6 Key Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Forclosure Attorney

The 2008 financial crash put a lot of people out of work. It hurt business owners, emptied personal savings, destroyed American home values and lead to massive foreclosures.

What Many Homeowners Don’t Know

The crony network of big banks, financial institutions, government, politicians, the courts, and their corporately owned media have used propaganda, lies and spin doctors to convince Americans that naïve and greedy homeowners crashed the global credit markets in 2008.

They blamed the crash and current economic chaos on homeowners who bought too much house. Yes, some mortgagers made some people believe they could buy more home then they could afford. However, the blame here is often misleading.

Why? Obscene broker commissions were a big part of originating mortgages. Banks were on a tear to bundle, securitize, sell and re-sell mortgages. It lead to irregular mortgage practices.

The bigger truth has been revealed that there are no mortgages to back the mortgage-backed securities. Thus former treasury secretary Hank Paulson told taxpayers, “We must bail the banks out, or else everything will collapse.”

Iceland Let Their Banks Collapse

In fact, Iceland arrested the financial offenders and put in actual safeguards to restore the capital markets and consumer confidence. We in America got the toothless Dodd-Frank bill that makes it appear legislators are minding the store.

Banking and the financial industry needed major reforms. Instead, after the Wall Street financial crash our American banks actually got 38% BIGGER!

Too Big to Fail and Too Big to Jail

Today banks are bigger than before the economic crash and the Dodd-Frank bill does nothing significant to keep Wall Street from trashing the economy again.

Insanity is doing the same thing you’ve been doing but expecting a different result.

Fast forward and today, these quasi-patriotic cronies continue the lies and prop up the fraud on the taxpayer’s dime. They brazenly continue to cover up their partners’ crimes while still receiving a massive transfer of wealth from taxpayers without impunity.

Can You Name One Banker That Went to Jail?

By the way, in 2008 that 800 billion dollar bail out has turned into trillions out the back door of the Federal Reserve straight into bank coufers.

What few Americans realize is that crony capitalists who fleeced institutional investors out of $17+ Trillion, clouded the title on all the mortgages they originated and supposedly sold on the secondary market.

They stole our pension money, wiped out savings and now they’re still after your home. In fact, more than 4.9 million homeowners were foreclosed since the Wall Street crash and there’s more on the way.

American’s need help staying in their home. If the banks and servicers won’t deliver then where do homeowners turn for guidance through this financial maze of fraud and corruption?

Many are programmed to think, “Lawyer, that’s what I need to stand up for me, to sort out the fraud, to keep my family from being kicked into the streets.”

Are Lawyers Best Suited to Standup For Homeowners?

As Americans we’ve been conditioned to believe that the only people who can help us navigate, legal matters are lawmakers and attorneys. Fortunately, in the realm of foreclosure law, there are a few good ones.

However, when it comes to ferreting out truth or fraud in your foreclosure, few attorneys (Real Estate attorneys included) are equipped or have any desire to fight as hard as a regular educated homeowner.

It’s a fact that no one will ever care more about saving your home than you. If staying in your home is not all that important, then most attorneys will do. But buyers beware.

How Do You Choose the Right Lawyer in Foreclosure Matters?

I’ve personally talked with hundreds upon hundreds of homeowners all across America who routinely pay from $1,000 to $30,000+ in attorney’s fees plus monthly retainers and still loose their home. This is more common than you’d think.

I ask homeowners, “What was the attorneys strategy? Was it to help you buy time until you are evicted or actually stay in your home?”

Many homeowners had not thought the end game through. How often do we hire attorneys? There are no Consumer Reports on America’s best foreclosure strategies, fighting bank fraud or attorneys.

Most Americans are busy trying to make a living, caring for loved ones, keeping their heads above water and would rather avoid the legal realms. Who can blame them?

So, unless new information is introduced it makes perfect sense that many homeowners don’t know what to ask to hire an attorney or figure out what makes one effective over the next.

When it comes to defending your home, the following basic questions will get most homeowners started.

The following six questions came from an interview with Justin James. He is the founder of The Foreclosure Relief Network, a company dedicated to helping homeowners stand up for their legal rights.

The company with its network of private investigators, paralegals and law firm was developed to educate and arm the American consumer with the information necessary to protect families and property against the unlawful actions of banks.

Mr. James emphasizes that “Every homeowner who suspects mortgage fraud or are in foreclosure or about to be, needs to be educated.

They need to know upfront if an attorney will work on your behalf or instead see you as a tool to collect fees while they stall things off in court. By asking these basic but key questions, this is knowable.”

You want to interview an attorney just like you would choose a doctor, dentist, CPA or a contractor to work on your home. You want a good fit.

Write Your Questions Down

Mr. James suggests that before you phone or visit an attorney in person, have your questions written down and refer to them.

6 Key Questions to Ask Before You Hire an Attorney to Get a Modification or Defend Your Home Against Banks

  1. Do you feel that the banks and their servicers commit mortgage security and/or foreclosure fraud? (Yes) Correct answer.
  2. Do you believe that if a bank shows up with a piece of paper that alleges it’s the original Note-do you still believe there’s a chance of winning court? (Yes)
  3. Are you willing to challenge the banks claim of ownership of the note, mortgage, chain of title, etc.? (Yes)
  4. Are you willing to cross exam a witnesses? (Yes)
  5. Will you challenge and call a robo-signer as a witness? (Yes)
  6. Are you willing to be that attorney at the party that went up against the big bankers or challenged a court that seems to lean in favor of big banks? (Yes)

If you get so much as one “no” to the above questions then be aware, your situation may be at cross-purposes with this particular attorney.

To the few that are actually competent and not bluffing their way into your back pocket, these basic but telling questions are not difficult to answer.

Other than the details of your situation, each question does not require you as homeowner to expound any further. Either they know it or they don’t. Either they believe banks can do no wrong or believe in justice for homeowners.

When to Walk Away

Bottom line is that if the attorney interviewed is…

  • Not comfortable breaking down your chain of title if necessary
  • Does not believe the bank is ever wrong about a note or mortgage
  • Not willing to challenge the bank or the courts
  • Not willing to cross examine a witness…

Then why are you there? Why should they take your money? Don’t give them a dime Pack your bags and find another attorney or other expert to interview. Consider…

Who’s Paying Your Bill?

You are paying the attorney for a service. You wouldn’t go into a car dealership and say…

“I’ve got $400 a month to spend on a vehicle. Just give me whatever you got to drive.”

You’d be surprised how many people would accept poor treatment when it comes to attorneys. Why?

Because some homeowners are intimated and think, the lawyer knows more. That’s usually true about civil law matters. That’s when a good educated attorney makes sense.

But when it comes to foreclosure, commercial law and challenging the banks-think again. I would challenge you to think outside the box.

Defend Yourself? Really?

Others will say, “YES BUT you can’t defend yourself against fraud or a foreclosing bank. You must have an attorney.” Many homeowners felt that way in the beginning. However…

We now know plenty of average homeowners who’ve been educated and succeeded with the guidance of companies like The Foreclosure Relief Network.

But, what few homeowners at first realize is that attorneys are not traditionally schooled in banking and finance.

In fact, I’ve interviewed some well informed average homeowners who educate their attorneys.

You Deserve to Know What You are Getting for Your Time and Money

If your prospective attorney is the real deal, they will understand your need to interview. That’s why it’s important to know…

  • What does the attorney actually believe about banks and foreclosure?
  • Make them lay their cards on the table. Time is of essence.

You simply want to insure that you are investing your energy and money wisely into a winning strategy and NOT prolonging what many attorneys feel is an inevitable foreclosure.

It’s a little known fact that if you, as a homeowner are educated and have a complete and correct strategy then foreclosure is NOT always inevitable.

Follow The Money

If you hire an attorney that did not adequately answer these questions, then be advised you, your family and your home may be taken for a professional ride.

According to Mr. James extensive experience with homeowners, banks and courts across America, rare is the attorney who will answer your call, who will fight banks on behalf of your homeowner and constitutional rights.

Most attorneys will not intentionally do you harm because they genuinely believe what they believe. That banks can do no wrong is just part of their many years of education and training.

As important, attorneys take an oath to protect corporations. It’s what they do.

That said… put yourself in the attorney’s shoes for just a minute. They have a lot of competition. A title, though impressive is no guarantee of success. They are businessmen and women and for many economic times are tough like many homeowners.

Yes, attorneys enjoy a measure of prestige but that doesn’t pay the bills. Like you and I, they have to make a living or find a way to survive. Just make sure it’s not at your expense.

Who Has More Money? Influence?

A homeowner called Mr. James and was livid because he spent over $7,500 on an attorney who believed that his counsel had defected to the bank side.

Even with documented fraud (common today) as the centerpiece of his defense against the bank, this homeowner lost his home.

The homeowner asks, “Who’s got more money here? The Big American Bank or me as homeowner?”

Do you think you’ll ever see this homeowner’s story on the evening news? It’s not likely. Remember who owns and controls media, advertising and reporting.

Of course I don’t expect you to believe any of this. Check it out for yourself.

Bank Walks Away

Speaking of a good homeowner story, while working on this article one of Mr. James clients called about Quiet Title action which forces a bank to produce valid documents.

The banks have to prove they have ownership before they can foreclose. In today’s heavily securtized financial system that’s more and more difficult for banks to validate unless they manufacture documents from thin air. This is known as robo-signing and yes, it’s illegal.

Gary is out of the Midwest. He applied several times for a modification and then found himself in foreclosure. He suspected bank fraud. Gary began looking and found a young and hungry attorney out of law school.

The attorney had not yet adopted “a bank can do no wrong” attitude. However, the first hurdle was overcoming this attorney’s lack of knowledge on foreclosure fraud, banking and securitization, etc.

Remember few attorneys have this profound knowledge, seek it out or even believe it’s possible to help a homeowner to win. It’s not taught in law school.

To compensate, Gary began working with Mr. James to gain the education, knowledge, legal templates and strategies. This also saved him thousands of dollars in attorney’s research fees.

Gary reported that his homework paid off and the bank walked away. Finding a lawyer willing to listen was the exception in this case. However, keep in mind that…

The Courts Are Available to All Homeowners

Remember, you as an American citizen have constitutional rights.

An attorney is not the only way to stand your ground against bad behaving banks. In fact there are far more effective strategies homeowners can and do take every day.

The majority of homeowners do not realize that with the right kind of education they can in fact represent themselves in court. It’s referred to as Pro Se’, a petitioner or simply an American citizen. Often it’s an effective option. Here’s why.

The fact is that the courts cannot hold a regular homeowner to the same standard as they do lawyers. It turns out that with an effective strategy, presented properly, defending yourself against banks often leads to settlements.

Mr. James reports that he sees it everyday and as the courts become more educated, the tides are shifting in favor of homeowners.

Some homeowners combine the idea of Pro Se’ (without an attorney) along with private mortgage investigations to uncover irregularities that stop foreclosures.

Bottom Line-Trust Your Gut

Remind yourself that if your home is worth defending then no one will ever fight for your home like you can.

After interviewing the attorney, if you can’t say yes, then SAY NO FOR NOW.

Keep looking. If the attorney doesn’t feel right-move on. There are viable alternatives. Do your homework.

Finally, if you have a compelling enough why and are willing to do a little legwork, then there are resources that can help you to learn how to stay in your home and prevail even without an attorney.

BPO Questions and Answers – 10 Secrets for Completing Broker Price Opinions Like a Pro!

The BPO business is an exciting niche of the foreclosure industry to be in today. Whether you are a veteran real estate agent or you are brand new to the business, real estate agents typically spend several hours every week creating comparative market analyses (CMAs) for potential clients with the hope of landing a listing or convincing a buyer to make an offer. In the end, every agent hopes that their CMA will result in a nice paycheck; but this is not always the case. When you complete a BPO, however, you are certain that the report you spend an hour or two completing will result in some additional income for that month.

So what is between you and that pay check when you complete a BPO? Other than the obvious need to photograph the property and complete the report, there is a department of every BPO company that is in charge of quality control. If you cannot get past this department, then you will not only delay how quickly you get paid, but it will determine if you will receive any additional BPOs from that company. Also, if your orders are turned in on time and without errors, your chances of selling that property when it gets foreclosed on increased because the banks know you are a reliable real estate agent.

After completing over 2000+ BPOs over the past 18 months I would like to share with you 10 Secrets to Completing Your BPO Reports Like a Pro:

1. Immediately upon acceptance of a BPO order, read the confirmation email and write down the DATE and TIME that the order is due. Note the time zone of the due time as it may be different than your current time zone. Not paying attention to this can make the difference between a report that is turned in on time and one that is late.

2. Note whether the order is an exterior or interior BPO. If it is an interior, look for point of contact (POC) information to gain access to the property as soon as possible. Also note what photos are required. There is nothing worse than forgetting to take the right photos. It is better to take too many photos than not enough.

3. Most BPO companies have a website that you log into to complete the report. Be sure to log into that company’s website and read the full details of that report which will include the guidelines for that report. This will save you a lot of trouble in your analysis of the property and when you go to research comparables.

4. Pull the tax record and/or call the County Assessor’s office to learn as much as you can about the property. Note the property’s parcel number, market and land assessment values, if the property is residential or commercial, current property taxes for the entire year, if any taxes are delinquent and what year the last assessment occurred. The property taxes will be provided by the Treasurer’s Department.

5. If you do not have access to the interior information of a property, call the BPO company and ask if they have a previous appraisal on file. Also, if you are having trouble finding comparables, then call the BPO company’s quality control department and ask for guidance. They can usually help you to properly expand your search criteria to find additional comparables and will make notes in the system that will prevent you from getting your order kicked back. When all else fails, find the best comparables available and provide thorough details in the report as to what criteria you expanded on and why.

6. During the completion of some reports you will be required to make adjustments to comparables. This process can be tedious and time consuming if you do not know how to do them. My best suggestion is to look at your market and determine how different attributes such as square footage, bedroom count, bathroom count, age and lot sizes vary in terms of added benefit to a property. From here you can create a system in which you can adjust for differences between the subject property and the comparables you have chosen. Remember, you only make the adjustment to the comparable with respect to the subject property only, not between each comparable. This process acts to put all of the comparables on an even playing field when evaluating them against the subject property so a bigger picture of the subject’s fair market value can been assessed.

7. When selecting comparables, make sure that the interior square footages of the comparables bracket that of the subject property. For example, if the subject is 1000 square feet above-grade, the comparables could be 800 sqft, 950 sqft and 1100 sqft. These comparables would bracket the subject because 1000 sqft is between 800 sqft and 1100 sqft. Also, all square footages are measured in terms of gross livable area (GLA) and include only square footages above-grade (ground level). Basements are not part of a property’s GLA because they are below ground level.

8. The final value for the subject property should be bracketed between the lowest and highest selling SOLD comparable. For example, the final value is $100,000 and the sold comparables have values of $91,000, $98,000 and $103,000. As a result, $100,000 is properly bracketed between $91,000 and $103,000. Your active comparables do not have to bracket the final value. In most markets, the active comparables are priced above the final sold value unless the market is declining significantly each month.

9. Your final value should also be within the range of the subject’s neighborhood sold values for the past 12 months. This is typically what is asked for when a report is looking for the ‘neighbor values’. For example, the final value is $100,000 and your lowest selling home in your subject’s neighborhood is $55,000 and your highest is $165,000. The $100,000 final value would be properly bracketed within the subject neighborhood’s range of values.

10. Be sure to double check your entire report for spelling and grammar errors before submitting it. You will also see that many BPO companies have a quality control checker or validation tool that looks for errors in the report. This only checks to see that your numbers are within the acceptable guidelines and will not check for spelling and grammar errors. If you run into quality control errors, then it is vital that you review them thoroughly and write explanations for why you had to exceed the BPO company’s provided guidelines on each and every aspect that is mentioned. The more information you provide, the less likely the report will be flagged and returned by the quality control department.

There are a lot of variables that need to be taken into consideration during the BPO completion process. Hopefully these secrets that I have shared with you will help you complete your BPOs faster and save you from wasting additional time answering the questions of your BPO company’s quality control departments.