Brookstone Law, PC: Obama Administrations Mortgage Deal Could Exclude Borrowers from Future Action Against Banks

Newport Beach, CA (Vocus/PRWEB) March 02, 2011

Recent media reports that the Obama administration is trying to reach an agreement with banks over mortgage-servicing breakdowns highlights the need for homeowners facing foreclosure to have legal counsel prior to any settlement, according to Vito Torchia, Jr. managing attorney of Brookstone Law.

According to media reports, the Administration’s proposed settlement would require banks and loan servicers to bear the cost of write downs but gives banks the freedom to determine what those modifications will be. Those servicers would include mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as investors in loans that were securitized by Wall Street firms. Settlement terms remain in development and regulators are looking at up to 14 servicers that could be a party to the settlement.

Brookstone Law, PC, has filed a mass joinder lawsuit against Bank of America, potentially the most significant and precedent setting legal action taken against lenders as a result of the national foreclosure crisis. The lawsuit alleges Bank of America (BOA) and its subsidiary Countrywide Financial Corporation (Countrywide) perpetrated a massive fraud, also constituting unfair competition upon borrowers that devastated the values of their residences, resulting in the loss of net worth, and that BOA and Countrywide intended to deprive numerous rights and remedies for the problems they caused the borrowers. The case is Wright et al. v. Bank of America, N.A. et al., case no.30-2011-00449059-CU-MT-CXC filed in Orange County Superior Court.

Now that the U.S. Government is discussing settlements that will defuse lawsuits against the banks that specifically challenge aspects of mortgage securitization, the broken chain of title or MERS, principal reduction is the most important aspect of any settlement, said Vito Torchia, Jr. Until banks and servicers fully embrace principal reductions, the thousands of homeowners who are underwater will continue to struggle and that will keep the housing market and our economy down for years.

According to media reports in the Wall Street Journal, Federal agencies have been scrutinizing the nation’s largest banks over breakdowns in foreclosure procedures that erupted last fall and last week, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency raised concerns over inadequate staffing and weak controls over foreclosure processes. In 2008, BOA settled claims worth more than $ 8.6 billion for loans allegedly involving predatory lending practices committed by Countrywide, which it acquired that year.

Any settlement could be among the largest ever against the mortgage industry especially since some are pushing for banks to pay billions or fund a comparable amount of loan workouts, said Vito Torchia, Jr. If a single settlement cannot be reached, it is likely different federal agencies will still seek smaller penalties through regular enforcement channels, so banks could face the prospect of lawsuits from state attorneys general, which means homeowners need for expert legal counsel will be just as great after any settlement as it is now.


Headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif., and with offices in Los Angeles, Calif., and Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Brookstone Law, PC is a law firm comprised of attorneys with experience and success in business, corporate and personal finance, employment, entertainment and media, art and museum, intellectual property and real estate law. The firm has a network of more than 40 affiliate attorneys nationwide and employs highly trained specialists, paralegals, paraprofessionals and administrative staff dedicated to serving clients. For information, call (800) 946-8655 or visit (

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Law Offices of Kramer and Kaslow: New York Bank Investigation Could Leave Banks Facing Charges

Calabasas, CA (PRWEB) June 13, 2011

The Law Offices of Kramer and Kaslow is weighing in on a new report from the New York Times that claims that the New York attorney general is investigating large banks for alleged wrongdoing. According to the May 16 New York Times article, The New York attorney general has requested information and documents in recent weeks from three major Wall Street banks about their mortgage securities operations during the credit boom, indicating the existence of a new investigation into practices that contributed to billions in mortgage losses.

Recently elected New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman declined to comment but according to people briefed on the matter who were not authorized to speak publicly, Eric T. Schneidermans office have also requested meetings with representatives from Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.

The article also spoke with Daniel C. Richman, a professor of law at Columbia. Part of what prosecutors have the advantage of doing right now, here as elsewhere, is watching the civil suits play out as different parties fight over who bears the loss, said Richman. Thats a very productive source of information.

Noted attorney Philip Kramer, senior partner at the law firm of Kramer & Kaslow whose consolidated litigation plaintiffs have been suing banks for their foreclosure practices agrees with Richman, A lot of wrongdoing has been uncovered in civil cases. What is particularly interesting about the New York Attorney Generals approach is that they seem to have picked up on some of the issues we have used in our suits: fraud and greed in the securitization process being key elements.

More of Philip Kramers comments can be found at the Law Offices of Kramer and Kaslow blog.


PHILIP A. KRAMER is the senior partner of the Law Office of Kramer & Kaslow, in Calabasas, California. Kramer & Kaslow is Martindale Hubbell AV rated. Mr. Kramer is a perennial recipient of the prestigious Southern California Super Lawyer award.

Mr. Kramer received his undergraduate degree from Ohio State University and his Juris Doctorate from the Catholic University of America, in Washington, DC. His practice emphasizes commercial litigation and trial advocacy, with a concentration on business litigation, and real property matters. He has prosecuted and defended cases for over twenty five years.

Mr. Kramer is a licensed real estate broker and has spent considerable time providing legal services in connection with real estate issues relating to loan modification and loss mitigation, land use and zoning, environmental issues, easements, construction and development, finance, and landlord tenant matters.

Mr. Kramer is admitted to practice before all courts in the State of California, the United States Supreme Court and the United States Court of Military Appeals. Mr. Kramer has tried in excess of 200 cases. He has appeared on nationally televised programs regarding pre-trial procedure and trial strategy and has appeared as a guest lecturer on topics ranging from constitutional law to trial practice, and Mr. Kramer frequently lectures on a broad spectrum of various legal and business issues.

Mr. Kramer also serves as a Judge Pro Tem for the Los Angeles Superior Court and as a Mediator.

Mr. Kramer is also a past president of the Los Angeles West Inns of Court, a national organization dedicated to bringing professionalism and civility back into the legal profession. He also serves on numerous Boards of Directors and serves as an officer in many companies. For more information call (818) 224-3900 or visit


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