Skip to main content
Michael J. Catalfimo

Michael Catalfimo’s Answers

60 total

  • Can I move back to my house which is in foreclosure proceedings?

    One year ago,due to divorce,I moved out of the marital home and rented an apartment with my daughter.My husband stopped paying the mortgage several months prior to me moving out with the intention of letting the property go into foreclosure and th...

    Michael’s Answer

    You may legally move back into the marital residence as long as: (1) you are an owner of the property (i.e., your name is on the deed); and (2) the divorce court has not made an order giving your husband the exclusive possession of the Property.

    DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is not intended to constitute legal advice, or to create an attorney-client relationship between us (See paragraph 8 of Avvo Terms and Conditions of Use). It is offered, instead, as general legal information relevant to the issue(s) raised in your question. Legal information is not the same as legal advice (i.e., the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances). If you desire to obtain legal advice, you should retain the services of an attorney to represent you. If you choose to act upon the information provided above without first retaining an attorney, you do so at your own risk.

    See question 
  • My daughter may go to law school out side of ga, but plans to practice here. What would be the complications?

    My daughter may go to law school out of state, but plans to practice in Georgia. What would be the complications?

    Michael’s Answer

    Law schools are not all the same. Ideally, your daughter's choice of law school should correspond with the type of law she wants to practice and the location she wants to practice in. If she has not already enrolled, I suggest that she speak with some practicing attorneys in your area to get their advice and recommendations.

    DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is not intended to constitute legal advice, or to create an attorney-client relationship between us (See paragraph 8 of Avvo Terms and Conditions of Use). It is offered, instead, as general legal information relevant to the issue(s) raised in your question. Legal information is not the same as legal advice (i.e., the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances). If you desire to obtain legal advice, you should retain the services of an attorney to represent you. If you choose to act upon the information provided above without first retaining an attorney, you do so at your own risk.

    See question 
  • Is my tenant required to pay their rent if I am in pre forclosure status and attempting to modify my loan?

    foreclosure, loan mod, tenant rent requirement

    Michael’s Answer

    Absolutely. Your tenant's duty to pay rent is not affected by your loan modification efforts.

    See question 
  • My home is going into forclosure due to not being able to make the monthly payments. what will happen/

    i seperated from my husband and cannot make the payments. I tried loan modification it was still too much. tried short sale nothing. The bank told me there was nothing else i could do. what will happen to me legally? I'm stressed and scared.

    Michael’s Answer

    HOUSING COUNSELING: First, if you have not already met with a qualified home ownership counselor to review your loan situation, you should do so. This link will take you to a list of HUD approved Housing Counseling Agencies in your area: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/fc/index.cfm?searchstate=NY&filterLng=&filterSvc=dfc&filterMultiState=&searchName=&searchCity=brooklyn&searchZip=&searchLang=&webListAction=Search

    REAL ESTATE ATTORNEY: Second, if you have not already met with an attorney experienced in mortgage foreclosure law to discuss your legal options, you should do so. This link will take you to the website of the NYC Legal Aid Society: http://www.legal-aid.org/en/findus/locations/brooklyn.aspx

    BANKRUPTCY ATTORNEY: If you cannot find a way to avoid foreclosure with the assistance of a housing counselor and foreclosure attorney, you should consult a bankruptcy attorney to determine whether a bankruptcy proceeding might help you to save your home.

    FORECLOSURE PROCEEDING: If a foreclosure proceeding is commenced against you, here are some things to look for:
    1. The bank is required to mail you a 90 day pre-foreclosure notice before its lawyers commence the foreclosure action.
    2. Once the action is started, you will be served with a Summons and Complaint. You should serve an answer to the complaint within the time stated in the summons.
    3. Once you answer the complaint, a foreclosure settlement conference will be scheduled. You should attend this conference and tell the Judge that you want to save your home.
    4. If the settlement conference does not produce a settlement, the bank will make a motion to have a Referee appointed to compute the amount due and owing on your mortgage (this is referred to as an Order of Reference). You or your attorney should review this motion carefully to determine whether the bank has proven all of the things it needs to in order to obtain the appointment of a Referee. If it has not, you should oppose the motion.
    5. If the Bank's motion for an Order of Reference is granted, you should attend the hearing to make sure that the Referee properly calculates the amount owing on your mortgage. If charges for taxes, insurance or other expenses are claimed by the Bank to be owing on your mortgage, you should request that the Bank produce receipts for each item it claims to have paid.
    6. Once the Referee completes his duties and reports his findings to the Court, the Bank will make a motion for a Final Judgment of Foreclosure and Sale. Again, you or your attorney should review this motion carefully to determine whether the bank has proven all of the things it needs to in order to obtain a Final Judgment. If it has not, you should oppose the motion.
    7. If a Final Judgment is granted, the bank's attorneys will then need to schedule a public sale of your property and publish a notice of this sale in the newspaper once a week for 4 weeks.
    9. The foreclosure sale serves to end your interest in the property. If you continue living in the property after the sale, the purchaser of the property will bring an eviction proceeding to have your removed.
    10. All of the foregoing can take 2-3 years to complete in Kings County.

    DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is not intended to constitute legal advice, or to create an attorney-client relationship between us (See paragraph 8 of Avvo Terms and Conditions of Use). It is offered, instead, as general legal information relevant to the issue(s) raised in your question. Legal information is not the same as legal advice (i.e., the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances). If you desire to obtain legal advice, you should retain the services of an attorney to represent you. If you choose to act upon the information provided above without first retaining an attorney, you do so at your own risk.

    See question 
  • I live in ny state and i am in last stage of foreclosure. is the lender required to giveme a chane to redeem and pay off the deb

    our motion was denied and banks crossmotion granted can i appeal or have the loan reswtructured or refinance can you recommend me a good laywer to negotiate with the bank?

    Michael’s Answer

    New York law gives a mortgagor a right to redeem the mortgaged premises from foreclosure by paying to the holder of the mortgage, at any time prior to the completion of the foreclosure auction sale, the ENTIRE amount which is due and owing on the note and mortgage. Partial payments will not accomplish a redemption; the entire amount must be paid. That would include principal, accrued interest, land ender's advances for taxes, insurance, legal fees and other costs authorized by the loan documents.

    Stopping the foreclosure action by appealing the order is technically possible, but not very likely to be effective. In addition to appealing from the order, you would need to obtain an order from the Appellate Court "staying" the foreclosure action during the time it takes to have your appeal. Securing such an order is very difficult, unless it is clear that the motion court made an obvious and significant error.

    Restructuring your loan is also technically possible, but it requires the consent of the owner or servicer of the loan. To obtain that consent, you would need, at a minimum, to demonstrate an ability to repay the loan on modified terms which were acceptable to the owner of the loan. A call to the loan servicer should give you a pretty good idea of whether or not it considers you to be a good candidate for a loan workout.

    Refinancing your loan is another potential solution, but lenders are very particular about who they extend credit to in today's economy. Since your credit has already been damaged by the pending foreclosure action, you would be well advised to contact a reputable mortgage broker for assistance in determining whether you might qualify to secure a refinance loan.

    Finally, as was mentioned in a previous answer to your question, a bankrutpcy proceeding may offer another possible way to stop the foreclosure. For several reasons, this is generally considered to be an option of "last resort." To learn more about the Bankruptcy option, you should consult a competent bankruptcy attorney.

    DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is not intended to constitute legal advice, or to create an attorney-client relationship between us (See paragraph 8 of Avvo Terms and Conditions of Use). It is offered, instead, as general legal information relevant to the issue(s) raised in your question. Legal information is not the same as legal advice (i.e., the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances). If you desire to obtain legal advice, you should retain the services of an attorney to represent you. If you choose to act upon the information provided above without first retaining an attorney, you do so at your own risk.

    See question 
  • Apt foreclosure, bankrupt landlord

    I am a renter, if my landlord declared bankruptcy and the apt is going into foreclosure do I still need to pay the landlord rent or wait until the bank tells me what to do

    Michael’s Answer

    Your landlord's financial problems do not relieve you from the legal responsibility to pay your rent, but they may change the identity of who the rent is payable to. If your landlord filed bankruptcy under Chapters 13 or 11 of the Bankruptcy Code, then your rent payments are still owed to him. If he filed under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, however, then his right to receive the rent has become part of his bankruptcy estate and your rent will be payable to the Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee (unless he chooses to abandon the property for some reason). Finally, if the bank which holds the mortgage on your apartment building obtains an order in your landlord's bankruptcy proceeding permitting it to foreclose its mortgage lien, your rent payments may become payable either to the Bank, or to a Receiver appointed in the Bank's foreclosure action.

    Eventually, someone--the landlord, the landlord's Bankruptcy Trustee, the Bank, a Receiver in the Bank's foreclosure action, or an attorney for one of these parties--will contact you and make a demand that you pay them the rent owed. You should retain an attorney at that time to review the demand and make sure that the party who sent it to you is, in fact, legally entitled to receive the rent. In the meantime, you should establish a separate checking or savings account in your own name and deposit your monthly rent payments into that account. By doing so, you will have the money available when you need it and you can demonstrate, if necessary, that you were not trying to avoid your payment obligation by withholding the payments.

    DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is not intended to constitute legal advice, or to create an attorney-client relationship between us (See paragraph 8 of Avvo Terms and Conditions of Use). It is offered, instead, as general legal information relevant to the issue(s) raised in your question. Legal information is not the same as legal advice (i.e., the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances). If you desire to obtain legal advice, you should retain the services of an attorney to represent you. If you choose to act upon the information provided above without first retaining an attorney, you do so at your own risk.

    See question 
  • Can my deceased mom's bank force me to put my name on mortgage to sell the property even though I am executor?

    Found a buyer after a long time but the property has just begun foreclosure and they have put a lockbox on door. Bank refuses to talk to me until I put my name on mortgage which I cannot do.

    Michael’s Answer

    You cannot be "forced to put your name on the mortgage." If you have provided the Bank with proper proof of your Mother's death and your appointment as the Executor of her estate, it should be willing to discuss with you the status of the mortgage and your efforts to sell the mortgaged premises. If it refuses to do so, you should retain an attorney to contact the Bank on your behalf.

    DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is not intended to constitute legal advice, or to create an attorney-client relationship between us (See paragraph 8 of Avvo Terms and Conditions of Use). It is offered, instead, as general legal information relevant to the issue(s) raised in your question. Legal information is not the same as legal advice (i.e., the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances). If you desire to obtain legal advice, you should retain the services of an attorney to represent you. If you choose to act upon the information provided above without first retaining an attorney, you do so at your own risk.

    See question 
  • Can a bank put a lien on a separate piece of property after foreclosure of our house?

    our house was foreclosed on and we own a separate piece of property that we have been trying to sell for sometime now. we had a business in this. can the bank that foreclosed on our house put a lien on our other property that we own free and clear...

    Michael’s Answer

    If the lender obtained a deficiency judgment against you as part of the foreclosure action, a lien for this judgment may be filed against any other real property you own. The lien is effective for five years (subject to the life of the judgment), may be renewed, and must be paid by the judgment debtor upon conveyance, sale or refinance of the property.

    DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is not intended to constitute legal advice, or to create an attorney-client relationship between us (See paragraph 8 of Avvo Terms and Conditions of Use). It is offered, instead, as general legal information relevant to the issue(s) raised in your question. Legal information is not the same as legal advice (i.e., the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances). If you desire to obtain legal advice, you should retain the services of an attorney to represent you. If you choose to act upon the information provided above without first retaining an attorney, you do so at your own risk.

    See question 
  • If I marry a non-custodial parent in New York State, will I will responsible to pay his child support?

    child support, marriage

    Michael’s Answer

    To properly understand the answer to your question, you must distinguish between "direct" legal responsibility, on the one hand, and "indirect" legal responsibility, on the other.

    With respect to "direct" legal responsibility, the law in New York is that you are NOT legally responsible to support, or pay child support for, a step-child. The exception to this rule, however, is found in Section 101 of the New York Social Services Law, which makes a step-parent legally responsible for the support of a step-child under the age of 21 if that step-child either: a) is a recipient of public assistance; or b) is liable to become a recipient of public assistance in the absence of support by the step-parent.

    So, as long as your your new husband's child or children do not become the recipient(s) of public assistance, or in need of such assistance, you will have no direct legal responsibility to support them.

    With respect to "indirect" legal responsibility, New York law permits a court to "impute income" to the "non-custodial parent" of a child for purposes of calculating the amount of child support he or she must pay to that child's "custodial parent." This can be done in a variety of ways, but one of them involves the court taking into consideration "...money, goods or services provided [to the the non-custodial parent] by relatives and friends." For example, if you were to contribute to the payment of your husband's living expenses by giving him money or paying his bills, that contribution could be considered by the court in fixing your husband's monetary child support obligation. Also, if you were to enhance your husband's life style by paying for vacations or travel, entertainment, or expensive consumer goods, the court could consider your husband's enhanced standard of living in fixing the amount of his child support obligation.

    When a family member's money, goods or services are considered in fixing the child support of a non-custodial parent, that family member does NOT become legally obligated to directly support the child, or to pay support to the child's custodial parent. To the extent, however, that the family member's economic contributions to the non-custodial parent serve to increase the non-custodial parent's monetary child support obligation, it can be argued that the family member has become "indirectly" responsible for the child's support.

    If you are concerned about protecting your income and assets from the custodial parent of your husband's child(ren), you should consult with a qualified divorce or family law attorney to learn more about this issue.

    DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is not intended to constitute legal advice, or to create an attorney-client relationship between us (See paragraph 8 of Avvo Terms and Conditions of Use). It is offered, instead, as general legal information relevant to the issue(s) raised in your question. Legal information is not the same as legal advice (i.e., the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances). If you desire to obtain legal advice, you should retain the services of an attorney to represent you. If you choose to act upon the information provided above without first retaining an attorney, you do so at your own risk.

    See question 
  • What are the chances of a deficiency judgement against a borrower for a short sale or foreclosure in New York?

    My wife purchased two duplexes (rentals) in Syracuse, NY 4 years ago before we met. Currently, the properties are in a short sale waiting for the lender to approve offer. I'm aware NY is a recourse state and lenders can pursue borrower up to 10 ye...

    Michael’s Answer

    In order for a short sale to be completed, the lender must release the lien of its mortgage (otherwise the short sale purchaser cannot obtain clear title to the mortgaged premises). Releasing the mortgage lien, however, does NOT automatically cancel the mortgagor's liability for the payment of the debt. If the lender's short sale agreement does not clearly state that your wife's personal liability is being released, you should request that such language be included in the agreement. If the lender refuses, you can then reasonably conclude that the lender has already decided to pursue your wife for the deficiency once the short sale is completed, or it at least wants to keep open the option to do so.

    Without knowing the identity of the particular lender(s) and its/their servicing agent, it is impossible to state how likely it is that a deficiency judgment would be pursued. Your best course of action is to attempt to negotiate a release of liability in advance of the closing.

    DISCLAIMER: The foregoing is not intended to constitute legal advice, or to create an attorney-client relationship between us (See paragraph 8 of Avvo Terms and Conditions of Use). It is offered, instead, as general legal information relevant to the issue(s) raised in your question. Legal information is not the same as legal advice (i.e., the application of law to an individual's specific circumstances). If you desire to obtain legal advice, you should retain the services of an attorney to represent you. If you choose to act upon the information provided above without first retaining an attorney, you do so at your own risk.

    See question