POST MORTGAGE MODIFICATION ISSUES IN CHAPTER 13 CASES

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POST MORTGAGE MODIFICATION ISSUES IN CHAPTER 13 CASES

Some disturbing trends appear to making a comeback in the Chapter 13 mortgage sector. It was hoped that the trend towards modifying loans in Chapter 13 cases would reduce the number of issues associated with the servicing of loans during Chapter 13 bankruptcy. In the past, servicers would routinely misapply payments from a Trustee, fail to apply payments to an account or add charges and fees to accounts that were not approved by the Bankruptcy Judge. In such cases, our office would routinely see mortgages coming out of Chapter 13 cases with arrearages of thousands of dollars in past due payments and fees.

Of course, no one wanted to struggle through three or five years of Chapter 13 payments only to be told that the mortgage they fought so hard to cure was again delinquent. Our office routinely filed suit against mortgage servicers which had refused to comply with the terms of the Chapter plans and other Court orders to make sure that the hard work which went into the Chapter 13 was rewarded with a current mortgage.

Beginning in 2012, the Jacksonville Bankruptcy Court allowed for modification mediation in Chapter 13 cases involving a mortgage. Since that time, our office has had great success with saving homes through the modification process. Homes which were once unable to be saved through Chapter 13, could then be modified and cured of arrears through the program. Unfortunately, the five year cycle of Chapter 13 means that many of these loans are completing the Chapter 13 process. Instead of complying with the terms of the modification and the Chapter 13 confirmation order, we are again seeing mortgages exit Chapter 13 with substantial arrears alleged.

It is unfortunate that mortgage servicers will not honor the promises that they make to borrowers in modifications. Our office understands that filing bankruptcy and making a five year plan be successful are difficult. We will make sure that your efforts are not wasted. Mortgage servicers must be held accountable for errors in the servicing of Chapter 13 loans and for not applying payments as required by the Court and modification documents.  Give our office a call or email if you find yourself in such a position for free analysis of your potential case.

At Mickler & Mickler, we attend Court and see the bankruptcy trustees and judges in action several times a week. We have the experience to guide you to the right decision about whether to file a case, and if so, what Chapter to file.   When you contact our office, we can help you in your case with sound legal advice.

Please contact Mickler & Mickler at 904.725.0822 or bkmickler@planlaw.com. We will be happy to set you up a free appointment to discuss your situation and potential solutions.

Bryan Mickler

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