foreclosure attorney in Los Angeles

California Homeowner Bill of Rights – update

On January 1, 2018, several provisions of the California Homeowner Bill of Rights (“HBOR”) expired.  But contrary to what many assumed, the January 1, 2018 expiration date did not apply to all of the HBOR’s provisions, and some provisions have been modified or replaced by new regulations.  And as of June 22, 2018, the California Legislature has made even more tweaks to the nation’s leading anti-foreclosure laws.

We’ve prepared the below summary of some of the substantial changes to the law and how they will affect HBOR litigation in the future.  Cutting to the chase, what this means is that California homeowners still have the nation’s strongest laws that allow them to sue their lenders to stop a foreclosure sale.  

For the most part, the new HBOR removes the distinctions between Servicers conducting more and less than 175 annual foreclosures.  In most but not all respects, all servicers are treated the same going forward.

Changes in the private right of action/relief:

  • The HBOR still has a private cause of action, but only for material violations of section 2923.5 (pre-NOD notice requirements), 2923.7 (single point of contact), 2924.11 (dual tracking), and 2924.17 (accuracy of the NOD declaration; substantiate right to foreclose).
  • There is no longer a more lax set of rules for mortgage Servicers with less than 175 foreclosures per year.  In general, this means that smaller Servicers are now more tightly regulated.
  • Sections 2923.6 and 2924.11 (dual tracking ban) is replaced by a new version of section 2924.11 that applies to all mortgage Servicers operating in the state.  The new law prohibits recording a notice of default or conducting a foreclosure sale upon receipt of a “complete application for a foreclosure prevention alternative.”
    • Notably, the old version applied only to loan modification applications, not all foreclosure prevention alternative applications, so the new law is broader.  One area where this is important is with short sales; the prior law had special rules for short sales, where the only protection was for pending short sales that were already “approved” by the bank.  Now all it takes is a complete short sale application.  This is a major improvement, as banks don’t approve short sales until the very end.
    • Unlike the prior statute, the new law does not require an appeal period following a written denial.  If the borrower does try to appeal though, it is not clear whether the Servicer is required to consider the appeal.  While the statute does not appear to require it, it’s possible that courts could find a common law duty to review or perhaps use the stated public policy of the Bill of Rights to read this requirement into the statute.
    • One unquestionably positive change is that the new 2924.11 disposes of 2923.6(g)’s safe harbor for multiple loan modification applications, meaning that a Servicer must review multiple applications regardless of whether there has been a change in circumstances.  However, because there is no mandatory appeal period, as soon as an application is denied, a foreclosure sale could occur.  This means that borrowers would want to have a new & improved loan modification application ready at a moment’s notice.
    • Also important in this regard, the statute does not directly address what happens when a Servicer receives last minute complete loan modification applications.  As long as the modification is “complete,” a Servicer should probably review it even if submitted the day of the foreclosure sale.  It is uncertain how courts will treat these types of last-minute applications, and this is bound to be a ripe area for litigation. It is possible, for example, that courts might find that a servicer can immediately reject the completed application based on internal underwriting guidelines for not allowing sufficient time for review.  Thus in practice, the vast majority of borrowers will not be able to submit applications indefinitely, as they will not be able to “beat the bank to the sale” every time.
    • Servicers are no longer prohibited from collecting late fees while a loan modification application is under review.
  • As before, Injunctive relief is available prior to the recording of a trustee’s deed.  After a trustee’s deed is recorded, a Servicer may be liable for actual economic damage and the greater of treble or actual damages for material violations that are intentional or reckless.  Attorney’s fees are still available if the borrower prevails.
  • Section 2923.55 is no longer in effect. Instead, section 2923.5 sets forth the pre-NOD contact requirements. The new section is similar to the old section, except that prior to filing a notice of default, the Servicer is not required to provide:
    • The written notice regarding service members.
    • The statement that the borrower may request a copy of the note, deed of trust, assignment, or payment history.
  • Section 2924.17(c) expires, meaning that Servicers can no longer be fined for making “multiple and repeated uncorrected violations” of the section that requires Servicers to “review competent and reliable evidence to substantiate the borrower’s default and the right to foreclose.”  Sadly… let the wrongful foreclosures begin!  There is no longer any statutory incentive to to avoid negligent foreclosures, but hopefully the line of court cases following Jolley and Alvarez that stated that Servicers can be found negligent will continue to be upheld.  (It’s hard to believe, but until recently, mortgage lenders could not be found negligent no matter how much they messed up a nonjudicial foreclosure.
  • Section 2924(a)(5) expires, which means that servicers/trustees no longer have to provide written notice to a borrower when a sale is postponed more than 10 business days.
  • Section 2924.9 expires, meaning that Servicers are no longer required to contact borrowers in writing within 5 business days of recording a notice of default to describe possible foreclosure prevention alternatives.

In sum, the “new HBOR” is simpler, but generally just as effective for homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure.  In terms of litigation, these changes are unlikely to impact any current litigation or new lawsuits in the short term, as such cases will likely implicate the pre-January 1, 2018 statute.  Moving forward, however, we may see an increase in cases because the new statute extends the dual tracking restrictions to all foreclosure prevention alternatives and does away with the safe harbor for loans that have been previously modified.  Interestingly, just days after the changes took place automatically, the California Senate introduced a new bill on January 3, 2018 that intended to largely put the HBOR back to the way it was prior to January 1, 2018.  After six months, SB-818 was published, but in the end it only made very minor changes to the law. { Changes are in blue or red ink– ]

Gomez & Simone is a full service real estate law firm representing families and business people, homeowners, landlords and tenants, with offices throughout Southern California.  This article is informational only and should not be used as legal advice.  Please note that laws may have changed since this article was published.  Before taking action, we recommend that you consult with one of our attorneys about your specific matter.  Please contact your local Gomez & Simone office or call us at 1-855-219-3333.  Attorney advertising.

bankruptcy attorney

Choosing a Preeminent Woodland Bankruptcy Attorney

Filing for bankruptcy can be a very tedious process but not with the help of a preeminent bankruptcy lawyer. Individuals must know their rights in hiring a lawyer when things are getting tough financially. However, knowing these rights is not enough. It is also vital to know the points to consider in seeking legal assistance from a bankruptcy attorney.

Debtors can choose to file bankruptcy when they are unable to pay their debts and obligations. Your first step is to determine if pushing through with bankruptcy is the best decision for your situation. You’ll then need to identify which chapter of the Bankruptcy Code is most appropriate for you. Your current financial position, as well as long and short-term goals, will play a factor in this decision. There are two types of bankruptcy which are commonly recommended by lawyers – Chapter 7 bankruptcy, which gives the debtors the right to retain key assets or the “exempt property”, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy, for those who want to keep their “non-exempt properties”. Most certainly, an attorney who has perhaps mastered the bankruptcy law can help you in resolving your outstanding debts the most effective way possible.


Duties of a Woodland bankruptcy attorney


Bankruptcy attorneys do not only advise their clients about the bankruptcy laws but also counsel them in liquidating assets to resolve financial issues. Bankruptcy attorneys may also work on the side of creditors to convince the debtors to pay the money owed. The bankruptcy attorney also has to review the debtor’s assets and liabilities and make sure that the debtor is qualified to file bankruptcy. On top of that, the attorney has to represent the debtor during the litigation.

It is also the duty of a bankruptcy attorney to explain to his or her clients the aspects and differences between each chapter in the bankruptcy law. There are many differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the debtor has the right to keep the key assets or the “exempt property” such as home, car, and pension but the “non-exempt property” such as bank accounts, stock investments, and coin and stamp collections will be sold.

woodland bankruptcy attorneyWhereas in Chapter 13 bankruptcy, this is generally used by debtors who want to retain non-exempt assets. In exchange, debtors have to pay back all the debt through the repayment plan. Typically, it may take three to five years to pay off the debts for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. It is part of a bankruptcy attorney’s duties to determine which bankruptcy chapter best fits the debtor’s financial status.

Once determined which bankruptcy chapter is the most feasible and most effective option, the debtor will need to file a petition with the help of his or her attorney. The bankruptcy attorney must ensure no errors will be committed during the entire process. Protecting your rights by stopping the creditors from constantly harassing the debtors is one of the ways a bankruptcy lawyer can do. It is also important that the attorney is readily available to answer all the queries and concerns, as well as provide emotional support for his or her clients.

Each state has its own bankruptcy laws. The U.S. Bankruptcy Code is the federal bankruptcy law which serves as the principal basis. It is significant for a bankruptcy attorney to be adept at the California bankruptcy laws as well as the U.S Bankruptcy Code. Knowledge of both laws will certainly give an edge in resolving the case.


Benefits of hiring a Woodland bankruptcy attorney


Hiring a Woodland bankruptcy attorney is often a viable choice when pushing through with bankruptcy. Bankruptcy proceedings require knowledge of state and federal law. On top of that, mastery and experience must be acquired by the bankruptcy attorney. Additionally, bankruptcy cases require extensive knowledge about the law and detailed documentation of the debtor’s assets and liabilities. Since an attorney must understand the rules governing bankruptcy its requirements, it is expected that the whole legal process flows smoothly. In addition, it is beneficial to hire a bankruptcy attorney in order to meticulously look into the pieces of information provided by both debtors and creditors as well as the details of the documents. In this way, it would be less difficult to formulate decisions on bankruptcy.


Who are the leading Woodland bankruptcy attorneys?


If you’re in a tough situation financially, bankruptcy may be the right choice for starting over again. Bankruptcy was not created to tell you about your difficulties and issues with your finances. Rather, bankruptcy is a way for a fresh start. But it’s important to fully understand what it can and what it cannot do for you.

Gomez and Simone law firm is the home of the leading Woodland bankruptcy attorneys. They are widely known for their preeminence, outstanding strategies, and compassion for their clients. The firm does not just handle bankruptcy cases – they encourage you to a new start. Gomez and Simone law firm has helped thousands of families recover from their miseries from the trauma of bankruptcy. They make sure that both clients and the firm will benefit from one another but most of all consider the clients’ well-being.

When filing for bankruptcy, one must dedicate everything he or she has, just exactly how one dedicated everything to attain financial stability. At some point in everyone’s lives, financial instability will be inevitable. If ever you’re experiencing bankruptcy, there is no need to live in fear and worries. There are several people who will definitely help you, and that includes a bankruptcy lawyer.

Call Us Now

Bankruptcy isn’t as easy as 1, 2, 3. It isn’t a process that comes to you instantly and indisputably; it is a tedious process that requires both time and knowledge of the law. Knowledge will not only come out of your attorney’s mind but it must also come from you. Remember that knowledge is power and knowledge can’t be attained if you won’t act now. Contact us at (855) 219-3333 for your free consultation today.


FRAUD ALERT: Patrick Soria and his Shell Companies have Defrauded Hundreds of Homeowners Across the US

FRAUD ALERT:  Gomez & Simone has retained a number of clients who fell victim of a danger to society named PATRICK SORIA and his partner in crime Michael C. Jackson.  If you’re not familiar with these names, then you may have heard about one of Soria’s business entities, West H&A, Christiana Wilmington Corp, Deutsche Mellon National Asset, CLG PC Capital or W.E.S.T. Inc., among others.  If you took out a mortgage loan on your property with one of these Soria Shell Companies you are in jeopardy of severe economic damages including the possible loss of your home to foreclosure.  You need legal representation without delay.Read More

mortgage lawyer

Be Intent on Choosing a California Mortgage Lawyer

It is sure not easy to get that dream home you’ve been fantasizing about. While there are several ways to purchase a home, there are also numerous ways to get that home the easy yet illegal way possible. Homebuyers, lenders, and other real estate agents falsify and forge information to get a home loan. Under California Law, such unlawful and intolerable act is considered a mortgage fraud. Mortgage crime rates and foreclosures continue to increase in prime and subprime markets in California. While cases of mortgage fraud increase, the credibility of well-trusted california mortgage lawyers have also prevailed.


Things to know about mortgage and California mortgage lawyers


Under the California law, mortgage fraud is subjected to submitting fake W-2 forms or getting an inflated property appraisal by a home buyer or real estate professionals. As mortgage fraud is often connected with falsification of mortgage documents, it can be considered fraud if one side supplies false information or the other side relies on that false information to complete a transaction.

According to the California law, there are two main categories of mortgage fraud: (1) Fraud for Housing, when a borrower fabricates information to qualify for a loan or to obtain more acceptable terms when buying a home, and (2) Fraud for Profit, when an appraiser, mortgage broker, lender, and the like commits fraud for obtaining money from a house deal.

Mortgage fraud offenders are mainly licensed or registered mortgage brokers, lenders, appraisers, accountants, real estate agents, land developers, investors, builders, bank account representatives, even attorneys who are very knowledgeable on how mortgage flows, which is why they can use their experiences in the real estate industry to easily acquire a home loan and take advantage of it. These perpetrators have demonstrated their ability to adapt to changes in mortgage legislation to modify existing schemes or create new ones. They also have effortless skills and approaches to documents needed for the loan as well as systems, notary seals, and licensure information necessary to commit mortgage fraud.

california mortgage lawyer

The primary focus of a mortgage lawyer is to apply himself or herself to the review of documents, the negotiation of terms and conditions, and the transference of titles. When a breach of contract transpires, or a mortgage fraud occurs, that’s the time a mortgage lawyer steps in and represent their client in the litigation. They may also be called upon by homeowners who feels skeptical about their ownership and their lender.

It is essential for a mortgage lawyer to develop a broad yet sturdy law foundation and strong negotiating skills. The real estate industry is a series of obstacles and unexpected challenges; thus, a mortgage lawyer should be capable of finding even the slightest faults found in the documents and loan in general.


What will a California mortgage lawyer do for you?


With today’s difficult economy and an unstable real estate market, we understand the need to hire the best Los Angeles Real Estate Attorneys. More and more Americans have lost their homes in the last few decades due to the vulnerability of the market. This is why it’s essential to know there are skilled professionals in the field of foreclosure law and mortgages. Southern California has a law firm with talented real estate attorneys waiting to help. A credible, trustworthy, and professional California mortgage lawyer will review your situation and develop the best strategy for your case. A mortgage lawyer will also have to deal with judicial foreclosures which involves the plaintiffs and defendants and represent on your behalf.

Definitely, a mortgage lawyer must push his or her capabilities in stopping your mortgage fraud case. But above all else, a mortgage lawyer must treat you with respect and compassion, and empathize with your situation.


Aim for the help of the leading California mortgage lawyers


Because the field of real estate and mortgage laws California has is complex, it is vital to seek legal and professional assistance only from the top California mortgage lawyers. You would not want to risk the success of your mortgage case with a mortgage lawyer of low credibility and questionable experiences and practice. Moreover, it may not be suitable and helpful to hire a lawyer whose experiences are far from the real estate industry. Certainly, it is best to seek help from a lawyer who does not just know the aspects of mortgage law but also the entire real estate law in general to foresee the possible consequences and effects of your mortgage fraud case. After all, it must be a lawyer’s duty to master every aspect and every depth of the legislation.

Hiring the best mortgage lawyers California has can eminently help you in the discussion and assessment of your home situation. Struggling homeowners and lenders should also understand that there are several legal ways to stop a mortgage fraud and with the help of an experienced mortgage lawyer. There may be factors that will make you think twice in hiring a mortgage lawyer as well as big consequences and after effects but will you risk the welfare of your family and the home you’ve worked hard for many years? At the end of the day, a mortgage lawyer will be your friend, your companion, your life support who will accompany you on this tough journey.


Call Us Now

Have a reputable real estate California mortgage attorney by your side. With the complexity of foreclosure law, the state is fortuitous enough to have a remarkably dedicated team of credible lawyers at Gomez & Simone to rely upon at times when a trustworthy legal assistance is needed the most. We offer the leading mortgage lawyers in California who will work with you every step of the way to make sure you understand the process and help you stop or prevent this rampant mortgage fraud. Call our law firm at (855) 219-3333 for your free consultation to discuss your case, and let us help protect your home and assure the betterment of you and your family’s future!

Real Estate Litigation in Los Angeles

Resolve Property Disputes With Real Estate Litigation in Los Angeles

Real estate is a complicated area in law, and the majority of people cannot manage property disputes without calling a real estate attorney. If you are facing the possibility of Real estate litigation in Los Angeles, then you need to call us today to get immediate help. Whether you are facing issues with the title on your property, or need with a general real estate issue, you need our team to help you, so call now.Read More