Underwater Homeowners

News & Analysis as of

BofA Underwater Mortgage Cases Hit Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear two cases brought by Bank of America regarding whether a second mortgage on an underwater property can be voided during Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Both cases involve Florida homeowners who sued to...more

11th Affirms Dismissal of FDCPA Class Action Based on Law Firm Collection Letter

The Eleventh Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action brought under the FDCPA, 15 USC § 1692, against a law firm for sending a letter to a homeowner in default. Specifically, the letter did the...more

Contamination, Underwater Mortgages, and the IRWA Annual Education Conference

Along with my colleagues Brad Kuhn, Ben Rubin, and Katherine Contreras, I'm here in Hartford at the IRWA Annual Education Conference. It's been an interesting few days as we discuss eminent domain issues in the shadow of New...more

CFPB, State Authorities Settle with Ocwen

On December 19, CFPB and 49 states and the District of Columbia filed a proposed court order requiring Ocwen Financial Corporation, the fourth-largest mortgage servicer in the country, to provide $2 billion in principal...more

New York Proposes Shared Appreciation Mortgages For Underwater Borrowers

On December 10, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) proposed regulations that would authorize and encourage “shared appreciation” mortgage modifications in that state. The DFS explained that under a shared...more

FHFA Launches HARP Education Campaign

On September 23, the FHFA launched a nationwide campaign to educate borrowers about HARP. The FHFA explains that the campaign is designed to encourage homeowners who have been making their mortgage payments, but who owe more...more

City of Richmond, California Backs Plan to Use Eminent Domain to Seize Bad Mortgages

Richmond, California’s leaders approved a controversial plan earlier this month to become the first municipality in the nation to use eminent domain to rid itself of underwater mortgages. The plan was approved by the Richmond...more

Condeming Underwater Mortgages: Another Look at the Legality of it

OK, I'll admit it. A year ago I thought this whole condemnation-of-underwater-mortgages thing would die off pretty quickly. I predicted we'd never see any large-scale condemnation effort. So far, I've missed badly on the...more

Editorial: How Fair Is The Florida Fair Foreclosure Act?

The purpose for the Florida Fair Foreclosure Act, which became effective in July, was to speed up the residential and commercial foreclosure process in Florida, where a foreclosure could take more than two years from start to...more

Mortgage Banking Industry Fights Use of Eminent Domain To Seize Underwater Mortgage Loans

In the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis, a number of local governments are weighing whether to use the power of eminent domain to assist homeowners struggling with underwater mortgages held by lenders who have issued...more

California City Votes To Pursue Eminent Domain Plan, Legal Challenge Found Not Ripe For Injunction

On September 11, the California city of Richmond reportedly voted to proceed with a plan to employ its eminent domain authority to seize certain mortgages. As previously described, the city recently demanded that owners and...more

Federal Court Halts Lender Underwater Mortgages Lawsuit Against Richmond

On September 12, the City of Richmond caught a small reprieve with respect to its plan to condemn underwater mortgages. As reported by Reuters, the federal district court ruled that the lawsuit filed by lenders Wells Fargo,...more

Showdown in the Richmond: The City of Richmond Threatens Eminent Domain on Underwater Loans

BREAKING NEWS: In a contentious 4-3 decision and amid more than 300 community members on both sides of the issue, the City Council for the City of Richmond voted to continue pursuing its eminent domain plan in the early...more

The City of Richmond Remains Undeterred in its Quest to Condemn Underwater Mortgages

Despite three major banks filing federal lawsuits against the City of Richmond last month related to its plan to condemn underwater mortgages, the City continues to press on. On Tuesday, the City voted 4-3 to continue its...more

City attempting to seize underwater mortgages via eminent domain: constitutional objections, potential investor losses

The City of Richmond, California has commenced the process for taking by eminent domain hundreds of notes secured by mortgages on underwater residential properties owned by investors through residential mortgage backed...more

Investors Sue To Preempt Locality’s Planned Seizure Of Mortgages Using Eminent Domain; FHFA Outlines Potential Responses

On August 7, trustees representing the interests of investors in mortgage backed securities filed two separate suits to halt the planned use of eminent domain by the city of Richmond, California to seize a group of mortgages....more

Lenders React to Richmond's Plan to Condemn Mortgages by Filing Suit

We all knew this was coming (see my post from July 23). If you poke a sleeping giant, it's going to file a lawsuit against you in federal court. Yesterday, in response to the City of Richmond's preliminary actions to...more

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo: Eminent Domain Needs More Than a Magic Wand to Overcome Title Defects

Oh, if it only were that easy. A city seizes “underwater” residential mortgage loans through eminent domain, waves its magic wand, says Abracadabra or Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, and then the mortgage lien of the prior loan holder...more

Update: Condemnation of Underwater Mortgages Closer to Reality

It's been a while since we focused on the whole condemnation of underwater mortgages scheme but that doesn't mean the idea has died off. To the contrary, apparently at least four California cities have now signed advisory...more

Dechert's OnPoint: Underwater Mortgages Deserve More than Eminent Domain

Mortgage Resolution Partners (“MRP”), a San Francisco-based venture-capital firm, continues to actively market its proposal to assist homeowners with underwater performing mortgage loans held in private label securitization...more

Stanislaus County Moving Forward with Claribel Road Project

After two years of negotiating with residential property owners, the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors approved acquisition of the property by eminent domain. The Modesto Bee reports that the board approved the...more

No Marriage for Mortgage Resolution Partners Yet (But Proposal Still Being Considered)

Last summer, we at Crunched Credit wrote (here, here and here) about Mortgage Resolution Partner’s (“MRP”), a San Francisco-based venture-capital firm, proposal whereby underwater performing residential mortgage loans held in...more

Financial Services Legislative And Regulatory Update -- February 18‚ 2013

In This Issue: Leading the Past Week; Legislative Branch; Executive Branch; and Upcoming Hearings. Excerpt from Leading the Past Week - President Obama touched on both new and old initiatives in his State of...more

More Reports on San Bernardino's Decision to Abandon Underwater Mortgage Eminent Domain Plan

Given how much publicity the proposal to condemn underwater mortgages received when it first appeared last summer, I suppose it's not surprising that San Bernardino's decision last week not to move forward has also garnered a...more

San Bernardino Not Moving Forward with Proposed Plan to Condemn Underwater Mortgages

For the better part of a year, we've been writing about the controversial proposal to use the power of eminent domain to condemn underwater mortgages, allowing homeowners to have a new loan that better reflects the underlying...more

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