By Christine E. Springer
How about that post title? Did it get your attention? I hope so, because this message needs to be heard! In this post, I am laying out the truth for you. If the information resonates, it’s for you.
If not, don’t get your knickers in a wad.
I focus on what works, and not what I want to work, in the context of helping people fight foreclosure. Having worked with a LOT of homeowners since 2008, and having experience in the proverbial trenches of foreclosure defense litigation, I can pretty much tell you what works and what doesn’t work in terms of case strategy, facts and evidence.
When it comes to foreclosure defense, it is VERY important that the homeowner be reasonable. The legal profession is VERY conservative, and so the more you can align with that (instead of resisting it) and keep your intensity in check, the better.
You are going to need help, so if you come across as angry, out of control, irrational or difficult, you will scare away the people you need to help you fight your case.
Here is a profile of a typical “crazy homeowner:”
1) They have read everything on the internet and are “experts” on foreclosure defense theory. Often, they just want to commiserate with other “foreclosure fighters” and complain about how badly they were wronged.
2) They don’t particularly care about the application of the theories they are so fond of.
“This is the way it SHOULD be,” they say. "It's WRONG that the bank did _______ to me!"
Well, unfortunately, the way things SHOULD be are usually NOT the way things are, and the natural reaction to that is anger.
They focus on their ANGER about what’s happening in the big picture instead of what works in THEIR case.
Never mind that many theories won’t work in their state based on the case law there, or they sound good in theory but their application doesn’t work very well.
3) Their intensity and need to be right overrides their ability to be reasonable.
4) They believe their case is full of “fraud,” “corruption,” “criminal acts,” securitization and other concepts that are hard to prove in application.
Maybe so, but will it help you win your case? That's the question you should be asking.
Fraud does not have the same meaning in the legal context as laypersons understand it. Here in Arizona, there are NINE elements of fraud under the case law, and you have to meet all of them in order for a cause of action for fraud to survive a Motion to Dismiss.
Fraud is a very high standard to meet, and unless the problems in your case are significantly worse than everyone else’s (and trust me – your case is probably like everyone else’s. I’ve seen a lot of them!), “fraud” isn’t nearly as important in the defense of your case as you think. It’s not as simple as being ripped off in the context of litigation.
Also, laypersons are STILL confused about securitization. I am going to start talking about this issue more often. Based on the e-mails I receive, homeowners (and maybe their lawyers, too) don’t understand how securitization applies to their case.
Finally, although I think it’s good to file complaints with consumer agencies, they are not going to help you fight your foreclosure case. So, save the complaints for after you have a plan for your own foreclosure.
It's kind of like when you're on an airplane during the safety briefing, and the flight attendant tells you to put your mask on FIRST and then help the people around you.
It is unfortunately every man for himself in foreclosure defense litigation or negotiation.
If this profile describes you, it’s time to rethink your perspective on solving your own foreclosure problem.
In the early period of the foreclosure crisis, a lot of theories (“produce the note,” “UCC note-split-from-the-deed”) held promise because there was no case law developed. Now, the case law in most states is developed and we know more about what works and what doesn’t.
So, if you haven’t done any recent case law research, be prepared to have your perspective upended if you decide to hire a lawyer or an auditor for help.
The UCC “note-split-from-the-deed” argument is not valid in all states, and “produce the note” isn’t either. In fact, neither of these concepts are valid legal arguments here in Arizona. The courts have rejected them both.
Next, if you are hyper-focused on things like fraud, corruption, a free house, securitization details and how these apply to YOUR case, you are likely heading completely in the wrong direction.
What you should focus on are the facts and evidence in your documents. In the majority of the loans I audit, there is plenty of evidence there if you know what to look for.
These kinds of clients will get rejections from legal professionals because dealing with difficult clients is expensive. They take up a lot of time, can be disruptive and argumentative, don’t want to listen, and ultimately they can be a risk for Bar Association complaints and complaints to regulating bodies. No sane professional wants this kind of a headache.
Thus, if you continue getting rejection letters from prospective attorneys, you might want to look at how you come across.
If you are angry and difficult to deal with, you may be scaring help away.
If you are crowing about fraud and corruption, you may be scaring help away.
Here’s how you can fix this problem:
1) Deal with your fear and anger and bring the intensity down in your interactions with others. It’s not helping you. Your health is probably suffering. If you notice yourself getting more and more frustrated, it is time to stop and reevaluate where you are headed. Go talk to a friend or a professional counselor if you need one.
2) You may have to just accept that what happened to you was wrong, and do what you can to fix it. You can only help yourself in your case. We were all screwed, but YOU cannot save the world.
3) Get an audit. The prices have been reduced to $449 so that more of you can get help.
Part of my life’s purpose is to help empower people to make better decisions, and that is especially true for my work in foreclosure defense. When I started doing this work, I wasn’t aware of this purpose.
Looking back, my work with homeowners is central to this purpose, because I empower them through information. They are getting a different perspective about what’s going on, and it’s not coming from someone intimidating, like an attorney.
An added benefit is that I coach them through the process, so they don't have to do it alone.
They typically go on to make better decisions, hire the right lawyer, and get outcomes that are much more favorable than they expected.
Aside from helping homeowners, there are other fantastic reasons to get an audit. The courts are no longer allowing the banks to steamroll homeowners. Time’s up!
Also, lawyers are a lot more receptive to homeowners’ plights, and I’m seeing quite a few lawyers who are receptive to my reports and listening to what I have to say about strategy. I obviously cannot speak for other auditors, but I'm thrilled with this change.
Compared to what happened to me during the the foreclosure crisis, such as being routinely cut down by judges and viewed with suspicion by lawyers, this is really exciting. It motivates me to reach out to more people through my blog posts and other platforms.
If you have questions or need help, e-mail me using the Contact Form on the right side of this page.
Also, don’t forget that I offer loan auditing products that walk you through the process of an audit.
I also offer virtual loan auditing classes, one on one phone sessions, and more. If you don’t see what you’re looking for on my e-commerce site, contact me and we'll figure something out together.