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Recently enacted California legislation allows you to sue your mortgage servicer for damages if the following applies:
In these circumstances, you are likely entitled to damages and, if the foreclosure was willful, you are entitled to the greater of treble damages or $50,0000. California Civil Code §2920.5-2924.20.
It's easy to find out if you are entitled to damages and it's important to reach out now to avoid delay in collecting your damages.
California’s recently enacted Homeowner Bill of Rights gives homeowners much needed relief in dealing with their underwater mortgages. Just as important, the California Homeowners’ Bill of Rights provides redress to California wrongful foreclosure victims who lost their home to foreclosure in 2013 after falling victim to so-called dual-tracking by the mortgage servicer.
The purpose of the law is to give homeowners all the time they need to explore foreclosure prevention alternatives. It is designed to allow homeowners to obtain a loan modification, where feasible, without losing the home to foreclosure during the process. The new law was needed because too many services engaged in dual-tracking. The servicer would process a borrower’s request for a loan modification while continuing to push forward with the process of non-judicial foreclosure via trustee’s sale. Even thought the homeowner had applied for a loan modification, the servicer would continue the foreclosure process by filing notices of default and then a notice of trustee’s sale. The homeowner would not be given adequate time to complete the loan modification process before the trustee’s sale occurred.
With the passage of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights, the servicer is now mandated to complete a lengthy list of requirements if a homeowner requests a loan modification. And these requirements must be met before moving forward with any stage in the foreclosure process. If a servicer attempts to set a trustee sale while the loan modification process is complete, the homeowner can obtain a temporary restraining order against the servicer preventing foreclosure activity while the loan modification is under review. Most importantly, the California Homeowner Bill of Rights allows the homeowner to recover his or her attorneys’ fees at the time the restraining order is entered. This right to attorneys’ fees upon entry of the temporary restraining order is important because California homeowners now have a realistic opportunity to retain legal counsel to enforce their rights under the California Homeowner Bill of Rights.
Although not specifically mentioned in the California Homeowner Bill of Rights, I believe the law affords the same protections to homeowners who are attempting a short sale of their home. Like those homeowners pursuing a loan modification, the servicer cannot dual track the short sale process and the foreclosure process. The foreclosure process must stop until the short sale process is complete. Like a homeowner pursuing a loan modification, short selling homeowners may sue for a temporary restraining order in situations where the servicer is dual tracking.
For those homeowners who have already been victimized by dual tracking and, as a result, lost their home to foreclosure at any time after January 1, 2013, the California Homeowner Bill of Rights gives the foreclosed homeowner the right to sue the servicer for damages suffered as a result of the foreclosure plus the right to collect the homeowner’s attorneys fees. In cases where the servicer’s dual tracking was not merely negligent, the law provides that the homeowner may collect the greater of $50,000 or treble their actual damages plus attorneys’ fees.
To qualify for relief under the Homeowner Bill of Rights, the home must be owner-occupied, the homeowner must not have filed bankruptcy at some time during the foreclosure process, and the homeowner must not have already contracted with an entity whose primary business purpose is advising people who have decided to leave their homes on how to extend the foreclosure process.
Those homeowners who are seeking loan modification or short sale or who have been foreclosed in 2013 should consult with a reputable law firm like McCarthy Law PLC to understand their rights and their options. McCarthy Law offers a free consultation with a licensed attorney who can quickly assess their situation and recommend their best course of action. For those homeowners already victimized by foreclosure, we can represent the homeowner in the action against the servicer who violated the Homeowner Bill of Rights with no attorneys’ fees due until damages are recovered.
The first step is to schedule a FREE confidential consultation with one of our California wrongful foreclosure attorneys.