Friday, March 25, 2011

HTC Imagio

I want one of those scanner vtag apps for my phone.  Is there one out there?  Can anyone help?

Ex-lawyer gets jail in bankruptcy fraud

A former Wakefield, Mass., lawyer was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison for failing to disclose winning lottery tickets he had purchased to a bankruptcy trustee and for filing a false tax return.
http://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2011/03/22/ex-lawyer-gets-jail-in-bankruptcy-fraud.html?ana=RSS&s=article_search&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+bizj_boston+%28Boston+Business+Journal%29#

Judges get Salary Cut

The Florida House Justice Appropriations Subcommittee has targeted state judges for an 8 percent salary cut and plans to reduce their judicial assistant staffing by one-quarter..

Fannie Report Warned of Foreclosure Problems in 2006

Fannie Mae was warned in a 2006 internal report of abuses in the way lenders and their law firms handled foreclosures long before regulators launched investigations into the mortgage industry's practices, The Wall Street Journal reported today. The report said foreclosure attorneys in Florida had "routinely made" false statements in court in an effort to more quickly process foreclosures and raised questions about whether some mortgage servicers or another entity had the legal standing to foreclose. The report found no evidence that borrowers were improperly placed in foreclosure. State and federal officials are seeking to establish new rules for the industry. The report could add ammunition to those calling for stronger regulation of mortgage servicers. Elizabeth Warren, the White House adviser in charge of establishing the new Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, said in congressional testimony last week that with proper oversight, "the problems in mortgage servicing would have been exposed early and fixed while they were still small." Fannie Mae hired Baker & Hostetler LLP to investigate potential mortgage-servicing abuses after a Fannie shareholder raised concerns to Fannie five years ago about the industry's practices. The report raised red flags that have roiled the industry, including improper legal filings by foreclosure attorneys and questionable practices surrounding the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems.

Freddie Mac Bars Foreclosure Actions in the Name of MERS

https://www.efanniemae.com/sf/guides/ssg/annltrs/pdf/2010/svc1005.pdfhttp://www.freddiemac.com/sell/guide/bulletins/pdf/bll1105.pdf

Freddie Mac issued new policy guidelines to its servicers this week that prohibit foreclosures in the name of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (MERS). Fannie did this awhile ago.

MERS was developed by the industry to keep track of the servicing rights on home loans. It was designed as a paperless property registry to facilitate the quick transfer of mortgages between lenders, as well as investors in mortgage-backed securities.  Also, it avoided paying all those nice county recording fees.

In certain jurisdictions, servicers use the MERS name to initiate foreclosures on properties listed in its registry onbehalf of the creditor. But this approach has been challenged repeatedly by homeowners who say the electronic system has no standing to act as the mortgagee nominee in foreclosure actions.

MERS argues that borrowers are required to sign documents stating that MERS can assume rights and responsibilities on behalf of creditors, and this reasoning has led a number of state courts to uphold MERS’ right to foreclose.

Still, the electronic registry has come under heavy fire lately. It became a focus of last fall’s robo-signing scandal when the MERS name appeared within defective affidavits and regulators extended their servicing investigations to include the system and its role in the foreclosure process.

Fannie Mae told its servicers last spring that they were no longer allowed to foreclose in the name of MERS, and now Freddie Mac is following suit.

Freddie has updated its servicer guide to eliminate the option for the foreclosure counsel or trustee to conduct a foreclosure in the name of MERS. The new rule is effective for mortgages registered with MERS that are referred to foreclosure on or after April 1, 2011.

Grand Prix

SATURDAY MARCH 26

3/26/2011 8:05 -- 8:50 a.m. Star Mazda qualifying

9:10 -- 9:55 a.m. Firestone Indy Lights practice

10:10 -- 11:10 a.m. IZOD IndyCar Series practice

11:20 -- 11:40 a.m. Drifting cars on-track

11:50 -- 1:05 p.m. ACURA Sports Car Challenge of St. Petersburg, World Challenge race #1

1:25 -- 2:10 p.m. Firestone Indy Lights qualifying

2:30 -- 3:50 p.m. IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying & Firestone Fast Six

4:10 -- 5:10 p.m. Star Mazda race

5:20 -- 6:00 p.m. USF2000 race #1



http://www.baynews9.com/grand-prix

Disagreement, Negotiation Delays Problematic for Servicer Settlement

Attorneys general Kenneth Cuccinelli of Virginia, Greg Abbott of Texas, Pam Bondi of Florida, and Alan Wilson of South Carolina sent a letter to Miller because they wanted to “raise concerns about certain provisions of the draft term sheet submitted to mortgage servicers this month.”


The AGs are not the only ones with concerns about the 27-page proposal. Several of the servicers have spoken out against some of the terms within the settlement, particularly ones regarding mandatory principal write-downs for underwater borrowers.

http://www.dsnews.com/articles/delays-in-negotiation-and-more-ag-disagreement-causing-problems-for-servicer-settlement-2011-03-24

http://www.sifma.org/

AGs assert that the proposal’s suggestion of principal write-downs for underwater borrowers “do a disservice to homeowners who, despite an economic downturn, have worked hard to maintain their mortgages.”  Hell YA!   Either give a principal reduction to everyone- even thosse who are not underwater bc they didn't tsake all their equity out or buy a home they couldn't afford- or no one!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Freddie Mac Attorneys

MFlorida(Last revised 03/10/11)

Designated Counsel/Trustee
Florida Foreclosures and Bankruptcies

Florida Default Law Group
Attn: Ron Wolfe
9119 Corporate Lake Drive
Suite 300
Tampa, FL 33634
Tel: (813) 342-2200 (Ext. 3037)
Fax: (813) 251-1541
E-mail: Rwolfe@defaultlawfl.com
Mike@defaultlawfl.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kass, Shuler, Solomon, Spector, Foyle & Singer, P.A.
Attn: Carolyn Rivers
1505 N. Florida Avenue
Tampa, FL 33602
Tel: (813) 229-0900
Fax: (813) 229-3323
E-mail: crivers@kasslaw.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Law Offices of Daniel C. Consuegra, PLLC
Attn: Daniel C. Consuegra
9204 King Palm Drive
Tampa, FL 33619-1328
Tel: (813) 915-8660
Fax: (813) 915-0559
E-mail: dan@consuegralaw.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aldridge Connors, LLP
Attn: John G. Aldridge
7000 W. Palmetto Park Rd. Suite 307
Boca Raton, FL 33433
Tel: (561) 392-6391
Fax: (561) 392-6965
Email: galdridge@aclawllp.com
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Law Office of Douglas C. Zahm, P.A.
Attn: Doug Bales
12425 28th Street N.,Suite 200,
St. Petersburg, FL 33716
Tel: (727) 536-4911
Fax: (727) 539-1094
Email: dmb@dczahm.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Florida Foreclosure Attorneys, PLLC
Attn: Rick Felberbaum
601 Cleveland St # 690
Clearwater, Fl 33755-4171
Tel: (727) 446-4826
Fax: (727) 446-1723
Email: rick@flaforeclosureattorneys.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gilbert Garcia Group. P.A.
Attn: Michelle Gilbert
3200 Henderson Blvd Suite 100
Tampa, FL 33609
Tel: (813) 443-5087
Fax: (813) 443-5089
Email: michelle@gmgrouplaw.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Phelan Hallinan, L.C.
Attn: Emilio Lenzi
888 SE 3rd Ave, Suite 201-A
Ft. Lauderdale. FL 33316
Tel: (954) 462-7000
Fax: (954) 462-7001
E-mail: Emilo.Lenzi@phelanhallinan.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Robertson, Anschutz and Schneid, PL
Attn: Garrett Bender
3010 N. Military Trail Suite 300
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Tel: (561) 241-6901
Fax:: (561) 241-9181
E-mail: gmb@rasflaw.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Johnson and Freedman LLC
Attn: Larry Johnson
8201 Peters Rd Suite 2200
Plantation, FL 33321
Tel: (954) 654-7745
Fax: (954) 475-7760
Email: lwjohnson@jflegal.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Udren Law Offices, PC
Attn: Tina Rich
4561 Sheridan Street, Suite 460
Hollywood, FL 33021
Tel: (954) 378-1762
Fax: (954) 378-1763
Email: TRich@udren.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Morales Law Group, P.A.
Attn: Marisol Morales
14750 NW 77 Court
Suite 303
Miami Lakes, FL 33016
Tel: (305) 698-5839
Fax: (305) 698-5840
E-mail: Marisol.morales@moraleslawgroup.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Weltman ,Weinberg and Reis Co. LPA
Attn: Frank Veneziano
500 West Cypress Creek Rd
Suite 190
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309
Tel: (954) 740-5200
Fax: (954) 740-5290
Email: fveneziano@weltman.com
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Stone, McGehee and Silver, LLC, dba McCalla Raymer
Attn: Adam Silverman
225 E. Robinson St.
Suite 660
Orlando, FL 32801
Tel: (407) 674-1850
Fax: (321) 248-0420
E-mail: as@mccallaraymer.com

http://www.freddiemac.com/service/msp/exh79_fl.html

Product Safety

The new searchable product-safety database operated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), http://www.saferproducts.gov/, became fully operational on March 11, 2011. What will be its impact? Will it help consumers make informed decisions in purchasing safe toys for their children? Will it help regulators and manufacturers identify potentially dangerous trends before they otherwise might have been noticed? Will it be misused by plaintiffs' attorneys and experts as a means of "proving" the occurrence of incidents or injuries that never happened?

Product Safety

The new searchable product-safety database operated by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), http://www.saferproducts.gov/, became fully operational on March 11, 2011. What will be its impact? Will it help consumers make informed decisions in purchasing safe toys for their children? Will it help regulators and manufacturers identify potentially dangerous trends before they otherwise might have been noticed? Will it be misused by plaintiffs' attorneys and experts as a means of "proving" the occurrence of incidents or injuries that never happened?

Freddie Mac on You Tube

http://www.youtube.com/FreddieMac

Millions of people turn to YouTube for wacky viral videos, but Freddie Mac believes that YouTube can also be used to provide information to homeowners facing foreclosure.


The government-sponsored enterprise has launched a new five-video series on its YouTube channel that dispels what is described as the "five common myths that could prevent people from keeping their homes if they face foreclosure." Each video runs between 90 seconds and two minutes and is based on content culled from Freddie Mac's "Get the Facts on Homeownership" education and outreach materials.

"Individuals are worried about scams and fraud, and don't know who to safely turn to for help," says Dwight Robinson, Freddie Mac senior vice president of corporate relations and housing outreach. "The videos provide information and resources that just might keep individuals from losing their home."



SOURCE: Freddie Mac

Roughly One-Third Of Homeowners Have Underwater Mortgages

Nearly one-third of U.S. homeowners owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth, according to a new national survey conducted by Rasmussen Reports. The new survey, which polled 720 Americans.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/housing/march_2011/31_say_they_owe_more_on_their_mortgage_than_their_home_is_worth

If someone can’t afford to make their increased mortgage payments, 22% of all Americans say it’s better for the government to assist them with their payments than it is for them to be forced to sell their house. But as they have for months, a sizable majority (64%) believes it’s better for the person to sell their house and find a less expensive one. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided.


In a survey last September, 39% of Americans said the government should encourage home ownership through incentives, but 51% said the government should stay out of the housing market all together.

Not all AG's agree with Principal Write Downs

Four state attorneys general (AGs) have objected to the principal-reducing modification requirements proposed in the recent letter from federal regulators and some state AGs to mortgage servicers.


The AGs expressed their concerns in a letter to Iowa AG Tom Miller, who is widely seen as the lead investigator on the 50-state initiative, the Wall Street Journal reports.

"To the extent loan modification proposals should be included at all, they should be limited in scope and only address unlawful conduct at issue in this investigation - such as banks' improper handling of loan modification applications," the four Republican AGs wrote to Miller, a Democrat. The letter came from Kenneth Cuccinelli of Virginia, Pam Bondi of Florida, Alan Wilson of South Carolina and Greg Abbott of Texas.

The AGs do support some aspects of the draft proposal, which was sent to the nation's largest banks earlier this month. According to the Journal report, the four AGs wrote that they are "deeply troubled" by certain discoveries unearthed by investigations, such as the broad use of robo-signers and other documentation issues.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703921204576217532021953682.html?mod=goog

The dangers of the Internet

http://www.mortgageorb.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.8137

Freddie Mae pushing lenders to Harrass Home Owners

How early? I’m talking about making contact by the third day of delinquency,” Renzi said.


That’s the ideal scenario, but the unequivocal line in the sand is being drawn at within 60 days of the first missed payment

http://www.dsnews.com/articles/freddie-pushing-servicers-to-contact-borrowers-by-third-day-of-delinquency-2011-03-23
 
 
Hello you get a 10 day grace period with most loans, and they can not file  foreclosure until it is at least 90 days delinquent.   They should not be calling and bothering you until then!

Bernanke: Community Banks to be Spared of Debit Card Fee Limits

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said yesterday that the central bank will exercise "all the powers that we have" to ensure community banks are effectively spared from debit card fee limits dictated by last year's Dodd-Frank financial-overhaul law, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The Fed's draft rule would prohibit large banks from charging merchants more than 12 cents each time a customer pays with a debit card, down from the current average of 44 cents. The law included an exemption for small banks and credit unions, those with less than $10 billion in assets, but these small institutions say that the exemption will not work in practice and market forces will push them to accept the fee cap setfor large banks. Bernanke said that many community banks are rebounding, but they face substantial challenges due to a weak economy, continued uncertainties in real estate and other key markets, and the changing regulatory environment.




                                     So much for the purpose of the act- helping consumers!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pre Suit Mediation

Going to my 1st at Collins Center Tpa




Sent from my Verizon Wireless Phone

Brevard County Foreclosure Court Holds Banks and Fraudclosure Mills' Feet to the Fire

http://www.brevardtimes.com/2011/03/brevard-county-foreclosure-court-holds.html?showComment=1300888543214#c7518034503647954867



Anyone knows how to put Scribd docs or pdf files on here please call me or email me!   (727) 410-2705
calh@gate.net

Cases on Verfied Complaints

AURORA LOAN SERVICES, Plaintiff, v. TODD A. FLEETWOOD AND KRISTI FLEETWOOD, Defendant. Circuit Court, 19th Judicial Circuit in and for Indian River County. Case No. 31-2010-CA-073506. January 26, 2011. Cynthia L. Cox, Judge.


FINAL ORDER OF DISMISSAL



The verification must be included in the complaint itself for the Court to be certain that the affiant has read the actual allegations and to make it clear what is being verified. The purpose of the verification is to create accuracy and accountability. There is no provision in the rule for the filing of a separate verification in a separate document. Common sense dictates that without verification in the complaint itself, it would never be clear what the affiant reviewed and what allegations they verified. The rule does not permit qualifying or limiting language. The complaint needs to be verified by an employee or officer of the plaintiff, by an employee or officer of its loan servicer, or by the attorney who files the case. Designations such as”authorized agent”, “authorized signatory”, “authorized officer”, “representative of the plaintiff’s servicer”, “representative of the plaintiff” and the like are meaningless, insufficient and tell the reader nothing. The rule requires a clean, plain statement of accuracy by a person who actually verifies the truth of the claims made, and who is identified as being in a position to actually do so. This case seeks to foreclose a residential mortgage and was filed after the effective date of the rule amendment.



IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows:



1. This case is DISMISSED without prejudice. No other pleadings by the plaintiff will be permitted in this case, other than a request for rehearing if appropriate. If the plaintiff elects to file a new action to foreclose on the same property, it must be filed under a new case number and a new filing fee will be required.



2. The plaintiff may move for reconsideration within ten days, on the sole ground that the subject property is not residential property. A copy of the motion and any supporting memorandum must be provided to the undersigned. The Court may rule on the motion without a hearing. No hearing will be set unless determined by the Court to be necessary.



3. It is confiscatory of the Court’s time to have to address this matter. Repeat violations by the same firm, or by the same attorney, may result in imposition of personal sanctions, and issuance of an order directed to the attorney or firm to show cause why that attorney or firm should not be prohibited from filing further foreclosure cases in this Court.

Online Reference: FLWSUPP 1804NATI

Mortgages — Foreclosure — Complaint — Verification — Unverified foreclosure complaint filed after February 11, 2010, effective date of rule 1.110(b) is dismissed with leave to amend



NATIONSTAR MORTGAGE LLC, PLAINTIFF, v. CRAIG K. LUNT AND DOROTHEA C. LUNT, Defendant. Circuit Court, 6th Judicial Circuit in and for Pinellas County, Civil Division. Case No. 10-6330-CI-20. February 7, 2011. Honorable George Jirotka, Judge. Counsel: Karen Thompson, for Plaintiff. Matthew D. Weidner, for Defendant.



ORDER



THIS CAUSE came to be considered upon the Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, this court having reviewed the Defendant’s motion and accepted the argument of counsel for Defendant who appeared in person and counsel for Plaintiff who appeared via telephone, it is hereby:



ORDERED AND ADJUDGED as follows:



1. The Defendant’s Motion To Dismiss/Motion For More Definite Statement asserted that the Florida Supreme Court, pursuant to Rule 1.110(b), mandated that residential foreclosure complaints shall be verified and that the effective date of the requirement was February 11, 2010.



2. Plaintiff argued that the change to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure was not effective until June 2, 2010 and that because the instant complaint was filed prior to June 2, 2010, the instant complaint was not required to be verified.



3. This court finds that the effective date of Florida Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 1.110(b) is February 11, 2010 and that all residential complaints defined by the Rule must be verified beginning February 11, 2010.



4. Because the instant complaint is not verified in any manner, by any party, the Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss/Motion For More Definite Statement is GRANTED and the case is dismissed except that the Plaintiff shall have thirty (30) days to amend their complaint.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Face Book Patents

http://mashable.com/2010/02/25/facebook-news-feed-patent/#

https://searchengineland.com/paul-allen-refiles-patent-suit-59823

http://www.law.com/jsp/tx/PubArticleTX.jsp?id=1202486858460&slreturn=1&hbxlogin=1

American's Value Home Ownership

Nearly nine out of 10 homeowners, including those whose homes have lost value, say they would buy their homes again, according to poll results announced by The Allstate Corp. and National Journal. The eighth quarterly Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll also shows that seven of 10 Americans say they would advise a friend or family member to buy a home as a long-term asset.


http://www.mortgageorb.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.8106

Monday, March 21, 2011

In the News

http://www.thewestsidegazette.com/News/Article/Article.asp?NewsID=107981&sID=13&ItemSource=L

http://www.mortgageorb.com/e107_plugins/content/content.php?content.8069

http://cop.senate.gov/reports/library/report-031611-cop.cfm

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110315/bs_yblog_thelookout/huge-productivity-gains-barely-benefitting-workers

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2011-03-13/morgan-stanley-unit-probed-by-u-s-on-military-foreclosures.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/12/business/12military.html?_r=2

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2011/03/10/2127657/bofa-launches-modification-program.html

Senators Introduce Own Legislation to End HAMP

With so much attention focused on the House's efforts to stamp out four federal foreclosure programs, a bill making its way through the Senate - which like its House counterpart would effectually terminate the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) - has received less attention but is progressing nonetheless. Pundits insisted such legislation would fall flat in the Senate, but members of the chamber's Banking Committee are pushing their bill forward on the argument that the free market, on its own, is working where government programs are faltering.

Court Clears Capmark to Sell Tax Credit Unit to U.S. Bancorp

Capmark Financial Group Inc. won court approval to sell its new markets tax-credit business to affiliates of U.S. Bancorp in a deal that also wipes clear $432 million in claims against its bankruptcy estate, Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review reported today. Judge Christopher Sontchi on Thursday approved a settlement providing for the sale of the business to U.S. Bancorp, whose affiliates were investors in the majority of Capmark's so-called new markets tax-credit deals. The tax-credit business was developed under the U.S. Treasury Department's new markets tax credit program, which was created to boost investment in low-income communities

Credit Card Rules Amended by Fed to Avoid Issuance to People Who Cannot Pay

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2011-03-18/credit-card-rules-amended-by-fed-to-avoid-issuance-to-those-who-can-t-pay.html

The Federal Reserve approved a rule that would require credit card issuers to consider consumers' individual incomes before extending credit, Bloomberg News reported on Friday. Credit card applications generally cannot request "household income" because that term is too vague for issuers to evaluate whether customers will be able to make the required payments on the accounts, according to a statement from the Fed on Friday. The rule is needed to prevent making credit available to consumers who lack the ability to pay, the Fed said. The change is supposed to limit issuers from giving cards to college students, yet some lawmakers are concerned that stay-at-home spouses will suffer.
http://maloney.house.gov/documents/financial/creditcards/20110112AbilitytoPayCommentFedLetter.pdf

U.S. Senators Consider Ban On Bankruptcy "Forum Shopping"

U.S. lawmakers are considering a requirement that companies seed court protection where their primary operations are located rather than where they are incorporated, Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review reported today. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is considering offering an amendment that would narrow where companies may file for bankruptcy protection. The amendment was one of 20 circulated among Senate Judiciary Committee members ahead of a business meeting last week. The amendments, only one of which--not Cornyn's--has been officially introduced, would apply to the Limiting Investor and Homeowner Loss in Foreclosure Act. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced the bill in late January to ensure that bankruptcy courts have authority to oversee mediation proceedings between home mortgage lenders and bankrupt borrowers.

U.S. Senators Consider Ban On Bankruptcy "Forum Shopping"

U.S. lawmakers are considering a requirement that companies seed court protection where their primary operations are located rather than where they are incorporated, Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review reported today. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) is considering offering an amendment that would narrow where companies may file for bankruptcy protection. The amendment was one of 20 circulated among Senate Judiciary Committee members ahead of a business meeting last week. The amendments, only one of which--not Cornyn's--has been officially introduced, would apply to the Limiting Investor and Homeowner Loss in Foreclosure Act. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced the bill in late January to ensure that bankruptcy courts have authority to oversee mediation proceedings between home mortgage lenders and bankrupt borrowers.

Foreclosure Fraud – Guide to Looking Up Public Records for Fraud

http://4closurefraud.org/2009/10/18/foreclosure-fraud-guide-to-looking-up-public-records-for-fraud/

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wells Fargo Freezes Accounts

Last week, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP) for the Ninth Circuit decided Mwangi v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. At issue was Wells Fargo’s national procedure of running a computerized comparison of all newly filed chapter 7 bankruptcy cases against Wells Fargo’s list of account holders. If one of Wells Fargo’s account holders had also filed a chapter 7, then Wells Fargo would immediately “freeze” the account so that the debtor would not have access to his or her money. Wells Fargo would then send a letter to the chapter 7 trustee seeking instructions for disbursement of the money.


In the Mwangis’ case, the chapter 7 trustee did not instruct Wells Fargo as to what it should do, that is, to pay the money to the trustee, release the money to the debtor, or do something else. The debtors claimed that 75% of the money in their account was exempt under the applicable exemption scheme and demanded that Wells Fargo return the money to them. Wells Fargo refused to release the funds to the debtors. The debtors then filed a motion for sanctions under 11 U.S.C. § 362 alleging a violation of the automatic stay.

The BAP concluded that Wells Fargo’s policy of placing an administrative hold or “freeze” on the account constituted “exercising control” over property of the bankruptcy estate. It further stated that the knowing retention of estate property violates the automatic stay subjecting the creditor to potential liability. Though Wells Fargo argued that it merely held such funds pending directions from the trustee, the court stated that, since no instructions were forthcoming, Wells Fargo was under an obligation to do something–either release the funds to the trustee; release the funds to the debtors after demand was made by the debtors or seek direction from the bankruptcy court. Wells Fargo did none of those things.

The BAP held that Wells Fargo’s national policy of freezing accounts violates the automatic stay. However, a further issue to consider on remand will be whether Wells Fargo’s administrative freeze on the account after receiving no instructions from the trustee was reasonable in light of the debtors’ demand that the funds be released to them. If Wells Fargo’s continued freeze on the funds was unreasoanble then debtors are entitled to recover damages, if any, under § 362(k)(1).

As bankruptcy lawyers, we are generally aware of creditors’ policies regarding various issues. However, we have no control over a creditor changing their policy–even when it turns out to be completely at odds with the Bankruptcy Code.

http://www.bankruptcylawnetwork.com/2010/07/06/wells-fargos-procedure-of-freezing-accounts-after-a-bankruptcy-filing-invalidated/

Fannie Sues Ben Ezra Katz!!

http://4closurefraud.org/2011/03/18/federal-national-mortgage-association-aka-fannie-mae-vs-ben-ezra-katz-p-a-fannie-mae-tells-lawyer-to-get-on-the-ball/


FORT LAUDERDALE (CN) – The Federal National Mortgage Association sued the Ben-Ezra & Katz law office, claiming the office refuses to deliver files on 15,000 foreclosure cases. Fannie Mae says it fired the law office in February but it refused to deliver the documents.