Freddie Mac Updates SCRA and Other Servicing Requirements


Article by: Dean Kanellis


On August 15, Freddie Mac issued Bulletin 2013-05, which, among other things, revises requirements relating to the SCRA and clarifies servicer responsibilities to effectively implement legal relief protections for borrowers in military service…. Read More >

Mortgage foreclosure is debt collection under the FDCPA


Article by: Dean Kanellis


FDCPALast June, the Sixth Circuit decided that a law firm could be liable, under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), for stating the wrong identity of the mortgage owner in a foreclosure complaint. In effect, the Sixth Circuit held that a pre-assignment foreclosure filing could violate the FDCPA. Earlier this month, the same court decided another case involving the application of the FDCPA to judicial foreclosure proceedings. This latest case strongly suggests that misstatements in a foreclosure complaint, and presumably other court filings, subject not only the plaintiff’s attorney to the FDCPA, but the loan servicer client as well.

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Pre-assignment foreclosure filing may violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act


Article by: Dean Kanellis


The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Wallace v. Washington Mutual, recently announced that filing a foreclosure complaint, before the note and mortgage have been transferred and assigned to the Plaintiff, may violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the “FDCPA”). More importantly, the court noted that the FDCPA may be violated even if state law permits the Plaintiff to cure a real-party in interest defect after the complaint is filed. Finally, although the defendant in this case was the law firm that represented the foreclosure plaintiff, depending on the circumstances, a servicer may be liable under the same theory that was announced by this court.

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Homeowners Can Sue Over HAMP Denial


Article by: Dean Kanellis


A homeowner who was denied a permanent loan modification can sue her lender for fraud and other state law claims. According to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, while HAMP does not provide for a private right of action, it does not preempt valid state law claims that a borrower may otherwise be able to raise.

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Two New Ordinances Impact REO Properties in Cleveland, Ohio


Article by: Lee Cuilli


Cleveland City Council recently enacted two ordinances that impact REO properties located in Cleveland, Ohio. These ordinances took effect November 16, 2011.

Ordinance 1519.11 amends existing sections 3103.09 (k) and 367.08 (b) of the Codified Ordinances of Cleveland.

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Cuyahoga County Requires Attorney Affidavits


Article by: Dean Kanellis


I am writing to let you know that, as a consequence of the robo-signing allegations that have recently come to light, the Common Pleas Court for Cuyahoga County, Ohio is in the final stages of formulating new rules that will apply to all mortgage foreclosure cases.

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Update Regarding Title Report Showdown in Cuyahoga County


Article by: Lee Cuilli


Last November our office sent a bulletin advising of a dispute regarding title report endorsements that arose in Cuyahoga County. At that time, the Ohio Title Insurance Ratings Bureau announced a change to its policy regarding judicial title report forms and strictly forbid the use of title report endorsements previously used in Cuyahoga County.

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Cuyahoga County, Ohio Judge Nancy Margaret Russo Requires Property Status Report


Article by: Lee Cuilli


Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Nancy Margaret Russo recently implemented a new policy requiring something called a Property Status Report Form (“PSRF”) be filed in every foreclosure assigned to her docket. The PSRF was prepared by Judge Russo and has been circulated to creditors’ foreclosure counsel. A copy of the same is included as an attachment to this Bulletin. Failure to file a completed PSRF within twenty (20) days of the filing of the foreclosure may result in a dismissal without prejudice.

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Recent Title Insurance Issue May Cause Foreclosure Delays in Cuyahoga County, Ohio


Article by: Lee Cuilli


The Ohio Title Insurance Ratings Bureau (“OTIRB”) recently announced Preliminary Judicial Reports (“PJR’s”) used in foreclosure cases must adhere to its prescribed format. The OTIRB is an insurance rating bureau that includes among its members most title underwriters doing business in Ohio.

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Cuyahoga County, Ohio Judge Nancy Margaret Russo has announced new foreclosure procedures


Article by: Lee Cuilli


Judge Nancy Margaret Russo has announced new foreclosure procedures which are now in effect. These changes affect Plaintiff’s obligations in foreclosure cases assigned to her docket…. Read More >

Our Fees

Our fees are competitive and conform to industry standards. In most instances, the following fee arrangements are available:


1. Collection matters are handled on a contingency fee basis, but an hourly option is available and sometimes requested by clients who hold large balance claims. At a clients’ request, fees for collection matters can be billed on a per item flat fee basis for letters, pleadings, motions, and executions.


2. Uncontested foreclosures and related bankruptcy and eviction matters are most often billed on a flat fee basis according to the Fannie Mae guidelines. Contested matters, and counterclaims, generally require additional flat fee or hourly billing, subject to client approval;


3. Uncontested replevin cases are also handled on a flat fee basis. If the right to recover possession is opposed, the matter is converted to an hourly fee basis, upon client approval;


4. Mechanic’s lien matters are treated the same as replevin cases, unless they involve multiple properties, or otherwise relate to unusual subject matter;


5. Our firm is also pioneering the availability and use of alternative fee arrangements (“AFA’s”) for legal services that have traditionally been billed hourly. The availability of AFA’s is a product of our firm’s ambition to deliver legal services in an efficient and cost-effective manner, and help clients more effectively forecast and contain costs. AFA’s are available for an ever expanding range of matters, including litigation defense, discovery disputes, and appellate practice.

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