Timothy Y. Fong focuses his practice on foreclosure defense, real estate and consumer bankruptcy.
He has extensive experience in foreclosure litigation, representing homeowners and small real estate developers. Mr. Fong writes extensively on politics and foreclosure issues, and among other places has been published on one of the top finance blogs, Naked Capitalism.
Mr. Fong is a graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law, and completed his undergraduate education at UC Berkeley.
Last week I met some of the attorneys from Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto. They provide free or low cost attorney representation to low income folks on the Peninsula. The attorneys are doing good work fighting foreclosures and predatory loans.
If you cannot afford to retain a private attorney, contact them here.Add a comment
Two new court cases may help California homeowners avoid foreclosure, but banks are trying to stop it. If you have completed a trial modification and the bank has refused to modify your loan permanently, read on. If you were in the middle of a loan modification, and the bank gave you the run-around, read on.
To read the rest, go here.
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There's a new investigative journalism report about Bank of America foreclosures in the Bay Area, and it shows that Bank of America is still filing invalid foreclosure documents, even after the big mortgage settlements and stricter state laws.
The headline case in the article unfortunately shows a common mistake:
Joji Thomas was desperate to save his home. The San Francisco mechanical engineer sold his car, tapped into his wife’s savings and begged friends for money. In July, to stave off foreclosure, he bought a $27,777.85 cashier’s check and mailed it to Bank of America.A bank representative acknowledged receiving the check two days later, Thomas said. But the payment went missing later that week and was not applied to his mortgage. Bank of America foreclosed on his home and sold it at auction.
With a cashier's check/money order, the recipient can be guaranteed that it will be paid. The most common place I see cashier's checks used is when a person has fallen behind on their house payments. In those cases, banks often require future payments be made with a cashier's check. There is a significant risk to this for the sender; if the cashier's check disappears in transit it will be a big problem. Unlike the personal check, the money is pulled out of the account as soon as it is issued, so if it is lost, the send is potentially going to lose the money. Now, under California law there are provisions for getting a refund when a cashier's check disappears in transit. However, for all practical purposes it is extremely difficult to get the bank to give a refund in that case, and it almost always requires attorney intervention.
I would personally not send a cashier's check by mail to get current on a home loan. In my experience, banks routinely lose documents sent to home loan servicing departments. Whether this is by accident or design, I cannot say.
What Thomas should have done instead was use a wire transfer. Bank of America had to have the ability to accept a wire transfer, because they are a bank, and a wire transfer is something every bank uses routinely. Joji Thomas' biggest mistake was trusting that he could work with his bank in good faith. In today's world, you simply cannot do that.
If you are having a dispute with your bank, contact me today for a consultation.Add a comment