Attorneys Holding Lenders Liable for Negligence, Fraud, and Unfair Business Practices
The body of case law and statutes regarding foreclosure has had to evolve to keep up with the scams the lenders and servicers keep coming up with to cheat borrowers. Since the beginning of the foreclosure crisis, the dedicated attorneys at Advocate Legal have been fighting to help you to use this precedent to hold lenders and servicers liable for their negligence, fraud and unfair business practices and to keep homeowners in possession of their property as long as possible. Now, Advocate Legal helps you do this as your own attorney for a fraction of the price. In addition to the Homeowners Bill of Rights (HBOR), Advocate Legal will keep you up to date on all the most recent case law, statutes, and other directives related to foreclosure and eviction.
With a track record of beating big banks, Susan Murphy and Advocate Legal provide a trusted legal resource for homeowners throughout California, including the counties of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, Santa Barbara, Kern, Fresno, Sacramento and Riverside.
Common Lender Violations
At Advocate Legal, we provide diligent, reliable assistance to victims of lender violations, including negligence, fraud, and unfair business practices. Litigation can effectively be used as leverage to facilitate modifications by enforcing borrower rights and holding a lender accountable for abuses. As skilled and efficient litigators, we assist clients with litigation arising from all types of lender violations.
Loan Modification Abuse
Prior to the Homeowner Bill of Rights (HBOR), loan servicers argued successfully for years that they had no duty of care to borrowers, which meant it was hard to sue them in court for negligence related to mortgage servicing and misleading homeowners during loan modification. Since the HBOR was enacted, the courts have begun to impose a duty of ordinary care upon lenders in their dealings with borrowers during the loan modification process and hold servicers accountable for breaches of this duty. See Jolley v. Chase Home Finance LLC, 213 Cal.App.4th 872 (2013).
Since the foreclosure crisis began, loan servicers have been giving borrowers trial payment plans, taking their trial payments and then denying them a permanent modification. The borrower’s trial payments went to the servicer’s “retention” department and were never accounted for, causing borrowers to waste precious resources and fall farther behind. Protection for the borrower is contained in recent case law that has held that if a servicer accepts trial payments pursuant to a HAMP (Homes Affordable Modification Program), they must offer the borrower a permanent modification. See West v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 24 Cal.App.4th 780 (2013).
The Tender Rule
For years, the tender rule was an obstacle to borrowers arguing that lenders lack standing to foreclose on them due to breaks in the chain of the title; this Tender Rule required that any action for wrongful foreclosure or quiet title be accompanied by a tender of the full amount of the mortgage debt. This Tender Rule obstacle was almost insurmountable since most borrowers were seeking relief to begin with, because of financial hardship with their default causing their credit to be damaged effectively prohibiting them from being able to raise the money to tender the debt. However, since the foreclosure crisis, the court has begun to consider matters of equity (fairness) in applying the tender rule. See Fonteno v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., 228 Cal. App. 4th 1358 (2014).
Robo-signing is a criminal process whereby banks hire employees to robotically sign documents including sworn affidavits without reviewing them. Banks use this process to speed up the foreclosure process by having bank employees in an assembly-line fashion sign documents including affidavits testifying that they have reviewed loan documents and have personal knowledge of the facts included in the affidavit. In fact, they have not reviewed the documents and have no knowledge even of whether the bank owned the mortgage or the borrower was in default. Robo-signing has led to many mistaken, wrongful and fraudulent foreclosures.
Under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, lenders cannot make any credit decisions based on race, color, age, gender, national origin, religion, marital status, receipt of public assistance or reporting of discrimination. Race- and age-based discrimination in lending are two of the most common types of lender violations. Racial discrimination may be evidenced by many actions:
- Different treatment in person than over the phone
- Discriminatory comments
- Denial of credit without explanation and even when the borrower qualifies
- Unfavorable loan terms such as a higher rate
- A loan that sounds too good to be true
- Pressure to sign
- Discouragement from applying for a loan
Penalties for discriminatory lending may include money damages for any harm caused and injunctive relief to stop continuing discrimination.
Contact Lawyers with the Knowledge and Skills to Get Results
With more than a decade of experience in foreclosure and a commitment to justice, our lawyers at Advocate Legal strive to protect homeowners from suffering further harm because of lender violations and help you to obtain damages for harm already sustained. With a track record of beating big banks, Susan Murphy and her team of attorneys at Advocate Legal provide a trusted legal resource for homeowners throughout all of California and the country.