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John Gerth Merna
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John Merna’s Answers

678 total


  • What rights am I trying to protect during foreclosure process by hiring a lawyer if I ultimately don't plan on keeping the home?

    I've read on certain posts that hiring a lawyer can protect homeowner's rights during the foreclosure process against the lender. I'm assuming rights meaning bad lender practices/not following proper standards leading to quicker foreclosures. Is ...

    John’s Answer

    For many in the process of foreclosure they couch their fight to hold on to the property in terms of "rights". For other it is strictly a matter of time. Your question is really a cost-benefit analysis of delaying the inevitable. If you do not pay on a mortgage loan you will inevitably lose the house. Since you state you do not want to keep the house your question in a nutshell is how much do you gain in time by paying an attorney to delay.

    That depends on the attorney, what he does, what has occurred in your foreclosure process, etc. Since you have not stated what the attorney has quoted you for his services a cost-benefit analysis is not possible. It is doubtful that you will gain financially by delaying the foreclosure. However, if gaining more time has a large value to you, a value that more than likely will be equal or greater than your monthly mortgage payment, then it may be worth hiring an attorney.

    You should also be aware you can buy time by delaying a foreclosure with the filing of a bankruptcy.

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  • Even if value is upside down I decided to keep paying for finance vehicle during chapter 7

    I have two automobiles, one (PAID FOR, and exempted) of which has a little over 180k miles, and is like 20 years old, but it continues to run well. I purchased a second vehicle. Its two years old, and has 50k miles. Its financed for 7 years. I kn...

    John’s Answer

    It is too late to take advantage of the cost savings. The advice you received was to take action before your credit score was hit. You are not in a bankruptcy. Most vehicle lenders will not extend you a loan until your discharge and you will pay more than the 11.5% you are currently paying. I think circumstances have overtaken your opportunity to decide.

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  • Can a bank seize my stocks?

    hello, i was recently sent a letter from bank of america saying they are gonna seize my assests if i didnt pay them back..is it possible for them to take my stocks that are in my etrade account? and if so is it legal?

    John’s Answer

    Possibly. You have to look at the contracts you signed. Generally, if you have given a bank a right of setoff or security in the assets in your account they do not generally warn you in advance. Step one: move the asset if you can. Step two: request clarification on how they are able to do it. Step three: get a new bank.

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  • I failed to file an appearance to the court within the 30 days after the summons. Do I have any options?

    I failed to respond within 30 days of the summons. I had misplaced the document stating this. However, I had called and let the law office noted on the front of the document before losing it to let them know I am working on obtaining at restructu...

    John’s Answer

    You have not said what court or what type of summons. Contacting the plaintiff's attorney does not protect your right. Certainly go to the hearing date, however, it is unlikely the judge will overlook you inaction. Contact an attorney immediately to see if it is possible to take some corrective measure.

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  • Is it legal to collect rent on a home that is in foreclosure status in the state of LA?

    The home we rent has been visited several times by a woman from the bank attempting to collect on the mortgage. She told us that in several states it is illegal to collect rent while in foreclosure. How do we find out if they are indeed in foreclo...

    John’s Answer

    You should ask to see the deed of trust or the note. Provision to collect rent are often in those documents authorizing the mortgage company to step in. As long as you occupy the premises as a tenant you have an obligation to pay.

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  • 2nd Mortgage wont approve short sale.

    I am having difficulties trying to sale my home through a short sale. The first mortgage has approved the sale and is taking a huge loss, since the home is upside down, now the problem I've encountered is that the second mortgage is not willing t...

    John’s Answer

    Tip one. Talk to an attorney. You have certain rights and protections in California. You may be throwing them away because you are assuming a short sale is the best course of action. Tip two: you need to provide more information. While there is no way to force a mortgage company to accept a short sale, there are ways to determine why they might choose not to. Some of the reasons are: 1) they think you can afford to pay; 2) the amount offered is nominal; 3) they have other plans or means to recover a greater sum.

    If you are listening to a real estate attorney without advice of a lawyer you may find out you have made a very large financial mistake.

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  • Must the new owner after trustee sale due to foreclosure be identified in the notice demanding possession from the tenant?

    The new owner was identified in the demand letter only as the "client" of the never before seen or mentioned out of state attorney. The letter was signed by a paralegal (not original signature). Letter was received Christmas eve. The property is...

    John’s Answer

    What is your goal? Delaying another month? It is not likely the new owner of a foreclosed property is going to keep a tenant complaining of habitable violations for an extended period. So the best you are going to do is a short delay. Have you contacted the new owner's agent to attempt to negotiate a move out date?

    To answer your question, no.

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  • Can a mortgage company send a default letter to your spouse if they are not on the loan?

    On Thursday my wife received a letter from Citi with my loan number and all of the information about my home loan. The letter was addressed to her and I was not mentioned in the letter. Is this legal?

    John’s Answer

    I suspect given that they are aware of her name that she was involved with the account in some manner. While she may not be obligated on the loan, the mortgage company would be obligated to notify her if she is on the deed. Additionally, if she were authorized on the account to communicate with the lender they may have sent the notification.

    Mortgage companies do not independently investigate the marital status and names of their customer's wives. Give the company a call and ask.

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  • Can HOA come after you once a foreclosure takes place?

    I own a home in GA and my HOA has a lein and has garnished my wages for past due bills. I was on a paymet arrangement and fell behind on that. I had to move to Chicago and my home will be foreclose on 1/2/2012 I wanted to know if they could garnis...

    John’s Answer

    You are responsible for all HOA fees until the property is transfered out of your name by the foreclosure. Yes, you can continue to be liened and garnished. You may want to consider a bankruptcy. Given that your credit has already been effected by the non-payment of the mortgage and the judgment for the HOA fees, a bankruptcy will have little additional negative impact on your credit score.

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