Mortgage & Foreclosure Litigation
We Sue Banks and Mortgage Servicers.
During times of financial uncertainty, banks and mortgage servicers are notorious for conducting illegal and harmful activities that cost hardworking people their homes and livelihoods.
Forrest Cressy and James is committed to protecting your most valuable assets.
How Do I Know If I Have A Claim
You may have a claim against your bank or mortgage servicer if:
Your loan may have been put into a forbearance that you did not request
You made timely payments on your mortgage but the payments were not applied to your loan
Insurance was force-placed on your home
You were improperly denied for a home loan modification
The bank directed you to stop making mortgage payments in order to qualify for a forbearance or modification
Your home was in foreclosure when you made payments on your loan
You receive harassing collection calls for payments that are not past due
Your home was sold at a tax sale while your escrow was current
You were forced to file bankruptcy to save your home, however your mortgage was current at the time of filing.
You Cannot Afford To Wait
At Forrest Cressy and James our attorneys have years of experience battling banks and mortgage servicers with the singular goal of keeping clients in their homes and getting their mortgage back on track.
If you believe your mortgage has been mishandled you may be entitled to money damages.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO BRING MY CLAIM?
In Louisiana, you have one year from the incident that gives rise to the claim to file a claim for fraud and negligence against your bank or mortgage servicer or your claims will be surrendered. Because this area of law is highly specialized and imposes strict deadlines for disputing a wrongful foreclosure, it is imperative to meet with an attorney immediately to discuss your claims.
Call Forrest Cressy and James today to discuss how our skilled attorneys can help you stay in your home and get you monetary compensation if you have been a victim of a bank or mortgage servicer’s illegal scheme.
Common Questions About Mortgage
Modifications and Forbearance Programs
During national and economic disasters, banks and mortgage servicers may offer programs to assist borrowers with their mortgage. The purpose of these programs is to keep borrowers in their homes and out of foreclosure.
What is a Mortgage Modification?
A mortgage modification is an agreement between the lender and the borrower that modifies the terms of an existing mortgage. Generally, when a mortgage is modified it is done so at the request of the borrower for the purpose of lowering their monthly mortgage payments. In order for a modification to be binding, it needs to be in writing and signed by both the borrower and the lender. The modification would supercede the terms of the previous mortgage.
How does a modification achieve lower mortgage payments?
Generally, a mortgage modification lowers monthly mortgage payments in one of two ways:
(1) by extending the term of the mortgage
(2) by adding a subordinate note (“balloon note”) to the end of the mortgage term.
For modifications that change the term of the mortgage, the payments are lowered by extending the mortgage a number of years. Thus, a 15 year term may be extended to a 20 year term. Extending the term of the mortgage therefore lowers the monthly payment amount and provides relief to the borrower.
Subordinate notes, also referred to as “balloon notes” do not change the term of the mortgage. Instead, the difference in the current monthly payment and modified monthly payment is calculated and added to the back of the mortgage as one lump sum. Therefore, if the modified monthly payment resulted in $20,000 of deferred payments, $20,000 would come due at the end of the mortgage term or at the time the house is sold or transferred. Because this amount is due as a lump sum payment, it is generally less attractive.
Is a modification different from a refinance?
Yes. A modification changes the terms to your existing mortgage. If you refinance your mortgage, you enter into a contract for a new mortgage on your home.
What is a mortgage forbearance?
A mortgage forbearance is an agreement between borrower and lender where monthly mortgage payments are temporarily deferred. During the period of deferment, you will not have to make mortgage payments; however, you may still be responsible for making payments for taxes and insurance costs related to your loan. Your mortgage will also not be reported as delinquent to credit reporting agencies, even though you are not making payments.
Will I have to pay back payments that are deferred during a forbearance?
YES. If you enter into a forbearance you will be responsible for paying all deferred amounts. Typically, deferred payments are due in a LUMP SUM at the end of the deferment period. Therefore, if your payments were $1,000 per month and were deferred for the months of January, February, and March, you would be responsible for the total deferred payment amount of $3,000, plus your regular monthly payment in April.
Some lenders offer programs to modify your mortgage after a forbearance period. However, just because programs are offered does not mean that you will qualify. Therefore, it is imperative that a borrower knows and understands that they are still responsible for all payments prior to entering a forbearance.
While this is a good intention, banks and mortgage servicers are sometimes unable to administer these programs efficiently, leading to improper foreclosures, lost paperwork, and modification denials.
If you are considering entering into a mortgage modification or forbearance, use the following tips to ensure that your mortgage is handled properly and your home is safe from foreclosure.
How Do I Protect Myself
If you are experiencing a financial hardship and are considering entering into a modification or forbearance, follow the following tips to ensure that you are protected from mishandling of your mortgage by your lender:
If I Need a Mortgage Modification or to Enter a Forbearance:
Never stop making mortgage payments at the direction of the lender, even if you are told that by doing so you can qualify for a forbearance or modification. You are not guaranteed a modification or forbearance but missing payments will cause your mortgage to be delinquent and may begin the foreclosure process.
Take detailed notes of every communication you have with the bank. This includes noting the time, date, and substance of the call (if via telephone). You should also document each employee you spoke to by requesting their name, title, direct line, and employee number. If your state permits one party recording, record all telephone calls. If you can communicate via email save all Communications.
Save every document you receive from the bank. This includes all offer letters, regular mortgage statements, escrow analysis, etc. If you utilize the bank or mortgage servicer’s online portal, download these documents as quickly as possible. Online platforms regularly purge documents so you may not be able to access them later.
Copy all documents, send you to the bank and save for your records. This is especially true for loan modification applications and final modification packages. Most modification applications require extensive documentation of your income and financial hardship. It’s imperative that you send these documents timely and have a record of what was sent.
Send any documents to the lender via certified mail or commercial courier (such as FedEx). Make sure you keep all delivery receipts with tracking numbers.
Consult the knowledgeable attorneys at Forrest Cressy and James about the terms and conditions of any modification of forbearance program.
You Cannot Afford To Wait
The attorneys at Forrest, Cressy & James are ready to fight for you and obtain the compensation that you deserve.