Foreclosure Defense & Solutions
Though practicing law since 1992, Charles Castellon founded CPC Law in 2008 as the historical foreclosure crisis emerged. From the start, the firm’s main focus has been helping hundreds of homeowners and investors through the foreclosure crisis to defend their rights and pursue our clients’ desired solutions.
CPC Law did not recently jump on the foreclosure bandwagon as the crisis grew. We were at the forefront of this historical event and continue representing our clients at every stage of the foreclosure process, from “pre-foreclosure” when borrowers have begun to miss payments (or expect to stop paying soon) through every step of the litigation process.
We treat our clients in a fundamentally fair way through reasonable fees and flexible payment plans. Unlike most attorneys who have emerged to defend foreclosures, we do not use an “infinite” fee arrangement. We have never followed the common foreclosure defense practice of billing clients a recurring monthly fee for the life of the case, regardless of the amount of work (or whether any work is) performed and for how long the case continues.
This common fee model has led to very unfair results when cases have dragged out for several years and the total fee paid far exceeds the value of the legal services provided. Such arrangements cause law firms to have a greater interest in delaying the case to keep collecting fees than resolving the client’s foreclosure problem. In fact, many of our clients have come to CPC Law as refugees from these other firms. Our fees have an end point. We have left money on the table, but we have maintained our ethics and integrity while putting our clients’ interests above the firm’s, as all lawyers should.
That said, many of our foreclosure clients need time. CPC Law has ethically helped clients extend their foreclosure cases, in many cases for years. This is because an aggressively-defended case will naturally drag out longer. We’re different because we don’t fight lenders simply to cause delay. We fight and seek solutions. Over the years, we have become very aware of the pain and stress a foreclosure causes. We listen and work with our clients to guide them through foreclosures to find the best available solution to the problem.
When lenders sue our clients, we file legal papers in response and go to court and fight for our clients’ rights. We seek settlements such as loan modifications, negotiate and close short sales and actively engage the lenders’ attorneys through out of court negotiations.
We also call out the lenders for their common illegal and unethical practices that have received much publicity throughout the crisis. By doing so, we gain leverage in negotiations and have had many foreclosures dismissed.
Lender legal defects include “robo-signing,” “standing” issues (regarding who has the right to file the foreclosure due to the practice of repeatedly selling off mortgage rights), lost promissory notes, predatory lending and other shameful practices committed against borrowers.
We have seen everything, including clients being sued by two different plaintiffs, each claiming rights to the same mortgage on the same property. When cynics (including some judges) don’t get what the big deal is and think the discussion begins and ends with the borrower’s failure to pay, we have much to say in response.
CPC Law is battle-tested and relentless in pursuit of the best outcomes for our clients.
Many of our clients have chosen a short sale as their negotiated solution to the foreclosure instead of seeking to keep their homes. Simply put, a short sale is the market sale of a home for an amount less than is owed to the lenders holding mortgages. This is usually around fair market value for properties that are “upside down” and not worth the mortgage balance owed.
Short sales are a very effective solution for clients seeking an exit strategy and damage control against the harmful effects of foreclosure. At CPC Law, our experienced attorney and non-attorney support team works together to get lender short sale approvals and close the deal.
Most importantly, we always fight for the “deficiency waiver” as a critical term in the deal. This is a lender agreement to accept the short sale money and not sue the borrower to collect any further balance owed on the mortgage. Often, we also succeed in getting our clients relocation money (known as “cash for keys”) from the lender as part of the deal.
Our attorney-owned title agency, Esquire Title Company handles the closings and works closely with the legal team to complete the deals.
A popular out of court settlement for clients who want to save their homes is the loan modification. At CPC Law, we negotiate and process modification applications with our clients’ lenders. We work with lenders and their attorneys to push through modifications that lower monthly payments to reasonable levels and have often succeeded in getting principal reductions. We can help get the mortgage modified if the foreclosure case is already in court, in which case, we use legal defenses as leverage in the modification talks. If the borrower is behind in payments and waiting to be sued, or in “pre-foreclosure,” we can start the loan modification process to prevent a foreclosure case from ever getting filed.
We have gotten loan modifications by all available means, including government initiative such as HAMP, HARP and internal lender programs. With both short sales and loan modification efforts, persistence is the key. Our legal and support team members never surrender.
Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure
A deed in lieu of foreclosure (“DIL”) is a foreclosure settlement between the borrower/owner of a property and the lender where title is transferred to the lender to avoid filing foreclosure or resolve a case that’s already been filed.
Like a short sale, the DIL is an exit strategy when the borrower prefers to get out of the property and mortgage debt instead of keeping the home. Generally, our firm does not recommend the DIL settlement option until other efforts are exhausted. One reason is that the credit impact to the borrower will be approximately the same as a completed foreclosure and court auction through the legal system. Also, the DIL option will not likely be available if there are other lien-holders such as second mortgage lenders. This is because the first mortgage lender pursuing a foreclosure will need to take the case all the way through to a final judgment and court sale to wipe out those other liens.
It is usually worthwhile to pursue the short sale exit strategy first because of the lesser credit harm and shallower hole to dig out of during the rebuilding phase of credit and finances. A DIL deal should always come with a deficiency waiver from the lender so the borrower doesn’t have to worry about being sued for the lender’s loss later. Otherwise, there is little incentive to agree to a DIL.
The concept of strategic default is a controversial topic that has received much media attention in recent years. A significant segment of CPC Law’s clients may be fairly called strategic defaulters because they have made a rational economic decision to discontinue paying a mortgage even though they can still pay.
This is a complex matter and no borrower should take the decision to stop paying lightly. We counsel our clients by guiding them through the cost-benefit analysis with careful consideration of both the certain and potential consequences flowing from a strategic default. Most of our strategically-defaulting clients pursue a damage-control settlement solution with the lender through a short sale.
Contact CPC Law at (407) 851-0201 and speak to an attorney now!
“I am a realtor and investor for over 15 years. Mr. Charles is my attorney for over 6 years and I am very happy to work with him. I have. 4 clients the bank was about to take their homes. Mr Charles fought with the bank to stop the foreclosure and they are still in their home with a lower mortgage and very happy. He is always there for his clients and I am blessed to have him as my attorney.”Ariel Francis
“I would like to take this opportunity to tell you what a thoroughly outstanding job that you did for me in our foreclosure case. You were the complete professional in my handling of our case. You kept me informed on every aspect of the case from start to finish. You also have an amazing team, they are a huge asset to your practice and your clients.
Returning from deployment to Haiti to learn that my wife (now ex-wife) had spent our home into foreclosure made for a stressful time. What I would go through in the ensuing two years was made so much easier with all of your guidance through the process. With your help, I learned that I was not alone in having my home mortgage bundled, duel tracked and foreclosure filed all while I was paying the past due balance and applying for HARP refinancing.
Although you did not represent me in my divorce, you made it possible for me to “fire and forget” with regards to the foreclosure. Thanks to you, I was able to focus on child custody and all the other issues in family court. My ex-wife was shocked when you succeeded in having the foreclosure dismissed. She hated even more when you helped me short sell it.
Thank you so much for your help and for saving my home. You handled everything with dignity and compassion, just what people need in stressful situations.”
Maurice A. Ramirez, D.O., Ph.D.