Daily Archives: February 2, 2014

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Stealing Bases: Lenders Using Writs of Assistance To Remove Tenants Post-Foreclosure in Violation of State and Federal Law

Stealing Bases: Lenders Using Writs of Assistance To Remove Tenants Post-Foreclosure in Violation of State and Federal Law

Another troubling foreclosure practice has come to light in Oregon. Lenders are using common law writs of assistance to avoid the post-foreclosure eviction process and summarily remove tenants in derogation of both state and federal laws.

State and Federal Law Protects Tenants From Summary Eviction Post-Foreclosure

Writs of assistance are creatures of common law arising from a court’s equitable powers. In the foreclosure context, writs of assistance are often used to secure the assistance of a sheriff in removing a foreclosed homeowner who refuses to leave after the sale.

Tenants, unlike owners, generally have a right to remain in the possession of the property for a period of time after the sale. Congress passed the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) in 2009. The PTFA allows tenants with a “bona fide” lease to remain in possession of the property for the greater of 90 days after foreclosure or the remainder of the lease term. A lease is “bona fide” if (1) the tenant is not the spouse, child, or parent of the homeowner; (2) the lease resulted from an arm’s-length transaction; and (3) the rent is not substantially less than fair market value. Under the PTFA, the immediate successor-in-interest to the property (i.e., the purchaser at the foreclosure sale) takes subject to the bona fide lease.

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I-Team: Newark Apartment Building Eviction Notices Bear Dead Manager’s Signature

I-Team: Newark Apartment Building Eviction Notices Bear Dead Manager’s Signature

A number of tenants at a Newark apartment tower who received eviction notices in recent months noticed something peculiar on the official documents: the signature of a building manager who died four months prior to the date the forms were issued.

“That was very weird to me. How can you use a deceased person’s signature?” said Kyle Screen, the Tenants Association President at the Pavilion apartment building on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Screen’s eviction notice was signed by Marquita Owens, a 29-year-old property manager who died of a sudden heart attack Aug. 21. Her signature on the court paperwork was dated nearly four months later, on Dec. 11.

Kettler Management, the company running day-to-day operations at the Pavilion, admits a mistake was made.

“It was a mistake and we regretted it,” said Cindy Clare, the company’s president.

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I-Team: Sandy Funds Went to NJ Town With Little Storm Damage

I-Team: Sandy Funds Went to NJ Town With Little Storm Damage

Follow the money….and.. the connections..

Gov. Chris Christie’s administration is again facing questions about how Sandy aid was distributed in New Jersey after it was revealed $4.8 million in relief funds went to help build an apartment tower in New Brunswick, a town that saw relatively little storm damage.

New Jersey’s Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency approved the disbursement as part of the state’s Fund for Rebuilding Multifamily Housing. The program is intended to speed the construction of new affordable housing in communities ravaged by the storm.

But New Brunswick lost relatively little of its housing stock when Sandy stormed through the state, and a Rutgers University study ranked New Brunswick 188th on a list of communities that suffered the most hardship due to Sandy.

“They’re not spending the money on the people that they’re supposed to be spending,” said Doris Narkum, a storm victim whose family lost their house on the Jersey Shore.

Anthony Marchetta, executive director of the housing and mortgage agency, defended using Sandy relief funds to help build the New Brunswick apartment tower. Although New Brunswick itself was not heavily damaged by Sandy, Marchetta stressed the municipality exists in Middlesex County, one of the nine counties declared a disaster area after the storm.

Anthony Marchetta, executive director of the housing and mortgage agency, defended using Sandy relief funds to help build the New Brunswick apartment tower. Although New Brunswick itself was not heavily damaged by Sandy, Marchetta stressed the municipality exists in Middlesex County, one of the nine counties declared a disaster area after the storm.

“We’re always in short supply of affordable housing in New Jersey,” Marchetta said. “But those impacted counties have been further aggravated.”

The New Brunswick project is one of 36 developments intended to increase the state’s stock of affordable housing in the wake of Sandy. In all, Marchetta said the state has committed $157 million, which is expected to generate 2,369 affordable housing units.

As for the location of those units, Marchetta said a lot of that depends on where developers propose to locate their projects.

“We made an announcement to the development community that if you have any projects in those nine counties that will generate affordable housing, bring them on.”

Forty-eight of the 238 apartments in the New Brunswick apartment tower will be classified as affordable housing.

The developer, a firm called Boraie, boasts the building will have 8,000 square feet of retail space, a parking deck and a fitness center.

And what is ex-NBA basketball player Shaq’s connection to this?

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After the Sandy aid was approved, Belleville Mayor Raymond Kimble, a Democrat, crossed party lines to endorse Christie’s re-election bid. Kimble did not respond to the I-Team’s request for comment.

Another endorsement secured by Christie came from former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal. He has invested with Boraie on other real estate projects.

 

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Foreclosure Industry Says It’ll Do A Better Job Of Screening Its Workers After Widespread Break-Ins

Foreclosure Industry Says It’ll Do A Better Job Of Screening Its Workers After Widespread Break-Ins

After hundreds of lawsuits and thousands of complaints, banks are finally pushing for reform in one of the darkest corners of the housing market. Under new guidelines expected to be adopted this year by most of the industry, the workers that watch over millions of homes in default or foreclosure will be subject to heightened levels of background checks.

The measures are meant to screen out people convicted of a criminal offense, such as theft or fraud. They follow widespread allegations, first reported by The Huffington Post, that the handymen and home inspectors that banks hire to look after vacant properties are breaking into still-occupied homes, and looting them of valuables. Some of these people, who work indirectly for the banks through a web of contracting companies, have lengthy criminal records.

“The intent is to give communities a high level of confidence that the people walking around in homes are not going to cause problems,” said Eric Miller, the executive director of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services, the trade association that helped design the new standards.

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Third Banker, Former Fed Member, “Found Dead” Inside A Week

Third Banker, Former Fed Member, “Found Dead” Inside A Week

As Bloomberg reports, following the deaths of a JPMorgan senior manager (Tuesday) and a Deutsche Bank executive (Sunday), Russell Investments’ Chief Economist (and former Fed economist) Mike Dueker was found dead at the side of a highway in Washington State. Police said the death appeared to be a suicide.

Via Bloomberg,

 

 

Mike Dueker, the chief economist at Russell Investments, was found dead at the side of a highway that leads to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in Washington state, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department. He was 50.

 

He may have jumped over a 4-foot (1.2-meter) fence before falling down a 40- to 50-foot embankment, Pierce County Detective Ed Troyer said yesterday. He said the death appeared to be a suicide.

 

Dueker was reported missing on Jan. 29, and a group of friends had been searching for him along with law enforcement. Troyer said Dueker was having problems at work, without elaborating.

 

Dueker was in good standing at Russell, said Jennifer Tice, a company spokeswoman. She declined to comment on Troyer’s statement about Dueker’s work issues.