Should Cities be able to Sue Banks for the Housing Crisis?

housing_crash_foreclosuresDuring the housing crisis of the mid-2000’s, cities across the country filled with foreclosed homes. These abandoned homes became symbols of dreams lost and easy targets for criminals. The housing crisis had a profound impact on our overall economy and in the financial lives of the individuals swept up in its wake. However, there was an unexpected victim in the housing crisis, that’s looking to hold banks accountable and recover losses of its own.

Cities throughout the United States, including Miami, Oakland, Providence and Los Angeles are filing lawsuits against banks claiming that they suffered as well during the housing crisis. These cities contend that lending practices that either denied credit to individuals in certain neighborhoods because of race, or targeted home buyers in minority neighborhoods with high interest loans, led to increased foreclosures. These foreclosures are said to represent loss tax revenues and property values for these cities while increasing the costs of keeping surrounding neighbors safe. The cities are also contending that these practices are in violation of the Fair Housing Act, which “prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” The act allows individuals to sue lenders if they feel they have been discriminated against or if they feel they have been negatively affected by unintentional discrimination.

Currently, the city of Miami has recently filed lawsuits against a number of banks including Bank of America, Citibank and Wells Fargo. However, the Eleventh Circuit Court has sent the cases back to the lower court, which dismissed the cases. Now, Miami and other cities have filed an amended complaint. The city of Oakland filed a similar suit to which a judge declined to dismiss the suit.

While the argument for the cities being compensated for damages related to the housing crisis lie in the notion that lenders engaged in practices that would ultimately lead to foreclosures, the banks have a different point of view. Banks, like Wells Fargo, feel not only that the Fair Housing Act was not meant to come to the aid of cities, but that high interest loans were meant to provide opportunities for home ownership that would not be present otherwise.

The lawsuits by the cities represent a bold attempt to hold lending institutions accountable for the housing crisis, a feat that’s been difficult to attain to this point. Individuals, especially those who have been adversely affected by the housing crisis, typically do not have the resources to compete with the nation’s largest banks. If it is determined that they are unable to file lawsuits, the job of holding banks accountable falls on the justice department, or individual consumers through the defense of individual foreclosures on their homes.

If you are facing foreclosure, it’s important to know that you have options and that help is available. The Tampa foreclosure attorneys at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A. can establish a strategy for overcoming this difficult time. Contact them today at 844-511-4800.

Tampa Bankruptcy Attorneys Rich McIntyre and Jeff Hakanson Weigh in on Real Estate

Types of ForeclosureTampa bankruptcy attorneys Richard McIntyre and Jeff Hakanson recently worked on a real estate case involving a Tampa company called RE-170, who had declared bankruptcy to halt the foreclosure of almost 50 homes that it was renting out for thousands of dollars each.

While the company was once called “dishonest and incompetent,” the outcome could now be a new model for real estate investors.

Read the full story in the Tampa Bay Times to learn how all parties came to a resolution based on a legal theory that had never been attempted in the country before.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/realestate/once-called-dishonest-and-incompetent-could-tampa-company-be-a-model-for/2279154

The 3 Types of Foreclosure

The Types of Foreclosure

Types of Foreclosure

When people hear the word “foreclosure” they may not realize that there are multiple types. Each type of foreclosure has its own set of procedures and tends to favor one side (lender or borrower) over the other. The three types of foreclosure are judicial, non-judicial and strict foreclosure. In this article, we will describe each one.

Judicial: The form of foreclosure that most people are familiar with, judicial foreclosure is the process in which a court orders the sale of a property in order to satisfy a mortgage. The lender files a lawsuit against the homeowner and a formal notification is made. The homeowner is given a set amount of time to pay their debt. If they do not pay it, the property is sold at an auction and the proceeds from the sale are used to pay off the mortgage and any lien holders. This process is long and doesn’t provide a particular advantage for either party. Judicial foreclosures costs the lender and prevents them from gaining revenue while the process takes place. For homeowners, being sued and having an official notice appear on your property can be demoralizing. Foreclosures, in general, also damages your credit tremendously. A great alternative to a judicial foreclose is a deed in lieu. With a deed in lieu, the homeowner formally returns the property to the lender. If the lender accepts the property, no legal action takes place and your credit record is not damaged.

Non-Judicial: If your mortgage has a power of sale clause or if you are in a state in which a deed of trust is used instead of a mortgage, the lender has to right to foreclose on property without the approval of a court. As with judicial foreclosure, a formal notification is made, but the window of time before a property is sold may be shorter. This process presents an advantage to lender because it takes less time and money to foreclose on a property. The borrower has less time to resolve their debt and potentially keep their home.

Strict Foreclosure: Strict foreclosures are less common than judicial and non-judicial foreclosures. In a strict foreclosure, the lender seeks a court order to seize property from a homeowner. Once approved, the homeowner is given a set period of time to resolve the debt. If they are unable to do so, the property returns to the lender who is free to do with it as they choose. While it’s not much of an advantage for the homeowner, at least they have a designated time to pay their debt before losing their home.

Foreclosure is an emotional and financially difficult process to endure. The smartest choice you can make is finding a foreclosure lawyer that understands the process and can help you make sound choices for your future. The foreclosure attorneys at McIntyre Thanasides Bringgold Elliott Grimaldi & Guito, P.A. provide a wealth of experience and an ability to look at your individual situation, provide sound analysis and determine a proper solution. Contact them today at 844-511-4800.