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Friday, October 17, 2014

Cold Weather Cost Cuts


Last week we started a series on cutting costs in other areas of your budget in order to redirect funds toward your mortgage to help stop your eviction. As mid-October and the beginning of the cold season draws near today is the perfect time to think about cold weather cost cutting.

One of the biggest money eaters during the winter months is often the utility bill. Cold weather arrives, and the furnace turns on. What can you do to cut costs?

Heating Efficiently


As the cold weather approaches, having a tune up on your furnace may be a cost you’d rather not think about. But, it’s worth checking how long it has been since your furnace has been cleaned. Older houses are often especially bad about having junk built up in the furnace or vents. Sometimes former occupants have had children that have pushed things into the vent system, blocking airflow. The last thing you want is for your furnace to be working extra hard to get past a barrier that shouldn’t be there in the first place. Consider having a professional come give your furnace a cleaning. In addition, some states now offer incentives and financial help if you are interested in installing a more energy efficient furnace.

Heating Effectively


Your furnace does you very little good if your windows or outside doors are left open. As that warm air flows out of your air vents, or that hot water trickles through your radiator, money is flowing out of your pocket and into the utility company. Do your best to seal that hot air into the house. You’d be surprised by how much savings can be accomplished by simply buying and installing a window insulator kit. Many air leaks happen around your window frames, and even the best glass falls woefully short of the insulation of a wall.

A second area to check for insulation is your attic (provided your home has one). Heat floats to the top, and if the roof is not well insulated, then your hot air is floating right out into the winter weather.

In order to redirect your budget to avoid an eviction, cutting costs is a must. Next week we’ll continue to look at ways you can save in one area, to avoid an eviction.

Interested in more? Read Keisha Joseph's book!

 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Cutting Costs

Eviction. No one wants to hear that word, especially when it is being applied to their family. Eviction and financial hardship go hand in hand. Last week we shared a hardship letter template to send with your financial documents to your mortgage holder. In the middle of that letter you’re asked to provide a plan for how you will get back to paying the amount you owe each month. To do that, you need a plan.
  1. Sit down with some writing implements (paper/pencil or laptop or phone)
  2. Write down all your expenses. If possible look over your bank statement that details where your money went last month.
  3. Group the expenses into catagories (example: utilities, housing, clothing, groceries, transportation, internet, cable, health…)
  4. Prioritize your expenses using a scale of 1-5 (1 being essential, and 5 being non-essential)
  5. Write all your category 1 expenses at the top of a new sheet of paper.
  6. Write all your category 2 expenses below the category 1 expenses.
  7. Continue the same way until you have all financial expenses listed.
  8. When you receive your next paycheck, pay first for the category 1 expenses.
  9. Next pay the category 2 expenses.
  10. Depending on the income available pay the next highest available expenses, until you are out of income.

During the next couple weeks we’ll look at some cost cutting options for different areas of your budget. But, in order to take control of your finances, you need to know where your money is going, and what the most important expenses you have are.

Interested in more help avoiding your foreclosure? Check out Keisha Joseph's help book.

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Hardship Letter Template


Creating a Hardship Letter


Image URI: http://mrg.bz/pBYcg9
One essential document to slow, or stop your eviction is the hardship letter. But, sometimes it’s hard to know how to start, or what to say. You’ll want to direct this letter to your lender. The letter will detail why you have not been able to stay current with your bills.

A Hardship Letter Template


Example of a hardship letter:

Dear Sir:

I am writing today about my home’s foreclosure. My family and I are dependent on this home for professional and educational stability. The loss of our current housing would cause much stress and duress at this time. I would like to discuss a forbearance plan or loan modification that would allow you to continue to receive payments, while allowing me to keep our home.

The reason I have been unable to make my mortgage payments is because (insert specific situation information) In addition to this letter I have included the following documents that show my current financial difficulties:

As you can see, I am unable to make the current payments. I would like to propose a temporary loan modification plan. With my current income I can make a reduced payment of (amount available) from now until (end date). By this date I hope to have (resolution of financial difficulties listed above). By (end date above) I would again plan to pay the previous amount of (amount).

I realize this reduced payment is not the agreed upon terms, but hope that the benefit of the continued influx of some revenue would be of greater value to you than the process of eviction. This is our family’s home. (Members of the family in residence)  and I would be very grateful for your forebearance.

 Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

(Your Name)

Further Help to Stop your Eviction


Interested in more information. Get help from someone whose been through the process before!
Keisha Joseph offers more tips in How to Stop Foreclosure Evictions available for Kindle on Amazon.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

How to Remove Eviction from Your Credit Report


When a person does not pay their rent, that person can be evicted by the landlord from their rental unit. If this happens to you an eviction notice will stay on your credit record for seven years. Even if, the eviction is legally done, evictions cannot be removed from your credit report before the designated seven years, you can dispute to remove any errors but not the eviction. Let’s take a look at some of the tips and things you should do if you have ever been evicted and do not want this to happen to you.

Tips to Removing Eviction from Your Credit Report
v  Argue an eviction fast, if you know that you have not been fairly treated. Gather together all and any documentation and evidence to the reasons for not paying the rent, such as substandard living area, or other reasons as to it being wrongfully done.

v  Seek legal advice, of an attorney or other local legal service organization.

v  Go negotiate and talk with the landlord or abide by the 3-day eviction notice time frame to reframe from any other problems and to avoid problems on your credit-rental report.

v  Try your best to get all rental court cases dismissed, and if you win your case, make sure there will be nothing added or shown on your credit report.

v  Get a copy of your credit report, review it carefully. Usually at even at the start of an eviction there could be an entry placed on your credit report. Check your credit report thoroughly to make sure that this does or has not happened.

v  Ask for assistance from a credit repair company, just to make sure that it will not appear on your credit report or have future problems renting. Credit restoration service will be able to make a more in-depth check to finding any problem entries that could hurt you applying elsewhere as a tenant.

v  If you do find that you have an eviction on your credit report they will remain for a period of 7 years, there is no way to remove them during this time frame, you can only try to dispute them if you have enough proof and know that the eviction was improper.

v  Dispute any and all errors so that they get removed. If there are any listings that show an eviction proceeding that was never taken forward or ones you won, you have to dispute them. Send in to credit bureau reporting any error and all copies of documentation to support your proof for the error, and make sure to send by certified mail. Also included a cover letter describing the error and asking for removal. The Credit Bureau must investigate the dispute and send a copy to the party that provided the information. If no proof of accuracy to the entry can be obtained it will be sent to other credit bureau agencies to also remove the error, so that it is corrected on your credit report. They will send you a copy of the correction, and an updated copy of your credit report showing any errors that have been removed.

Investigate your credit report not only for eviction entries but for all items that are incorrect, and correct them as necessary. Just remember, your credit report is what is able to get you that new house or new car or that new credit card that you have been waiting. Keep it safe and take care of it.

If you're in trouble and facing eviction, you can prolong your eviction or stop your eviction fast. Download “How to Stop an Eviction” today to stop your eviction now.




Wednesday, October 10, 2012

10 Ways To Protect Yourself From Eviction



Are you looking to make sure that you, as a tenant, are protected? Are you being harassed by your landlord? Here are ten ways you can protect yourself from landlord issues and tenant evictions.
1.     Never pay your landlord for rent or anything else using cash! Always make your rent payments using a cashier’s check or money order, and always make sure to get your receipt. If you pay with a personal check, always keep copies of your canceled checks and bank statements that show that the checks cleared. If you send in your payment by mail, make sure to mail your payment from the US post office, using Delivery Confirmation. If for any reason your landlord decides to return your rental payment to you, don't cash it. This will act as your proof that you did attempt to pay your rent.
2.     Check to see if your home is protected by rent control laws. Contact your county housing department to find out for sure.  For Los Angeles County, you can obtain a free copy of the official Landlord Tenant Handbook online or at the Los Angeles Housing Department office. West Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Beverly Hills all have their own rules and regulations for rent stabilization.
3.     Always make a notation on your money order, cashier's check or personal check stating exactly what it is for, specifically the month the payment includes. Example, if paying for “Rent for October, 2012”, “Rent for 818 Wilshire for September 2012”, etc... Be sure to keep the attached receipt from the money order or cashier's check for your records. This proof will help you later, if for any reason, your landlord attempts to evict you claiming that you have unpaid rent. You will have proof of all payments that you have made and when you made them.
4.     Do not stop paying your rent. Make sure that the conditions in your apartment are up to standards. You can contact the Housing Department at www.lacity.org/lahd/ or through the agency in your area. You can also check out the links to other cities here under “government.”
5.     Be sure to comply with any and all notices that your landlord gives you, and within the allowed time frame. Even if you end up having to pay something that you don't agree with, just go ahead and pay it anyway. Then, seek advice to file a small claims suit against your landlord to get any money owed refunded.
6.     Document and record any and all events related to your rental home on your calendar. On each date use small phrases like, “paid rent”, “requested that landlord make repairs”, etc...
7.     Make sure all agreements you make with your landlord are put in writing. A verbal agreement has no worth whatsoever in court. Putting things in writing is proof of any agreement that you may have between you and your landlord.
8.     Don't sign anything that you are asked to sign by your landlord unless a) you have a clear understanding of what it means, b) are given your own copy to read over and give to your lawyer to read later, and c) are given your own copy for your personal records before you have to sign it.
9.     Organize a tenants group! If you know that other tenants in your complex are experiencing the same issues with your property or the landlord, work together to help each other get results.
10.  Remember that the property management company or your building manager works directly for your landlord, not you. He/she is paid by the landlord. The property manager won't be of any help when it comes to protecting you from any proceedings related to an eviction.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How to Stop the Foreclosure Eviction Process

What is Foreclosure Eviction? What is the process of Foreclosure Eviction? Have you ever gone through an eviction due to your foreclosure or your landlord's foreclosure? Well, you have rights when it comes to evictions because of foreclosures.

What is an Eviction?

Eviction is the final step after the foreclosure process is complete, or after a foreclosure sale. Foreclosure is a procedure supervised by the court in order to remove those currently in possession of the property. Eviction of the previous homeowner is one thing. But, the eviction of tenants renting a property that's gone through foreclosure is a tricky process. That's because it affects those of lower stature that are struggling to find the most appropriate housing. 

All tenants have rights. There are local and federal laws that have been put in place to protect tenants. For example, in San Francisco, CA there is a “just cause” which states that if the landlord of the property is covered by the city’s rent ordinance, they have a greater motive for pursuing an eviction. A property that changes hands because of foreclosure is not a valid reason for “just cause.”

Foreclosure vs. Eviction

Evictions and foreclosures are two separate procedures. A foreclosure is the act of repossession because of an unpaid mortgage or property taxes. An eviction is the removal of a tenant from land or property through a legal process for nonpayment of rent. Many foreclosure tenants have been confused by the “Note of Default” or “Note of Sale” of a foreclosure as an eviction notice.

Foreclosure Eviction Timeline

The new owner of a foreclosed property has the right to take possession of the property. However, there are specific laws that regulate the timeline of a foreclosure eviction. This may vary from state to state, depending on whether or not the home is occupied by the previous owner or a tenant. In the state of Washington, for example, the previous homeowner or current tenant has 20 days to vacate the property after a foreclosure. The purchaser will have the right to file action for eviction or Unlawful Detainer if the previous owner or tenant does not vacate the property within this time. 

In accordance to California’s Department of Real Estate’s Homeowner’s Guide to Foreclosure in California, a homeowner should not make plans to move out of their home until after the foreclosure sale and eviction process is concluded. In the case of tenants, the eviction process can be prolonged because the foreclosure is not the fault of the tenant.

Eviction Process

Each state has its own procedures for foreclosure evictions, which depends on whether the foreclosure takes the path of the judicial or non-judicial process. A judicial foreclosure is when the eviction is within in the same lawsuit, even though the previous owner has the right to stay until the redemption period ends, which can be up to one year. A non-judicial foreclosure requires action of its own in order to evict the previous owner. 
 
Once the 3-day notice expires and the occupant does not leave, an Unlawful Detainer must be filed by owner. This is the same action used to evict tenants. After an Unlawful Detainer is filed, the occupant will have five days to respond to it. If no response is made, the court can make a judgment for possession within 10 days. Then, the eviction paperwork is forwarded to the county sheriff for completion. If there's still no response from the occupant, a trial is set forth within 20 days. If the court rules in favor of eviction, the order is then passed and carried out by the sheriff.

Foreclosure Evictions and Tenants

When a foreclosure eviction is ruled by the court against the tenant, there is extra protection that the law provides. Foreclosure tenant evictions laws vary from state to state. In the state of California, for example, tenants in good standing with rental payments on a lease agreement can't be evicted until the rental lease expires. When a month-to-month rental agreement is used, the new owner has to give the tenant a minimum of 90 days before the eviction process is started. This is in accordance with the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosures Act of 2009.

Eviction and Rent Laws

In some states there are rent and eviction laws that provide additional protection to tenants being evicted due to foreclosures, depending on the area and property type. These laws reject the new owner from the abuse of using foreclosure as a way to evict the tenant and start fresh. For example, on the California Courts website, there is a database of rent-controlled properties that one can use as references to find out if a property is rent-controlled or not.

How to Stop Foreclosure Evictions

If you want to find out in more detail how you can stop a Foreclosure Eviction in the state of California, check out the ebook “How to Stop Foreclosure Evictions.” This will give you a first-hand look, based on personal experience, on the rights that you have to stop an eviction related to foreclosure. 
 

Monday, September 24, 2012

How to Win an Eviction Appeal

There are ways that you can successfully appeal an eviction. But, your case has to be based on the tenant laws of your state. Laws differ from state-to-state depending on your city, which can be very challenging when doing research. The easiest way to win your eviction appeal is if your landlord failed to be accountable for his or her obligations stated within the lease or rental agreement. Another legal argument you may have is if your rent was unreasonably increased without warning or opposite to local laws. Below are some of the basic steps you may be able to take for winning an eviction appeal.

Your Eviction Documents

Find all the documents related to your rental contract. Make copies of your original rental contract agreement. Keep all the letters organized, including anything that you may have received from your landlord, the management company or legal representatives. Also, include any complaints that you may have filed with government agencies or courts. You may be able to use these in court.

Eviction Laws Research

Make sure to do any research about the landlord-tenant laws in your state. Check with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in your local area for any resources that they may be able to provide. Each city within your state may have different rental laws. Do research on those as well.

Legal Eviction Help

You may also want to speak with and possibly hire a tenant rights attorney. You don't want to use an eviction protection service or larger company, as they are not bonded by law to look out for what is best for you, their client. An attorney will be able to deal with your eviction appeal more effectively and is legally obligated to look out for your best interest. Some landlord-tenant laws can be very complex.

Eviction Court

Show up to all court dates on time with all of your paperwork ready to be presented to the judge. If you do not attend the scheduled court dates, you are likely to receive a default judgment against you. Make sure that your case is argued with the landlord-tenant laws that apply to your local area. If you can't support your case by using the laws, emotional arguments will not help with winning your eviction case. Some examples of favorable eviction appeals are unjust rent increases, eviction notices improperly served, inhabitable location due to pest infestations, lack of heat or slow response to critical repairs. Bring all relevant documentation that you may have as supporting evidence to court with you.

Make all necessary arguments to the courts, which are relevant to your case. In most cases, landlords are not prepared for the ramifications that go along with the eviction process. A winning appeal can protect your future credit report and give you housing security.

Get Eviction Assistance

If you want to find out in more detail how you can win an eviction appeal, check out the ebook “How to Stopan Eviction” and get a better look into how to win your eviction case.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Low-Cost Eviction Assistance

If you need low-cost eviction assistance due to foreclosure, you need to read the information on this blog: http://stopevictions.blogspot.com/

Ready to Purchase "How to Stop Foreclosure Related Tenant Evictions"?

Download it from Amazon:



Download it from Barnes and Noble: Click Here
The following is a post from the blog at: http://shortsales-yllong.blogspot.com/2009/03/loan-modification.html

LOAN MODIFICATION
Hello as promised this is the 2nd installment of the Mortgage Education Blog.

Lately the question that everyone is asking “what will my lender need from me if I want to do a loan modification”. Well before any lender can recommend the most appropriate workout option, it is important that they have a complete understanding of your current financial situation. As part of this process most lenders will require the following documentation:

1. Hardship letter (this letter needs to outline what has caused you to fall behind on your bills, loss of job, illness etc.)
2. Most recent tax returns (1040’s)
3. Most recent paystubs ( normally the last 2)
4. List of expenses
5. Most recent bank statement
6. Copy of your property tax bill
7. Copy of Homeowners Insurance Declarations Page


The most important thing is to contact your lender immediately!! Do not delay the sooner you contact them the sooner you can begin the process. Now with each lender there may be additional documentation needed but the above documents will start the process. As always if you have any further questions please visit www.financialstablity.gov.

If you need low-cost eviction assistance due to foreclosure, you need to read the information on this blog: http://stopevictions.blogspot.com/

Ready to Purchase "How to Stop Foreclosure Related Tenant Evictions"?


Download it from Amazon:



Download it from Barnes and Noble
: Click Here

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Foreclosure Eviction Process

Post Foreclosure Eviction


The new owner could be the lender (bank) or a new homeowner or an investor. In any event, if they did not offer to sell or otherwise transfer the property to you in some sort of sale or transaction, they will most likely want to evict you with a post foreclosure eviction action.

If you are a tenant renting a residential dwelling foreclosed out from under you, you are entitled to a 60 day notice or, if you qualify under a new Federal Law, 90 days to move. If you are leasing a commercial space, you are entitled to a 30 day notice to vacate the property. If you are the former owner of the property (residential or commercial) the new owner (or lender) will serve you a 3 day notice to move out. The notice must be served correctly and it must contain language required by law. In both cases, when the notice expires, and if you have not vacated the property, they can commence an Unlawful Detainer (eviction) action.

If you are a tenant with a lease or a month to month agreement, your rights to remain at the property under that lease or agreement may not be extinguished (lost) by the foreclosure. Under Federal Law, certain residential leases may remain valid even after a foreclosure.

Generally, commercial leases (long term) may survive a foreclosure. They would have had to have been in existence prior to the creation of the trust deed that was foreclosed on and the lender had to have had actual or constructive notice of that lease.

Even though you may be facing an eviction, you do have rights which must be protected. You should act promptly to protect your rights, especially in these situations where your rights are limited.

You may have only 5 days to respond! If you find Unlawful Detainer papers at the property, even if you were not "served", seek assistance right away to get advice and respond with your own papers. You may wish to respond and protect your rights even if you were not named in those papers. If you do not respond quickly and correctly, you can be evicted by the Sheriff very soon.

If you cannot afford an attorney (and most of us can't), there are do-it-yourself methods that are much more affordable. For more information on low-cost do-it-yourself assistance, "How to Stop Foreclosure Evictions" can help you.

Ready to Purchase "How to Stop Foreclosure Related Tenant Evictions"?

Download it from Amazon:



Download it from Barnes and Noble: Click Here

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fannie Mae to End Tenant Evictions in Foreclosures

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Kelly Evans on the Wall Street Journal Website. The entire article can be found at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122929716434005201.html.

"Fannie Mae is finalizing a national policy that will allow tenants to remain in their homes even if their landlord goes into foreclosure -- a landmark decision for tenants.

The policy will be in effect Jan. 9, Fannie Mae said Sunday, and reflects growing pressure on the mortgage company from a legal-aid group that threatened to sue over recent evictions. The company said it will also ensure its current holiday moratorium on new evictions is being followed until the new policy takes effect...

Freddie Mac hasn't announced a similar policy reversal, though a spokesperson said they are "currently evaluating additional actions."

The decision by the government-backed mortgage giants represents just a slice of the market and excludes many properties purchased with riskier loans that are now falling into foreclosure. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, however, are uniquely structured to be able to address the issue, which effectively now has them acting as a type of landlord or property-management company to administer month-to-month leases to renters of their foreclosed properties."

To read this entire article, go to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122929716434005201.html.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Join the Eviction Help Network for FREE


Join the social network for tenants in crisis due to landlord foreclosure. Participate in blogs, forums and discussions for people in the same position you are in. Find links to informative articles that provide resources for foreclosure tenants and their needs. This network is 100% FREE... and there is NO spamming involved, ever!

Click here to join: www.stopit.ning.com


Tenant Rights Regarding Utilities


Over 85,000 homes were foreclosed on in 2007. Many of those homes were rental properties. A new bill, "AB2586," requires the banks to notify tenants of foreclosure proceedings. It will also require utility companies to notify of pending disconnections. View this video for more details.




Want access to more information like this?

Join the informative network for tenants whose landlords are in foreclosure. Get access to blogs, forums, FAQ's and other resources at www.stopit.ning.com.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tenants evicted, homeowner did not pay up!!!

Three families are evicted after the homeowner has not paid the mortgage.

Cash for Keys Offers

The following are excerpts from What is Cash for Keys? on Wisegeek.com located at: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-cash-for-keys.htm.

"The advantage of cash for keys from the point of view of the bank is that it gets people out of the house quickly, and the house is often left in better condition than it would be in the event that an eviction was needed. However, it is important for people to be aware that a cash for keys offer is a last resort, because once the paperwork is signed, you typically have no recourse...

Without voluntary surrender of the keys to a home, banks face a lengthy eviction process. Running an eviction is expensive, and time consuming, because while eviction notices are served and the eviction is finally enforced, the house is simply sitting there, and the bank cannot put it on the market. By getting a so-called “broom clean” house in exchange for a small cash settlement, the bank can quickly turn it around; most banks do not like to hold on to a real estate inventory, so they welcome the opportunity to sell off their foreclosed properties.

In addition to helping banks cover their losses quickly, cash for keys can also prevent damage to the house. In some cases, people who are evicted feel resentful and angry, and they may stop maintaining the house or actively damage it out of spite. As a result, a bank might need to invest in some basic repairs to make a house salable before putting it on the market, and this eats up more time and money."

To read this entire article and join in on the discussion, go to: http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-cash-for-keys.htm.

Basically, in my non-expert opinion, "Cash for Keys" really only benefits the banks, because they want the property empty and clean so that they can put it on the market. Unless you've already found another place and already have a move-in date, this may not be a good offer for you and your family.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Get a free eBook: The Eviction Process

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You will be directed to PayPal to complete your download. Feel free to make a donation, but it's not mandatory. Just change the price to change the donation amount.

Once your registration is complete, you will get immediate access to your FREE eBook download, "The Eviction Process." Enjoy your FREE eBook!

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for more information.




Join the social network for tenants in crisis due to landlord foreclosure. Participate in blogs, forums and discussions for people in the same position you are in. Find links to informative articles that provide resources for foreclosure tenants and their needs. This network is 100% FREE... and there is NO spamming involved.

Click below to join The Eviction Help Network on Ning.
Click here to join: www.stopit.ning.com.
www.tenantevictionhelp.com


*************************************************************

How to Stop Foreclosure Related Tenant Evictions

Visit www.TenantEvictionHelp.com for information on stopping your eviction fast.

Foreclosure Tenants and Their Utility Rights

Like most tenants whose landlords are in foreclosure or have foreclosed, my utilities were in jeopardy. My landlord had our water shut-off. Because of this, the electricity was also disconnected because the California law states that a property cannot have electricity if there is no water service. This left my family in a major bind.

I made the choice to call the police. The landlord was arrested because the foreclosure was not complete, meaning he was still responsible for providing us with water service. California law states that landlords are not allowed to disconnect utilities for any reason. whatsoever. In my case, I had been paying ALL of the utilities the entire time I'd been living in the property. So, he had no excuse. My landlord being arrested did not solve my problem. He just bailed out and disappeared.

I ended up having to call the Health Department to report the matter to them. At first, there was nothing they could do because the property was still in the landlord's name, and their was a very large balance due that I couldn't afford to pay. Once the foreclosure was complete, they were able to go after the real estate agent who was hired by the bank to manage the property. When he finally faxed the deed to the water department to show that the bank was now the owner, I was finally able to have the utilities put in my own name. This took about a month.

Since then, a new bill (AB 2586) has been passed in legislation to help tenants in this situation. The following is an excerpt from an article on the Realty Times website. The entire article can be found at: http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20080828_protect.htm.

AB 2586 extensively addresses the matter of utilities. This is an issue in situations where the cost of one or more utilities has been included in the rent and payment of the utility bills has been the responsibility of the landlord. When a landlord loses a rental property in foreclosure he or she is likely to have let the utility bills go unpaid. Even if that is not the case, it is equally possible that the new owner won't be paying them. The potential result is that the tenant will have the utility service discontinued, often without ever having received a notice.

AB 2586 requires that in such a situation the utility must provide at least 15 days notice to the resident(s) that the service is scheduled to be terminated. The notice must be posted as well as mailed to "Any Person Renting Property At ____". It must contain a statement on the outside of the envelope in large print saying, "Utility service to this address may be cut off soon." The notice shall then inform the residents that they have the right to have the service put in their names, without being required to pay any delinquent amount that is currently due. The notice and the statement on the envelope must be in English, Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Korean (California's major spoken languages).

How can I defend myself if I'm named as a defendant in the paperwork?

The following is information from: http://www.larcc.org.

How can I defend myself?

Only in very rare cases does a tenant have any defenses in a foreclosure. But, there are things you can do that may help.

* If you are physically disabled, blind or elderly (62 years or older), or if your spouse, brother, sister, parent or grandparent is elderly and permanently lives with you, AND
o you live in a building with 5 or more units OR
o you live in a mobile home,

...you may have a defense. Contact an attorney right away.
* If you have a Section 8 voucher or you live in subsidized housing, you may have a defense. Contact an attorney right away.

* Usually, the best thing to do once you are a defendant is to contact the attorney for the bank. Try to negotiate either to stay on as a tenant after the foreclosure or to get as much time as you can before you must move.

* If you have filed an appearance, you should get a notice of everything that is happening with the foreclosure. If you don’t receive a notice of the hearing date, you can call the court clerk’s office to get the date. At the court hearing where the judge sets the law date or sale date, you may also show up and ask the judge for extra time to find a place to move.

You can explain to the judge your unique or special circumstances. For example, you have children and would like to have them complete the school year in the school they attend; you or someone in your family is very ill and needs more time to find a new apartment. It is up to the judge to give you more time to move.

* If you receive state welfare, you may be eligible for emergency housing benefits. To get emergency housing benefits, a judgment must have been entered in the case, and the law date or final sale of the property must have passed. If you filed your appearance, you will get notice in the mail of the date of judgment and the law date or sale date. Take this notice to your worker to arrange for emergency housing benefits. Remember, you may get emergency housing benefits only after the law date or sale date.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Renters Caught in Foreclosure Crisis

Over 85,000 homes were foreclosed on in 2007. Many of those homes were rental properties. A new bill, "AB2586," requires the banks to notify tenants of foreclosure proceedings. It will also require utility companies to notify of pending disconnections. View this video for more details.

Foreclosure Eviction Team

Foreclosures are still on the rise. It is currently at its highest rate since the Great Depression. Here's a video clip of a foreclosure eviction team in GA that's getting its highest amount of calls in its history.

www.google.com/s2/sharing/stuff?user=101126768390046237375

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Cash for Keys

The following article can be found at: http://cbs13.com/local/cash.for.keys.2.651785.html

Keys' Becoming More Common
Reporting: Mike Dello Stritto
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS13) ― It's called "Cash for Keys," and it's been happening for years, but the strategy has been kept quiet. Until now.

Houses in foreclosure, people in a panic, and in walks realtor Stephanie Guardino-Rodriguez.

"This is an absolutely insane market," said Stephanie. "I've never seen a market like this."

Stephanie works for the banks, making cash-for-key offers most people can't refuse. The deal is simple: Occupants get out within 30 days without trashing a house, hand her the keys, and she hands them back a check from the bank. Then it's done.

Usually, that check is for $1500, but there's always negotiation.

"I've seen them go up to $3000," Stephanie said.

But cash-for-keys really helps the bank, saving them thousands on the costs to evict and clean up. Homeowners often have months of notice before foreclosure, but that's not the case for everyone.

"A tenant, especially, may not know at all," she said.

Such was the case with David and Edra Price.

"She gave me the call that said the house was going into foreclosure," David said.

They found out their family was about to be kicked out, their second rented home foreclosure in a year. They were desperate to make sure it didn't happen again, and then came the idea: They would buy the house.

"It's been approved," said Stephanie. "It was approved today for them to purchase this home."

Their 3-bed, 2-bath dream home for $210,000. One happy ending in a sea of For Sale signs and the sad stories behind them in the foreclosure capital of the country.

(© MMVIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Congressional Legislation

The following information was taken from the United States Congress' Official Website.

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The information below can be found at http://www.congress.org/congressorg/issues/bills/?billnum=H.R.4735&congress=110.

Congressional Legislation
Bill # H.R.4735
To amend the Truth in Lending Act to protect tenants interests in foreclosure proceedings.
Original Sponsor:Keith Ellison (D-MN 5th)
Cosponsor Total: 1 (last sponsor added 12/17/2007) 1 Democrats

About This Legislation:12/17/2007
Introduced.Tenant Protection in Foreclosure Act of 2007 - Amends the Truth in Lending Act with respect to the effect on a preexisting lease of foreclosure on any dwelling or residential real property securing an extension of credit. States that any successor in interest in such property pursuant to the foreclosure shall assume that interest subject to: (1) provision of a 90-day notice to vacate to any bona fide tenant of such property; (2) the rights of such a tenant either to continue occupancy until the end of a preexisting lease, or until the end of the six-month period beginning on the date of the notice of foreclosure, whichever occurs first; and (3) the right of such a tenant to the 90-day notice to vacate, if the tenant has no lease or has a lease terminable at will under state law.

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The bill was referred to the House Committee on Financial Services on 12/17/2007. So far, no amendments have been made and no other action has been taken. There is no way to know when and if this bill will actually pass both the House and the Senate.

It is amazing how long it is taking our government to pass reasonable legislative laws to protect its citizens in this crisis. This bill has been "sitting" in Congress for over three months. in the meantime, thousands of foreclosed tenants have been or are about to be evicted. We need Congress to move faster or our country will be facing the largest homeless numbers in history.

Please go to http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/ to write your officials and demand that they move faster on this issue. Just put in your zip code to get a full listing of your officials. There will be direct links to write your country's president, senators and representatives. There will also be direct links to your state's governor, senate and assembly members.

These people are elected officials. If enough voters complain about this crisis, they will have to take action. Please stand up and raise your voice. That's the only way that they will take this problem seriously and take fast action.

Kiesha Joseph

Renters Face Rapid Eviction as Foreclosures Soar

This is a very good article I found on "npr" at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88251859. It was written by Richard Gonzales.

All Things Considered, March 14, 2008
The subprime mortgage crisis continues to claim casualties, and some of them aren't even homeowners.

In California, scores of renters are being kicked out of their homes, even when they haven't missed a single rent payment.

Shirley and William Hayes love the house they've been renting in a comfortable subdivision outside San Francisco. Even so, they're moving.

"I have been packing. I have almost all of the linen done. We're eating out of paper plates, plastic forks, spoons and knives," Shirley Hayes says.

A Notice Pinned to the Door

After being in the home for about a year and a half, the Hayeses found a notice pinned to their door telling them the bank had foreclosed and the property was up for sale. It was a shock because they had just renewed their rental agreement, and the landlord was still collecting rent even after they saw the foreclosure notice.

"He has never told us. That's how we found out what's going on," Shirley says.

She has a stack of documents that she says indicate that the landlord knew he was in default when he was taking their money. Ultimately, the bank turned them over to a property management company.

"And the management company gave us 30 days to get out. We would not get a refund on our deposit. We paid our rent," she says.

And that's how the Hayeses became part of the growing number of California renters who have gotten caught up in the foreclosure crisis.

Few Protections, Harsh Tactics

"Once a foreclosure occurs, those renters are being evicted without virtually any notice, despite the fact that they have paid their monthly rental bills every month without any interruptions whatsoever," says Paul Leonard, who heads California's Center for Responsible Lending.

There are no precise numbers of how many renters face eviction. But in California, some estimates suggest about 20 percent of foreclosed properties were used as rentals, and in many cases, tenants have few legal protections.

"What we're seeing is some very harsh tactics," says John Russo, the city attorney in Oakland. He says bank and property managers sometimes threaten renters with lawsuits or damaged credit reports.

"Often what they do is offer what's called 'cash for keys,' " Russo says. "So, there is a schtick: 'We're going to throw you out, and you can fight with us or we can give you $500.' At least here in the Bay area, $500 for moving expenses is nothing. It's not going to help any family."

Buying Time

Russo says many renters don't realize Oakland and several other California cities have rent-control laws that can stop evictions, even foreclosures.

Whenever his office intervenes, Russo says, the bank's agents usually back down and agree to allow tenants more time to move out.

That's ultimately what happened to the Hayeses. With the help of a legal aid attorney, they negotiated another month before they will have to move. Shirley says she and her husband are both elderly and not in good health, and being forced to move is difficult.

"People all over the country are in the same position, I know that. But what do you do? You can't afford to move, and you can't afford to stay, you know," she says.

There is a bill in Congress that would give tenants 90 days' notice when their rental has been foreclosed on. It's been approved by the House and awaits action in the Senate.

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Note from Kiesha Joseph:

Many people are turning to Legal Aid for help. My eBook gives you step by step instructions on how to complete the process yourself. My sister went to Legal Aid and was granted another 30 days. Using the processes noted in my eBook, I was able to get another four months. My sister thought it would be easier to just let Legal Aid handle the situation. She now wishes that she would've followed my directions instead.

I am happy to hear that Congress is finally concerned with the situations our country's foreclosure crisis is putting renters in. There is no excuse for them allowing so many of us to be evicted before finally deciding to step in and help. I will be researching this new bill and update you on its progress as soon as possible.