Petition to United Nations, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Ombudsman, FTC, Ralph Nader, Elizabeth Warren
Create Debt Neutrality Rights for Paying Down Credit Cards & Student Loans.
Compromise regarding consumer debt is a powerful tool. Forgiving Credit Card and Student Loan Debt can send the wrong message, but telling people to "get any job", or "get a second job" to pay their debts is flawed if the jobs don't pay enough to pay down a person's existing credit card and student loan debts. The compromise solution for those with Unending Credit Card and Student Loan Debt would be to allow a person to declare Debt Neutrality on their debt if they are experiencing a hardship in their lives. Consumers presently owe 3 trillion dollars in credit card and Student Loan Debt. Put another way, that 3 trillion in debt costs between 30 billion to 60 billion dollars EVERY MONTH in never ending interest rate charges just to keep the debt at that level! Debt Neutrality starts with those who can afford to pay down their debts without taking on any new debt, provided the interest rates, penalties and fees are discontinued on their present debts. After the first wave of consumers exercise Debt Neutrality and begin actually paying down their debts, the economy should begin improving as consumers with less and less debt actually have a touch more money to spend locally, which in turn should create new job opportunities for those still out of work. This in turn helps states and cities generate more tax revenue. The result could be a cascading affect of economic improvement that requires no government funds of any kind, just the release of the financial death grip that banking institutions have over many consumers via credit card and student loan debt. What we need is for Congress to grant Debt Neutrality Rights, and then get out of the way! Please follow the Debt Neutrality Petition on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/debtneutrality and http://www.facebook.com/debtsuspensionrights
Petition to Hon. Roger L. Efremsky, W. Kirk Moore
Stop Bankruptcy Judges From Harming Homeowners
The Northern District of California Bankruptcy Court Is on the verge of implementing a new Chapter 13 Plan that will harm debtors trying to save their homes through Chapter 13. A Conduit Plan Imposes Additional Costs on Debtors Benefiting No One But Banks By requiring that all post-petition mortgage payments be administered by Chapter 13 trustees, a conduit plan will impose enormous additional costs on debtors. In San Jose, the Chapter 13 Trustee’s current administrative claim is the maximum ten percent. On a modest $2,500 monthly mortgage payment, the proposed conduit plan will saddle the debtor with an additional $250 per month or a whopping $15,000 over the life of the plan. Mortgage lenders and their servicers already perform the function of monitoring, accounting for, and policing their borrowers’ monthly mortgage payments. The administrative costs of servicing mortgages are already baked in to banks’ costs of doing business. Borrowers are already paying the banks for this administrative function as these costs are passed on to borrowers in the form of interest and fees. Requiring debtors in Chapter 13 trying to cure a prepetition mortgage default to additionally subsidize banks’ mortgage lending business will result in nothing short of a tremendous transfer of wealth from debtors to banks. The gap between the richest and everyone else has been widening for decades. The corrosive effect of a shrinking middle class on our body politic is not in doubt. Against this backdrop, it is baffling why the Bankruptcy Court would do anything to undercut homeownership by shifting any additional economic burden onto homeowners for the benefit of the banks. Homeownership has traditionally been a hallmark of the middle class. Chapter 13 has traditionally offered a vehicle to many to cure a prepetition default successfully. Imposing a conduit plan will inevitably put this form of bankruptcy relief out of reach for a large swath of debtors because adding a ten percent surcharge on the Debtor’s plan payments will be enough to deny Chapter 13 relief to a substantial number of debtors, causing them to lose their homes. While I haven’t polled Chapter 13 Trustees, I doubt very much that many of them are keen or are equipped to essentially become mortgage servicers. That is the mortgage lenders’ job, and the costs of these operations are properly understood to be part of the lenders’ business activity. Shifting the cost of the mortgage lenders’ business onto the backs of debtors, again, amounts to a windfall for large banks that are already quite profitable. Rigid Payment Deadlines Set Debtors Up to Fail The proposed provision of the conduit plan that debtors curing mortgage arrears had better make their new inflated payment to the Chapter 13 Trustee by the 20th day of the month or else be in default—not just of their plan, but also with their mortgage lender sets up debtors for failure. I have represented dozens of Chapter 13 debtors who have successfully cured mortgage arrears through their plans and ultimately obtained a discharge of other debts. Many of them experienced hiccoughs along the way. Sixty months is a long time in anyone’s life. Cars need repairs. People experience layoffs and get sick or injured. People sometimes need a root canal (who even has dental insurance? And if they do, how much does it cover, 30%?). In some divisions, there has traditionally been some much appreciated leeway given by the Trustee to allow debtors to informally cure plan payments. Such a flexible approach to the administration of Chapter 13 cases has helped thousands over the years emerge from Chapter 13 and to save their home. Imposing additional rigidity on debtors’ plan payments does not further any policy end other than to favor mortgage lenders—and perhaps lessen the burden on the Court by reducing the number of motions filed for relief from stay. In effect, the Court, by imposing this rigidity on debtors would be policing mortgage payments for mortgage lenders, thereby again relieving the banks from part of their cost of doing business. The Court from time to time has expressed its umbrage that a debtor’s delinquency in making a post-petition mortgage payment directly to a lender constitutes a material breach of the Chapter 13 plan “contract.” I get it. But the medicine proposed is significantly more harmful than the disease. The Conduit Plan Supplants Lenders’ Business Judgment for the Court’s Consider, for example, that during the height of the financial crisis, 2008-2013 or so, we all recall the familiar scenario wherein the mortgage lender did nothing to seek relief from the Stay for sometimes lengthy periods after a debtor became delinquent on post-petition mortgage payments. That was the bank’s prerogative. We should assume that they were making a calculated business decision in choosing to delay seeking relief from stay and foreclosing on the property. They simply didn’t want that property just yet. The “Business Judgment Rule” represents longstanding judicial doctrine that courts should not second-guess industry in precisely this sort of scenario. The banks can look after themselves just fine. For the Bankruptcy Court to impose a conduit plan that builds in an unforgiving, nay punishing, automatic remedy for the benefit of mortgage lenders when a debtor misses or makes a smaller plan payment we have to wonder what end is served by the Bankruptcy Court inserting its own business judgment for that of the mortgage lending industry. Moreover, there have always been those cases in which a debtor who entered a Chapter 13 plan in good faith in an attempt to cure pre-petition mortgage arrears, but at some point during her lengthy sixty-month plan suffered some unforeseen financial setback and became delinquent on her direct mortgage payments. Yes, under the “contract” theory, such a debtor has perhaps technically breached her Chapter 13 plan (though she may be current in her plan payments to the Trustee). The harshness of the conduit plan entirely ignores that such a debtor, if allowed to remain in her Chapter 13 plan (while, yes, granting relief from stay) would often successfully complete the plan and obtain a much needed discharge of other, substantial debt. This debtor would likely have her case dismissed under the proposed Conduit Plan for having failed to make all plan payments, thereby shutting her out of obtaining needed relief from her other debts. Conclusion The proposed conduit provisions of the new model plan serve no equitable goal. The Bankruptcy Court is a court of equity. The proposed conduit provisions are demonstrably inequitable to debtors struggling to cure mortgage defaults through Chapter 13 plans. The conduit provisions would represent a windfall to banks and, perhaps, lighten judges’ relief from stay calendars. These are hardly solid policy goals when the consequences will be to saddle debtor homeowners with painful added administrative costs, onerous new deadlines, and rigid triggers for default—all of which will set them up to fail. This is bad policy that will harm working class debtors trying to save their homes through Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Tell the Court this is WRONG before October 3, 2017: From the Bankruptcy Court's Website: "PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the Court is requesting comments on the new Chapter 13 Plan (to be effective on 12/1/2017). A pdf of the Chapter 13 Plan is below. Comments regarding the new Chapter 13 Plan may be emailed to the bench-bar liaison representatives Sarah Little firstname.lastname@example.org (link sends e-mail) and W. Kirk Moore email@example.com (link sends e-mail) by October 3, 2017. Subject line of the email should be: Chapter 13 Plan Comments. The bench-bar liaison representatives will prepare a summary of comments for the judges’ review. In addition, the actual comments will be forwarded to the judges."
Petition to Todd Spitzer (Orange County Board of Supervisors 3rd District), Mayor Mike Munzing, Mayor Tom Tait, Mayor Christine Marick, Mayor Fred R. Smith, Mayor Stephen Mensinger, Mayor Mariellen Yarc, Mayor Cheryl Brothers, Mayor Bao Nguyen, Mayor Jim Katapodis, Mayor Gerard Goedhart, Mayor Barbara Kogerman, Mayor Andrew Hamilton, Mayor Diane Dixon, Mayor Jeremy B. Yamaguchi, Mayor L. Anthony Beall, Mayor Miguel Pulido, Mayor Brian Donahue, Mayor John Nielsen, Mayor Tri Ta, Mayor Steve Dicterow, Mayor Bob Baker , Lisa A. Bartlett, Michelle Steel, Andrew Do, Shawn Nelson
Stop Careless Lending & Tax Defaults: Stricter Guidelines for PACE Loans
Making unaffordable loans based on the assets of the borrower rather than on the borrower’s ability to repay an obligation = PREDATORY LENDING Inducing a borrower to refinance a loan repeatedly in order to charge high points and fees each time the loan is refinanced (loan flipping) = PREDATORY LENDING Engaging in fraud or deception to conceal the true nature of the loan obligation, or ancillary products, from an unsuspecting or unsophisticated borrower = PREDATORY LENDING I, Lacy Robertson a Mortgage and Real Estate professional with over 14 years of experience am asking for stricter financing guidelines when approving homeowners that seek to finance energy and water efficient products. This request is in an effort to prevent another financial housing melt down. Too many people have lost their homes to unfair, careless lending practices and we don't need any more families to lose their most expensive asset they own or will ever own! When you seek to finance a car or a house it is customary to provide debt and income information to the financing company in an effort to make sure you have sufficient income to repay the loan back for the benefit of both the consumer and investor. This is where your help is needed!!! Right now homeowners can apply to finance energy-efficient products with PACE loans without providing any type of documentation that would show their ability to repay the loan. Not only is financing available but 100% financing is available. 100% financing on large purchase item(s) to consumers without considering their ability to repay the loan is not only risky but a recipe for disaster!!! What does 100% financing remind you of… Oh no, this sounds like adjustable rate mortgages being approved only at the minimum payment and never at the fully amortized highest contractual payment. When lenders failed to see if an applicant could afford the highest payment amount under the loan it led to mortgages falling into default at record numbers once the payment adjusted. The same is true if you fail to evaluate a consumer’s ability to repay PACE loans based on their income, debt and actual projected savings. It is only a matter of time, if stricter financing guidelines are not put in place that homeowners will be forced to default on their property taxes and mortgage payments that include property taxes. Why? Because They Can’t Pay!!! Homeowners tend to upgrade to energy-efficient products in an effort to save money on their utility bills. If sufficient guidelines are not in place to ensure that when a homeowner finances energy and water efficient products they can both pay the loan and save money then we are voluntarily creating another housing crisis but I HAVE GOOD NEWS YOU CAN HELP by signing the petition! Based on my research and cases that I have come across PACE loans do not require any type of income and liability documentation before approving financing and at the very least this is careless and shows that the finance company doesn’t care if a consumer can afford to pay the loan because they now have collateral to back the loan classified as a Hero Property Tax Assessment which also creates a senior position lien or 1st position lien recorded against your property. Yikes, if the homeowners can’t pay this loan, they will most likely lose their home or be forced to sell, when their original intention was trying to save money. PACE loans also don’t require that a homeowner at least saves a certain amount of money monthly/yearly when upgrading to energy and water efficient products. Without this due diligence, there is no guarantee that the products are actually beneficial to them. When a finance company fails to insure a consumer’s beneficial interest, you have a case where consumers are taken advantage of like during the refinance boom years. Many homeowners were refinancing their properties over and over again with virtually no significant benefit to them and the only party that benefited was the lender. I need your help! You need my help! We need each other’s help! Stop the careless lending of PACE loans. It is time that we demand strict financing guidelines to protect our homes and our families. Everything that is legal is not ethical but together we can prevent finance companies from taking advantage of homeowners in a legal but unethical way! Stand Up For Your Families by signing this petition, sharing it with everyone you know and encouraging them to do the same! We CAN make a difference.
Petition to Wells Fargo, Timothy J. Sloan, Stephen W. Sanger, Hope A. Hardison, Franklin R. Codel, Richard D. Levy, Avid Modjtabai, Lloyd H. Dean, Jeff Prohaska
Wells Fargo: Stop foreclosure on our dead fathers home
Our father had a massive heart attack in 2008 and we thought we would have lost him at that time but he survived. Our dad was the main breadwinner in our household. As he suffered a major health setback, so did we financially. Throughout this time he made frequent visits to the hospital which made it difficult for him to maintain a job. Therefore it was also difficult to cover household bills, as well as medical expenses. Another unexpected event occurred in 2010 when our tenant intentionally set our house on fire, which forced us out of our own home. The fire and the stress of the event truly set our dads health back severely. He required many stents, a pacemaker, and a lvad machine to help his heart function. As all of these medical treatments were short term, our father still made multiple visits to the hospital. The only secure option we had to sustain his life was a heart transplant, his body accepted the heart but sadly the heart itself was not good and caused our father to pass away a week after receiving. Since the start of our father's illness in 2008 we have tried to get a loan modification. But we keep getting denied, saying we are missing documents, or either have to redo paperwork. This has been the ongoing cycle for the past several years. We have spent hours on the phone speaking with customer service representatives who won’t provide us with any information. All they can tell us is that they have received our documents and they are “reviewing” it. Despite repeated calls, letters, and faxes, they still won't tell us how to save the house. After multiple failed attempts of trying to achieve a loan modification, we opted for a short sale instead. Of course, this option was also denied multiple times. With responses saying that we either have insufficient paperwork, or they are moving forwards with the foreclosure process. We had multiple buyers interested in the house for a short sale but because of Wells Fargo constant need for us to resubmit paperwork all the time, we have lost all such opportunities. Wells Fargo won’t even talk to us and last we heard the house is in foreclosure since Feb 20th, we were never alerted. The numerous amount of times we called to ask if they received the documents for a loan modification not once did they say the house was already in foreclosure. All they keep saying is we are missing documents or submitted late, we have proof of submitting all the needed documents. Despite our best efforts Wells Fargo is still trying to foreclose on our house and we have nowhere to go. Now they are planning on auctioning the house. I urge you to make any modifications needed to the loan and allow us to continue our lives in our home of 17 years. This modification is easy to make - and will make a big difference for our family in need. If you can't do that then at least grant a short sale. We have always worked hard and paid our taxes. I'm asking you, and the other big lenders, to do the same. We would like to appeal to Wells Fargo and ask for a loan modification again. We have nowhere to go. We are one of the thousands of families who have already lost their home or are at risk of foreclosure.