them and can think clearly under pressure. Put all your fears aside and analyze your scenario and come up with an “end game”. I don’t want to see you end up in a tent city.