WELCOME TO THE MASCIA LAW FIRM NEW CLIENT PACKAGE

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1 In these trying times you need a law firm that believes in you, A firm that will make the impossible, POSSIBLE. WELCOME TO THE MASCIA LAW FIRM NEW CLIENT PACKAGE

2 A WELCOME LETTER FROM MASCIA LAW FIRM On behalf of our entire team here at the Mascia Law Firm, I would like to thank you for selecting our firm to assist you with your transaction. Whether you are looking to modify an existing loan, complete a short sale or defend a foreclosure, the Mascia Law Firm will make your transaction the most efficient possible and will always provide the highest quality of client care. Our firm uses a proven, custom-built software system to manage and process your transaction. Our system provides high transparency, dynamic communication and valuable information to all interested parties at all times. In the coming days you will be introduced to the Mascia Law Firm team responsible for guiding your transaction through the specific process. Our team has been hand picked from throughout the industry with one common goal; providing excellent client care while maintaining the most efficient processes possible. We are focused on exceeding your expectations and are confident that you will be impressed with our professionalism and service. Please take a few minutes and review the important information in this guide. It will provide you with an overview of the information we will need from you and what to expect at every stage of your transaction. If you have any questions or suggestions, I encourage you to contact us. Your satisfaction is our top priority. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to improve our service. Thank you again for choosing Mascia Law Firm and for putting your faith in us. Now let s get started! Sincerely, Paul N. Mascia 2

3 THE PROCESSES Everyday there are industry changes that affect the process you must follow in order to complete a successful transaction. We will guide you every step of the way. In this guide we have provided general guides for each process so that you can have an idea of what to expect. It is best to have a general understanding of how the stages relate to each other and the factors that could affect the length of time it takes to complete each stage. Contact Us Important Definitions What to do if you are served Feel free to contact us if you have any questions at any time. TIP: Factors that will affect general short sale timeframes The inclusion of mortgage insurance FHA/VA loans have an extended timeframe The presence of second or junior liens The presence of unpaid HOA dues or property taxes PLEASE SELECT A CASE TYPE: Short Sale Loan Modification Debt Settlement Foreclosure Defense Bankruptcy TIP: If possible it is always best to remain current on your HOA dues as you go through any loss mitigation process. 3

4 AN OVERVIEW OF THE SHORT SALE PROCESS This is an overview of the Short Sale process and will answer any questions you may have about the stages of your transaction. It is importantly that you, your agent and your potential buyer understand the process so that everyone has the same expectations and goals in mind as we progress through the loss mitigation process. PROCESS STAGES Marketing STAGE DETAILS The first thing you need to do is list your home for sale. This is the Marketing stage. During this stage you will be working closely with your real estate professional. Document Collection Once you have a contract to purchase the home the Document Collection stage will begin. In this stage our Documents Team will collect various documents that are required by your lender and investor to consider the short sale. We have provided sample documents later in this guide. Submission Once all of the required lender and investor documents have been collected our Documents Professionals will underwrite the initial package and then submit to your lender for consideration. Outreach The Outreach stage is where the rubber hits the road. The time from submission to the assignment of a negotiator at your lender is the Outreach stage. It is in this stage that most short sales stall out or fall apart. Negotiations The Negotiation phase begins when the lender assigns a negotiator to your file. Once that occurs one of our professional negotiators will be assigned to your file to work out the final details of your short sale. This includes the final selling price, the resolution of the deficiency and any special considerations. Closing Once the negotiations have concluded and you have a short sale approval your file will move into the closing phase. In this stage we will work with your title agent to arrange the final closing details while your buyer arranges financing or prepares their funding. 4

5 LOAN MODIFICATION Loan modifications vary greatly in their success and the timeframe required to achieve a permanent modification. The stages listed below apply to most situations but variations should be expected. Our loan modification professionals will help you decide on the correct option for you and to define realistic timelines. PROCESS STAGES Document Collection STAGE DETAILS The first thing we will need to do is gather the required financials so that our loan modification team we be able to accurately assess your eligibility for the available loan modification programs. Consultation Once our loan modification professionals have the required financial and background information (this includes bank statements, paystubs, profit and loss statements and more). They will be able to determine the best course of action for your loan modification file. Submission Once our loan modification team has prepared your package and a course of action has been determined they will submit your packages to the appropriate creditors. Eligibility Review Once the package is with the creditor (lender) we will begin a structured and aggressive follow up routine to make sure that your file stays in front of the pack. The time it takes to complete this stage is highly variable. Trial Period If the lender determines that you meet all of the program guidelines they can possibly offer you a trial payment plan at that time. The trial plan is typically 3 months and during that time you will be required to make 3 reduced payments (generally reduced to 31% of income). Permanent Modification If the trial plan has been successful and all payments have been made on time as agreed then the lender will be able to offer the permanent modification. At this time your loan modification representative will be able to discuss the details of the agreement. 5

6 DEBT SETTLEMENT Whether you are burdened with credit card debt or you own back HOA dues we can help you resolve your debts. Our Debt Settlement team can resolve just about any debt at the best rates possible. REMEMBER: Student loans and child support cannot be settled. Repayment plans are possible however. Let us help you with a new financial future! Due to the wide variety of debt types and the large number of lenders and creditors it is not possible to provide a specific process. In most cases the general process follows the below framework: Financial Documents are collected to show the current financial picture of the client. Financial documents are reviewed with a debt settlement team member to ensure accuracy. A settlement offer letter is prepared by the client after consultation with the debt settlement team. The financial package and debt settlement offer are provided to the creditor. Once the package has been submitted the file will be follow up on regularly to track responses. This could take 30 days or even 9 months. Once the package is in to the lender the process is entirely dictated by the creditor. 6

7 FORECLOSURE DEFENSE The foreclosure process can be a trying time for your family and it is our job to ease that stress. The below process are general in nature as the foreclosure process varies by state. The key to a successful foreclosure defense is early engagement and a solid plan of action. Let our experienced attorneys and paralegal guide your family to a Foreclosure WIN! PROCESS STAGES Notice of Default STAGE DETAILS Generally about days after the first missed payment you will recieve a Notice of Default or Notice of Intent of to Accelerate. This letter is generally considered the first sign of a pending foreclosure. Lis Pendens The lis pendens (Latin for suit pending) is filed by the creditor with the court to secure their claim on the property. This is filed with the court and you can reasonable expect a foreclosure summons to be served within days of the lis pendens. Summons At some point in the foreclosure process you will officially be served a summons for foreclosure. This is the official start of the foreclosure litigation. It is imperative that you provide this document in it s entirety as soon as possible. Foreclosure Action The foreclosure action and the actual legal process can take months or even years depending on the state in which the property lies and your legal counsel. There are numerous actions we take on your behalf to buy you the most time. Summary Judgment The end of the foreclosure process is marked with two important events, the summary judgment and the sale date. The summary judgment occurs at the very end of the process and this is what allows the lender to set a sale date to recover the home. Sale Date If the foreclosure is late stage and/or you were unable to engage an attorney early in the process you may end up facing a sale date. If the property is sold through the auction you will in most cases be unable to proceed with any loss mitigation option and the home will be lost. 7

8 WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE SERVED As you go through the short sale, loan modification or deed-in-lieu process your investor continues to move forward with their foreclosure process. If you are served during the loss mitigation process it is entirely expected and perfectly ordinary. If you receive a summons for foreclosure you will need to provide us with the entire package (all pages) immediately at If you have retained us for foreclosure defense then our attorneys will being preparing the intial response to the summons which has a 20 day time limit. If you have not retained us to defend you against the foreclosure then one of our team members will contact you to discuss your options. Our attorneys are here to defend you against the foreclosure and buy you the time you need to complete your short sale, loan modification or deed-in-lieu. According to Realty Trac* the average 2011 foreclosure timeframe in Florida for homeowners without legal counsel was only 94 days. The average foreclosure timeframe for attorney represented foreclosures in 2011 was over 800 days! As soon as you are served please provide us with the complete summons package and then call our Client Care team at to follow up. REMEMBER: Having an active contract, loan modification and/or DIL will not stop the foreclosure process *2011 Year-End Foreclosure Report; realtytrac.com 8

9 AN OVERVIEW OF THE BANKRUPTCY PROCESS Bankruptcy is a legal procedure that relieves eligible individuals of debts they are unable to repay. Bankruptcy is a chance to start a new financial future and recover from the burden of unpayable debts and the stress of living paycheck to paycheck. PROCESS STAGES Pre-Filing Counseling STAGE DETAILS Most people filing for bankruptcy protection must get credit counseling from a government-approved organization. This usually includes evaluating your financial situation, reviewing bankruptcy alternatives and creating a budget. Filing Bankruptcy There are two types of bankruptcy commonly used by individuals: Chapter 7: Total Bankruptcy, stays on your credit for 10 years, non-exempt property may be turned over to trustee for liquidation. Chapter 13: Reorganization Bankruptcy, stays on credit 7-10 years, nonexempt property can be paid for in a 3-5 year plan. Automatic Stay An Automatic Stay is issued by the court to protect the filer from collection activitied during the bankruptcy process. This prevents reposession, eviction, garnishments, foreclosure and IRS collection activities. 341 Meeting 1-2 months after filing you must attend a meeting with your creditors to discuss the bankruptcy. This is called the 341 Meeting, at this meeting all of the property that you did not claim to be exempt may be given to the trustee to sell. Debtor Education Before your bankruptcy can be discharged (completed) you must complete a Debtor Education course. This includes information on budgets, managing money and using credit wisely. Discharge Usually about 3-4 months after the initial filing your bankruptcy will be discharged, assuming you have completed all of the above steps. 9

10 IMPORTANT DEFINITIONS As you go through the various processes you will be exposed to several terms and concepts that may not be familiar to you. This page is designed to provide some explanation on the various concepts and terms. Arrearages: What you are behind on in making payments. In bankruptcy context, arrearages usually apply only to secured creditors. Assets: The things that you own or have legal interest in that have value. House, car, household goods, cash, etc. BPO (Broker s Price Opinion): At some point in the loss mitigation process the lender will order a BPO (Broker s Price Opinion). The BPO is a very slimmed down version of an appraisal. The goal is to determine the current fair market value of the property. HAFA (Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives): HAFA is time limited program designed to help homeowners settle their mortgage debt without going through foreclosure. HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program): HAMP is part of the Making Homes Affordable program. HAMP offers loan modifications that help create sustainable monthly mortgage payments at 31% of your gross income. Investor: The investor is the company or individual that actually owns the money that was borrowed. Each investor has their own guidelines, policies and procedures. lis pendens: Lis pendens is Latin for suit pending and this is filed with the court early in the foreclosure process. The purpose is to secure the plantiff s claim on the property. Servicer: The servicer on a mortgage is the company that has been engaged by the investor on the loan to service the loan. Loss mitigation options (short sale, DIL, loan modifications, etc) are processed through the servicer on behalf of the investor. Your servicer in most cases (over 90%) does not actually have the decision making authority as that is retained by the investor. Summons: Once you have defaulted on your mortgage payment the foreclosure process begins. You are not in foreclosure though until you have actually been served a summons pertaining to the foreclosure action. A summons is a notice to you that you are defendant required to answer in court. Insolvent: If you are insolvent that you are unable to pay all debts as they come due. 10

11 CONTACT US CLIENT CARE: STAY CONNECTED! ALL status requests, questions and/or concerns go to our Client Care Team. Our Client Care team is standing by to assist you. Phone: Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30am to 5pm EST Calls are answered in the order received, all voic s and s are returned the same business day. DOCUMENTS: ALL documents should be sent to our Documents Team at the below address and/or fax number. Fax: By Mail: Documents Team Mascia Law Firm 605 East Robinson Street Suite 750 Orlando, FL Please allow for hours for your documents to be processed. 11

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