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Articles Posted in Foreclosure Defense

The press is reporting that Governor DeSantis’ April 2nd Order suspends all foreclosures and evictions. After all, that’s what he said at a recent press conference. (Watch the video clip here.) But what the Governor said is not what the Order states.

This is from the April 2nd Order:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, RON DESANTIS, as Governor of Florida, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Article IV, Section (1 )(a) of the Florida Constitution, Chapter 252, Florida Statutes, and all other applicable laws, promulgate the following Executive Order to take immediate effect:

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or “CARES Act” became law on March 27, 2020. Out of 335 pages, just over one page pertains to owners of single-family homes, townhouses, and condos. About a page and a half pertains to people who own and rent multi-family investment properties. And, there is about a page and a half on evictions. The great majority of the Act addresses unemployment, medical issues, and appropriation of funds to various government agencies. There is also a sizable section on $500,000,000,000 in loans, guarantees, and investments that the Treasury Secretary gets to dole out.

I’ve posted the applicable sections below but first, here is my summary of the key points for homeowners and tenants:

  • All of the protections apply only to properties that have “Federally backed mortgage loans.”

This foreclosure case was the result of a bank force-placing insurance with its wholly-owned subsidiary for exorbitant profit. Our client had his own insurance with some of the best companies in the world and continued to make his timely, full payments. But the bank rejected those payments and continued to demand our client pay for insurance he did not need.

From our very first meeting, our client was adamant about his claims. He’s a retired businessman, having worked his way up from being a car washer to owning several car dealerships. He could afford his payments and kept damn good records of the entire history of his dealings with the mortgage and insurance companies.

We needed some time to review multiple issues in the case so our first filing was a motion for enlargement of time. After filing an answer, we propounded request for admissions, request for production, and interrogatories. Two months later, the bank responded late to our request for admissions and filed a motion to enlarge the time for them to respond to all our discovery. A few days later, we asked the other side how much time they needed to respond. They immediately propounded their own discovery and filed a notice that the case was ready for trial! The following day, we agreed to 35 days for them to respond to our discovery. They obtained a trial date of June 1, 2016 and Plaintiff set the deposition of our client for May 9th.

As detailed below, there were never any issues with this loan until a new servicer took over. At no point in time was this client unable to pay her mortgage payments. But for the bank and its debt collector/servicer, this case should never have been filed.

Our client has lived in her condominium for over 20 years. She’s had a full-time job with the same company for over 23 years, making approximately $63,000 per year. Her mortgage payment is $662.56 per month. Underwriting standards dictate that housing debt is generally affordable so long as it does not exceed 28% of a person’s income. Our client’s housing debt is 10% of her income. For many years, until the incidents leading up to this case, our client’s mortgage payments were auto debited from her checking account without issue. She had no issue affording this loan, ever.

And, she has always paid her taxes and her association dues, which includes insurance. There were no escrows.

After years of litigation and a hard-fought trial, the team worked tirelessly to prepare this memorandum: 2018-10-15 Reply to P’s Amended Memo of Law on Standing
Ten days later the Judge ruled – Case Dismissed! 2018-10-25 Signed Order on D’s Mtn for Involuntary Dismissal
Another trial, another win!

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