The Freedom Law Firm is a family oriented law firm in Orlando, FL that handles foreclosure defense cases and personal injury / auto accident cases. While other Orlando foreclosure defense firms may rush past important details, we thoroughly examine all facts and legalities in intimate detail to ensure our client receives the best representation possible. We are compassionate and caring people who actually care about the individuals we represent.
We are empathetic with the current economic conditions and understand that there could be several reasons for seeking our Orlando foreclosure defense services, and we will try to be accommodating to your financial situation. We understand that bad things happen to good people, so we want you to know we will be there for you!
The Freedom Law Firm of Orlando focuses on foreclosure defense and personal injury / auto accident cases. Contact Orlando Attorney Charles Franklin Today At 407-
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MERS or MERSCORP: The Name Says It All!
One of the strongest arguments a foreclosure defense attorney can raise is Plaintiff’s lack of Standing. Specifically, standing requires that the party prosecuting the action have a sufficient stake in the outcome and that the party bringing the claim be recognized in the law as being a real party in interest entitled to bring the claim. Without standing, a Bank is precluded from suing you for foreclose and as a result, is not entitled to take YOUR home. One way to prove a Plaintiff does not possess the requisite legal standing is to show a break in the chain of title. For example, you, the borrower, originally took out your loan with Bank “A”, but now, 5 years later Bank “C” is filing a foreclosure against you. Naturally you may be thinking, who heck is Bank “C” and how did they get their hands on my loan? That is a great question. There MUST be a legal nexus between the two. In order to lawfully transfer the interest in a loan, the bank generally does one of two things: 1) the original mortgagee may endorse the Note to a third party or 2) they may assign the mortgage to a third party. It is the latter that we will be focusing on here today. When assigning a mortgage, most lenders use an entity called Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. or MERS for short. MERS acts as a “Nominee” for the lender and typically handles the assignments of mortgage from the original lender to a third party.
Posted September 19th 2014 by Attorney Stites
Posted September 22nd 2014 by Attorney Stites
Often times, the foreclosure process can be a time of overwhelming stress and doubt and this is never more true than when it comes to loan modification. It may seem like no matter how many times you call the lender and no matter how many documents you gather pursuant to their specific requests, that the lender just will not work with you. While this discouragement is understandable, we wanted to take a moment to highlight a recent success story that proves that with enough hard work and prayer, things can turn around.
Recently, we had a client that attempted loan mod on multiple occasions only to be denied every time. However, this client did not give up and while we continued to zealously defend the case and prevent the bank from stealing the home, this client continued trudging ahead don the path of loan modification. After almost a year of defending this particular foreclosure, the client was able to use this time to work directly with their lender and obtain a permanent loan modification in which the principal was reduced by over $200,000. This means the client was able to not only stay in their home, which is always the ultimate goal, but save over $200,000 in the process. While loan modifications like this are far from guaranteed, it is instances like these highlight the importance of you, the client, actively working on loan modification with the bank, while we diligently fight their attorneys in the courtroom.
An Important Topic Worth Reiterating
A little over a year ago we posted an incredibly informative and important blog entitled: You've Just Been Served: CHOOSE YOUR NEXT ACTIONS CAREFULLY. In the 13 months following this blog, we've still noticed an alarmingly high number of clients that come through our doors wherein they've been served and either failed to file any paperwork whatsoever, or thought it best that they file their own paperwork and then seek out the advice of experienced counsel after the fact. Both of these options are strongly discouraged and can significantly hinder your foreclosure defense which ultimately results in less time in your home! So for those reasons, please take a few minutes and re-
You've Just Been Served: CHOOSE YOUR NEXT ACTIONS CAREFULLY
Ok, so your finances have taken a hit and as a result, you haven't made your mortgage payments in months, if not years. You know you're probably going in to foreclosure any day now but for some reason the bank just hasn't done anything about it. You begin to wonder if the bank is ever going to make good on their threatening letters and then...... boom! The process server knocks on your door and that lingering dread becomes a reality. It's official, the foreclosure that has been looming over your whole life has come to your doorsteps. What do you do now?
Having had much experience in the world of Florida foreclosure defense, I've seen thousands of people take one of three main courses of action. First, and probably the most detrimental to your foreclosure defense, is the all too common, simply do nothing approach. Many times when people are served, they simply do nothing about it whatsoever. Now this may be for a myriad of reasons, whether it be that they just do not want to face the realization that they are in fact being foreclosed on and subconsciously just want it to go away, so they avoid facing the problem altogether. Others may just not have the requisite funds to hire an experienced foreclosure attorney and simply do not understand the legal ramifications of failing to respond . Whatever the case may be, when an individual is served with a Summons and copy of the Foreclosure Complaint, they will generally have 20 days to file a written response with the Court.
Posted October 2nd 2014 by Attorney Stites
Discovery is an invaluable weapon in the fight to defend your home against the banks. You may be curious as to just what discovery is and why it's so vital to the defense of your foreclosure. Discovery is an umbrella term that describes the process of obtaining information from the other party in a lawsuit, which in turn helps you formulate your defenses and build the strength of your case prior to any trial or final summary judgment. Think about it in this context, if you are being sued by the bank and they are alleging that they are entitled to foreclose on your home, you must find out exactly what evidence, if any, they are basing these allegations on. Such as, does this new bank, whom I've never directly signed a contract with, even have the right to foreclose on MY home in the first place? This is a GREAT question, and to answer that you'll want to see the Promissory Note to see if there's any endorsements or copies of any Assignments of Mortgage. Further, if the bank is stating that you owe hundreds of thousands of dollars, it's only logical to require them to provide an itemized accounting/validation of that debt.
In order for parties to obtain these vital bits of information needed to properly defend a foreclosure, the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure have set forth a means by which to accomplish this end, and those legal avenues are specifically outlined in Rules 1.340, 1.350 and 1.370. Namely, the three different types of discovery set forth in the aforementioned rules, are Interrogatories, Requests for Production and Requests for Admissions. First, Interrogatories are simply questions you ask the bank, such as, "Has the subject Mortgage ever been assigned to any other person or entity? If so, please specifically identify said person/entity." Second, Requests for Admissions are exactly what they sound like, you're asking the other party to admit or deny certain facts that are pertinent to your case, such as, "Admit that Plaintiff does NOT have the legal right to foreclose on my client." As you can see, if Plaintiff admits this, or fails to respond within 30 days (as set forth by The Florida Rules of Civil Procedure), it can build crucial evidence which fortifies the strength of your defense. Lastly, Requests for Production are a means to obtain actual documents from the other party, such as the Mortgage and Note, for which they are basing their claims.
Posted October 16nd 2014 by Attorney Stites
It is crucial to your foreclosure defense to know exactly what an Amended Complaint is, what effect it can have on your foreclosure case and how to properly respond once it is filed. A foreclosure action will begin with the Bank's filing of a Foreclosure Complaint. That Complaint will lay out exactly what the Bank is suing you for and the general basis for their argument. As is most often times the case, the Complaint will state something to the effect of: The Defendant/Borrower executed a Mortgage and Promissory Note; the Borrower has since defaulted on their payments; now the bank is foreclosing on the property as a result. Once filed, the bank has a legal obligation to serve this Complaint upon any named Defendants; in this case, YOU, the borrower.
However, just because the Complaint has been filed once before, doesn't mean that the Bank can't try to change their argument once the lawsuit has begun. The way the banks implement this change to their argument is via the Amended Complaint. Knowing how to recognize this change and how to properly respond,can literally mean the difference in losing your home at trial or possibly having your case dismissed altogether; and at the very least, adding several months and in many cases, years to your foreclosure defense. And any time added to your defense means more time in YOUR home!
Most of the time when the banks file an Amended Complaint, it is due to the fact that they've made some error in the filing of their action and now they are trying to correct that problem before the case is dismissed or they lose at trial. The Florida Rules of Civil Procedure state in RULE 1.190 AMENDED AND SUPPLEMENTAL PLEADINGS (a) Amendments, "A party may amend a pleading once as a matter of course at any time before a responsive pleading is served or, if the pleading is one to which no responsive pleading is permitted and the action has not been placed on the trial calendar, may so amend it at any time within 20 days after it is served. Otherwise a party may amend a pleading only by leave of court or by written consent of the adverse party."
Posted October 16nd 2014 by Attorney Stites
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Attorneys Charles W. Franklin & Michael Stites
Phone (407) 883-
The Freedom Law Firm, P.A.
P.O. Box 1987
Orlando, FL, 32801
Auto Accident & Foreclosure Defense Lawyers of Orlando
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