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Welcome Back to Tara Twomey

posted by Bob Lawless

Credit Slips welcomes back Tara Twomey who will join us for a week or two. Twomey is an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center and was a guest blogger back in March 2007. She is an expert in mortgages and bankruptcy and is a sought after expert on the continuing legal education circuit on these topics. Along with Credit Slips blogger Katie Porter, Twomey has been out in front on the issue of the foreclosure crisis and has testified to the U.S. House of Representatives about strategies to minimize losses to both borrowers and lenders in foreclosure situations.


I read the testimony above.... Right on the money Tara! It was a very good outline of what is actually happening here on the ground.

Talked one of our now 13 clients the other day and he said that he had a Mod all worked out (approved) and check sent. When he called to check on the progress the person he had been dealing with at the servicing co. was out on vacation or sick (something like that) so he talked with someone else with the loss mit. dept. and he read the notes but pushed a “wrong” key (that’s what the original worker told him anyway) the whole deal was torpedoed. No mod, the mit. dept said not to make the Dec and Jan payment until the new payment was calculated, so he did not. After the deal was shot down in order to get a new deal he would have to wait 3 mo. plus make up for the missed payments. That deal took a $800.00 mortgage payment to three consecutive $1,500 payment. This one a bit weird but you know all of the stories are the same, if that makes any sense…

Anyway, I said all of that to say, good work Tara, keep it up. Just a little appreciation us and from our debtors, I know they would want to thank you personally if they knew what you are doing for them. I like to remind them from time to time that there are people fighting for them that they do not even know.

Since comments are not yet open on your first installment I'll throw this here.

First and foremost, Attorney Twomey - on behalf of each and every Fairbanks Capital victim out there whether they are aware of it or not, ***THANK YOU*** for your perseverance on Maxwell v. Fairbanks. I've waited a long time to be able to say that anywhere that you would see/hear/read it. Were it not for that decision early on in the Fairbanks history what little progress has been made against them might never have begun at all.

That said, not only does the homeowner need to know about the "foreclosure rescue" scams but they also need to be able to find attorneys both willing and, most importantly, ABLE to comprehend the complexities of Mortgage Servicing Fraud. I don't believe that anyone truly understands just how frustrating it can be for a homeowner, already under the pressure of pending foreclosure, to attempt to find competent legal counsel in the hop of saving their home.

Personally, it took interviews with over 150 law firms before I found one that a) had no conflicts with the entities involved b) didn't want a $20k retainer or $2500 just to "review" the case or c) actually showed a basic understanding of the elements of the case. It's no wonder that more people simply walk away from properties even when they have legitimate legal arguments.

One of the more exasperating things that I've found is that bankruptcy attorneys seem to have the best grasp of Mortgage Servicing Fraud issues. And that understanding is compounded exponentially when the attorney attends Max Gardner's Bankruptcy Bootcamp. Unfortunately, very few bankruptcy attorneys also seem to handle consumer protection issues where the combination of their knowledge could be doing the most good. Similarly, from some of the experiences that I've heard MSF victims tell, the attorneys that they have interacted with during the course of their Chap 13 plan simply are not willing to put forth any more effort than necessary because they aren't making enough money on the case. I actually have that in writing between one victim's Ch 13 atty and the FCing atty. Not only that, but when the victim obtained the attention of a Fortune magazine journalist, the victim's attorney actually attempted to quash the story by giving the journalist "less than accurate" information about the victim. I've got that in writing as well.

Now I know that that doesn't represent the majority of attorneys, by any means, but the fact remains that if the right combination of knowledge and experience is put together, Mortgage Servicing Fraud victims could start winning their cases on a regular basis and the attorneys representing them could be making the kind of fees that they deserve - even on a contingency basis. I'm certain that Attorney Twomey never received 1/10th of the amount that her effort was worth - she couldn't have because that case is helping MSF victims, and Fairbanks/SPS victims specifically, even today.

Attorney Twomey, and any others in the legal community, if there is anything that I can do to assist in dealing with Mortgage Servicing Fraud cases please do not hesitate to contact me. There is a small but growing network of Mortgage Servicing Fraud victims becoming more and more educated with every passing day. All they are looking for is legal counsel with the understanding and ability to effectively litigate MSF cases to the fullest extent possible and actually obtain justice for the victims that they represent. They would be only too happy to throw their collective knowledge and support behind a firm that was willing to handle cases on a national level. Far too many people are losing their homes to Mortgage Servicing Fraud even today. The recent settlement of the FTC v. EMC Bear Stearns and the 2007 modification of USA v. Fairbanks are only the latest reminders of that.

Thank you, once again, Attorney Twomey, for recognizing some of the problems with Fairbanks and Mortgage Servicing Fraud early on in the game. Legally speaking, without that effort, Fairbanks/SPS and MSF victim would not be nearly as well armed as they could be.

Anyone know if Max is doing anything down here in Texas? I missed Katie last time she was down here in Corpus. My boss didn't want to shell out the clams for me to attend. I was bummed for sure. It was like missing "Pepper" in concert when I had free tickets.

OK back on subject. We need to light a fire to get these servicing cos. back in line. I read somewhere that we have a new batch of funky mortgage loans that will reset in the next two years. I think they were a form on "Option" ARM loans. Man, Liz Weston with MSN Money did a great story not too long ago on the sub. She seems to plug Prof. Warren and Prof. Porter every once and a while. She is how I found this blog.

Good to see you back Mike, I knew you would hit this subject.

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