Wondering what the state of “foreclosure defense” in Virginia is these days? Wondering what your chances of success are of stopping a foreclosure here in Virginia without filing for bankruptcy? Can you possibly keep the house without paying the mortgage in Virginia? Well, a recent ruling by the federal court here in Alexandria, Virginia certainly seems to shed some light.
Here is what the United States District Court For The Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, had to say in a opinion handed down on April 10, 2012 in the final paragraph of the court’s ruling: “….Plaintiffs’ counsel’s experience in other foreclosure-avoidance actions should have made clear that the claims and theories advanced here and in those cases lack merit. In this district alone, all of the many foreclosure-avoidance actions plaintiffs counsel has initiated have been voluntarily dismissed, remanded, or ultimately unsuccessful on the merits. In the Fourth Circuit, plaintiff’s counsel has fared no better; to the contrary, the Fourth Circuit has never concluded that any of his foreclosure-avoidance theories was meritorious. It is therefore unsurprising that plaintiffs’ counsel has been specifically and repeatedly admonished for his practice of advancing meritless claim in foreclosure-avoidance actions, and yet, as this case shows, he continues to assert substantially similar claims based on many of the same arguments.”
The Court then concluded the opinion by essentially stating that in a show of mercy they would spare the attorney and not sanction him! As in not order him to pay thousands of dollars for bringing a case before the court that lacked any merit or validity. Let me say that again, the Federal Court in Alexandria, Virginia not only stated that all legal arguments made by the homeowners against the bank in an effort to stop the bank from foreclosing were not valid, but the arguments presented were so lacking in merit, where so contrary to Virginia law, that the lawyer representing the homeowner ought to be punished for wasting the bank’s and the court’s time!
So, while “produce the note” or “show me the note” may get you somewhere in Florida, here in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you better think again. Same goes for that whole notion of attacking MERS and their right to foreclose or claiming that the substitute trustee on the Deed of Trust may not foreclose. As the Court stated: “Virginia does not recognize a cause of action for wrongful foreclosure.”
Bottom line: before you hand over one-half of your mortgage payment each month to a law firm specializing in “foreclosure defense” (which is typically how these law firm collect their legal fees) understand that what you are buying is months of delay while the matter is litigated in court. At the end of the day, there is no such thing as a free lunch and there is certainly no such thing as a free house. This is not Massachusetts, Florida or New York where these arguments may fly. This is the Commonwealth of Virginia and there is a reason that it has a reputation for being conservative and creditor friendly.
Besides, if delay of the inevitable is all you are looking for, if merely buying time before the foreclosure ensues is your objective, then a chapter 13 bankruptcy can do that for you at a fraction of the cost.