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Tag Archives: Mortgage

Lakelaw Continues to Lead the Way in Foreclosure Mediation

Posted by Ryan Blay on June 28th, 2011 in Foreclosure - Saving Your Home, Mortgage Foreclosure Defense, Mortgage Modifications, Wisconsin, , , , , ,

     Lakelaw has mediation experience. In 2009, Lakelaw became the only private law firm in Wisconsin to receive funding from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) to fight foreclosures. We’ve done so by advising clients across the state about their legal rights and responsibilities, presented training sessions throughout Wisconsin to other attorneys, and attended dozens of mediations in Milwaukee and Waukesha County on behalf of local homeowners.
     When the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin was creating a pilot program with similar guidelines, they asked that Lakelaw appear along with other law firms providing guidance on the language and structure of the program.
Lakelaw focuses on two main avenues of financial freedom: consumer bankruptcy and foreclosure defense. Lakelaw can provide separate guidance on fighting the foreclosures. We can also appear on your behalf at the Kenosha/Racine mediations, providing advice and guidance through a complicated process against local and national banks.
      Please visit our website at, or call (262) 694-7300 to learn more about us and our values. We have two convenient Wisconsin offices to serve you.

6905 Green Bay Road, Suite 101
Kenosha, WI 53142
On Green Bay Road in Kenosha, just north of Route 50.

740 North Plankinton Avenue, Suite 210
Milwaukee, WI 53203
In the River Bank Plaza Building between Wells and Wisconsin,
Located near the Shops at Grand Avenue

Mortgage Modification Bill Fails in the Senate – Why?

Posted by David Leibowitz on June 3rd, 2009 in Bankruptcy Legislation, Legislation, Mortgage Modifications, , ,

The Senate voted decisively against allowing residential mortgages to be modified in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.  It was a decisive vote.  Only 41 Senators voted in favor – we know that 60 senators would have had to be in favor to get past a filibuster. 

Why is it that a shopping center developer like General Growth can cram down their mortgages but ordinary American homeowners can’t?  Why is it that bankruptcy is OK for Chrysler or GM to cram-down their reluctant hedge-fund bondholders but it’s not OK for an American homeowner who can’t even get a mortgage lender to talk to her?

Senator Durbin tells us exactly why – and we should be angry about this!  We should be furious.  People should be marching on Washington.  Yet we seem not to care.  We seem to think our neighbor should suffer, not realizing that in so doing, we are hurting ourselves.

                The banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis -
                many of the banks created –  are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill.
                And they frankly own the place!

You would think that We, the People own the Senate.  But we don’t.  Unless We, the People, tell Senators that we won’t condone them acting as lackeys for the banks, the Senate will continue to take the banks’ money and stick it to you.

Why do banks care so much?  The answer is in three little words – “Mark to Market.”  This means that if  lenders have to realistically value their assets – like their residential mortgages – to what they are really worth – they would have less assets than liabilities.  In other words they would be broke – bankrupt – insolvent – closed – in receivership – taken over by the FDIC.  Moreover, bank chairmen, directors, officers and their ilk would be unemployed, lose stock options, perks, private jets and their rich and famous lifestyle in general.  This, dear readers, is what the Senate now stands for.  

Henry Sommers, past president of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys put it well when he said:

“In terms of what this was really about, my opinion is that the insolvent banks do not want to reveal the emperor’s lack of clothes, because if their assets were marked to market, their true value, the insolvency would be obvious. Fighting cramdown is part of that, as is the Obama mortgage plan, which does not require any principal reductions. The negotiations about the bill left me very doubtful that many people will even get the Obama plan modifications. When  there are more foreclosures threatening banks’ balance sheets (and further dragging down the economy) they will want more bailouts.

Unfortunately, Summers and Geithner can’t escape the bank culture whence they came. They cannot contemplate shutting down the insolvent banks and are therefore over a barrel. If you have not done so yet, you should definitely listen to the  This American Life’s show on the topic.”

If you’re mad as hell and won’t take it anymore, then gear up to support whoever will oppose any incumbent Senator who failed to stand up for you when they next run for election.  This is still a democracy, right?

If you are trying to get a mortgage modification or mortgage finance plan under the Obama Home Affordable Plan and can’t, please tell us about your experience.  We may be able to publicize your plight in the press or in Congress.

For bankruptcy help in Chicagoland, call Lakelaw now at 847 249 9100 or toll free at 1-866-LAKELAW (1 866 525-5359)

Congress responding to foreclosure – Loan Modifications in Chapter 13

Posted by David Leibowitz on January 6th, 2009 in Bankruptcy, Chapter 13, Foreclosure - Saving Your Home, , , ,

Too many homeowners are facing foreclosure in Illinois and Wisconsin.  Chapter 7 bankruptcy won’t help you save your home if you can’t keep up your mortgage payments.  Even Chapter 13 wage earner plans are not so great, especially if your house is worth much less than what you owe.  But help is on the way.  Congress is planning to amend chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code.  And President-Elect Obama supports this legislation.  This change will allow a homeowner to lower the amount due on your home mortgage to no more than the current value of your home.  Any excess would be treated as an unsecured claim.  

What does this mean?  Suppose you have a house worth $200,000 today with a $150,000 first mortgage and a $100,000 second mortgage.  As things stand now, in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, you’d have to pay the entire $150,000 first mortgage and the entire $100,000 second mortgage plus any arrearages to keep your house.  You couldn’t do anything about the interest rates either.

Under the proposed law, you could reduce the second mortgage to $50,000.  You might be able to reduce the interest rates on both mortgages.  And the remaining $50,000 unsecured balance could be paid off under your chapter 13 plan over a period of up to 5 years.  You probably would not have to pay the whole $50,000, but perhaps only a small percentage.

This is a very important change in the law.  It would treat you just like any other property owner.  So PLEASE, contact your Congressman and Senators TODAY.  Tell them you want Chapter 13 amended to protect you and thousands of American homeowners just like you.

New Notices to Homeowners in Illinois Foreclosure Cases

Posted by David Leibowitz on January 4th, 2009 in Consumer Law, Foreclosure - Saving Your Home, Legal, Real Estate, ,

A new Illinois statute, effective January 1, 2009, requires that lenders give homeowners special notices in forclosure cases, both in English and Spanish.  Click here to read the Illinois Mortgage Foreclosure Law.  These notices must inform the defendant that:

  • As lawful occupants, they have the right to live in the home until a judge enters an order of possession
  • The homeowner continues to own the home until the court rules otherwise
  • Homeowners can get professional guidance from a lawyer or certified housing counsellor but should PROCEED WITH CAUTION when dealing with others who say that they are offering help
  • The mortgage company doesn’t really want to foreclose on the house if there is any way to avoid it

In addition, the name of the mortgage lender must be set out in large type.  The lender must provide a pay-off statement at no cost.  If the lender wilfully fails to deliver an accurate statement within 10 days, the lender is liable for actual damages or statutory damages not less than $500.

This statute gives borrowers important rights.  We at Lakelaw are ready, willing and able to help Illinois homeowners protect their rights and save their homes.


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