Walking away in New Jersey

ascssmith

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Mar 5, 2013
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Al -

My approach to this whole thing has been simple: NO CONTACT.

Other than a half ass attempt at a settlement with the second mortgage about two years ago, I have had ZERO contact with either mortgage companies. No phone calls, no response to written letters, pretty much nothing.

Several members here have used the opposite tactic and are in constant communication with their lenders. At the time when I started this whole thing it seemed as if the different approaches all led to the same result.

We're all subjected to the lenders and states timelines really. I'm not sure anyone can be effective by trying to dictate when particular things are going to happen. If you want to tell them "I'm leaving in June" that's fine. It won't change the pace of the process any (as far as I can tell anyway).

Others might chime in with a differing opinion though.
Thanks for the reply, it is greatly appreciated... Yeah I know what you mean, I've been reading everyone else's stories and as you said, there is NO uniform way for this to pan out.. But I truly do appreciate the response, hope everyone stays safe in this HOPEFULLY last storm...

Al
 

JerseyCity07305

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Feb 28, 2010
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If you have never visited the NJ court access site, you should go there and search through some foreclosure cases to see how long it takes on average. That's the best thing to do. Go to: ACMS Public Access

Select "locate by docket"
Select a County in the dropdown box or choose "Statewide"
Select "Foreclosure" from the drop down box.
Enter a docket number. It must be 6 digits & you can't leave it blank. The sequence starts at 000001 for the first case filed for 2012 and goes up from there.
Choose the docket year. The later the case was filed in 2012, the less chance there has been a Final Judgment. You might want to search 2011.

Last, on the right, click "Case Document List." THis will give you a history of docs filed in the case. Be sure to notice at the top of the documents page if there is a down arrow next to the word "Page." This tells you there is more than one page of documents filed. Often, there is more than one page for cases that have progressed.

Try to find cases that have a final default and sheriff sale and see how long it took. This might take some time to find a case because you have to keep going back to enter new docket numbers. It is NOT designed to be a search engine like a Google. And eventually, the system will log you out & you'll have to log back in.

Searching through cases like this can actually provide a huge amount of information.

But be aware sometimes the bank might not want to hold title to the property (just yet) and they intentionally delay scheduling the sale. The courts and the sheriff may have nothing to do with it. Instead, your specific property, your bank, your situation, the other foreclosures in your area, etc could impact when the sale is set.
I haven't been able to access the ACMS site for a couple of weeks now. Is anyone else able to access it?
 

TooBee

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Feb 21, 2013
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Over the Rainbow
i'm still on a hunt for our docket number with no luck yet. .....we walked 5 years ago, so my guess is you have plenty of time. i also contacted the atty who was associated with one of cases which set precedence in nj, and his asst said they have all but halted foreclosures. (i found that difficult to believe and am still awaiting more answers from two friends that are attys in nj), however, her point was they have halted and don't expect any movement soon.

haaaaaaaa...anytime soon...LOL!! how's 5 years.
 

PatZZ

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Jan 30, 2011
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I haven't been able to access the ACMS site for a couple of weeks now. Is anyone else able to access it?

That is weird. Something is wrong. I access it almost every day. It is very reliable. It goes down at 9pm every night for maintenance, it's often down on Saturdays for maintenance, and I think it's down every 3rd weekend for maintenance.
 

PatZZ

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i'm still on a hunt for our docket number with no luck yet. .....we walked 5 years ago, so my guess is you have plenty of time. i also contacted the atty who was associated with one of cases which set precedence in nj, and his asst said they have all but halted foreclosures. (i found that difficult to believe and am still awaiting more answers from two friends that are attys in nj), however, her point was they have halted and don't expect any movement soon.

haaaaaaaa...anytime soon...LOL!! how's 5 years.

I wonder if we have spoken to the same firm. That sounds exactly like what someone there told me. Does the firm name start with a "D"?

I think it depends on your lender. NJ still has pending issues with the big "foreclosure irregularities" problem in the state.

I check foreclosures filed by my lender all the time. My lender is a relatively small player, but they have filed over 200 foreclosures since November 2012. 37 filed so far for March.
 

JerseyCity07305

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Feb 28, 2010
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That is weird. Something is wrong. I access it almost every day. It is very reliable. It goes down at 9pm every night for maintenance, it's often down on Saturdays for maintenance, and I think it's down every 3rd weekend for maintenance.
I was able to get into the system this morning. I must have been trying to access it during the maintenance periods you mentioned - coincidence I suppose.

Just an update: We're coming up on three years and this whole time I've been paying the HOA $500 a month. With our second child on the way this is money I can't afford to send off to them any more. Wishing for quick action on the foreclosure process is futile I'm aware. I'm still somewhat hopeful by looking over some of the cases in the ACMS system. Many of them are initiated and completed within a year or so - at least the dozen or so "sample" cases I saw.

I just need to ditch this HOA fee. I've even been toying with the idea of renting it out on a month-to-month agreement basis just to recover the HOA cost.

I don't think completely stopping payment to the HOA is wise based on the legal/collections line items in the HOA annual budget. It looks like the rash of foreclosures and/or owners not paying has taken it's toll on the HOA budget. They seem to be aggressive in collecting outstanding debt.
 
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PatZZ

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Hello everyone, I'm in New Jersey, I started my walk August 1st 2012, my story is like everyone else's, townhouse has (2) mortgages, for a total of $290k, recent sales in association $146k, needless to say bank won't go that low on short-sale. I'm a single parent, youngest is finishing college in May, my job ends in June of this year, so I'm leaving my house in June, to move down south to live near my oldest daughter.

My questions are as follows:

  1. I haven't heard from GMAC since December, letters saying I'm behind, I never contacted them as I knew I was walking away from this house, so how do I proceed?
  2. Do I contact them and tell them I'm giving the house back in June?
  3. Do I contact 2nd mortgage also, as I haven't had any contact with them except a letter every once in awhile stating I'm delinquent
  4. When should I contact them, if at all to let them know I moved out and where the keys are?
  5. I've read a lot of posts and blogs talking about "Deficiency actions"; and amazingly NJ doesn't really go after Residential customers for the deficiency of loan value. so I'm hoping that stays in my favor.
  6. As everyone else that is in this process or has completed it knows, this is VERY stressful, worrying about someone coming and kicking you out, going after savings account; thankfully I don't use GMAC as my bank, so I think I'm ok, then worrying about them trying to garnish my wages after I move...


Anything anyone can say or help with, I'd really appreciate it... I have to say this "Forum site" is a God send to all of us going through this difficult process and thank you from the bottom of my heart...

Al

NJ is a judicial foreclosure state. No one is coming to kick you out if your lender has not filed a foreclosure case and went through the required court process to obtain a judgment against you and a sheriff's sale is held.

If no case has been filed, then you have a while before you have to leave your home. Probably a LONG while. You can relax. If you move out, send the keys to your lender/servicer.
 

PatZZ

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I was able to get into the system this morning. I must have been trying to access it during the maintenance periods you mentioned - coincidence I suppose.

Just an update: We're coming up on three years and this whole time I've been paying the HOA $500 a month. With our second child on the way this is money I can't afford to send off to them any more. Wishing for quick action on the foreclosure process is futile I'm aware. I'm still somewhat hopeful by looking over some of the cases in the ACMS system. Many of them are initiated and completed within a year or so - at least the dozen or so "sample" cases I saw.

I just need to ditch this HOA fee. I've even been toying with the idea of renting it out on a month-to-month agreement basis just to recover the HOA cost.

I don't think completely stopping payment to the HOA is wise based on the legal/collections line items in the HOA annual budget. It looks like the rash of foreclosures and/or owners not paying has taken it's toll on the HOA budget. They seem to be aggressive in collecting outstanding debt.


That's amazing that you have not been in the home for that long w/o a case being filed. Does your lender know you're not in the home?

$500 is a lot. I believe that all the HOA can/will do is record a lien against the property for the unpaid dues. They can then initiate a foreclosure as a lienholder if they choose. Fairly certain (not absolutely certain) that they do not come after you personally. If/when the home is sold, they get paid before the lender. Check your HOA docs to see what it says about their collection rights. My HOA has not gone after anyone personally, but they have recently filed foreclosure on 3 homes with seriously delinquent dues - 2 vacant and 1 is occupied.
 

JustSharon

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Sep 8, 2011
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Jersey City:

You will have to continue to pay that HOA, no matter what you decide to do. They WILL come after you personally. Don't wish for quick action in NJ. Most foreclosure cases I've seen are 2 - 4 YEARS. If you don't want to live there, you may be able to rent it out to cover expenses +. However, check your association rules; some prohibit rentals. If you rent it out, you'll have to pay rent somewhere else. Why not just stay?
 

TooBee

LoanSafe Member
Feb 21, 2013
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Over the Rainbow
I wonder if we have spoken to the same firm. That sounds exactly like what someone there told me. Does the firm name start with a "D"?

I think it depends on your lender. NJ still has pending issues with the big "foreclosure irregularities" problem in the state.

I check foreclosures filed by my lender all the time. My lender is a relatively small player, but they have filed over 200 foreclosures since November 2012. 37 filed so far for March.
no the atty it doesn't start with a D. that would have been interesting if we had spoken with the same person.

our situation is a bit different, we have one of the "big" players, it's chase. chase never recorded the mortgage and the last two recordings were of the settlement of sale by a mortgage brokerage firm, then transferred to MERS, but never re-assigned to chase has the holder of the actual mortgage. in nj they the banks or lenders have 20 years to record it. chase can sue us as the serviceor, on behalf of the investors, but they are so out of it they don't even know THEY are owners of that paper.

what's holding mine up i found out (i'm certain it's not the entire reason, however, my mortgage passed from one bank to another back to MERS then discharged from MERS and while chase was "servicing" our mortgage, for whom, i'm not certain, but then we got notification that chase was the new creditor as of a date, but they never recorded it. when i got the foreclosure summons it was listed as chase v us, but they were naming MERS as the creditor in the instrument, as well. crazy...

one of the attys looking in this for us asked us( i think this past friday) if i could locate the letter that chase notified us that they were now our "new" creditors (approx 6 years back!. i figured i could never find that doc, our move all the boxes etc., but i did!!! so the atty doesn't know what difference this all makes for the ultimate outcome for us.

i don't want to stir up anything, but we just want our names off the deed. at this point tho, we are beginning to second think this and let dead dogs lay. we understand and will not be surprised if someone comes and knocks on the door. at the least it will not be unexpected.
 

PatZZ

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Jan 30, 2011
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Jersey City:

You will have to continue to pay that HOA, no matter what you decide to do. They WILL come after you personally. Don't wish for quick action in NJ. Most foreclosure cases I've seen are 2 - 4 YEARS. If you don't want to live there, you may be able to rent it out to cover expenses +. However, check your association rules; some prohibit rentals. If you rent it out, you'll have to pay rent somewhere else. Why not just stay?

You're right JustSharon. I was curious and did some more reading. Seems a lot of HOAs sue personally. I am going to ask the president of my association why no one has been sued in 17 years. 35% of the residents here are seriously behind in dues.

It also appears that regardless what they do, the HOAs have a big problem when it comes to delinquent dues. But the economy is bad and no one escapes.

Interesting article here:

Pay Your Association Dues! - Foreclosure Defense & Strategic Default | Foreclosure Defense & Strategic Default
 

PatZZ

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@TooBee

So you at one point received a foreclosure complaint, but now you can't find the case number in ACMS? That's strange too and would be very uncomfortable to me - (i.e., not knowing). Whatever happened, that information should be available and in that database. Even if the case was dismissed, it should be there. Maybe I misunderstood.

You do have a unique situation, but one some defense attorneys like to take on in court.

One of the problems no one ever talks about is the difficulty homeowners have in finding proper counsel. So many attorneys don't know foreclosure defense, other attorneys are too busy & selective about their cases, and most often, borrowers cannot afford to pay the cost of counsel. This is a major reason why banks are winning - IMHO. In NJ, Christie has heavily cut back on funding for NJ Legal Services and they are turning away huge numbers of people. Knowing Christie, this was part of his plan. If people aren't represented & can't win in court, the properties turnover more quickly to the banks.

Hope things work out for you TooBee.
 

TooBee

LoanSafe Member
Feb 21, 2013
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Over the Rainbow
yes, actually and legally there is, as i'm certain you know, a process in nj's judicial procedure. the first thing one should rec is the intent to foreclose and then eventually the NOD. however, for us chase just went right after the juggler with the NOD. these are all legal technicalities, i understand, but chases ineptness is beyond reason.

thank you, PatZZ, i know it's just me at this point. no one is after us. the total amount of the mortgage is IIB (included in bankruptcy). while we claimed our intent on our petition, we did notify chase of our intent to surrender. the thing that really gets me, is the fact we left our home of over 30 years because i just didn't want to delay the inevitable. chase or whomever had the locks changed and the outer buildings padlocked. one would think those actions would surly constitute taking possession. but oh no, they keep the deed in our names, so they have possession yet don't want to document it.

one of my atty friends helping me with this now, asked or told me, "you" especially knew you didn't have to leave so why didn't you just stay until they threw you out. well, we are a bit older and personally didn't want to deal with chase coming to our home and pounding on the front door 3xs a week and calls from morning, noon and night. we both lost our 6 figure salaries and no one would touch us as far as hiring, so, it was just best to leave the state.


You do have a unique situation, but one some defense attorneys like to take on in court.
right, that's why my one friend has taken chase to court 4 times and has won. he's looking carefully to see if we have any grounds against them. the problem is, most recent court decisions varies state to state and case to case. it's mind boggling. i'm just going to have to wait it out. at least time is free...for now!
 

PatZZ

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Jan 30, 2011
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yes, actually and legally there is, as i'm certain you know, a process in nj's judicial procedure. the first thing one should rec is the intent to foreclose and then eventually the NOD. however, for us chase just went right after the juggler with the NOD. these are all legal technicalities, i understand, but chases ineptness is beyond reason.

thank you, PatZZ, i know it's just me at this point. no one is after us. the total amount of the mortgage is IIB (included in bankruptcy). while we claimed our intent on our petition, we did notify chase of our intent to surrender. the thing that really gets me, is the fact we left our home of over 30 years because i just didn't want to delay the inevitable. chase or whomever had the locks changed and the outer buildings padlocked. one would think those actions would surly constitute taking possession. but oh no, they keep the deed in our names, so they have possession yet don't want to document it.

one of my atty friends helping me with this now, asked or told me, "you" especially knew you didn't have to leave so why didn't you just stay until they threw you out. well, we are a bit older and personally didn't want to deal with chase coming to our home and pounding on the front door 3xs a week and calls from morning, noon and night. we both lost our 6 figure salaries and no one would touch us as far as hiring, so, it was just best to leave the state.




right, that's why my one friend has taken chase to court 4 times and has won. he's looking carefully to see if we have any grounds against them. the problem is, most recent court decisions varies state to state and case to case. it's mind boggling. i'm just going to have to wait it out. at least time is free...for now!

Seems you're doing okay. God bless.

Sorry to hear about the loss of your jobs. That's another issue that goes unaddressed. In times of high unemployment, people over 50 are at a severe disadvantage. Of course it's worse at 55 or 60. I am now disabled and will never recoup my old income. I'm living on my annuity and 401k. Will retire soon. The NJ Homekeeper program aimed to help people who became unemployed or underemployed. An employee at the program told me they cannot help anyone who became unemployed, could not find a job and then elected to retire. So despite the fact that I have a stable monthly income to pay a modified mortgage, Homekeeper will only help those who become re-employed. Almost sounds discriminatory against the aged and disabled. If people can use retirement and disability income to qualify for the original mortgage, then it makes no sense to disallow that same income for a loan mod.

I know what you mean about the stress of being in the home with everything up in the air. I actually want to move to South Carolina & won't mind leaving - kinda. But I will not leave until I exhaust every conceivable option, including a fight in court. I plan to give them a real Rocky fight, run up their legal bill, declare bankruptcy and then get outta town. That might be 3 to 4 years down the road.

Isn't it amazing how lenders cannot follow the very basic requirements? How could they not send the NOI? Unbelievable. Goes to show if they didn't do that, what else have they done or not done. Both my investor and servicer are snakes in the grass but their evil ways are traceable with their own words and documents. They've violated so many regulations. But since most borrowers don't challenge anything they do, they figure they can get away with near murder 95% of the time. And, they succeed.

Court decisions are all over the place, but I have a long file of precedent-setting NJ cases saved.
 

JerseyCity07305

LoanSafe Member
Feb 28, 2010
137
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Jersey City:

You will have to continue to pay that HOA, no matter what you decide to do. They WILL come after you personally. Don't wish for quick action in NJ. Most foreclosure cases I've seen are 2 - 4 YEARS. If you don't want to live there, you may be able to rent it out to cover expenses +. However, check your association rules; some prohibit rentals. If you rent it out, you'll have to pay rent somewhere else. Why not just stay?
We're already out. My situation is covered in older posts but basically all this stems from the birth of our first child. She's four now and we couldn't wait any longer to leave JC.

If it was just my wife and I then I wouldn't even be on this forum. We would've just gutted it out long term.

I'm very aware HOA's (mine included) go after you. It's why I've continued to pay them for three years and counting. My HOA has a 25% tenant occupancy rate which they are at currently but according to them "we won't stop you from renting it out."

I don't see too many alternatives. I'm in the JC court system as of August of last year but according to ACMS it hasn't progressed very far. I'm still hopeful 2013 will be it.
 

TooBee

LoanSafe Member
Feb 21, 2013
188
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Over the Rainbow
Seems you're doing okay. God bless.

Sorry to hear about the loss of your jobs. That's another issue that goes unaddressed. In times of high unemployment, people over 50 are at a severe disadvantage. Of course it's worse at 55 or 60. I am now disabled and will never recoup my old income. I'm living on my annuity and 401k. Will retire soon. The NJ Homekeeper program aimed to help people who became unemployed or underemployed. An employee at the program told me they cannot help anyone who became unemployed, could not find a job and then elected to retire. So despite the fact that I have a stable monthly income to pay a modified mortgage, Homekeeper will only help those who become re-employed. Almost sounds discriminatory against the aged and disabled. If people can use retirement and disability income to qualify for the original mortgage, then it makes no sense to disallow that same income for a loan mod.

I know what you mean about the stress of being in the home with everything up in the air. I actually want to move to South Carolina & won't mind leaving - kinda. But I will not leave until I exhaust every conceivable option, including a fight in court. I plan to give them a real Rocky fight, run up their legal bill, declare bankruptcy and then get outta town. That might be 3 to 4 years down the road.

Isn't it amazing how lenders cannot follow the very basic requirements? How could they not send the NOI? Unbelievable. Goes to show if they didn't do that, what else have they done or not done. Both my investor and servicer are snakes in the grass but their evil ways are traceable with their own words and documents. They've violated so many regulations. But since most borrowers don't challenge anything they do, they figure they can get away with near murder 95% of the time. And, they succeed.

Court decisions are all over the place, but I have a long file of precedent-setting NJ cases saved.
PatZZ, the problem with many of these court decisions i see today, is they vary and are forever changing. unfortunately, in many of the cases, the judges side with the banks. problem is, law is not justice and justice is not law. judges are not adhering to many of the decisions other courts have recognized, nor do they have to, it's their court room and they can interrupt the law as they chose fit, and frankly, i'm just too tired for the fight. one may be prepared for battle and armed with numerous case law only to be shot down because the presiding judge will find ways around it all ( know this first hand as i'm the one that armed the attys with their weapons lol!). i have seen it hundreds if not thousands of times in nj courts.

i think many don't see just exactly how hard hit the 50-65 age group was hit. it was our age groups that had many of the high paying management positions that were eliminated by many major companies due to the fact that we were the highest paid. no doubt in my view is this not only discriminatory, it's a fine line for me about the basic core of our society. but what can we do.

we were luckier than most, both having pensions, one hitting ss age and other savings that ...and I KNEW BETTER but used 401 monies to attempt to catch up with debt, bobbing water for so long, then ending up filing for bk and those funds who have been protected. by that time we were still in the middle of our loan mod, accumulated over 200k worth of medical bills since we hit our max for that year. (thank you obamacare for halting limits for the insurance companies, some GOOD did come from it).

again i knew better, but in nj with the costs just to heat and keep the lights on we were able to re-locate to another state where what it costs just for the utilities alone in nj pays 100% of our monthly expenses here in florida, as well as allowing us to try a save a bit.

i appaud you in your fight and hope it all turns out just as you are hoping for.
 

ascssmith

LoanSafe Member
Mar 5, 2013
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NJ is a judicial foreclosure state. No one is coming to kick you out if your lender has not filed a foreclosure case and went through the required court process to obtain a judgment against you and a sheriff's sale is held.

If no case has been filed, then you have a while before you have to leave your home. Probably a LONG while. You can relax. If you move out, send the keys to your lender/servicer.
Thank you for the "Words of wisdom"... It truly does help when you are going through something like this...
 

JerseyCity07305

LoanSafe Member
Feb 28, 2010
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Reviving an old thread here I know...

I stopped paying HOA fee in August 2013. $500 was just too much and six months later we received a collection notice from their law firm demanding payment. Looks like I'm on the hook as I don't take this as an empty threat. So I'll make up the six months and continue paying the $500 HOA fee.

To make matters worse I couldn't rent it out if I wanted to anyway since the building is under major renovations stemming from a lawsuit the HOA filed against the builder during the transition phase. The builder took several shortcuts (apparently still to code somehow) but that has led to water damage in virtually every unit in building. The builder has relocated people for six months while they tear apart the building almost down to the frame and hopefully rebuild correctly this time.

Still here. Still waiting. Going on year 4.
 

JerseyCity07305

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Feb 28, 2010
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Just went on to ACMS Public Access site. The last two entries:

11 01 2013 005 LOP DISM WARN COURT INIT N

<tbody>
</tbody>
12 20 2013 006 CRT INIT TO DSM COURT INIT N GR

<tbody>
</tbody>

This looks like the court initiated a "LOP DISM WARN" in November. A little research shows this is a court initiated "Lack of Prosecution" dismissal warning. Then last month, the court entered a "CRT INIT TO DSM". This is a court initiated motion to dismiss the case. The "GR" indicates it was granted.

I assume this is because of the administrative bureaucracy at these servicers that something like this can happen (misfiled paperwork, incorrect documents, etc). Whatever the reason the court looks to be set to dismiss this case.

I understand this does not preclude another case from being filed but can I possibly be looking at another 4 years? Can the lender attorneys stop this motion at this point and continue with the current case?
 

PatZZ

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Jan 30, 2011
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Just went on to ACMS Public Access site. The last two entries:

11
01
2013
005
LOP DISM WARN
COURT INIT
N

<tbody>
</tbody>
12
20
2013
006
CRT INIT TO DSM
COURT INIT
N
GR

<tbody>
</tbody>

This looks like the court initiated a "LOP DISM WARN" in November. A little research shows this is a court initiated "Lack of Prosecution" dismissal warning. Then last month, the court entered a "CRT INIT TO DSM". This is a court initiated motion to dismiss the case. The "GR" indicates it was granted.

I assume this is because of the administrative bureaucracy at these servicers that something like this can happen (misfiled paperwork, incorrect documents, etc). Whatever the reason the court looks to be set to dismiss this case.

I understand this does not preclude another case from being filed but can I possibly be looking at another 4 years? Can the lender attorneys stop this motion at this point and continue with the current case?

Yes, when plaintiff lets the case hang with no activity for over 1 year, the court wants it off the docket. I've noticed quite a few of these actually do get dismissed by the court.

But check out F-001281-12. After the warning was filed, counsel came back with a Final Judgment.

And in F-001276-12, F-001278-12, and F-001073-12, counsel came back and filed an "AFFID EXCEPT CI." I'm guessing this is an "Affidavit of Exceptional Circumstances." Meaning they will probably soon be filing something else. I'm very curious about it however and will request a copy of some records to see what it is.

There are a LOT of these dismissals in ACMS. Gotta wonder what's going on when they let cases go by the wayside even after the court notifies them.

Are you saying this motion was filed and you did not get a copy in the mail? That's crazy. All parties should know such a motion was filed. The pro se is mistreated in so many ways. If you had counsel, he/she would have been notified - I surmise.

Yours was granted, so I think it's over for now. Though there may be some other motion they can file. Don't know about that. I can tell you I have searched through hundreds upon hundreds of cases in ACMS and I have never seen counsel file anything after the court order to dismiss was granted.

Did you have any counterclaims in your answer?
 
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