Lenders can be wrong in the amount deemed necessary to cure mortgage arrearages in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. I work with my clients to verify, reconcile and dispute discrepancies in my Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.
Here is an interesting Chapter 13 bankruptcy case wherein it really cost Ocwen Ocwen. The Debtor had cured the bankruptcy mortgage arrearages.
- December 2009, Debtor filed for bankruptcy after foreclosure proceedings began.
- Chapter 13 Plan included mortgage arrearages payments through the Plan over 42 months.
- October 2011, Debtor received notice from Ocwen stated that Debtor owed $16,000.
- April 2013, Ocwen stated Debtor had a $1,000 credit balance.
- June 2013, Ocwen did not respond to notice that Debtor had made her last payment to cure the bankruptcy mortgage arrearages.
- July 2013, Ocwen sent a letter to Debtor indicating her “severely delinquent mortgage”
- Unfortunately, Ocwen later stated the letters were a mistake.
- Ocwen still insisted payments were delinquent.
- February 2015, Debtor sued Ocwen in Court for Breach of Contract and violations of the Fair Debt Collections Act, Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices.
- 4 years after Debtor received her Discharge and 2nd day of jury trial, Ocwen found that the Debtor was current.
- Jury awarded Ocwen to pay $582,00 in compensatory damages.
- $3 million in punitive damages for the pain, frustration and emotional torment Ocwen put the Chapter 13 Debtor through.
- Not surprisingly, Ocwen appealed the punitive damages as excessive.
- Ocwen’s conduct was reprehensible but not to an extreme degree.
- Debtor suffered no physical injuries
- Ocwen was indifferent to the debtor’s rights including rights in the Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
- Compared the award to maximum civil penalty of $50,000 under the statute.
- Agreed that Ocwen’s conduct should not equal a penalty of 60x the maximum civil penalty.
- Reduced the punitive damages award to $582,000 considering the mistreatment of Debtor’s $135,000 mortgage.
I find that lenders have been wrong in the amount paid versus amount stated by the lender in Chapter 13 Bankruptcies.
Many times, I demand a bank reconciliation. I find that my client’s payments are not properly recorded. As a result, lenders give the matter a thorough review and correct their records.
As with anything, mistakes occur. I reconcile lender discrepancies immediately for my clients. You must deal with issues expeditiously.
It is important for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy attorney to work closely with clients and defend their rights. I am here to help you and protect Debtor rights in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.
Call me with any of your bankruptcies needs: Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13.