The Law Office of J. Patrick Sutton
mortgage modification

Texas Supreme Court enforces Section 50 as written

Today, the Texas Supreme Court returned to its Norwood decision of 2013 and reiterated that even if the requirements of Tex. Const. art. XVI, § 50 are inconvenient, they must be enforced as written unless and until the people of Texas amend them:

"Whether the constitutional provision’s intended protection is worth the hardship or could be more fairly or effectively provided by some other method is a matter that must be left to the framers and ratifiers of the Constitution,"

said the Court in denying a request for rehearing.
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The statute of limitations is tolled for class members

If you have a Texas home equity loan that JPMorgan Chase, Nationstar, or Bank of America modified to include interest-only payments or a balloon payment, you may already be protected by a pending class action. Your statute of limitations is the one for all class members, which relates back to the date the various class actions were filed. The class actions were filed in 2012 and 2013, protecting class members back to 2008 and 2009.

Don't assume your claim is too late if you fit within one of the class actions I have filed. Call me to discuss, and include your loan modification.Content may continue . . .

Nationstar Texas Class Actions Filed

On behalf of all affected Texans, my clients in Burnet and Dallas Counties have filed class actions against Nationstar Mortgage. The Burnet case is hair-raising: it alleges that Nationstar modified a Texas home mortgage loan (home equity loan, specifically) at least four times, more than doubling the principal amount of the original note and scheduling interest-only payments. The plaintiffs' monthly payment would QUADRUPLE at the end of the modifications, highlighting why the Texas Constitution forbids home equity loans from having interest-only payments.

The cases (click on the case to see the petitions are George et al. v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, Cause No. 41914 (Burnet County 424th District) and Graze v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, Cause No. DC-13-05406-H (Dallas County 160th Dist). These cases will be combined into the pending Nationstar MDL involving multiple additional cases of the same kind.

If you have a Nationstar loan that was modified, and Nationstar is threatening foreclosure, or badgering you to short-sell or give a deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure, CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY to protect your rights.Content may continue . . .

Texas Supreme Court to decide multiple Section 50 Issues

Days after the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals certified multiple questions to the Texas Supreme Court in my pending cases and class actions against major lenders, the Texas Supreme Court agreed to answer the questions. Just getting these questions resolved is a major victory for Texas borrowers, who have constantly been whip-sawed by the lenders. The lenders repeatedly offer modifications but later deny them when they learn (and admit) them to be illegal in Texas.Content may continue . . .

A blow against Nationstar's Loan Modification Practices in Texas

On August 16, 2013, the Texas Multidistrict Litigation Panel combined all my outstanding cases against Nationstar Mortgage (formerly Centex) in one court. Nationstar not only added very large sums to existing home equity loans with 2-page modifications, but concealed the practice by using interest-only and balloon-note clauses that hid how much was being added to the loans. Combining all the cases is a huge victory for the various plaintiffs around the state, since their payments usually jumped way up and put them in a bind -- making it difficult for them to afford the legal fees to fight Nationstar. Nationstar vigorously opposed consolidating the cases, hoping to keep the plaintiffs spread out and alone in the various counties. Now, as new cases get filed, all the cases will go into one court for uniform handling.

The MDL Order is here.Content may continue . . .

A nice little victory against JP Morgan Chase in the 5th Circuit in a mortgage case

I recently had a nice win in the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals against JP Morgan Chase Bank in a mortgage modification case. The federal district court's dismissal was reversed, and the case remanded to proceed to discovery. The opinion in Gloria Martin-Janson v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., is here.

My client was promised a modification for years and was repeatedly told not to make payments because a modification was imminent. At the last minute, Chase pulled the plug and said, basically, catch up all the missed payments or we foreclose. My client merely asked the district court to let her prove that Chase either had written up a modification or that it was possible to prove what the terms of the modification were. The district court dismissed, denying her the ability to prove her case. The 5th Circuit reversed so that my client can at least get discovery.

This case stands for the proposition that when a federal lawsuit alleges very specifically that a particular modification agreement exists in the lender's file or can be proven by evidence, the case should proceed and not be dismissed immediately after it's filed.Content may continue . . .
The Law Office of J. Patrick Sutton