Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto on Friday said her office filed a lawsuit against Bank of America, seeking a court order to stop the giant bank from continuing to use deceptive trade practices against homeowners. Click here to read the full article.
Steven Pacitti, Esq., of Black & LoBello in Las Vegas, Nevada explains how an LLC should be used to achieve the goals of a business.
The probate process begins after a family member dies and someone, either the executor of the will or a family member, initiates proceedings in probate court. There are certain reasons why an estate would need to be probated. First, property that is owned solely in an individual’s name must always be probated. This applies even when the deceased created a will that leaves property to another person because, when property is titled only in the name of the deceased, no one else is able to sign documents relating to that asset. The probate court will name a person who has the ability to sign any necessary documents.
Second, if a family member has passed away with outstanding debt, the creditors have a certain time period to initiate probate proceedings and file a claim against the existing estate in order to get paid.
Third, probate proceedings are always initiated when both parents of a minor child pass away. Usually, the probate process names a legal guardian of the child to protect that child’s financial assets.
Finally, probate proceedings are most commonly initiated when family members disagree on the distribution of their loved one’s assets. When family members fights over the division of the estate, the process can become both costly and emotional. Therefore, have a reputable attorney draft estate planning documents and ensure those documents are always updated and accurate.
Amy M. Friedlander, Esq.
The federal government provided new Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) outreach and communication guidelines for foreclosure actions while evaluating the borrower. These guidelines provide additional protection for delinquent borrowers who have filed bankruptcy but would otherwise be eligible for HAMP benefits. Some key highlights from the directive include:
- The servicer must evaluate the borrower’s eligibility under HAMP and determine ineligibility before referring the borrower to foreclosure (or make “reasonable solicitation efforts”).
- If foreclosure activity has already been initiated, the foreclosure sale cannot occur until after the servicer determines if the borrower is ineligible under HAMP (or makes “reasonable solicitation efforts”).
- The servicer must give the borrower 30 days to respond to HAMP “Non-Approval Notices” in certain circumstances before conducting the foreclosure sale.
- The servicer must provide, in writing, to the foreclosure attorney certification that the borrower is ineligible for HAMP before conducting the foreclosure sale.
- A borrower in active Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy or the borrower’s attorney or bankruptcy trustee can request the servicer to consider the borrower under HAMP. The servicer can no longer decline the borrower as a “proper exercise of discretion.”
- If the borrower has been approved on a trial loan modification and files a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13, the servicer may not deny the borrower a permanent modification simply for filing bankruptcy.
- If a delinquent borrower has a discharged Chapter 7 and chooses not to reaffirm, the first lien mortgage debt is still eligible under HAMP with the following provision added to the permanent modification agreement: “I was discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding subsequent to the execution of the loan documents. Based on this representation, the lender agrees that I will not have personal liability on the debt pursuant to this Agreement.”
Homeowners struggling to make mortgage payments or feeling their lender or servicer has not worked with them on a loan modification should call a bankruptcy attorney. For a copy of the full disclosure, see Supplemental Directive 10-02.
While this question might be broad, it allows your lawyer to discuss all of your options. Your lawyer can discuss the benefits of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, as well as options other than bankruptcy that you may not have considered yourself. This overview may provide you with a clearer understanding of the pros and cons of filing bankruptcy.
Who will actually be handling my case?
In some cases, the lawyer you consult with will not actually be handling your case. It is important to know who will handle your case and also whether this person is a lawyer. In many consumer bankruptcy “mill” practices, a non-lawyer performs the majority of the work on your case.
How much of your time is devoted to bankruptcy cases?
Though some lawyers have 20 years of experience, they may only work on two or three bankruptcy cases a year. Therefore, they will not be as experienced as lawyers who work bankruptcy exclusively for much shorter periods of time. Bankruptcy laws have recently changed so it is important to know that your lawyer is familiar with these new laws.
How much do you charge for your services?
This might seem like an obvious question to ask initially but there are benefits to waiting until the end of the consultation. First of all, you can evaluate all of the other services the lawyer plans to provide. Many of the consumer bankruptcy “mills” advertise a low price but their services are very limited and exclude many of the customary services. Thus, your fee will increase exponentially to file your case. Also, it is important to know if there are any other expenses that may be incurred during the process that may be charged to you. With a lawyer, as with so many other goods and services, you get what you pay for.
Randy M. Creighton, Esq.
BOA Short Sale Approval Letter – Second Trust