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Benjamin Earl Hillard

Benjamin Hillard’s Answers

73 total


  • If I do not show up at this deposition what would be the consequences and do I need to reveal three years of my financial Record

    We lost our house in 2008 to foreclosure we had a second mortgage of $10,000 and since we lost our house we assumed the $10,000 second mortgage went with it over the years over the years different collection agency's have tried to collect the se...

    Benjamin’s Answer

    It sounds like a deposition in-aid of execution ... meaning that the lender already has a judgment against you. It also sounds like you didn't know about the lawsuit. You should speak with an attorney right away to see if there is a legal basis to set aside the judgment. A legal basis may be lack of notice, etc. An attorney could also advise you in how best characterize your asset to stay a step ahead.

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  • Would Freddie Mac accept less than the current mortgage balance to settle?

    I have a Freddie Mac mortgage. I have relatives that are willing to get a line of credit on their home and lend me the money as an investment for them (fix up, sell, and they keep most of money), and also in order to help me buy some time and avo...

    Benjamin’s Answer

    We have had a number of clients who have had a short payoff as their primary foreclosure defense litigation goal. However, I'm going to estimate only a 20-25% success rate in achieving this outcome. It is not part of what most major lender's do. The second mortgage complicates matters also; because they are frequently handled by different branches inside the lender's office. That doesn't mean it's not worth a try. You should review lawyer websites, and then select a few to interview.

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  • My questions, I have the houses in a land trust and an llc, if I walk away can they attach the loans to primary my home in pa.

    Hi my name is Tom, I'm an investor. I have investment properties in florida, for the past ten year I have been doing my best trying to keep them. I am taking from peter to pay paul and can not do it any more, the rents can not accomedate the up k...

    Benjamin’s Answer

    Tom: First, Florida's Constitutional Homestead protection will protect your primary residence from any deficiency judgment(s) if located on 1/2 acre or less inside municipality or 160 acres outside a municipality. It could be more than a 1/2 acres some circumstances. However, if handled correctly, chances are good that you may get out of this without any deficiency judgment to even worry about. You should develop a global and per-property strategy, unless all properties are upside down. Yes, when they foreclosure suit, they also sue known tenants, but your contracts with the bank are separate from the tenants' contracts with you - so yes your tenants find out. But, they should still pay. You should review websites and attorney backgrounds and select two or so to meet with before deciding on an attorney. Our website is: www.CastleLawGroupPA.com - but review a number and then decide who to meet with.

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  • How common this is that the clerk errors and applies a default judgment to a case that had a response and time left on the clock

    Going through a foreclosure process and filed a motion for extension which was granted by the judge. Responded to the complaint well within the extension time and complainant filed a motion for default judgement which was accepted and entered by ...

    Benjamin’s Answer

    A default, or a default judgment. There is a big difference. Yes the clerks make errors. Yes, a Motion to set aside is likely the right thing. However, I wouldn't recommend someone litigate on their own. Review a number of lawyers and see who is best-suited to be effective at accomplishing the litigation goal.

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  • Can I walk away from both 1st and 2nd mortgages after I purchase another house, and what are the issues of doing so?

    I declared chapter 7 a couple of years ago, and our debt was discharged. Our mortgage was not included in the bankruptcy however the bank has it in their bankruptcy department and our credit report states that 1st and 2nd mortgages are in bankrupt...

    Benjamin’s Answer

    If the mortgage loans were not included in the bankruptcy, you are still on the hook. If you cease paying you should hire counsel and defend the lawsuit with the goal of getting an agreement with the bank to refrain from pursuing a deficiency. You should meet with several attorneys to see who you like.

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  • 1st. Can they rescind an acceleration after seven years. 2nd. If so, are past payments still due.

    I was served with a foreclosure in 2008, stating the the loan is completely due ( Accelerated). It went to trial in 2013 and dismissed, due to lack of standing. I received a mail, via first class recently by the servicing company that states, that...

    Benjamin’s Answer

    This is a complex question. I would suggest hiring a lawyer immediately. We have several client who received letters - so called "notice of de-acceleration". This is the lender's attempt to avoid a statute of limitations issue. From this former banker's perspective, de-acceleration is not a thing, unless some formal modification was entered into or some new agreement operated to de-accelerate the loan. A well reasoned response letter should be sent to the lender to attempt to preserve your legal position. Lawyer up asap. Depending on what the Florida Supreme Court does with the Statute of Limitations issue in the next few months, if you have an opportunity to get a mortgage-free property, you don't want to screw it up by failing to the best legal position possible.

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  • Can a foreclosure sale be stopped, with two outstanding motions that had not been heard, and remained in the record of the case

    file? These motions are still 'hanging', and are very relevant to the potential outcome of the case. No order was filed in respect of these two motions.

    Benjamin’s Answer

    It sounds like you should have hired an attorney and set the motions for hearing prior to entry of a final judgment. I would suggest sitting down with a lawyer asap.

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  • I had a foreclosure in 2010. I have now learned of a deficiency judgement against us. What do I do? I now live in NC.

    The foreclosure was in 2010. My husband and I had divorced the same year. We both moved out of that state. I just learned there was a deficiency judgement in FL, and it was sent to an old address that we had last lived in 5 years ago and have prob...

    Benjamin’s Answer

    The best, cleanest and often least expense results frequently come challenging jurisdiction or statute of limitations issues. In your case, if they filed a separate suit in 2014, they should have served you with it. You may also have a statute of limitations issue if they filed a new suit based on note, that they try to characterize as based on the judgement. There are a number of defense strategies listed on our website: http://castlelawgrouppa.com/short-sales/avoid-deficiency-judgment/. I would suggest interviewing several attorneys who do a lot of this work and select the one you feel is most competent to handle the issue.

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  • How do I force a mortgage company (servicer) to honor the modification they signed and agreed to.

    I was offered a mortgage modification, after the trial period they changed the offer and offered me a much less advantageous modification. I wrote them that the permanent modification offer was not acceptable and that I was changing the modificati...

    Benjamin’s Answer

    Our office has sued to enforce loan modifications on a number of occasions. If they countersigned your changes, it sounds like you would have a really strong case. You may even be able to recover prevailing party attorneys' fees. I suggest reviewing a number of lawyers websites to determine their experience-level, including our website, and then interviewing several lawyers to see who suits you best.

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  • Atty. in Fl. needs to depose financial/Bank personnel in Tx abt. foreclosures in Fl. Best way to do this? In your opinion.

    Financial institution foreclosing on home in Fl.. Atty. for home owner feels bank has performed illegal procedures in this case. Wants depositions from some of the employees who signed documents. Needs to know best way to pursue task.

    Benjamin’s Answer

    Pay the attorney to fly out there and do the depositions. I was not inclined to do this on a recent case - citing cost-benefit analysis, however, it turned out to be highly valuable and may go a long way towards developing a basis to win. You need to decide what it at stake and pay accordingly.

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