foreclosure attorney: SHORT SALE PRIMER - PART I - THE "NEW STANDARD SHORT SALE" - 11/17/12 06:07 AM
HAFA IS HISTORY.  Welcome SCubed.  Since I wrote the SHORT SALES PRIMER - LAWYER DISCUSSION OF THE SHORT SALE EVOLUTION (2010),  Short Sale Primer (2009) and Back To Basics (2008) articles, the short sale methodology used by lenders has morphed several times and with even the United States Government getting involved by creating "Regulations" through the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) Program.  Now that HAFA is being eliminated by sunset of that program at the end of 2012 (yes – HAFA is NOT being renewed) and the introduction of the STANDARD SHORT SALE. The Standard Short Sale (let’s decide now that the acronym … (5 comments)

foreclosure attorney: TAX RELIEF FOR SHORT SALES EXPIRES IN 356 DAYS - 01/11/12 11:33 PM
The clock is ticking until the expiration of the 2007 Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act expires on the last day of December this year.  Previously set to expire earlier, Congress extended the expiration date to end in effective January 1, 2013.  Will it be extended again?  Is it necessary?
The extension should be extended again – but that is up to Congress.  The effect of the Act is to allow the income that is created when a mortgage is reduced in principal to be exempted from ordinary income.  That saves significant amounts of money for the borrower.
As an example, … (6 comments)

foreclosure attorney: CAN A BANK SUE TWICE ON THE PROMISSORY NOTE AND MORTGAGE? - 09/15/11 03:33 PM
You can have a cow without a tail, but you cannot have a tail without a cow.
My law office has been receiving reports of aggressive tactics of mortgage lenders pursuing borrowers on the promissory note alone.  This means they are avoiding foreclosure actions and going straight after borrower assets. Some self educated or video seminar educated borrowers contacted me saying that if the lender goes after the borrower only on the promissory note, then the lender gives up the right to pursue a mortgage foreclosure, opening the door to the borrower getting the home free and clear of the mortgage … (4 comments)

foreclosure attorney: DO LENDERS MAKE SHORT SALE DEMANDS THAT ARE ILLEGAL? - 03/13/11 02:48 PM
I am very troubled by the actions of lenders in their encouragement of surreptitious dealing, especially by second lenders, regarding the distribution of proceeds of a short sale to the detriment of first lenders.
Below is a Suntrust Mortgage document recently received from Suntrust that is being provided and required to be signed by the BUYER of the property.  The transaction demanded by Suntrust is as follows (the numbers have been changed somewhat to mask the actual transaction):
Purchase Price as stated on the contract is $625,000; Required addendum to the Contract that Buyer will pay to Suntrust in addition to the Purchase Price, … (17 comments)

Today I received a question from a trusted broker about the result of a foreclosure of a first mortgage upon the second mortgage.  He told me that many brokers / agents provide advice to their clients (and non-clients) that if the first mortgage forecloses, the second mortgage gets nothing and is wiped out.
Without getting into the discussion of whether giving that advice is legal advice or not - the first thing to realize is that the advice is absolutely correct.  The second thing to consider is that the advice is totally incorrect.
Let me explain.
A mortgage is actually two … (55 comments)

One of the weirder roadblocks we have been seeing is the clearing of IRS liens against a taxpayer (property seller) when the taxpayer is trying to short sell a property.  Typically if an IRS lien is on a property the attorney or accountant will present to the IRS a waiver of lien request with requisite proposed settlement statement, recent appraisal of the property, and reason for the lien waiver request.  But the IRS started interpreting a rule that caused the IRS to demand the monies that were to pay the transfer (in Florida the "documentary stamps") tax to instead be paid to … (25 comments)

The Palm Beach Post reported today that GMAC has suspended all pending foreclosures nationwide because of a practice uncovered in Florida that could lead to VOIDABLE foreclosure judgments - thus creating havoc with foreclosure sales and REO sales.  The article, GMAC Suspends Foreclosure Evictions and Sales of Seized Property, cites the deposition taken by a Palm Beach County law firm that exposed the practice of affidavits regarding the verification of accuracy of a complaint and information about the loan being summarily signed in conveyor belt fashion. In the affidavits the signor is saying he or she has personal knowledge of the … (12 comments)

Earlier this week I wrote about lenders taking the next step after a foreclosure.  Foreclosures happen from borrowers that "walk away" from their upside down valued properties, whether because of job loss, other expenses more important than the mortgage payment, or just a strategic default.  You can find the other article at MOTION FOR DEFICIENCY JUDGMENT - FORECLOSURE CONSEQUENCES.
An alarming event occured after I wrote that article.  In the past, there has been a pretty heated argument about whether the mortgage lenders are going to move on their ability to pursue deficiency judgments in foreclosure actions.  Many people say that it … (64 comments)

foreclosure attorney: Strategic Defaults UP – Loan Modifications Down - 06/25/10 04:04 PM
C-Span is a wonderful thing.  Just listen or watch - The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearings yesterday brought in some interesting statements from CEO's and Presidents of Bank of America, JP Morgan/Chase and others.
As I reported in my article WALK AWAY FROM THE PROPERTY - STRATEGIC MORTGAGE DEFAULTS GROW TO 26%, that figure is now updated by the University of Chicago and Northwestern University researchers for the previous figures - a year later the strategic default rate is up another 10%!
Why is this happening?  Industry leaders blame the government programs.  The HAMP program has 800 specific requirements … (10 comments)

foreclosure attorney: FORECLOSURE DEFENSE FALLACY - 10/26/08 03:40 AM
If you are a listingRealtor or a person who has just gotten foreclosure notice from your lender(s), no doubt you have heard about a myriad of "Foreclosure Defense" firms that promise to delay or prevent foreclosure or even prevent the enforcement of the mortgage because if irregularities in the loan.  What in fact are foreclosure defenses?
The most popularly cited defenses relate to violations of RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act) and TILA (Truth In Lending Act).  Other federal and state laws may also be in violation.  The general remedy to the borrower for violation of these laws … (10 comments)

foreclosure attorney: TOP TEN LIST OF SHORT SALE OBSERVATIONS - 10/05/08 05:56 AM
OK all you short sale Realtors - Here is my list of the top ten short sale rules when dealing with sellers and buyers.  What is your top ten list for YOUR favorite category involved in the short sale process (lender, buyer, seller, buyer Realtor, Seller Realtor, processor, loss mitigator and servicing agent, etc.)?
My TOP TEN BUYER / SELLER observations regarding Short Sales are:
10 - A Short Sale is a tough place for a buyer looking for personal housing.
  9 - A Short Sale is not for people that just want to move.
  8 - A Short … (11 comments)

foreclosure attorney: A-T-T-O-R-N-E-Y Spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E in Short Sale - 05/03/08 03:11 PM
Sad Facts about Attorney Misconduct in a Short Sale
Being an attorney carries a heavy burden when representing a client.  Watch any case for attorney misconduct that goes to a criminal trial and you will see the attorney usually get the most severe penalty.  This is because the attorney is held to a certain reverence of trust amongst the public.  An abuse of this trust is a serious offense to the sanctity of the concept of having an attorney represent his client's interest to the best of his ability and without being guided by any personal agenda.
A case this week concerning a … (19 comments)

foreclosure attorney: CALLING ALL ETHICAL LOAN OFFICERS - HELLO? ANYONE THERE? - 04/09/08 02:23 PM
Calling All Ethical Loan Officers - Hello?  Anyone There?
Every day I field questions about short sales, foreclosures and real estate investing.  I represent developers, lenders, buyers, sellers, the sharks and the lambs.  All have different work for me and all need different solutions.  Today a call came in that was as they call it - "Over The Top"!  It compels this article on loan officers and how some continue to intentionally contribute to the financial credit mess our industry is experiencing.  The names are fictitious but the scenario unfortunately is something I have heard often.
Here is how it went.
Mr. Smith called … (8 comments)

foreclosure attorney: STEP BACK OBSERVATIONS - FOREST FROM THE TREES - A RAMBLE - 03/28/08 01:56 PM
What a week!
Mortgage foreclosure White Knights targeted by the Florida Attorney General (no surprise there - just why did it take so long?!!!)
CNN special report on the Mortgage Meltdown and it being second only to the Great Depression.
Record foreclosures expected to continue to break records through 2008 and into 2009.
But heck - its Friday night and after working 5 - 19 hour days in a row I'm going to take Saturday off!
From the perch here in West Palm Beach things look like the stock market - volatility galore.  Usually this means that there is a big change on the horizon. The … (0 comments)

foreclosure attorney: Six Months To Bottom? - 03/28/08 04:33 AM
See this new article on when and what of the South Florida real estate market dropping to the basement.
Things are definitely following the normal 8 to 11 year cycle of peaks or valleys  (the cycle is peak to peak or valley to valley - depending on where you are at any particular time).
We still have quite a way to go.  Foreclosures are supposed to pick up even more next year as the real fallout accelerates, but then it should (I think) decelerate quite quickly.
What do you think?
Richard Zaretsky, Esq., RICHARD P. ZARETSKY P.A. ATTORNEYS AT LAW, 1655 PALM BEACH LAKES BLVD, … (7 comments)

foreclosure attorney: Negotiated Payback or Foreclosure Judgment Deficiency? Compared - 03/06/08 12:52 PM
I was negotiating on a very large problem mortgage today with a high-up executive at the servicing firm.  He made a comment that I thought peculiar and I called him to task on the matter.
The comment was that "after the foreclosure sale, lenders seldom bother to get a court ordered deficiency judgment".  I knew this to be false, because lenders today - more than in the past - are investing a few hundred more in attorney fees to get a deficiency judgment.  I will tell you why.
But first, lets all get on the same page.  A deficiency judgment is … (58 comments)

foreclosure attorney: No-Conflict Considerations in Short Sale Fees - 02/17/08 01:46 PM
No-Conflict Considerations in Short Sale Fees
As short sales and pre-foreclosure assistance servicers proliferate, the type, style and amount of fees that these individuals and companies charge has become ingenious and varied.  This article discusses the rights and wrongs regarding the most popular of the charging methods.
A short sale and pre-foreclosure servicer for our definitional purposes will be called the Short Sale Servicer.  The services offered usually include some mixture of collecting financial information from the "financially stricken borrower", getting current valuations on the mortgaged property, finding a realtor or working with a realtor to find a buyer, and finally negotiating for … (1 comments)

foreclosure attorney: Who Says Owner Doesn't Have Time To Do a Short Sale? - 01/27/08 06:37 AM
Some writers to my blogs have commented that "they don't have time to do a short sale".  The reasons they think they don't have time can vary - usually it is because they are already in a mortgage foreclosure, and some said that they are leaving the area to a new life in some other state or even some other country.
Timing on a short sale is important, but it is only too late for a short sale when the foreclosure sale at the courthouse steps has already occurred.  Judgments of foreclosure result in a foreclosure sale - but unless the property … (11 comments)

foreclosure attorney: RECOVERY IN 2009??? - 01/08/08 01:23 PM
CNN posted this article today on the "housing meltdown" and that price rebound will get a full year under its belt until 2009.  CNN ARTICLE
I don't know if this is really new news.  On AR we have been seeing this statement for months in various blogs, and my own opinion in South Florida is that we are about 1 or 2 quarters from seeing pricing "scrape across the bottom" for another quarter or two, and then begin to rebound.
An article by Fishkind, a Florida real estate consultant guru, released a report today (I have not read the whole report) that had … (5 comments)

foreclosure attorney: Foreclosures Triple - AGAIN!?! - 01/02/08 11:25 PM
Another article in the Palm Beach Post this morning says that foreclosures here have tripled from the same period last year.
It also says that the important "ratio" of home price to household income is double what is considered affordable and normal.
In Palm Beach County foreclosure rate is a STAGGERING 1 in 45 homes!!!!!  Yes that is staggering!  The number on a national scale is 1 in 617.
The article is titled PALM BEACH COUNTY FORECLOSURES TRIPLE, and is by Post reporter Linda Rawls.
I last wrote a blog on foreclosures tripling on December 20 and there said that the Post reported a tripling … (4 comments)

Richard Zaretsky, Florida Real Estate Attorney (THE ZARETSKY LAW GROUP - Board Certified Real Estate Atty and AUTOMATED LAND TITLE COMPANY) Rainmaker large

Richard Zaretsky

Florida Real Estate Attorney

West Palm Beach, FL

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Address: 1615 Forum Place, Suite 3A, West Palm Beach, Fl, 33401

Office: 5616896660 x 107

Mobile: (561) 329-2279

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