Chicago, IL (PRWEB) May 31, 2011
The foreclosure epidemic in the United States is showing no sign of slowing down, especially since millions of Americans are underwater on their mortgage, owing more than their home is worth.
Facing foreclosure is stressful for families, especially if they do not fully understand the process. To educate homeowners about the options that are available, the Neighborhood Community Foundation will conduct a free foreclosure prevention workshop on June 2 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Comfort Suites at 2480 Bushwood Drive in Elgin and on June 4 at the Comfort Suites at 1100 East Higgins Road in Schaumburg.
An independent, nonprofit organization based in Sarasota, the Neighborhood Community Foundation strives to help residents develop a better understanding of the foreclosure process, recognize their legal rights, and learn about their options and potential solutions so they can remain in their home.
"Many American homeowners currently in foreclosure are being victimized by fraudulent actions from lenders and/or lawyers,” said Adam S. Tracy, a Chicago area foreclosure defense attorney who will serve as the keynote speaker at the June 2 workshop in Elgin and the June 4 workshop in Schaumburg. “Knowledge is power, and homeowners can more effectively fight foreclosure by knowing about the process and understanding how it directly applies to their situation.”
In recent months, multiple stories about foreclosure-related fraud committed by lenders have surfaced in the news. In addition, there is proposed legislation designed to help homeowners facing foreclosure.
In the Senate, Jack Reed, D-R.I., recently reintroduced a bill that would toughen requirements on lenders to modify their loans. Senator Sherrod Brown, D-OH, launched a bill that, if passed, would feature a variety of consumer protections for mortgage borrowers. Neither bill has been approved by the Banking Committee, but the bills offer examples of proposed legislation that would benefit homeowners.
As for the rampant fraud, a recent Palm Beach Post article that reviewed court documents discovered that 116 Palm Beach County cases in which attorneys for banks asked a judge to ratify a final foreclosure judgment even though erroneous documents may have been used to foreclose on the property.
According to the article, the banks’ attorneys sought to move forward on the foreclosures despite their full knowledge of "robo-signing" and forged documents. Major lenders - including PNC Bank, Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase - acknowledged last fall that their employees practiced "robo-signing,” admitting that tens of thousands of foreclosure documents had not been reviewed. This led Attorneys General in all 50 states to initiate a federal bank investigation on grounds of perjury and fraud.
Some state courts are recognizing that there are issues with lender foreclosure filings; however, many judges are hesitant to point out problems in loan documents unless a homeowner challenges their case in court.. The most commonly cited reason for a judge’s willingness to overlook issues in the bank documents is the huge backlog in the courts.
“Lender violations are typically found in eight out of 10 reviewed loan files, but unless homeowners take legal action to defend against the foreclosure, they will not prevent the bank from repossessing the home.,” Tracy explained. “The volume of errors and violations on loan documents is staggering. Banks should be held to the same level of accountability as every business in America.”
During the workshop, Tracy will share free legal advice about the most common types of errors and violations found in loan documents and provide a full explanation of the laws that protect homeowners when facing foreclosure eviction. In addition, homeowners will receive information from participating non-profit agencies to help them properly assess a practical course of action for their needs.
Topics of the workshop include:
- Loan Modifications – Effective techniques that work
- Federal Foreclosure Programs – HAMP and HAFA
- Loan Audits – How to identify paperwork fraud or loan violations
- Lender paybacks – Are you eligible to receive one?
- Buy more time in your home – Simple steps to postpone your move
- Protecting against foreclosure predators
- County agency resources
- Real legal defenses
- Questions and Answers
To register for the Save Your Home Foreclosure Prevention Workshop, visit http://www.EndForeclosure.com or call The Neighborhood Community Foundation at 877-306-5299.