Foreclosure Defense- As a young attorney, our principal attorney Mark S. Martinez, esq. was baptized in real estate law by filing foreclosure defense lawsuits against lending institutions that had deep pockets and far more experienced attorneys, with greater resources Mr. Martinez was forced to learn through representation of these desperate clients to develop and learn that these institutions must be attacked with “a save the home at all costs” mentality. Why? Because these institutions simply REFUSE to follow the procedural requirements under California Law. The Homeowner’s Bill of Rights (Cal. Civ. Code § 2920, et seq.) lays out several stringent requirements for loan servicers to adhere to when foreclosing on residential real property in California that are owner occupied. These laws generally require that a homeowner or “borrower” is considered for and has a meaningful opportunity to obtain available loss mitigation options such as loan modifications or other alternatives to foreclosure. Cal. Civ. Code § 2923.4.
Yet, what some of these lending institutions is feign cooperation while building up a wall of ignorance such as failure to respond to communications by the homeowner, sending contradictory information in regards to loan modification reviews, and improper loan modification denials. Why do these lenders commit such atrocities? The answer is a simple, universal truth when it comes to financial institutions, money. These institutions are in the loan servicing business for profit, thus it is economically more profitable to take a “wait and see” approach to foreclosure. That is pretend to cooperate while extending the amount of time that a borrower is in foreclosure so that the lending institution can bloat the loan with additional exorbitant costs, late charges, and attorneys’ fees at the expense of a broke and disadvantaged homeowner.
Whether it is an unlimited civil lawsuit, lender negotiation, formal mediation, or Bankruptcy our firm assesses and tailors each potential client’s case differently. The overall goal being to have our clients keep their property and become current on their mortgage.
The Law Offices of Mark S. Martinez has learned that these lenders and loan servicers will stop at nothing to gain profit, even at the expense of removing families from homes that they have lived in for decades and generations. These lawsuits also speeded up the learning curve where our principal attorney, Mr. Martinez, is now a seasoned Real Estate Litigation Attorney that is familiar with any aspect of the Litigation process including representation at trial.
Oftenties Owners of Real Property have disagreements. In these disagreements typically one owner has imposed theirwill over the other owner in some form or fashion. For example, one owner is enjoying all the benefits of ownership; living in the property, receiving rental income, and refusing to sell the property to free up equity. Meanwhile the other owner is left with a burden of uncertainty or even worse, loss of income from being taken advantage of sleeping on their rights, sharp dealings, or fraud. Under the California Code of Civil Procedure § 872.210, et seq. typically Joint Tenants enjoy an unequivocal right to sell the property. Oftentimes a partition of sale of real property is a legal mechanism that the parties may use to “force a sale of the real property.”
Because of the complexity of Real Estate Transactions; There is Real Property, then there is a title to the real property, next there is usually a mortgage loan that will be used to purchase at least a portion of the real property and finally there is a Real Property Purchase Agreement. But how does one usually know about these material items and what must be contained within these documents? Easy, they consult an expert. However, because of the high and rising prices in California Real Estate at times these so called experts and/or professionals are consumed with greed and the All American dollar and stop at nothing to strip equity from unsuspecting and honest individuals that put too much Trust in these smooth talking salespeople. The result, homeowners being defrauded out of a significant portion of their equity, all of their equity, facing eviction and/or losing their life savings to a sharp real estate professional. This is where The Law Offices of Mark S. Martinez comes in. We will represent you and fight tooth and nail, to get you some, all, or even more money then you lost based on taking full advantage of the legal rights owed to you as an owner of Real Property in California. Again time is of the essence, act now and call for a free consultation!
A service that is not used enough and usually the most cost-effective. Document review is a way in which you can contact our office and have us review real estate documents before you sign them or consult our firm prior to entering into an uncertain deal. Oftentimes the most hotly contested lawsuits are the ones that are entered into without sufficient legal protection. For example, California contract law requires that in order for a contract (“agreement”) to be enforceable involving Real Estate or the lease of Real Property for a period of longer than 1 year, MUST BE IN WRITING. Cal. Civil Code § 1624. Most of the lawsuits that our firm is involved in represent one party are another where the terms of the agreement are not entirely clear. Therefore, it is always best to have the MATERIAL TERMS IN WRITING. At The Law Offices of Mark S. Martinez our principal attorney, Mark S. Martinez would be happy to sit down one-on-one and face-to-face an review your documents to ensure they accurately convey what the parties intend to have happen.
The process of eviction is codified under the California Code of Civil Procedure § 1159, et seq. The process of eviction is heavily oriented with procedure because it shortens the time in which the lawsuit will be adjudicated.
For example if rent is not paid a Landlord may evict a Tenant with a 3 day Notice to Pay or Quit. If the Tenant does not perform within these three days, then the Landlord may commence an eviction action which is called an unlawful detainer. The Landlord (Plaintiff) then must personally serve a copy of the summons and complaint upon all defendants and known occupants of the property. Once served these defendants have 5 (FIVE) CALENDAR DAYS to file a responsive pleading to the Complaint. If not, a default will be entered. Further California Unlawful Detainer law requires that a TRIAL DATE be set within 20 (TWENTY) CALENDAR DAYS from the date of the party’s request. In short, this summary proceeding can evict a tenant from their home within less than 30 (THIRTY) DAYS, therefore a Tenant must act extremely fast to take advantage of all their rights.
The good news is that in California Unlawful Detainer Law a Tenant that is being evicted does in fact have quite a few rights. In short, if procedure is not followed to the T, then a case could be decided in favor of the Tenant including an award of Attorneys’ Fees to the Tenant’s Attorney. Therefore, a number of Unlawful Detainer cases are decided outside of the courtroom through settlement.
Here at our firm we focus on the Tenant. Why? Because we like representing the underdog and the disadvantaged. Usually the Landlord has placed themselves in a superior position because they have more bargaining power and have been involved in many lawsuits. But not to worry because so has our firm. The exciting part is that every now and then a Landlord is represented by a law firm that runs a sloppy eviction mill that cuts corners and fails to adhere to all the necessary procedural requirements which then puts the Landlord at a disadvantage once the lawsuit is filed.
A successor in interest is an owner of a property that has inherited or having been gifted a property from a family member, friend or loved one that is now deceased. The potential issue is that this “successor in interest” will usually be left with a debt in which they are not in privity. That is, the new owner of the property is not on the mortgage loan or note by name, but rather the previous owner. This presents a whole different set of problems when the new owner attempts to communicate with the loan servicer in regards to managing this debt. Whether it is through payoff of the delinquency, sending in current payments, assuming the loan (changing the loan from the old owner’s name to the new owner’s name) or selling the property.
Beginning in 2017, SB 1150 will codify and implement requirements for successors in interest which will require Lenders and Loan Servicers to actually communicate and work with these new owners of property to assume the loan, pay the delinquency, apply for a loan modification, and/or other necessary actions to take full advantage of their Real Property Ownership Interests.