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Scura Wigfield Heyer & Stevens Blog

Regulatory Changes Attribute to Lesser Quarterly Earnings for Mortgage Servicer

  • 04
  • August
    2015

Ocwen Financial Corporation's stock fell 28% last week after the company issued a quarterly earnings report. The stock had already fallen 75% over the past two years. Ocwen is the fifth-largest servicer for mortgages in the United States. A servicer is a company that is retained by the mortgage holder to oversee the functionality of the loan on a day-to-day basis. A servicer's job includes collections, mortgage reform (i.e., loan modifications and refinances), and borrower accounting. Often times the servicer will change throughout the loan.

There are several attributing factors according to a recent Bloomberg Business article reporting Ocwen's financial decline. One factor is the amount of increased complaints from regulators on how Ocwen handled soured loans. In addition, Ocwen is still in the process of selling off $25 billion of servicing rights to competing-servicer, Nationstar Mortgage Holdings Inc. Ocwen's plummeting stock correlates with their loss in net income, which is down 85% from a year earlier and loss in revenue which is down 16%.

Zombie foreclosures continue to be an issue in New Jersey

  • 31
  • July
    2015

Just like individuals are sometimes unable to control when and how badly financial challenges will impact their life, they may also be unable to control whether financial issues will lead to the loss of their home. New Jersey homeowners work hard to be able to purchase a home, and even when financial troubles hit, homeowners will seek ways to prevent the loss of that home. If a home is being foreclosed on, individuals and families should understand how certain debt relief options could stop the foreclosure process.

With regard to foreclosures in New Jersey, zombie foreclosures are cited as an ongoing issue plaguing the region. A zombie foreclosure occurs when a homeowner vacates his or her home prior to the repossession of the home by the bank. According to recent reports, this occurs in roughly 25 percent of houses being foreclosed on.

Consumer rights when a defective product injures a consumer

  • 29
  • July
    2015

On a daily, weekly or monthly basis, consumers in New Jersey and elsewhere purchase goods for various reasons. In some cases, a product does not perform in the manner it was designed to. When this happens, it could lead to the product becoming dangerous and cause consumer injury.

When a dangerous product causes harm to a consumer, the consumer should understand their legal options. In order to make a product liability claim, the injured consumer should understand the different types of defect claims that are available. There are three major categories regarding defects: defects in design, defects in manufacturing and defects in warning.

Understanding vehicle repossession and how to avoid it

  • 24
  • July
    2015

If dealing with financial challenges isn't already bad enough, some debtors could face the loss of assets such as a vehicle. If an individual misses a car payment, repossession could occur. Debtors in New Jersey should understand steps that they can take to stop repossession of a vehicle.

When an individual borrows to lease or purchase a vehicle, the borrower gives the lender a security interest in the vehicle. If the borrower fails to make a payment on the vehicle, this gives the lender rights to repossess it. To stop the process of repossession, debtors should understand what it is and why it occurs.

Step by Step Bankruptcy

  • 22
  • July
    2015

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for David Stevens.jpg     For so many people making the first call is the hardest step.  In an effort to make that first call to a bankruptcy attorney a little less uncomfortable, I am going to do a series of video blogs that will walk a potential client through the bankrutpcy process.  Check out our website tomorrow for my first attempt at video blogging - I promise that both the technology and entertainment value will improve.

Could a pedestrian be at fault in a pedestrian accident?

  • 22
  • July
    2015

There are many places in New Jersey where pedestrians are walking in close proximity to vehicles. The fear of pedestrian accidents is often placed on drivers. If a driver fails to pay attention, is speeding or fails to yield to a pedestrian, they could be found negligent if they collide with a pedestrian. But is the blame always entirely on the driver?

Could a pedestrian be at fault in a pedestrian accident? If a pedestrian is inattentive and fails to take caution or act reasonably, they could be found at fault or partially at fault in a pedestrian accident. One major contributor for accidents caused by pedestrians is texting and walking. According to a doctor at the University of Buffalo, texting and walking causes more accidents than texting and driver; however, texting and driving causes more serious accidents.

You May Think that Bankruptcy Will Ruin Your Financial Future? But the Impact is Less than You Think.

  • 20
  • July
    2015

Many people believe that filing for bankruptcy put their financial future in ruin. However, the impact it will have on your credit is less than you believe. Two years after filing for a chapter 7 bankruptcy, you can obtain a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac Loan to purchase a home. Furthermore, you can start building your credit back up from the moment you obtain your bankruptcy discharge. Many times, I have had clients project to have a better credit score twelve months following their bankruptcy filing than their credit score prior to filing for bankruptcy.  If you are struggling with debt and feel that there is no way out, give me a call today so I can talk you through your situation to see if bankruptcy is the best option for you.

New Jersey Leads Nation In Foreclosures

  • 18
  • July
    2015

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A recent article on Marketwatch entitled 'Homes are less likely now than at any time since the start of the Great Recession to be in foreclosure" cited the rates of foreclosure as going down across the United States. Unfortunately, the article cites New Jersey as having the highest foreclosure rates in the nation. New Jersey led the nation at with 4.9% of its mortgaged houses in foreclosure as compared to second place for New York at 3.7% and third place for Florida at 2.9%.  The national average is 1.3%.  This puts NJ almost 4 times the national average.

Highest Real Estate Taxes and High Mortgage Balances

Some major reasons for the high rate of NJ foreclosures is that NJ has the highest real estate taxes in the nation, very high mortgage balances on average and a large back log of foreclosure overhang still looming from the Great Recession.  There are effective strategies with dealing with a foreclosure and trying to either save the real estate or just trying to get rid of the liability associated with the foreclosure.  These effective strategies may or may not involve a bankruptcy. 

If you have been served with a foreclosure, call an attorney in one of our NJ offices for a free consultation. 

Could a missed payment lead to the threat of repossession?

  • 17
  • July
    2015

While having some debt does not always lead to financial troubles, overwhelming debt or a mismanaged budget could cause individuals to deal with major financial challenges. Whether it is due to credit cards, medical debt, mortgage loan or any other type of loan or debt, when people can no longer handle their debt, they may not be able to make timely payments. A missed or late payment often means facing penalties, but could it mean more that a hurt credit score, fines and increased rates?

Could a missed credit card payment lead to the threat of repossession? While most major credit cards do not hold this risk, some store credit cards do have clauses in their agreements that state that they are allowed to use repossession if the consumer's bill isn't paid. For credit cards that are unsecured debt, the threat of asset forfeiture does not exist; however if the debt is secured, that debt is backed by collateral such as a home or a vehicle.

Protecting your rights after a pedestrian accident

  • 15
  • July
    2015

Whether it is to enjoy nice weather, for exercise, walking in a parking lot or commuting to work or school, many residents in New Jersey are pedestrians on a daily basis. While there are many advantages for individuals that walk, such as saving gas or getting exercise, there are several disadvantages. In most cases, pedestrians travel either on or next to roads. This factor alone could lead to serious and even fatal accidents involving pedestrians.

Our law firm understands that a person cannot stand up to the weight and size of a vehicle, even when it is slow moving. A pedestrian accident often involves serious injuries, resulting in required medical treatments such as surgery and rehabilitation. The aftermath of a collision involving a pedestrian could be very costly. Moreover, the incident could leave a victim temporarily or permanently disabled. This could greatly impact the quality of life of the victim, preventing them from doing certain activities or even returning to work.

Scura, Mealey, Wigfield & Heyer, L.L.P. Attorneys at Law

John Scura of Scura, Wigfield, Heyer & Stevens, LLP, serves clients in New Jersey communities including Wayne, Hoboken, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Edison, Camden, Clifton, Passaic, East Orange, Newark, Union City, Bayonne, Irvington, North Bergen, West New York, Bloomfield, Paramus, Fair Lawn, Ridgewood, Saddle Brook, River Edge, Emerson, Englewood, Ramsey, Tenafly, Glen Rock, Teaneck, and Hackensack, and in counties including Bergen County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Hudson County, Union County, Passaic County, and Morris County.

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