Bankruptcy is an excellent retirement strategy, especially if you are behind in saving for retirement because your credit card debt is robbing you of your ability to save.

Just look at the math:

Let’s say you’re about 10 years away from retirement, and you owe $25,000 in credit card debt at a typical 18.9% interest. Based upon your budget, you can pay no more than $500 per month toward this debt while maintaining your monthly expenses.

In JACKSONVILLE, foreclosures filings continue to decrease, however there are still thousands of homeowners still struggling with their mortgage companies. 

Florida courts, specifically Duval, St. Johns, Clay and Nassau counties, areas that affect First Coast Families continue to fast pace foreclosures through the court system, in many cases ignoring homeowner’s due process rights. 

Our recent win against Bank of America was featured in an article in the Bloomberg BNA’s Bankruptcy Law Report. Our client was awarded over $200k in damages after being falsely accused for more than two years of being in default on their mortgage.

Judge Timothy Corrigan said that the plaintiffs “might as well have been talking to a brick wall” as their repeated attempts to inform Bank of America of its error went ignored.

“We are all cattle when it comes to mortgage servicing in this country,” our own, Chip Parker who represented the plaintiffs, told Bloomberg BNA. “Our home loans are frequently shuffled from servicer to servicer with no incentive to treat customers like people.”

Last August Bank of America agreed to a record $16.7 billion settlement with the Justice Department over their past mortgage practices. Part of the settlement also requires Bank of America to provide $7 billion in consumer relief over the next four years.

As this landmark settlement has faded from headlines questions regarding the payout of consumer relief have surfaced. Bank of America has told a number of borrowers that it intends to ‘forgive’ some loans that have been discharged in borrowers’ bankruptcies. But that debt has already been forgiven.

Our own Chip Parker, has been interviewed by The New York Times and had this to say on the issue: “Releasing a debt that has already been discharged is not in the spirit of the settlement. My concern is that the bank will use these cases to avoid having to give true principal reductions to people who need it.”

Our own Chip Parker is discussed in an article written by The New York Times about the unlawful debt collection practices by mortgage finance giants like Fannie Mae.

“It’s bad enough that Fannie Mae and their collectors are pursuing consumers many years after they’ve lost their homes,” Mr. Parker said. “But the fact that these lawsuits may be built on a foundation of foreclosure fraud is galling.”

To read the full article and learn what our firm is doing in the fight against illegal debt collection practices in Florida click here.

The servicing of thousands of mortgage loans recently transferred from Bank of America, National Association to Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC. The accounts transferred were part of a Taylor, Bean & Whitaker junk loan portfolio that has plagued borrowers for years.

Taylor, Bean & Whitaker (“TBW”) filed for bankruptcy protection on August 24, 2009. Servicing of 180,000 accounts transferred from TBW to Bank of America around September of 2009. Ever since, Bank of America has improperly servicing consumers’ loans for years. Bank of America refuses to properly review loan modifications, properly honor loan modifications, properly apply payments, and often files wrongful foreclosure complaints despite borrowers sending numerous letters. Bank of America’s mortgage servicing is nothing short of oppression for many borrowers, as borrowers undergo years of feeling as if their home could be lost at any moment–despite paying modified payments for years.

Unfortunately for the borrowers whose loans have been transferred from Bank of America to Carrington, the problems are not over. Many of the service transfers were effective August 1, 2014, and Parker & DuFresne is already seeing problems. Some borrowers have been fighting with Bank of America for years to have their loan modification honored, only to have their loan transferred to Carrington, who is immediately declaring borrowers in default despite years of modified payments made towards modifications.

“Post Foreclosure Hell” describes the latest gift to Americans from the banks, FANNIE MAE and FREDDIE MAC. After the massive bail-outs by the American taxpayer, the banks, FANNIE and FREDDIE are now using “deficiency judgments” to collect on loans years after foreclosed homes were taken and sold. If successful, homeowners who believed the foreclosure crisis was behind them could find a lawsuit at their door and there hard earned wages being garnished. In Florida alone, thousands of deficiency suits were filed prior to July 1, 2014. If you are served with a deficiency lawsuit, do not ignore it. Your assets could be seized or your wages garnished. Contact an attorney immediately. At Parker & DuFresne, P.A. we defend these judgments and we can help you learn your options. Call us today for a free consultation!

Many Americans who lost their homes in the housing bust are suddenly facing a new foreclosure nightmare: debt collection. Our own, Chip Park, is about to file a class action lawsuit against these debt collectors for violating fair debt collection processes.

To read more about the current debt collection processes quoted as “monumentally unfair and damaging to the economy” click here.

In a blockbuster article last month the Center for Public Integrity documented what foreclosure defense attorneys have known for years: there is little if any due process for homeowners in Florida’s foreclosure courts. The foreclosure crisis has become a “court” issue and a parallel court system has been created to deal with the crisis. Cases in Duval County are not heard by elected judges, but by retired judges. The courts want to clear 256,000.00 foreclosure cases from its system in three years. That means hundreds of motions a day and no reprieve even when the homeowner and the bank want to work things out. DON’T GET CAUGHT IN FLORIDA’S FORECLOSURE COURTS UNREPRESENTED. If you are served with a foreclosure, contact an attorney immediately. At Parker & DuFresne, P.A. we represent homeowners and can help you find options to your foreclosure.

While foreclosure activity is down across the country, including Florida, Florida still leads the nation in foreclosures. As recently published, one in 469 housing units is in foreclosure across Florida. If you are facing foreclosure, speak to a lawyer. Don’t sit back and hope it will go away. You may have options you have never considered. At Parker & DuFresne, P.A. we have been fighting foreclosures since the bubble burst in 2008. Give us a call at (904) 733-7766 and set up a free consultation.