Tuesday, September 27, 2011

McGrath & Spielberger’s E-lawyering Recognized by the American Bar Association


McGrath & Spielberger’s E-lawyering Recognized by the

American Bar Association

The cover story for the current American Bar Association's Law Practice Magazine recognizes McGrath & Spielberger, PLLC in its discussion about law firms which have incorporated a "virtual practice" to further assist clients. McGrath & Spielberger is one of the only law firms in the United States which practices law both traditionally and virtually in multiple states. Here is a link to the Firm's online legal services portal.

To access the story and see the comments about McGrath & Spielberger (see right column of story), please click here: ABA Law Practice Magazine: Moving to a Virtual Practice Model - Do You Have the Right Stuff?

McGrath & Spielberger uses the internet and its online legal services platform to reduce costs and increase efficiency, with resulting benefits to all. The Firm has taken extra measures to ensure that its website and online legal services platform is especially secure. Please don't hesitate to contact us if we may be of assistance to you.



Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why Aren’t Borrowers Offered HAMP Loan Modifications?

Why Aren’t Borrowers Offered HAMP Loan Modifications?


Here are 10 fundamental reasons borrowers may not be offered a mortgage loan modification under the Federal Government’s HAMP loan modification program:

  1. the property is not the borrower’s primary residence;

  2. the unpaid principal balance (“UPB”) is much higher than the net present value of the property;

  3. the borrower is not delinquent and default is not reasonably foreseeable;

  4. the borrower cannot document a financial hardship;

  5. the borrower cannot represent that (s)he has insufficient liquid assets to make the monthly mortgage payments;

  6. the UPB is greater than $729,750 (for a single housing unit property);

  7. the property is vacant or condemned;

  8. the mortgage loan at issue was originated after January 1, 2009;

  9. the mortgage loan was previously modified under HAMP; and

  10. the property is not a 1 to 4 unit residential property.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Summary of Government Mortgage Loan Relief Programs

Government Mortgage Loan Relief Programs: Summary


The following federal government programs are summarized herein:

  • Home Affordable Modification Program (“HAMP”)

  • Home Affordable Unemployment Program (“UP”)

  • Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (“HAFA”)

  • Second Lien Modification Program (“2MP”)

 HAMP provides eligible borrowers with a chance to modify their first / primary mortgage loans to make them more affordable on a monthly basis. This program has written guidelines which servicers (the organizations which actually handle the day to day processing and maintenance of most residential mortgage loans) are supposed to follow. Qualified borrowers who apply and are able to make it through the challenging process should be rewarded by one or more of the following: an interest rate reduction, a loan term extension, a principal forbearance and/or a reduction in the actual principal of the loan (extremely rare). 

 UP is designed to help borrowers unable to make their mortgage payments because of unemployment. This program grants qualified borrowers a 3 month or longer period during which their mortgage payments are reduced or suspended.    

 HAFA may allow borrowers who can’t afford their mortgage to utilize a short sale or deed-in-lieu (DIL) of foreclosure to avoid foreclosure. This program grants financial incentives to servicers, investors, and borrowers that utilize a short sale or a DIL to avoid a foreclosure on a HAMP-eligible loan.    

 2MP is intended to work only in combination with HAMP to offer borrowers with secondary mortgages even greater affordability. If a borrower’s primary mortgage loan is modified under HAMP, a loan servicer who participates in 2MP must offer to modify the secondary mortgage and offer to accept a lump sum payment in exchange for full or partial extinguishment of the secondary mortgage.

 McGrath & Spielberger helps borrowers try to find solutions to their mortgage issues.


Friday, September 2, 2011

Abortion Law Partly Blocked by Federal Judge

Judge Blocks Part of Texas Abortion Law

By Debra Cassens Weiss, as published by the American Bar Association

A federal judge has blocked key parts of a Texas law that required women seeking abortions to view sonograms of the fetus and listen to the heartbeat.

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks granted a preliminary injunction on Tuesday, finding the law violates the First Amendment rights of doctors and patients, report Reuters, the New York Times and the Austin American-Statesman. "The act compels physicians to advance an ideological agenda with which they may not agree, regardless of any medical necessity, and irrespective of whether the pregnant women wish to listen," Sparks wrote.

Last week, Sparks rejected an anti-abortion lawyer’s request to file an amicus brief in the case on behalf of “317 Texas women hurt by abortion,” according to Texas Lawyer's Tex Parte Blog. In a sternly worded order, Sparks called the San Antonio lawyer, Allan Parker, “anything but competent.”

“A competent attorney would not have filed this motion in the first place; if he did, he certainly would not have attached exhibits that are both highly prejudicial and legally irrelevant,” Sparks wrote. The judge went on to seal one of the exhibits—which was a picture of an aborted fetus, Parker says.

Above the Law had deemed Sparks’ order the “benchslap of the day.” Parker tells Texas Lawyer that Sparks’ criticism was “hurtful,” but he respects the judge and “he’s entitled to his opinion.”

In an order in a different case, also issued last week, Sparks invited two apparently squabbling members of the bar to attend what he called a "kindergarten party" to learn basic discovery skills.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Even Lawyers Get Spanked Sometimes!

Even Lawyers Get Spanked Sometimes!

From the outside, you never know what someone does or doesn't deserve. However, based on my experience, there are many, many lawyers who need a judge to treat them this way! Photobucket