The Mortgage Crisis and the Elderly

The number of victims of the mortgage crisis are increasing on a daily basis and unfortunately includes a group of the most vulnerable citizens, the retired elderly.  Because the majority of these debtors have paid off their mortgages, the equity in their residency was too much temptation for the unscrupulous mortgage brokers.  The possibility of receiving substantial commissions for each refinancing inspired multiple undesirables to convince many elderly individuals to re-finance their homes.  Because most of these individuals live on fixed incomes, the brokers misrepresented their income in the loan application knowing well that the moment would come when they are unable to comply with the monthly payment and would face foreclosure. 

It is somewhat ironic that many of these same licensed scam artists are the same individuals that advertise loan modification services.  Even though the Obama Administration has created programs designed to alleviate the burden on mortgage debtors, the income limitations of these individuals in particular make it difficult to convince a financial institution to reduce the monthly payment to a level in harmony with their capacity to pay.  I would like to be clear, however, that it is not impossible to achieve a loan modification for these citizens, but it is difficult.  It thus requires an experienced professional and it would be a serious mistake to hire an individual that is not licensed to practice law, for various reasons. 

First of all, in the event of predatory lending violations it is possible to obtain the rescission of the mortgage agreement.  This means that the Court could decree that the consent offered by the debtor was tainted with fraud and therefore, the terms of the mortgage agreement are not enforceable.  Secondly, there are numerous Federal Statutes that confer significant remedies to victims of mortgage fraud.  Third, only an attorney trained and knowledgeable is qualified  to raise and prove these defenses.  Fortunately, the elderly debtor does have an advantage of an incalculable value, experience.  Insist on personally meeting the professional that you are going to hire.  Trust your instincts in the selection process.  Your experience has brought you this far and it should continue to serve you in the future. 

Luis A. González
Attorney and Mediator
L. A. González Law Offices, P.A

(407) 649 - 8389
laglaw@cfl.rr.com