Mortgage Servicing Fraud
occurs post loan origination when mortgage servicers use false statements and book-keeping entries, fabricated assignments, forged signatures and utter counterfeit intangible Notes to take a homeowner's property and equity.
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To: William Roper jr.

I am very grateful for all your insightful comments regarding foreclosures.  I have a question and hope you can provide me with an answer so that I can move forward with my case.

We've been in foreclosure since Feb.'09 and on June 28th, of 2010, the judge have granted plaintiff summary judgment.  Our first lawyer quit the firm around this time and the law firm said they are overburden due to short staff and so we had to find another lawyer.

We retained an attorney in Aug'10, and he advised that we have better chance if we wait for the plaintiff's to submitt motion for final summary judgment.

Can you tell me whether our lawyer is being honest or just getting paid for doing absolutely nothing since we paid his retainer's fee and am paying him $700 every month.  He has not done anything since August and the plaintiff has not put in for FSJ so we are in a limbo.  I have been asking our lawyer to fight back and push the plaintiff because I believe we have a very good case, but he is not responding.


Am I being paranoid and just trust my attorney or be pro-active and look for another attorney that is passionate is is willing to move forward?

Also, how long can the plaintiff wait til they submit motion for final summary judgment?  We are in NJ, a judicial state.  Is there a time limit?

Anyways, I really enjoy reading your comments as well as Bill(bankruptcy), thank you guys for being so supportive!!!!!   Lucy



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William A. Roper, Jr.
Lucy:

I am unfamiliar with New Jersey foreclosure law.  And I am NOT an attorney and cannot give you legal advice.  The idea that there has already been a summary judgment, but that there is still a final summary judgment ahead is unfamiliar to me.

In most places, a summary judgment is a final order which is subject to appeal by the party opposing the judgment.  But if the appeal is not timely perfected, then the order usually becomes both final and unappealable in most places.

It is unclear to me whether this is the case in New Jersey, but you ought to make sure that you clearly understand what it is that your attorney is telling you is possible and what he believes is LIKELY to happen.

In most places, after the summary judgment, a referee (NY) or commissioner (OH & KY) is appointed to sell the property subject to the court's order of sale.  After the sale, the referee or commissioner often returns to the court for an order confirming the sale.  Perhaps this is the forthcoming reentry point for litigation 

But, usually, the legal basis for overturning such a sale is very narrow.

If you retained the attorney AFTER the appeal period already ran, then he may not have been in a position to file an appeal at all.  Moreover, the BASIS for an appeal usually has to be grounded in issues you raised before the trial court.  That is, if the attorney you previously employed failed to raise good and effective defenses, there might not be any substantial basis for an appeal.

In some places, judgments can be overturned where it can be shown that there was perjury, forgery, evidence fabrication or other fraud on the court during the proceeding.  But usually there is a limited amount of time after a judgment to move to set aside an order on this basis.  And after your opportunity for discovery has passed, it is often difficult to obtain persuasive evidence of the fraud.

It may be that your attorney has in mind to obtain some delay in the sale, either by contesting the sale or by a bankruptcy filing.  Whether it is worth paying him this money soley to obtain a delay is unclear.

But you really need to have a very direct conversation with your attorney to make sure that you have a clear understanding of what it is you have engaged him to do.  Otherwise, you may very well be throwing good money after bad.

I would not only made sure that you understand precisely what it is that he intends to do on your behalf, but also I would follow that up with a letter to the attorney explaining in your own woulds your understanding about what he has told you.

*

In closing, I would point out that I previously posted information about the New Jersey Supreme Court's recent initiatives relating to foreclosures in your state.  The new attorney affirmation requirements may also furnish some avenue for a delay or to set aside the judgment.

But it is very important that you know and understand what the litigation/appeal goals are now and appreciate what you can reasonable hope or expect in return for your payments to the lawyer.
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Bill
Lucy,
   Did they set a date to sell you house?
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I concur with Bill . If I were you I would do as follows :

1.  Go to the Court House and check your file and Court Docket (ask the Clerk to  show you Court Docket) to see if there is any filing after
June 28. Usually the Plaintiff obtains a Court Order to sell the house few months after the Summary Judgment is granted. Sometimes the Homeowner did not receive the Court Order or it got lost in the mail somehow. Especially if Defendant changes lawyers, there maybe confusion where the Sale order sent to. If it is sent to your previous lawyer and he does not know who is your new lawyer.

2. Make a copy of the file.  Go to see few  Foreclosure Defense Lawyers and Bankruptcy lawyer ;  ask for their opinion and what  options available.

3.  In Florida, the Motion for Final Judgment is necessary only if the Defendant didn't reply to the lawsuit, the Court granted the Plaintiff the
Default Judgment. 

4. I agree with Bill. I would write a letter or e-mail my lawyer and ask him
all questions you mentioned in your post. 

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Bill
I agree with Ann, except to say if the SJ was granted in June, I wouldn't be writing any letters.  I'd be driving to the courthouse, checking the file, then driving to the attorney's office and sitting there until I spoke with him and find out EXACTLY what is going on.   If they were granted SJ in June, why are they waiting to file anything else?  There may be a legal reason but I'd really want to know where I was at.  I'm all for any type of delay.  Don't go in there with your hair on fire but if I'm paying an attorney I would feel he could take 10 mins to sit down and update me on the case and what the recomended course of action will be to help you. 


Just a thought.


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William A. Roper, Jr.
Bill:

My suggestion in terms of writing a letter is to memorialize in writing precisely what had been previously discussed in oral conversation.  This is often simply good business practice.

For example, suppose that we meet for lunch and agree that I will sell you 500 bushels of No. 3 Corn at $5.65 per bushel for delivery on February 1, 2011.  You will pay cash upon delivery.  We shake hands.  In most places, this would be a contract, even without a writing.

I could meticulously prepare a written contract for presentation and signing by both parties.  To the extent that we regularly engage in transactions, a written contract might be too formal

But if I immediately sent you a letter after our meeting thanking you for lunch and then informally mentioning the express terms of our agreement and expressing further appreciation for your business, this letter, though not a contract is a further memorialization of our oral agreement.  Even without acknowlegdement, it is some evidence that we met on a certain day, had lunch and reached the agreement recited.  If my understanding or recollection is erroneous, it also gives you an opportunity to correct or clarify the terms before time passes, memory fades or circumstances (and prices) change.

I am NOT suggesting that such a letter be used in lieu of a written contract in instances where a formal written contract is necessary or advisable, but rather I am suggesting that such a letter is better than having only a private conversation for which no written record exists.

And I am also suggesting the letter not so much a a means of creating evidence for a malpractice suit or a bar complaint, though it might be helpful if the relationship sours.  To the contrary, the primary purpose would be (a) to verify the client's understanding of what was discussed and agreed, and (b) to memorialize what happened to aid in recollection in the future.  Over time, all of our memories become cloudy.  Sometimes disputes can be avoided when we can ground our expectations and disappointments in a clearer recollection of what was discussed and agreed before our memories began to fade.

*

So my suggestion would be a meeting in person with the lawyer to clarify goals, expectations and strategy.  I would thereafter memorialize in writing that the meeting took place and what the client understood as a consequence of the meeting by way of a friendly letter.  Of course, this cuts two ways.  A poorly written letter might even serve to undermine her position.

Also, Lucy must bear in mind that the attorney is very likely to CHARGE her for this meeting.  
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William A. Roper, Jr.
Lucy:

I think that Ann's and Bill's suggestion that you get a look at the docket and the case file at the courthouse BEFORE going to see the lawyer is a very good idea!  You will be paying the attorney, probably by the hour.  The more you know and the better informed you are in advance of the meeting, the more productive the meeting can be.

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Thank you all for your advise.
Our plaintiff is a US Bank N.A. as trustee for the holders of Asset-Backed...
So, I assume the loan is securitized, but that's questionable.
I went to the county court and copied all the papers and had it certified..on Nov'10.

On May, '10;    NOTICE OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT TO STRIKE CONTESTING ANSWER, TO DISMISS THE COUNTERCLAIM, TO ENTER DEFAULT AND TRANSFER CASE TO THE FORECLOSURE UNIT AND TO SEVER THE THIRD PARTY COMPLAINT AND TRANSFER IT TO THE LAW DIVISION

On June 18th 2010;     ORDER GRANTING SUMMARY JUDGMENT TO STRIKE DEFENDANT'S ANSWER, TO DISMISS THE COUNTERCLAIM, TO ENTER DEFAULT AND TRANSFER CASE TO THE FORECLOSURE UNIT, AND TO SEVER THE THIRD PARTY COMPLAINT AND TRANSFER IT TO THE LAW DIVISION.
The Judge checked off that This matter is opposed

We haven't heard anything from the plaintiffs and there's nothing filed in court since June 2010. 
I was getting anxious so went to talk to my new attorney  in November and he assured me we need to wait for the judges written summary judgment, then we'll file motion to oppose SM.
FYI- I checked with the county record and made copy of all the paper work regarding our mortgage and note, as well as assignments and allonges.
-First, assignment, allonges, lis pendens  all filed after the foreclosure lawsuit.
-Second, the assignment was from the original mortgager to the trustee.  It went from A to D, there is no assignment from the Sponser, Depositor, Servicer...
-Third, On the assignment-the person that signed and the notary works for Ameriquest but they are signing as  a vp/Argent(our original mortgagor)
Allonge is not affixed to the note.

The plaintiff  send a letter via facsimile to the judge many reasons why they should not submit original Note, Allonge, Mortgage, and Assignment.  I can't believe the judge agree with them and granted.




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Bill
You have a lot of interesting questions. 

The first thing I would sugest would be to verifiy all the information you THINK you have.  I made this mistake.  I think if you verify the information it will also help you understand what your attorney is doing and not doing/challanging.  You need to verify things like what happended to Argent?  I'm not sure but a breif google seemed to show they sold everything to Citigroup.

http://www.innercitypress.org/ameriquest.html

It is important to have an idea of where the mortgage started from and where the mortgage went to (I do mean the note) and what parties still exsist.   You may be surprised.  Was there even a VP when the assignment was signed?

Do you have an oppurtonity to go to the plaintiff's attorney office and view the original note?   In my case they claim they have the original and I may view it at their office.   If this was the case I would make a quick call to my attorney before I show up at the plaintiff's office.

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Allonge is not affixed to the note



Are you sure you have an allonge?  The reason I asked is because they are not realistically going to make a copy of the endorsement on the back of a copy.  It would seem that a copy of the endorsement would be on a seperate page.  This could lead to confusion.  I had a member of the forum look over some of my documents and he was under the impression at first glance that there was an allonge when infact it was a copy of the back of a note. 

Are they allowed to use an allonge if in fact it is an allonge? 

 
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Second, the assignment was from the original mortgager to the trustee.  It went from A to D, there is no assignment from the Sponser, Depositor, Servicer...
-Third, On the assignment-the person that signed and the notary works for Ameriquest but they are signing as  a vp/Argent(our original mortgagor)


You can find out quite a bit about the assignment on the internet.  Who did the assignment?  Was it argent or MERS?  When was it excuted?  Was Argent still in business?  How do you know the assignment was signed by an employee of Ameriquest?  Did they have a power of attorney, Attorney in fact?  Was it signed by a robo signer? 

Always remember the Mortgage follows the note, and instead of a FOCUS on the assignment A to D I would first focus on the FRAUD of the document itself.  If you look up cases like Harpster in FL (you can google Harpster Flordia and you will find it)  this case was dismissed because of the fraud in the assignment trying to mislead the court, NOT because the assignment didn't transfer the mortgage which followed the note. 

Just a few thoughts on where to start looking up information.  You have many small peices of a puzzel that you need to use to make a big picture.  If you focus too much on one peice you may miss the peices that are supose to connect to it.  

I know I asked a lot of questions.  These are questions you should be asking yourself.  
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It is good that there is no Sale Date set yet.

I would file a Motion to Vacate the Summary Judgment as soon as possible . If Plaintiff did not show the Original of the Note and Mortgate, I would file Motion for Evidentiary Hearing  so Plaintiff show the Court Original of the Note, Mortgage and Assignment from the Original lender to the Trust.

Many time the Plaintiff says in their pleadings that they have original documents but they do not have them.  If they don't have original note and mortgage, in many states they can't foreclose. 

It is very difficult to vacate a Summary but it is possible to do so with a good attorney.

Not a legal advice. Consult an attorney.
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I met with Mr Bruce Levitt, a Max Gardner boot camp alumni , who has handled the Kemp vs. Countrywide case in bankruptcy in NJ.

He has given me some good options and constructive information regarding my situation.  I now need to make a decision about what I want to do with my case.

My dilemma is my current attorney, who have taken appx. 7k in retainer fee and a monthly fee for the past 5 months has given me bad advices as well as has done absolutely nothing in my case, the only thing he did was to pick up the case file from the previous law firm and that's it, nada, zilch and now I am at a loss fianacially and with my case because my chance to file an answer to dismiss sm is now long past.

Can u advise me what I can do?  I have absolutely no faith in him and I don't trust him anymore.  Can I take my case file and fire him?  Can I give him a letter to relieve him from my case and take back my file or have Mr Levitte handle him.

I am just frustrated and anxious because I don't know how I should handle him.
Any advise from you all will be mightly appreciated.

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Bill
That is a very interesting question.  I've never paid a retainer and not have the attorney do some kind of action BUT I've always asked for an itemized bill for their services.  Did you sign a contract?  My interpretation was the retainer was to cover the fees of their research and court appearances.  If they did no research and made no appearance before the court I'd want a itemized bill for any services they preformed (I'm sure there are some) and want the rest of the money back. 

Do any other members have experience with exactly what a retainer is for other than the EXPECTED cost of representation?

This would be a great question for the new attorney you had the meeting with.  Personally I'd be asking the new attorney to handle it.  Maybe he would be willing to get the file AND any money due back to you.   
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Carrie
Lucy, I empathize with you. I had slim pickings for an attorney to represent me, and did I ever choose the wrong one. I paid him, though not nearly as much as you have paid, and I had to remind him three times to answer the verification of debt. He answered on the very last day to object to the amount I allegedly owed. He had let it slip his mind.

I found out about my case NINE days after it was filed and I only found out because I received mailing from auditors wanting to "help." He didn't know a case was filed. I was tossing the mail, but soon realized they referred to a case number. I had no idea how to find out what was going on, and assumed he would let me know when the case was filed.  Maybe I just expect too much.

I don't know what to do either. He filed a counterclaim for breach of contract and the plaintiff answered. I had no idea he was going to go for breach of contract. I've asked four times for copies of these two documents, and asked his opinion about how it went with the plaintiff's answer to his counterclaim. He told me he'd take care of it "next week," but the week came and went and I heard nothing.
I plan to get copies of the documents at the court house tomorrow.

I have not been served in person, but I guess they will serve him, since he said they would deal with him from the QWR forward. I have no idea what is next for my case, and I can't get an answer out of him.

I am scared half to death that someone is going to break into my house at any moment. For all I know, the notifications are in the paper and the sale is already planned.

I would change lawyers in a heartbeat, but I have few in my area that know anything about this. Lawyers like mine and yours rate about as high as the banksters. But what can we do?

I would run, not walk, to a Max Gardner grad if I could find one, as I believe I have a good chance of winning with a good lawyer. I wish you the best. Let me know how it goes. 







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Let me put this a chronological order and explain where my situation is at.
We received the foreclosure summons on Feb'09,
Our first attorney filed  Notice of Motion to Vacate Entry of Default. 
Default Judgment filed  was vacated on March '10.
On 3/25/10 -Case Management conference was scheduled.
On June '10- Court Mandated Mediation between Plaintiff and homeowner-which was a total joke!!!
On June '10-the Judge ordered That the Answer and Defenses filed on behalf of defendant be and are hereby striken, the Counterclaim be and is hereby dismissed, and that the Clerk of this Court is hereby instructed to enter default against defendant as though no answering pleading has been filed; that this matter shall be transferred to the Foreclosure Unit of the Superior Court in Trenton, to proceed as an uncontested matter; and that the third party complaint be and is hereby severed and transferred to the Law division.
This mattered was opposed.
On June 18th 2010, Order Granting Summary Judgment: TO STRIKE DEFENDANT'S ANSWER, TO DISMISS THE COUNTERCLAIM,TO ENTER DEFAULT AND TRANSFER CASE TO THE FORECLOSURE UNIT, AND TO SEVER THE THIRD PARTY COMPLAINT AND TRANSFER IT TO THE LAW DIVISION.
On July-our lawyer  and one of the partner quit and left the firm, so we were notified
to find another lawyer.  We were in a jam so we rushed and found one is August.
Our 2nd lawyer told us that we should wait for the plaintiff to file a final judgment and wait for the judges written judgment, then we can appeal.
Since then we have not heard or receive anything from the court nor the plaintiff,
it's been over 5 months and we are wondering what is going on, have we lost our window of opportunity to file a motion to vacate sm?
Anyways, our second lawyer has done nothing except to pick up our case file from the previous law firm and I am getting antsy that we got bad advice from him and should look for another lawyer and possibly get some of our money back.
We are in NJ, and with the new rule and order from the NJ Supreme Court regarding new and old, as well as, uncontested foreclosure now being in review and lenders, servicers, and law firms having to verify and submit affidavit to all the paper work, we are hoping that is why our foreclosure is being held up and our plaintiff hasn't followed up with the final judgement.  what do you think?  Does anybody have any idea what is happening in NJ?-BTW, our plaintiff's law firm is on the list of the NJ Supreme Court rule and order to produce all relevant documents by Jan. 19th of 2010.
I met with Mr. Bruce Levitte, and I am meeting with 2 other lawyers from the Max Gardner's boot camp list that are located in NJ, they really know their stuff and I'm hoping to learn more from their experience.
ps.-The plaintiff never filed a lost note affidavit so it'll be interesting to see whether they can show up with it.  On June '10-the plaintiff wrote to the judge that the Defendant contends that Plaintiff must produce the original Note, Allonge, Mortgage, and Assignment(s) of Mortgage, pursuant to a Mach 26,2010 Notice to Inspect Documents.  As mentioned in Defendant's brief in support of his motion, Plaintiff notified Defendant of it's objection to the production of said original documents, and still objects to same, as it is duly burdensome, and there is no reason why copies of the documents ca be provided instead.  It is submitted thqt nothing can be gleaned from the originals of these documents that cannot be gleaned from the true copies of same.  Moreover, to the extent that Defendant is claiming that Plaintiff does not hold the Note and/orMortgage, Plaintiff's production of copies of these documents give rise to a presumption of possession of same, a presumption which Defendant has been unable to refute.

there's more, but you get the gist of it. And of course our plaintiff is US BANK N.A. trustee for the holder of the asset back........(same as the Massachusetts
Ibanase case).  hee, hee...hurray for Mass!!!!!


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Carrie,

What do you mean you never got served?  Anything that gets filed, you as a defendant should be getting a copy in the mail, usually certified!!!!
Also, never trust anybody, unfortunately you need to stay on top of everything.  Make an effort to go check out at the county court any documents that are being filed either by the plaintiff and your lawyer and have the documents certified.
I don't know what state you are located but if you go to the Max Gardner's Boot Camp website, click on list of alumni and there is a lists of names from each state that you can choose from, and they all give you a consultation so that you can better under stand what you can do going forward.
Hope this will help, good luck!!

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Carrie
The only thing I received in the mail (not certified) was a validation of debt. Is that what you referred to as being served? I am learning, but still very ignorant of how this works.
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In some circumstanced, if a person has a lawyer, The Court and the other party would send all correspondence to his/her lawyer.

It is the responsibility of the person to request her lawyer to send her copies of all correspondence related to the lawsuit.  It is not enough to hire a lawyer. You must create your OWN FILE for your case yourself and make sure you have all related documents in it.  You must follow up and be informed of what is going on with your case.  Request your  lawyer to e-mail you his pleadings to get your approval before filing them. Keep a copy of everything. Email or call him to remind him to review your case the day before he goes to the hearing.

Remember you have only one case to follow up.  Your lawyer has many cases to work on . So make sure you know what's happening in your own case.

Go to the court house , review your file and make a copy of everything. If you go to see another lawyer, it helps tremendously that he/she can review your case file right in their office. Ask the court clerk to check the Case Docket to ensure that no documents missing in your file.

Call your lawyer's office,  request to talk to him so you can ask questions about your case AFTER you get copies of all document in your case file.
If he refuses to talk to you, tell his secretary that you consider filing a complaint to the Lawyer Bar and this is your phone call to him per Bar rules. The Lawyer Bar rule is that you and your lawyer communicate to each other to solve the problem BEFORE you file an official complaint.

If he still refuses to talk to you, go hire another lawyer and let the new lawyer handles the situation.  The new lawyer will file Motion to subtitute Attorney .  Be careful when you give money to lawyer, most of the time you won't see it back. So interview more than one lawyer before hiring one.

When you go see other lawyer, ask him/her this question: What are you planning to do to defend my case if you take the case right now ? A good lawyer will explain to you what is his strategy and all options available to you.
Best wishes

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carrie
Thank you very much! You have given me the expectation level I should pursue, and it appears I was not expecting too much, rather I was accepting too little. I really do try to honor a person's time and don't expect an attorney to talk to me half a day, but a little insight into how he is handling my case is important. I'm a nervous wreck because he ignores my concerns.

I thought it reasonable to have him contact me BEFORE he files anything with the Court, particularly since what he does is as if I were doing it myself.

Thank you for taking time to help me.

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Yesterday, I went to the superior court clerk's office to review all the documents again.
Still, nothing filed  as of June 18th 2010 court judge granting summary judgment.

I think plaintiff's law firm is busy- this is one of the infamous foreclosure mill in NJ.
They must produce all relevant documents ordered by the NJ supreme Court Judge and they have til Jan. 19th to submit.

I am planning to fire my lazy, incompetent lawyer and reclaim my case file, I do not trust him!!  I don't think I can get my money back even though he have done nothing, filed nothing, even read my file.  I did not see the certification to substitute attorney in the files I looked through yesterday, is this guy officially our attorney?  Although, I did sign the general retainer's agreement,how valid is this contract?

What would happen if I just wait and see?  Play the waiting game?

Since the Mass. Ibanes ruling I think homeowners who have fought back, Our defense and our valid claims requesting the plaintiff to produce and prove their holder in due course is substantiated.

Now I'm financially strap, so what is our next course of action?  File frivolous lawsuit claim?  Have the plaintiff lawsuit dismissed based on no legal standing?
Our case should be  voluntarily dismissed, by the plaintiff, their lawsuit was initiated before the assignment, allonge,...





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My attorney, Adam Bond,helped me.  He got $300,000.00 knocked off my $400,000 mortgage with Ameriquest.  He is doing mortgage foreclosure defense work at very reasonable monthly rates. Call him at 508-946-1165.  He will do mortgage defense in NY, Michigan, and Massachusetts.

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KRSREPO;

I heard that IRS will tax the reduced debt amount, does anyone know whether this is true or not?

I've read somewhere that in Obama's new health care reform there is a clause where it states that any home sold after 2012 will have to pay 3 1/2 tax.  Is this true?

Also, does your defense attorney handle NJ?



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Bill
I was under the impression that when someone writes off part of a debt you could get something similar to a 1099 for the amount and would have to pay taxes on it.  It even says in the HAMP modifications any reduction in principal will have tax implications.

But of course I'm not an accountant. 
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William A. Roper, Jr.
Lucy:

Your question relating to the tax consequences of canceled debt is a good one and a topic that I haven't seen discussed at the MS Fraud Forum in some time.

This can be a complex area and for guidance specific to your financial circumstances, you should consult with a CPA or tax attorney.

But the IRS does endeavor to publish explanatory material relating to the federal tax laws.  The most comprehensive and general of the Publications for individual taxpayers is Publication 17 "Tax Guide for Individuals":

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p17.pdf

Take a look at the topic "Canceled Debt" beginning on page 85 within Chapter 12.

Therein, you will alos see some references to other IRS publications, including Publication 525 "Taxable and Nontaxable Income" and Publication 4681 "Canceled Debts, Foreclosures, Repossessions and Abandonments":


IRS Publications can be generally found from this page:


Bear in mind that the discussion is a lay description of what the IRS thinks the law means.

The actual tax code is a statutory enactment known as the Internal Revenue Code ( http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode26/usc_sup_01_26.html ), which is supplemented by decisions of the U.S. Tax Court, other appellate courts, and administratively interpreted in the Treasury Regulations ( http://www.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/cfrassemble.cgi?title=201026 ) as well as published decisions including those appearing within Internal Revenue Bulletins ( http://www.irs.gov/app/picklist/list/internalRevenueBulletins.html ).

If you are Bill Gates, you can probably afford to quarrel with the IRS.  For almost everyone else, while an understanding of the underlying text of the Internal Revenue Code, Treasury Regulations and Internal Revenue Bulletins can be useful, you are usually going to be best served by avoiding aggressive interpretations of the law which might lead to conflict with the IRS.  So reading and understanding the published guidance appearing within the official publications is probably the single most efficient and economic way to obtain an understanding of the tax consequences of a transaction.

It should also be noted that those who are facing alternatives which include foreclosure, a deed in lieu and bankruptcy might be well counseled to carefully examine to alternative the tax treatment of various competing approaches, proposals or possible course of action.

I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY AND THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE!
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JuneBug
I paid a retainer fee for my attorney.

He at first said 1k down and $299 a month, but I had not been served yet. So, when the time came that I needed him, he said normally he does take 1k down and $299 a month, but because I am across the state from him. He said he would need to charge me an extra thousand due to the travel, or he could recommend someone closer to us. I said NO, I want you...lol By that time I had interviewed several attorneys and he was the only one telling me what I wanted to hear. He seemed honest, trustworthy, calm under pressue and clear headed. At that time there was not Big Law Firms in my area that could live up to what I wanted to hear.

As far as the work he has done. He filed about three affidavits. He has not had to attend any hearings. I would say that I spoke with him thw or three times on the phone. Plus, emails maybe a half hour of time on his part.

So, I'll do the math for you it is 5,600, so I am hoping that if we get to the point where we need to appeal he should not be asking me for addition money and considering what I had paid for, there should be plenty of money left over.

Though I will say he is a great attorney; I never have had an issue being able to reach him on the phone, nor through email. Plus he is very understanding.
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