New Settlement Expected on Home Loans Abuses

NY Times have the latest news about a new settlement which is expected between government regulators and representatives of 14 big bank. This could be worth

$10 billion settlement with 14 banks that would end the government’s efforts to hold lenders responsible for foreclosures abuses for faulty paperwork and excessive fees that may have led to evictions, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.

“Under the settlement, a significant amount of the money, $3.75 billion, would go to people who have already lost their homes, making it potentially more generous to former homeowners than a broad-reaching pact in February between state attorneys general and five large banks. That set aside $1.5 billion in cash relief for Americans.

Most of the relief in both agreements is meant for people who are struggling to stay in their homes and need the banks to reduce their payments or lower the amount of principal they owe.”

The $10 billion pact would be the latest in a series of settlements that regulators and law enforcement officials have reached with banks to hold them accountable for their role in the 2008 financial crisis that sent the housing market into the deepest slump.  As of early 2012, four million Americans had been foreclosed upon since the beginning of 2007, and a huge amount of abandoned homes swamped many states, including California, Florida and Arizona.


Nevada Foreclosure Laws Has Virtually Stopped All Foreclosure?

The new laws in Nevada just got passed only last month and it has miraculous effect already on our rapid foreclosure. New default notices were way down last month in Las Vegas (116 or so) and foreclosure filings in Nevada plunged in October during the first month of a new state law. Only more than 600 default notices were filed against homeowners through Oct. 25 in the state’s two most-populous counties, Las Vegas’s Clark County and Reno’s Washoe County. That was down from 5,360 in September, or an 88% drop, according to data tracked by, a real-estate website that tracks such filings.

As you may know, Nevada’s state Assembly passed a measure that took effect on Oct. 1, 2011 designed to crack down on “robo-signing,” where bank employees signed off on huge numbers of legal filings while falsely claiming to have personally reviewed each case. This new law makes it a felony—and threatens to hold people criminally liable—for making false representations concerning real estate title. There are civil penalties of $5,000 for each violation. The good thing is that the new legislation has almost stopped foreclosure.

The bad thing is that the banks would have glut of homes which it cannot dispose off easily. The surplus homes would create problem for everyone including the banks, homeowners, and of course the local economy. The continuous auctioning of these properties were a capitalistic action which should not be stopped for any convenience. Again, if banks are at fault, the homeowners have not done justice with their contracts as well. Many of the delinquencies are deliberate and intentional. These “walks-aways” should be punished. Everyone should be made responsible for their actions or inactions. Furthermore, it may tempt many people to be intentionally delinquent on their homes. They may avoid taking care of these homes because they had no attachment. Possibly, they may not pay the HOA dues. Now, we have homeowners living in these homes, and still not taking care of their property. The problem with delinquency, and dependency (as you may see with immigrants coming from Communist countries, who get government housing, ration, jobs etc) that they do not strive enough to make their justified living when they come to US. Unfortunately, this dependency is taught in USA creating road blocks to the capitalistic system. We are unfortunately heading towards a socialistic economy. We should not forget that we live in a capitalistic society and should not help greedy and needlessly protect greedy and non law-abiding people. Of course, we are creating a massive delinquent homeowners society who had scant regard of their promissory notes, contracts, and ethical agreements. These folks always shift the accusation on someone else. They have not done anything wrong according to them. All the wrongs were done by their lenders, servicers. This is a very bad way to handle the recovery on homes. This would create the height of lack of accountability. Even though we had supported homeowners (and always would do) but the unintended result of this law would have a terrible effect on the banks and the general restoration of our economy.

What should have been done?

A simple solution which of course would not need the congressional approval (as they have the tendency to mess up everything) would be to encourage banks to refinance the mortgage of everyone regardless of the appraisal or the FICO score. Come on! FICO cannot be upright, everyone’s credit had taken too many hits in this struggling economy. It is difficult to keep your heads above water. So the basic solution is following:

1. Give refinance to every homeowner or at least the choice of it on the current interest rate. No one should be denied

2. No penalties, or fines of any kind.

3. Ignore FICO

4. Ignore appraisal. It is gimmick. (May be a drive by appraisal can be used)

4. This refinancing would generate plenty of business for lenders, brokers, loan agents, appraisers, home construction specialists etc. It would rejuvenate our markets. Every one would be busy and make money. This is the only solution towards restoration of our economy. I hope Mr. Obama would be listening. Mr. Obama can also fire his treasury secretary along with housing secretary. They have proven to be nincompoop. I personally think these folks are playing the same role what Dan Quayle had done for George Bush’s (Sr.) in his relection campaign. (he was the biggest hurdle in his reelection)

More Foreclosure in Nevada and Continuous Robo-Signature Controversy

We have been stressing throughout this foreclosure ordeal in Nevada that there is something more messier then what is visible on the face (prima facie). WE are witnessing more bad news as JPMorgan Chase halted 56,000 foreclosures amid doubts that it had correctly followed laws on the foreclosure process. This news came soon after the announcement from GMAC Mortgage when suspended an undisclosed number of foreclosures to gain time to check its legal procedures. Now, Bank of America has announced similar measures. No one cared for this before the bubble as that was the notorious days for “no doc”, “low-doc” loans. Unfortunately, same spirit was shown in creating rapid foreclosures by mass production of these forged signatures, and foreclosure default notices and avoidance of states notice laws. After the bubble, banks, mostly large banks had consistently applied all kinds of tactics to frustrate federal government help in denying loan modifications of all sorts by either straight denial, or by hiring incompetent people, not supporting enough telephone lines or asking too much and needless paperwork. Now we learn that foreclosures, the end of the mortgage pipeline, have also been handled with a disregard for rules and standards. Here, we can see nothing but a continuous pattern of ineptness and incompetence. At issue now are affidavits that a foreclosing lender must file in many states’ courts. The person signing the affidavits attests to having knowledge of important facts, like the lender’s legal standing to foreclose and the amount owed. But in a rush to process hundreds of thousands of foreclosures, it turns out that the signers at Chase and GMAC processed 10,000 or more documents a month — “robo-signing” in industry parlance — without personal knowledge of the facts. They were like signature machines affixing their signatures on thousands of documents without testing its reliability or authenticity.

We can not satisfy ourselves that hundreds and thousands of families have lost their homes while legal process was denied to them by these rob signature machine production of documents. Now, most of these crooked banks had stopped this process but what about people whose homes has already been foreclosed and their credit tarnished for the rest of their lives. Let us hope that banks learn some lesson. Some 700 or more of them had already closed, and some of them are still teetering on the brink of a disaster, but of course they never learn. To the extent the suspensions ensure a process that is legal and fair, they are to the good. But delays feed uncertainty, and that could be bad for the economy. Will they result in fewer foreclosures, helping to prop up prices? Or will they create a backlog of foreclosed homes that will push prices down when they come to market?

As we know that the central weakness in the administration’s antiforeclosure efforts is that participation by lenders has been voluntary. Banks should be advised to have their participation mandatory. The robo-signing scandal is yet another reminder that it is folly to rely on banks that got us into this mess to get us out. The Obama administration needs to revise its ways to help people. It would be good to fire Treasury secretary at this time. That would revive some of the lost expectations of Obama administration. 18 months is too long to have some teeth in the administration hands to curb this rising trends of foreclosure in Nevada. A recent article published in NY Times indicates how bad the economy is in Nevada at this time.

Even TV covering the foreclosure crisis

Economic crisis is deepening in our everyday life, and even the big celebrities of TV are showing the signs of this omnipresent depression. The sitcom depicts and discusses this crisis often and celebrities are taking part-time jobs. Here is an interesting article just published. As usual the law office of Malik Ahmad is willing to help its clients and offer them free bankruptcy consultation.

Questions About Nevada Exemptions? How, When, Where?

What happens after the Debtor files his affidavit claiming exemption?
The constable or sheriff is to release the property to the Debtor within 9 judicial days after the claim of exemption has been served unless the Creditor files an objection to the claim of exemption and notice for a hearing are not filed within 8 judicial days after the claim of exemption has been served NRS 21.112.
When is a hearing on the property exemption to be scheduled? If an objection to the claim of exemption and notice for a hearing is filed by the Creditor with the court within 8 judicial days after the claim of exemption was served, the Creditor shall also serve a notice of the date of the hearing not less than 5 judicial days before the date set for the hearing. NRS 21.112
What should I do if the creditor requests a hearing? Be prepared to prove at the hearing that your property is exempt. Bring receipts, bills of sale, Kelly Blue Books, assessors’ statements, vehicle registration renewals, monthly bank statements or whatever else is necessary to prove your claim.
If you convince the judge of your claim, he or she will order that the money or property be released to you. If the judge determines that the property is not exempt, he or she will not return the property to you.
If the judge denies my exemption claim, do I have any appeal rights?
Yes. It is best to contact an attorney immediately to obtain assistance.

Can exempt property ever be taken? There are certain situations in which otherwise exempt property can be executed upon. Included are:
• When the judgment entered against you is for child support, some of the listed exemptions such as 75% of take-home pay, do not apply.
• Where a bankruptcy court orders that the property be taken.
• If the judgment is to satisfy certain tax liens.
• Where the judgment was for the purchase, loan or improvement on that property – for example, the remaining installment payment on a used car which you bought.
What can I do if I have property or wages which are not exempt from execution?
To avoid garnishment or attachment if you have non-exempt wages or property generally your options are to either:
• Pay the debt either in full or through a payment plan that is negotiated with the creditor or imposed by a court;
• Convert non-exempt property to exempt property- for example, filing a homestead exemption on your house; or
• Erase the debt through a bankruptcy.
For expert assistance in deciding the option which is best for you may contact any bankruptcy attorney or the Law Office of Malik W. Ahmad at (702) 270-9100. They can refer to you an appropriate agency for a nominal fee to get these financial counseling and debtors education classes.
To file a bankruptcy, you should consider hiring an attorney if you can afford one.

How does the debtor claims an exemption?

How does the Debtor claim an exemption?
Just because property attached is exempt, the Debtor must bring this to both the Creditor and Court’s attention. In order to claim exemption of any property levied on, the debtor must, within 10 days after the Notice of Execution is mailed, serve on the constable and plaintiff and file with the clerk a claim of exemption on a form provided by the clerk. NRS 21.112. The clerk will also provide a checklist and description of the most commonly claimed exemptions, instructions concerning the manner in which the property must be released if no objection is filed and an order to be used by the court to grant or deny an exemption. No fee may be charged for providing such a form or for filing the form with the court.
The claim of exemption is to be accompanied by all documents relied upon by the party claiming the exemption. JCRLV 27.

Nevada Exemptions to Money Judgment

What are Nevada Exemptions against Money Judgment (things which cannot be collected) from Defendants

An exempt property is that which cannot be garnished or forefeited even if there is a judgment against you. In other words, there are certain types of property that cannot be taken from you even if you have a judgment against you. This property is called exempt property. Included in the property which is exempt under Nevada law (NRS 21.090) are:
■75% of your disposable earnings or 50 times the minimum wage (currently $362.50 per week) which ever is higher.
■Payments received as disability, illness or unemployment benefits
■Workers Compensation (SIIS) benefits
■Welfare benefits, public assistance benefits from the Nevada State Welfare Division (TANF, Food Stamps, etc.) or local government (like General Assistance)
■Veterans benefits
■Social Security and Supplementary Security Income
■Social Security disability payments
■Amounts paid pursuant to a court order for child support or maintenance of a former spouse.
■Vocational rehabilitation benefits
■Certain federal and state retirement monies
■Certain Individual Retirement Accounts
■Life insurance proceeds, if your annual premium is less than $15,000
■One vehicle, if your equity (the market value minus how much you owe) is under $15,000, unless the lawsuit concerned the loan on the vehicle.
■A “homesteaded” house or mobile home, even if you do not own the land. The exemption protects up to $550,000 of the home’s value. It can protect up to 100% if the judgment is for a medical bill or you establish “allodial title”. The homestead exemption does not apply if the judgment was for the mortgage or a mechanic’s lien upon the property.
■Necessary household goods, personal effects, and yard equipment, (maximum $12,000).
■Professional Libraries, equipment, supplies, and the tools, inventory, and materials to carry on your trade or business for the support of yourself or your family (maximum $10,000); Private libraries, works of art, musical instruments and jewelry which belong to you or your dependent (maximum of $5,000).
■Compensation for personal injury up to $16,150 (excluding pain and suffering or actual pecuinary loss) to you or your dependents.
■Certain compensation for the wrongful death of a person upon whom you were dependent to the extent reasonably necessary to support you and your dependents.
■Compensation for the loss of your future earnings or the future earnings of a person upon whom you were dependent to the extent reasonably necessary to support you and your dependents.
■Restitution payments to you for a criminal act.
■A security deposit on your primary residence.
■Personal property, not to exceed $1,000 in total value, if the property is not otherwise exempt.
■A tax refund received from the earned income credit provided by federal law or a similar state law.
■Proceeds received from a private disability insurance plan.
■Money in a trust fund for funeral or burial services pursuant to NRS 689.700.
■Compensation that was payable or paid pursuant to chapters 616A to 616D, inclusive, or chapter 617 of NRS as provided in NRS 616C.205.
■Unemployment compensation benefits received pursuant to NRS 612.710.
■Benefits or refunds payable or paid from the Public Employees’ Retirement System pursuant to NRS 286.670.
■Money paid or rights existing for vocational rehabilitation pursuant to NRS 615.270.
■Public assistance provided through the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to NRS 422.291.
■Child welfare assistance provided pursuant to NRS 432.036.
■If money has been deposited into a personal bank account electronically within the immediately preceding 45 days from the date on which the writ was served which is reasonably identifiable as exempt from execution under federal law, notwithstanding any other deposits of money into the account, $2,000 or the entire amount in the account, whichever is less, is exempt.
■For personal bank accounts which do not contain exempt federal funds deposited electronically, $400 or the entire amount in the account, whichever is less, is is exempt, unless the writ of execution or garnishment is for the recovery of money owed for the support of any person.

Note: This is not a complete list of exemptions. Call the law office of Malik W. Ahmad at (702) 270-9100 to discuss your personal situation. Remember, we offer 20 minutes of our time free.