Over a period of five years or more, primarily during the real estate boom years of 2002-2007 over 2 million mortgage loans were funded. During that period, when real estate prices were going up at an unparalleled pace, there was so much competition among lenders to make high profit loans, that underwriting guidelines became practically non-existent. Lenders in their exuberance, greedily made loans to just about any borrower who could sign their name. Not wanting to be saddled with too much debt, the lender bundled and sold off the riskier mortgages before the ink dried.
Your loan may contain violations and may be unlawful. And if that is the case you may be entitled to substantial damages whether you are current on your mortgage or if you are facing foreclosure. The rules are the same. The law does not differentiate. It is estimated that over 85% of mortgages funded during this time period contain some type of lending violation. The purpose of a forensic loan audit is to look for violations of federal and state lending practices.
The only way to be sure if your mortgage contains lending irregularities is to perform a forensic loan audit. In essence, a forensic loan audit is a comprehensive review of your most recent loan package, line by line, page by page. The purpose of the examination is to identify any illegalities performed by the lender, broker or any other parties in conjunction with the loan.
Why is this audit so important? This simple and straightforward answer is, loans must be legal to remain enforceable by the lender. Loan violations are serious offenses of federal laws and lenders may face stiff fines and penalties for breaking the laws. For the most part, lenders and banks are firms run by reasonable business people. Begrudgingly, they understand the financial mess they were instrumental in creating, and want to avoid any possible large fines or being faced with expensive litigation.
How does a forensic audit help the homeowner? Mortgage violations are the basis by which your case can be argued with lenders. Generally, the more severe those violations are, the better your chances are of obtaining a favorable settlement. This settlement can include punitive damages, attorney fees, more affordable loan terms (such as a lower interest rate, lower monthly payments and/or a principal reduction), a delay or prevention of a foreclosure sale and more. When you consider the chances of any lender getting a favorable jury decision in any court in the country, one can understand why the lender might be inclined to negotiate a settlement.
There is a saying with universal application that states that a person who elects to represent himself has a fool for a client. This is not the time or the place to try to test out your negotiating skills. There is far too much at stake. Your best course of action is to hire an attorney who is skilled in mortgage lending and real estate law. And particularly one who knows and understand the securitization audit principals. He or she will determine the proper course of action. If your loan is found to contain irregularities and is considered unlawful you may be entitled to compensation and other awards. At worst, you can be assured of an attractive loan modification on terms more to your liking.
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