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22.06.2016
Debts amount greater than $100,000 – fee determined on as per-case basis after FREE Consultation. As the firm’s partner, Steven Zalewski has been practicing in Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties for over twenty four (24) years. The assistance I received from the attorneys at Anderson Shen, PC was excellent and affordable. I am currently in San Francisco where I just attended the annual convention of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA).  I write this report from there on May 1, 2010.
Many years ago I discovered how exciting it is to travel across the country to interact with fellow bankruptcy practitioners and learn the latest about strategies for protecting consumer bankruptcy debtors, and tips for running a bankruptcy law office. Over the course of three days, some of the country’s leading bankruptcy attorneys as well as a number of bankruptcy judges, provide valuable insight at daily programs and seminars. What I find just as important is trading notes and war stories with other bankruptcy attorneys from across the country and learning about new products and services at the accompanying trade show.
In a half-day program which addressed the means test, the speakers concluded that both the United States Trustee and our country’s bankruptcy judges have become more lenient in interpreting the means test in Chapter 7 cases.  There are three reasons for this trend. Apparently, the current recessionary climate and sentiment against large banking institutions is resulting in the U.S. Finally, there seems to be a greater number of experienced bankruptcy attorneys who know what red flags to look out for and consequently these experienced attorneys refrain from filing abusive cases.
This was indeed the case just two three years ago here, in the Eastern District of New York.  Our Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the district, Hon. There was ample discussion about President Obama’s Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) which seems to be rife with problems as an unusually small percentage of homeowners actually get permanent relief. The new law will also provide certain protections to Chapter 13 debtors as mortgagees will be precluded from objecting to discharge.
In addition, they gave out so much shwag that my ten-year-old son, Max, will be delighted to receive from me upon my return a large number of squeeze toys, flashlights, keychains, fancy chocolates, playing cards, puzzles, T-shirts and what-not that I picked up from these exhibitors.
One of the most crowded exhibitor booths belonged to a OTB, an company that created BK Express, a comprehensive practice management system which is designed for consumer bankruptcy attorneys. In a very dynamic session, we were told that 50% of all residential mortgages in this country are nominally owned by MERS, which is Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, a privately held company that operates an electronic registry designed to track servicing rights and ownership of mortgage loans in the United States. If your client has a MERS mortgage, consider looking at the pooling and service agreement to make sure that there was a true and valid assignment at every link of the chain, including delivery and acceptance of assignment documents.  If there was not, you may have a good objection to a MERS proof of claim or motion to lift the stay.
Homeowners with Bankruptcy Histories Are Often Able to Get Mortgages, Sometimes at Respectable Rates. Chapter 13 Debtors in Open Cases Who Seek to Refinance Must Either Obtain a Court Order or Withdraw Their Case. Practice Pointer for Helping Debtors with Mortgages and Re-financing: Be aware that financing is often available, advise your client of the options, and suggest that your client retains legal counsel for real estate transactions. Motions to lift the stay must comply with the various rules.     The most common type of motion in consumer bankruptcy practice is a motion to lift the stay. Almost all creditors’ attorneys now bring “lift-stay” motions by filing and serving a “notice of presentment of a proposed order lifting the stay,” as this type of application alleviates the need to make a court appearance unless opposition is filed. Lift-stay motions often contain fatal mistakes.    Most lift-stay motions are prepared by secretaries and paralegals. Reviewing a lift-stay motion for errors can help your client.    Even in situations where there is a low likelihood of the debtor ultimately saving the subject premises, you may be able to extend the debtor’s time in the house by bringing these fatal flaws to the attention of the court.
Were the motion papers properly served?     Make sure that service of the motion was proper. Did the motion include the necessary supporting documents?   A motion to lift the stay must include a copy of the mortgage note and mortgage, and these documents must show the date of recording. Is there a supporting affidavit from the loan representative?   It is elementary law that all motions must be supported by an affidavit from someone who has actual knowledge of the relevant facts. Has the mortgagee properly demonstrated the value of the property?    When the mortgagee asserts that the ground for lifting the stay is that the mortgage indebtedness exceeds the value of the property, then the mortgagee must include a valuation report such as an appraisal or broker’s price opinion letter as an exhibit to the motion.
Is the motion seeking proper relief?   Generally, a motion to lift the stay, when brought by notice of presentment, may not seek any type of equitable relief other than an unadorned vacating or modifying of the stay to permit the mortgagee to enforce its state law remedies. What happens if you demonstrate a fatal error?   The mortgagee must usually start the entire motion process all over again. If you're overwhelmed with debt or behind on your mortgage call The Brooke Law Firm today at (631) 397-0042 to find out your options to get back on track and become debt free. The Brooke Law Firm is centrally located in Suffolk County just west of Bay Shore at 256 Orinoco Drive, Suite C, Brighwaters NY 11718. The Brooke Law Firm has filed thousands of bankruptcy cases in it's years of experience and has the knowledge to get you debt free today. With the right information and advice provided to you by an honest legal professional at The Brooke Law Firm you have the opportunity to make a decision that will positively impact your finances - and put your concerns at ease. During your free initial consultation you will meet with an experienced attorney who will review your financial situation and answer any questions that you have about bankruptcy. You won't be rushed and we will spend however long is necessary so you feel comfortable.
We will also provide you with a short questionnaire and list of documents that are needed to prepare your bankruptcy paperwork.
When you are ready to move forward all you need to do is call to make an appointment to drop of your paperwork.
You can now rest easy knowing that you'll soon be on your way to financial freedom and debt relief. In emergencies such as a foreclosure sale date of a home or frozen bank account, the paperwork can be prepared and filed within the same day. Having to confront handling your finances can be a difficult thing to do, but ignoring them can lead to dire consequences. Attorney John Brooke won't speak to you in complicated legalese, but instead he will explain in simple terms the options for relieving your financial burdens. You will also start rebuilding your credit almost immediately by taking certain steps after filing for bankruptcy. The Brooke Law Firm is not a bankruptcy mill where you will be pushed off on a secretary or paralegal once you meet with an attorney. Are you struggling with debt, in foreclosure, or harassed by debt collectors at you job and home?
With over a million and a half consumers filing bankruptcies each year, many mortgage companies have tapped into the lucrative market of offering mortgages to those who recently sought Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection, and even those still making payments in open Chapter 13 cases. Although the borrower may not qualify for the best rates (known as “A” paper) if there was a recent bankruptcy filing, they may nevertheless qualify for sub-prime rates, (known as “B, “C” or “D” paper).


According to some published guidelines, a former Chapter 7 debtor may be eligible for the best rate FHA mortgage just two years after the discharge if the borrower has re-established good credit or has not re-established any new credit. If the borrower is still a debtor in a pending Chapter 13 case, refinancing a home will require seeking court approval of the refinance by bringing a motion. Previous bankruptcy filers may have no choice other than obtaining an adjustable rate mortgage hybrid.
Several times a year I deal with a lender or abstract company who insists, incorrectly, that certain discharged debts actually remain for various reasons. Robins, Esq., is a frequent columnist for the Attorney of Nassau, published in Nassau County New York for members of the bar. Such motions are typically brought by a secured creditor, such as a mortgagee or auto lender, because the debtor has fallen behind with his or her payment obligations. However, the judges in this district have strict chamber’s rules pertaining to how such applications can be brought, which are in addition to Bankruptcy Code and local rule requirements. A large percentage of these applications are not sufficiently reviewed by supervising attorneys and do not meet all of the court’s requirements. No matter how solid a creditor’s position is, the creditor still has an absolute obligation to make sure that its motion papers are properly prepared and conform to the Bankruptcy Code as well as local rules and chamber’s rules.
The moving party must file with the court an affidavit of service or certificate of mailing indicating that all proper parties were served. If the moving creditor is not the same entity as the creditor set forth in the mortgage and note, then there must be a recital in the motion papers explaining that either the mortgage was assigned or that the movant is a servicing agent.
The valuation report must be current, which generally means that it must have been made within the preceding 90 days, or within 90 days of the petition date. Accordingly, a proposed order cannot seek payment of costs and attorney’s fees as this creates an inconsistency between section 362 (a)(d)(2) and section 506 (b).
This means that the mortgagee must take the necessary time to correct and amend its motion. Robins, Esq., is a frequent columnist for the Nassau Lawyer, the official publication of the Nassau County Bar Association in New York. If you have financial problems due to job loss, medical illness, divorce, foreclosure or just want to know what are your options to become debt free, call The Brooke Law Firm today.
We are conveniently located close to many major roadways including Sunrise Highway, Southern State Parkway and Sagtikos Parkway. When you are struggling with unmanageable debt, high interest rates, unpaid bills, unexpected expenses and creditor harassment, it can all seem overwhelming. Give yourself a fresh start and clean slate to your financial life today by contacting The Brooke Law Firm. You will walk out of the office with a clear understanding of how you can wipe your financial slate clean and get a fresh start. Within a day or two the paperwork will be prepared by Attorney John Brooke for you to come back to review and sign. Any necessary follow up with the creditors will be done so they are aware that you are now protected by the federal bankruptcy laws.
With the help of a caring and dedicated attorney at the Brooke Law Firm we will work closely with you to determine your financial situation.
Scheduling a free bankruptcy consultation is your first step towards peace of mind and eliminating your debt. During the initial meeting we will thoroughly explain the bankruptcy process and what you can expect before, during and after the bankruptcy is finished.
The only person you will deal with is an experienced bankruptcy attorney from start to finish.
He is a 2006 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a 2011 graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law.
Zalewski and his associate bankruptcy attorneys have the experience, knowledge, care, and legal skills to help with any Bankruptcy consumer credit transaction….
We will meet with you to evaluate your debts and analyze your finances so that we can give you debt advice and come up with a debt solution.
Buoyed by low interest rates and a hot real estate market, the mortgage industry has become incredibly competitive and has relaxed many previous requirements that have acted as impediments to former bankruptcy debtors seeking to obtain a new mortgage or refinance an existing one.
Just a few years ago, debtors seeking to obtain mortgages under such circumstances found it difficult, if not impossible. Lenders with programs for recent debtors will typically offer something like a two-year hybrid adjustable rate mortgage in which the mortgagor has the option of converting to a more conventional mortgage with better interest rates after a two year period of time, provided that the borrower makes timely payments and keeps his new credit history clean. If more than two years have elapsed since the Chapter 7 bankruptcy was discharged and the borrower is applying for a VA mortgage, then the bankruptcy will not even be considered. However, when it comes to borrowers who have blemished credit histories or previous bankruptcies, I sometimes suggest that they consult with a mortgage broker, who will have access to many potential lenders, and who should be keenly familiar with the various sub-prime financing issues.
Consider discussing this issue with the Chapter 13 trustee if refinancing becomes a possibility.
This usually happens when the client refinances without the aid of legal representation or uses an attorney who is unfamiliar with bankruptcy law, and I get a frantic call from the client while they are sitting at a closing table.
The various court rules seek to protect a debtor by requiring that various due process requirements be satisfactorily addressed. Consequently, it is often possible to spot a fatal procedural flaw, which, if brought to the attention of the court, could end up buying your client more time in their home. I have focused the following discussion primarily on lift-stay motions brought by mortgagees (as opposed to other secured creditors like car loan lenders), as efforts undertaken by a foreclosing mortgagee will probably affect your client the most. This includes the debtor, debtor’s counsel, and the bankruptcy trustee, all of whom are indispensable parties who must be joined.
If the mortgage was assigned, a copy of the recorded instrument of assignment must be attached to the motion papers.
This affidavit must set forth the post-petition payment defaults and the total amount of the mortgage indebtedness. The mortgagee must then re-serve all necessary parties, and begin the twenty-day time period all over again. When you call The Brooke Law Firm you'll work with a friendly, experienced and knowledgeable attorney from start to finish.
Recovering your financial stability and quality of life is all but impossible without taking steps to change your circumstances. We offer experienced guidance and applicable information, no matter your particular needs or concerns. After your bankruptcy is filed the creditors are legally prohibited from contacting you or attempting to collect on any of your debts.


We provide free advice during the initial consultation and will recommend the best options for you.
My office also has a policy of returning phone calls or e-mails within one business day or in most cases the same day.
Extremely knowledgeable and with a relaxed friendly demeanor, John immediately eased the burden of a difficult situation from the moment I first spoke with him on the telephone and took a great weight off my shoulders. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Our expert affordable bankruptcy attorneys in Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Nassau County, Suffolk County, and Westchester County at Anderson Shen, PC can help stop the harassment and get you back your peace of mind. There is no cost for you to set up an appointment to come in and discuss your case and get debt counseling.
You can help your prior bankruptcy client purchase their first home, or take advantage of increased equity in their existing home by helping them with refinancing. Today, however, mortgage lenders actively solicit the profitable sub-prime market of recent home-owner debtors. Even former debtors who developed additional negative credit information after their bankruptcy was concluded can qualify for financing if they have a healthy loan-to-value ratio of 70% or less. If the borrower is applying for a conventional mortgage, then they will be considered for the best rate after four years, although some lenders will consider them after three years, if there is a good reason. As a variety of lenders offer different programs to borrowers with prior bankruptcies, a mortgage broker catering to this customer base should have a good familiarity with what program might be best for a particular borrower.
Alternatively, you may consider withdrawing the debtor’s petition, although you would only want to do this if the conditional mortgage commitment permits it, and the debtor can handle the unsecured debt after the case is dismissed. As your client previously got into a financial bind resulting in the prior bankruptcy filing, it is important that you advise them about preparing realistic future budget projections so that they do not end up in a future financial bind when the rate increases. In-house title examiners at abstract companies are notorious for their lack of knowledge about the implications of a bankruptcy filing. A former law clerk estimated that as many as one-fourth of all lift-stay motions are initially defective. In addition, notices of presentment must have a time period of at least 20 days from the date of service to the date of presentment. This is important as exhibits are often generated from microfiche where the legibility may be poor. If the movant is the servicing agent, then the motion papers must contain a copy of the servicing agreement or power of attorney authorizing the servicing agent to take legal action to enforce the mortgage. In addition, the affidavit must either indicate that the stay should be lifted for cause, in which event the specific cause should be set-forth, or the stay should be lifted because the mortgage indebtedness exceeds the value of the property. The valuation report must be signed and must also contain language in the form of an affidavit that the person who prepared the report attests that he or she is disinterested and is not a broker or selling agent under a listing agreement and does not anticipate acting as the broker or listing agent for any party in interest.
Our goal is to help you determine the best possible course of action for your unique financial situation.
The Brooke Law Firm will stop any wage garnishment, unfreeze your bank accounts, remove liens on your house, respond to lawsuits, stop a foreclosure and in some cases eliminate a second mortgage. Any time I had a question, a rant, or needed clarification on a topic, John was either there to personally take my phone calls or promptly called back, as well as quickly answering my many emails. It may be challenging to determine if a New York Bankruptcy Lawyer can assist you properly. Savvy brokers should also be able to give tips to clients in advance about improving chances for qualifying. Also remember that the debtor loses the protection of the bankruptcy stay once the case is dismissed. You should persuade former bankruptcy clients that it is advisable to utilize counsel for all real estate financing transactions.
Robins is a bankruptcy lawyer who has represented thousands of consumer and business clients during the past twenty years.
The person who signs the valuation report must include a statement of his or her professional qualifications.
In my legal experiences where I have often felt hung out to dry with aloof lawyers who did not appreciate their client's urgency but having no problem draining my retainer by the minute with each query, John treated me with dignity, empathy, and respect. Lenders, in their drive to maximize profits, have actually become quite lenient with the sub-prime market and have relaxed some previous requirements. In such instances, debtors need only wait 12 months from the date of filing and may even be in an open case. Therefore, you should only withdraw a case if it appears absolute that all closing conditions have been met, and the closing will definitely occur.
Then, if the lender’s abstract company raises a bankruptcy-related problem, insist on speaking directly with underwriting title company’s clearance department or legal department to clear up any bankruptcy-related title exceptions.
The report must contain a suitable description of comparable values of properties that have been recently sold. An attorney-client relationship can only be established by mutual written consent with an attorney.
If the moving party is taking the position that the mortgagee lacks adequate protection, then the moving papers cannot contain any inconsistent statements which indicate that the mortgagee is fully secured. Unless and until an attorney-client relationship is established, e-mail and other communications sent may not be privileged.
In lieu of providing a valuation report, the mortgagee can rely on the debtor’s admission of the value of the property as indicated in the debtor’s bankruptcy schedules. John always took his time with me and I never felt rushed as he paid great attention to the detail of my case looking for anything that would help me be successful. In such an event, the creditor must include a legible copy of the debtor’s schedule “A” or “D” as an exhibit. In that role he was responsible for recruiting, training, managing and marketing for one of the nations most aggressive and fastest growing companies in the insurance industry. I would recommend John with no reservation in a heartbeat and he will be my first phone call should I need legal advice and representation in the future.



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