It seems apparent to me that the banks are sidestepping the statute of limitations issue by getting homeowners to renew payments after the statute has run. Given the confusion in Florida courts it is difficult to determine with certainty how the statute will be applied. But the execution of a modification agreement would, in my opinion, almost certainly waive the statute of limitations, particularly since it refers to the part of the alleged debt that was previously barred by the statute. It would also, in my opinion, reaffirm a discharged debt in bankruptcy.
THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE IS NOT A LEGAL OPINION UPON WHICH YOU CAN RELY IN ANY INDIVIDUAL CASE. HIRE A LAWYER.
There are several reasons why servicers are offering modifications and several other reasons why they don’t.
My perception is that the main reason for offering the modification is that the servicer is converting the ownership of the debt from the investors to the servicer and by reference to an empty trust with no assets. HAMP modifications are virtually nonexistent statistically. “In house” modifications are what they are offering; that is code for “it’s our loan now.” That scenario leaves the servicer with rights to the debt that didn’t legally exist before — but subject to separate, private agreements with the Master Servicer who is willing to pay the servicer for their apparent “services” but not willing to share in the windfall profits made by a party who now owns a loan in which they had no financial interest before the execution of the modification.
This is a good alternative to stealing from the investors by way of false claims for “Servicer advances” where the money, like all other deals in the false securitization chain, comes from “investments” that the investors thought they were making into individual trusts. And by the way this part explains why they don’t offer modifications — the Master Servicer can only apply is false claim for “recovery” of servicer advances when the property is liquidated.
A second reason for applying pressure to a homeowner to sign more papers they don’t understand is to get the homeowner to (1) agree or reaffirm the debt, thus restarting the statute of limitations from where it had originally left off and (2) to get the homeowner to make at least some payments, thus reaffirming the debt for purposes of both bankruptcy and the statute of limitations. This explains why they take three “trial” payments and then deny the “permanent” modification after they already announced the homeowner was “approved.”
In this sense there is no underwriting done. There is only an evaluation of how the Master Servicer can make the most money. This also is an example of why I say that the interests of servicers are adverse to the investors who have already been screwed. Forced sale doesn’t just artificially limit the recovery, it virtually eliminates recovery for the investor while the servicers take the money and run.
And a third reason for coercing the homeowner into a modification agreement that is guaranteed to fail is that the homeowner has either waived defenses and claims or has created the conditions where waiver could be asserted.