New York Law Blog

Bank Puts $120K In Couple’s Account. Police Arrest Them For Spending It


Police Arrest Pennsylvania Couple After Spending $120,000 BB&T Bank Accidently Deposited In Their Account

bankA Pennsylvania couple has learned Finders Keepers v. Losers Weepers is not a valid criminal defense. Nor is it even a real court case. The couple is facing prison after they spent $120,000 that BB&T Bank placed in their account. 

Pennsylvania state police say Robert and Tiffany Williams accidentally had $120,000 deposited into their account at BB&T on May 31st. after a teller made a mistake.

However, Williams never contacted the bank about the deposit. Instead, the couple allegedly spent most of the money on a Kardashian style shopping spree. All in two and a half weeks, between June 3 through June 19.

The couple blew through their windfall on things like a new SUV and four-wheel off-road vehicles. They also bought a race car and a camper. 

Police also say the Williams also used the money on bills, car repairs and even gave $15,000 to friends in need of money.

BB&T soon realized its mistake and transferred the money to the right account. The bank contacted the Williamses and said the couple would have to repay $107,000.

Neighbors were stunned. Neighbor Nate Weaver told WNEP:

That is kind of shocking, with all the procedures the banks have set up, checking and double-checking and triple-checking. There`s no way anybody gets away with that stuff.

BB&T Bank contacted Williamses on June 20th. They informed them that they had to pay back the $107,000.

On June 21, the bank called again.

Tiffany said she and her husband agreed to work out a payment plan. However, they soon broke off contact.

Court papers indicate the couple had no contact with bank representatives despite several attempts by BB&T to reach them.

The couple is now facing felony theft charges.

The court released Robert and Tiffany Williams on $25,000 bail.

Read more at MFI-Miami

New York Real Estate Progeny Accused Of Sexual Harassment

New York Real Estate

New York Real Estate Progeny Marc Menowitz Accused Of Sexual Harassment By Two Different Women

new york real estateNew York Real Estate progeny Marc Menowitz is accused of soliciting dirty photos from two female workers. He also hit on them repeatedly and retaliated when they rejected his advances according to multiple lawsuits.

Alice Vysata and Kinga Tabares filed sexual harassment suits against Marc Menowitz in Los Angeles. the New York Real Estate progeny is the grandson of Harold Menowitz Harold Menowitz was a successful New York developer who built residential and commercial buildings in Brooklyn and Queens in the 1950s.

Menowitz Management, which Marc now runs with his younger brother, owns and manages more than 2 million square feet across New York state, including an office building next to the Queens Center mall in Elmhurst.

Both women are former employees of Menowitzs. They claim Menowitz told them to visit Victoria’s Secret stores and send photos from inside the dressing rooms. The randy real estate mogul allegedly promised to buy the women the items in exchange for the sexually explicit images.

Alice Vysata Files Suit Against New York Real Estate Progeny

Menowitz allegedly sent Vysata an email on June 3, 2016, that said, “You need to flirt with me more.”

She claims Menowitz bemoaned his unrequited “love” for her. He sent other emails that read, “How about send me pics of you in a bikini?” and “We do have internet so you can send dirty pictures to me.”

Vysata told The Daily News it was particularly “humiliating” when Menowitz sent a floral arrangement for her birthday in June 2017. He included an unsealed card that read, “I was going to get you sex toys, but you have all the latest and the greatest.”

The delivery company delivered the flower arrangement to the wrong house. Vysata’s Florida neighbor read the card before delivering the flowers to Vysata’s home. The former employee states her mother and brother subsequently read the card.

Read more at MFI-Miami

Is HOA Litigation Preventing You From Selling Your Home?

hoa litigation

HOA Litigation Doesn’t Have To Stress You Out About Selling Your Home. However, You Need To Play It Right

hoa litigationThere’s nothing that throws a wrench into your plans to sell your home like lingering HOA litigation. Believe it or not, lawsuits involving homeowners associations have prevented thousands of homeowners from selling their homes. 

The Community Associations Institute estimates there are 345,000 to 347,000 community associations in the United States as of 2017. Thus, nearly 26.3 million households and roughly 69 million residents live under homeowners associations.

Most HOA litigation stems from unpaid member dues or spats between board members. Litigation can also stem from construction defects from the original developer or a contractor who worked on the project. It’s the litigation over construction that makes lenders and sellers nervous.

Most lawsuits don’t cause a major problem for home sales. However, buyers and lenders stay clear if an HOA board is unable to function peacefully and effectively. Questions about the structural integrity of the building or the homes also scare away potential buyers.

Read more at MFI-Miami

Ditech Bankruptcy Deal Assures Ditech’s Sale

Ditech Bankruptcy Deal

Ditech Bankruptcy Deal Assures Sale To New Residential Investment & Mortgage Assets Management

Ditech Bankruptcy DealThe new Ditech bankruptcy deal clears the way for the $1.8 billion sales of its businesses. Ditech has agreed to preserve some homeowner claims like the right to fix mistakes on their loans.

The Ditech bankruptcy deal ends a dispute over the sales. This now allows Ditech to pay creditors and exit bankruptcy.

A group of consumer creditors and a dozen state AGs objected to a previous plan to offload the assets in “free and clear” transactions. Those arrangements would have stripped homeowners of rights to save their homes from wrongful foreclosures.

Late last month, the federal judge overseeing the case also rejected the sales. The bankruptcy court still needs to approve the new Ditech bankruptcy plan.

Indiana University Law Professor Pamela Foohey told Bloomberg:

This is a win for homeowners. That the homeowners were able to negotiate this settlement is a testament that consumers can ask for a voice in large bankruptcy cases, and that doing so can result in increased recovery and commitments to fixing wrongs going forward.

The Ditech Bankruptcy Deal Settles The 4,000 Complaints By Consumers

Ditech Bankruptcy DealDitech and the consumer groups reached an agreement that creates a $10 million fund for claims holders. The Ditech Bankruptcy Deal also requires the appointment of a special master to hear consumer claims. The sale doesn’t ratify mistakes in mortgage accounts. Ditech and the new buyers have committed to investigate account misstatements and correct them.

Ditech has signed agreements to sell its mortgage servicing rights to New Residential Investment Corp. for just over $1 billion. Ditech’s Reverse Mortgage Solutions was sold to Mortgage Assets Management LLC for about $762 million.

More than 4,000 homeowners have filed complaints to federal agencies regarding Ditech over the past year. They allege that Ditech and RMS failed to properly credit payments and wrongly foreclosed on their homes. Ditech lawyers argued in court that the buyers would only complete the transactions if they were unencumbered by consumer claims.

Homeowners alleging they were wronged by the company include a man who says Ditech refused to apply a 2017 mortgage payment and an elderly woman in Long Island who claims the company began foreclosure proceedings for failure to pay property taxes. Yet, Ditech knew she had a repayment plan with her town to catch up.

FAKE LANDLORD ALERT! New York Police Bust Fake Landlord

Fake Landlord

New York Police Bust Fake Landlord Scam That Fleeced Hundreds Of People

fake landlordsThere are a number of fake landlord scams out there. Some of the scams are unique, some are brazen and some are just dumb.

Like a typical fake landlord, Ricardo Gonzalez of Tarrytown, New York thought he had the perfect scam until New York cops busted him.

The New York man posed as a real estate broker and falsely advertising apartments for rent bilking thousands of dollars from prospective renters.

Gonzalez put a unique spin on his fake landlord scam. He allegedly contacted landlords and told them he had friends interested in available units. He would then convince them to give him access to the properties.

Once Gonzalez got inside the unit, he took pictures of the apartments and obtained paperwork for the leases. He would then post the properties on Trulia, Craigslist, and Zillow. Thus, making it appear as though he was the real estate representative.

Tarrytown Police say numerous victims have come forward. Victims include a 46-year-old woman who says she worked with Gonzalez to rent a unit in April. She told police that she paid the fake landlord a $2,300 broker’s fee and a $100 rental application fee. She later learned Gonzalez was not a licensed real estate professional.

Read more at MFI-Miami

Suffolk County Foreclosure Defense! Call 888.574.7771

suffolk county foreclosure defense

Suffolk County Foreclosures Demand A Suffolk County Foreclosure Defense

The Law Office of Steven Stutman has created the most aggressive Suffolk County foreclosure defense team New York has ever seen! We are the only foreclosure and mortgage experts with the strength to successfully beat Suffolk County foreclosures.

Steve Stutman’s Suffolk County foreclosure defense team has become a lender’s worst nightmare. Why? He has successfully challenged some of the most arrogant foreclosure mill lawyers and Wall Street lenders in New York.

For nearly 40-years, Steve Stutman has developed a reputation of bringing Wall Street banks to their knees. He has even humiliated bank lawyers and made bank executives sob like babies during depositions. 

suffolk county foreclosure defense

Steve Stutman has also helped keep lenders from discriminating against Latin American homeowners and people of African and Caribbean descent. In addition, he has helped keep 9/11 survivors and military combat veterans in their homes. 

Furthermore, The Law Office of Steven Stutman also has access to some of the top forensic accountants and former FBI agents available. He can also call on mortgage compliance experts and collateralized debt experts if needed. 

As a result, this gives Attorney Stutman unparalleled strength to challenge any mortgage lender in any New York courtroom. 

We bring the most assertive Suffolk County foreclosure defense team to you! Steve Stutman likes to fight the Wall Street banks! He spent nearly forty years in the world of lending and knows the Achille’s heel of all the major lenders. 

Steve Stutman has helped hundreds of people in New York successfully stay in their homes. 

Call us at 888.574.7771. You can also check us out on Facebook

Equifax Victims Swarm To Collect Settlement Checks

Equifax victims

Federal Trade Commission Warns Equifax Victims They Will See Smaller Settlement Checks

Equifax victimsThe Federal Trade Commission is facing an issue over the Equifax settlement. Droves of Equifax victims are choosing a $125 cash payment over credit monitoring. Consumers are blowing up the math of the mega-settlement announced July 22.

The FTC is now saying Equifax victims will see lower settlement checks.

The FTC sent out statements last week including a press release and a blog post assuring victims a payment was still a choice. However, they urged people to chose the credit monitoring.

The statements also said the actual amount would be much smaller than the $125 initially offered. The FTC claims they hadn’t foreseen that so many people would want the cash. As a result, the FTC promised the payment-seekers, “You will be disappointed.”

FTC’s website said:

Because the total amount available for these alternative payments is $31 million, each person who takes the money option is going to get a very small amount. Nowhere near the $125 they could have gotten if there hadn’t been such an enormous number of claims filed. You can still choose the cash option on the claim form, but you will be disappointed with the amount you receive and you won’t get the free credit monitoring.

Read more at MFI-Miami

Major Mortgage Servicers Rank At The Bottom Of JD Power Survey

Major Mortgage Servicers

JD Power Survey Shows Customer Service At Major Mortgage Servicers Is Between Terrible and Horrible

major mortgage servicersJ.D. Power has just confirmed what mortgage customers have known for years. Service at the major mortgage servicers sucks!

J.D. Power’s latest customer satisfaction survey revealed that major mortgage servicers have a serious trust problem with their clients. Servicers also lack a digital platform to efficiently solve their clients’ problems.

The survey is based on responses from 7,531 customers who took out a mortgage or refinanced more than 12 years ago.

The survey showed that 70% of mortgage customers said they do not trust their mortgage servicer. As a result, J.D. Power says that mortgage servicers have the lowest customer satisfaction scores in all their surveys.

The major mortgage servicers ranked just below life insurance salesmen. However, they did rank above health plans.

major mortgage servicersCustomers say part of the problem is the lack of digital offerings.

About 60% of customers said they are accessing information through their servicer’s website and 31% are accessing their information from a mobile device. These rates also are notably lower than in other sectors of retail banking.

Another problem arises from transferred customers. These customers consistently gave their mortgage servicers low scores.

The survey also stated:

This phenomenon spotlights the unique communications and customer experience challenges mortgage servicers still need to address with transferred customers.

The problems plaguing the servicing sector are not new. As Bloomberg recently pointed out, this essential arm of the mortgage market is a disaster and desperately needs fixing.

Read more at MFI-Miami

New York Bankruptcy Filings Continue To Skyrocket

New York Bankruptcy Filings

New York Bankruptcy Filings Continue To Skyrocket And It’s Only Going To Get Worse

New York Bankruptcy FilingsNew York bankruptcy filings are skyrocketing.  Economists say its a warning that Americans are knee-deep in debt.

New York bankruptcy filings are still well below Great Recession levels. However, analysts say there is an unmistakable trend upward.

New York state’s bankruptcy filings have risen steadily the past three years. They hit 34,711 in 2018. This is up from 30,112 in 2016 according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI).

More consumers nationwide are also falling behind on their payments and filing for bankruptcy. Low unemployment and an uptick in average wages have not curbed the debt monster. Middle-class consumers are even finding relief at food pantries.

new york bankruptcy filingsZac Hall, vice president of the Food Bank For New York City told The NY Post:

We are seeing people using consumer debt as a way to make ends meet when they come here.

New York bankruptcy filings are also being fueled by unmanageable business debt. As a result, this is triggering a wave of job cuts. Corporate bankruptcy filings have caused 43,000 job losses in the first seven months of this year. According to a new report by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, this is almost 20% more than all bankruptcy-linked job cuts in 2018. In the latest example, last week Barneys New York said it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

ABI says bankruptcy filings have surged by 3% in July 2019 from July 2018. A total of 64,283 filings were reported for July. This is an increase from 62,241 for July 2018. Bankruptcies could hit 796,000 for 2019.

Meanwhile, record American household debt, near $14 trillion including mortgages and student loans, is some $1 trillion higher than during the Great Recession of 2008. Credit card debt of $1 trillion also exceeds the 2008 peak.

Americans are spending heavily. Here we go again!

Ditech Bankruptcy Liquidation Plan In Jeopardy

ditech bankruptcy

Ditech Bankruptcy Liquidation Plan In Trouble As New York AG Investigates Shady RMS Servicing Practices

The New York Attorney General has filed a brief in the Ditech bankruptcy case. AG Letitia James objected to the Ditech bankruptcy liquidation plan. She argues that the plan will strip homeowners of their rights.

James also argues that Ditech and Reverse Mortgage Solutions are using bankruptcy protection to circumvent statutory protections for homeowners.

The brief also states said that the Ditech has more than 880 foreclosure actions pending in New York. This includes 642 forward and 239 reverse mortgages. The current Ditech bankruptcy liquidation plan threatens to sweep these homeowners’ claims and defenses under the rug.

ditech bankruptcy

James asserts:

A free and clear sale of the Debtors’ mortgage assets would erase the key defenses of homeowners in the foreclosure process. 

The brief also claims that Ditech is the subject of numerous consumer complaints. 83 New York homeowners have filed complaints against Ditech and Reverse Mortgage Solutions with the Federal Trade Commission alleging servicer abuses. The current Ditech bankruptcy liquidation plan would be extinguished.

James also stated in a release issued by her office:

Bankruptcy Court should never be used as a tool to unjustly oust New Yorkers from their homes. Ditech’s action is an illegal attempt to strip hundreds of homeowners of their legitimate claims and eviscerate New York’s carefully created foreclosure process. 

The attorney general also said her office is currently investigating RMS. Ditech plans to sell RMS to Mortgage Assets Management.

In the brief, James also says her office has an open investigation into RMS’ servicing practices following multiple complaints. The complaints focus on unnecessary foreclosures mostly related to RMS’ early payment of property taxes.

However, the attorney general’s office provided no other details regarding the investigation in its release. A follow-up story will run when more details come to light.

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