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Ohio House Bill 17 Reduces Real Property Taxes for the Surviving Spouse of an Officer Killed in the Line of Duty
House Bill 17 allows a homestead both owned and occupied by the surviving spouse of a public service officer killed in the line of duty to have its property taxes reduced. A public service offer includes peace officers, firefighters, EMT’s, first responders and paramedics killed in the line of duty or by a fatal injury caused while in the line of duty. If the application for reduction, accompanied by a letter from a from a specific member of the agency for whom the public service officer was employed at the time of death is approved, the reduction will be applied for the tax year in which the public service officer dies through the tax year in which the surviving spouse also dies or remarries. The reduction shall be the equivalent of $50,000.00 of the value of the property multiplied by (a) the percentage established by the tax commissioner, not to exceed thirty-five per cent or (b) the effective tax rate used to calculate the taxes charged against the property for the current year. Such a reduction will only apply to one homestead owned and occupied by the surviving spouse. House Bill 17 has passed both the Ohio House and Senate and now awaits signature.
Michigan House Bill 5611 proposes to modify the Marketable Title Act by altering the number of years an interest or claim can be preserved. “An interest, claim, or charge may be preserved and kept effective by filing for record within 5 years March 29, 2019[.]” This is an increase from the prior 2 year time limitation. This proposed bill passed the House on September 10, 2020, and would reset the effective date of the Marketable Record Title Act to March 29, 2024.
Senate Bill 1056 proposes to allow foreclosing governmental entities to cancel a foreclosure by recording in the county where the property is located a certificate of post-judgment redemption for specified reasons and for a limited amount of time. The interests extinguished by the judgment would be replaced with a right to make an equivalent claim to the proceeds from a subsequent sale. In order to qualify for such a cancellation, as basic requirements, the real property must have:
Senate Bill 1056 goes hand-in-hand with Senate Bill 676, which requires proceeds from a tax foreclosure sale above and beyond the minimum bid be returned to the owner of the property if they occupied it as their principal residence. Senate Bill 1056 is expected to have a positive fiscal impact on taxing entities by allowing the entity to forego the expense of a traditional foreclosure sale.
USPS MAILING RECEIPT IS NOT REQUIRED AND WITNESS TESTIMONY IS SUFFICIENT TO PROVE COMPLIANCE
In Lakeview Loan Servicing, LLC v. Walcott-Barr, Case No. 4D19-1582, the trial court granted the borrowers motion for involuntary dismissal because Lakeview failed to introduce evidence of mailing of the HUD face-to-face letter from the United States Postal Service. On October 14, 2020, the Fourth DCA issued an opinion overturning the trial court’s dismissal and reversed the judgment.
At trial, Lakeview’s witness stated that they visited the property once in an attempt to conduct a face-to-face interview, and the HUD face-to-face letter was: addressed to the Borrowers, sent to the property address, and sent by USPS certified mail. As additional confirmation that the letter was sent by certified mail, the witness identified the USPS certified mail tracking number. However, Lakeview did not introduce any mailing receipt or letter log into evidence. The borrowers argued they were entitled to an involuntary dismissal because there was not a face-to-face interview, and Lakeview had not shown it made reasonable efforts to schedule an interview by a certified letter because it did not produce a mailing return receipt. The trial court concluded that Lakeview needed to introduce evidence of a mailing return receipt from USPS and the case was dismissed.
However, the Fourth DCA held that the plain language of the applicable HUD regulation (see 24 C.F.R. § 203.604(d)) does not require a certified mail receipt from the USPS to establish compliance. Rather, the servicer can introduce other evidence to confirm compliance with the regulation. But, most importantly, the regulation does not limit how a lender can prove such compliance.
Accordingly, the Fourth DCA held that Lakeview established compliance through witness testimony. The witness identified the letter sent to the borrowers requesting a face-to-face meeting. The witness explained that the letter, admitted as an exhibit without objection, was sent to the borrowers at the property address and was sent via USPS certified mail. The witness also identified the USPS certified mail tracking number. Moreover, the letter was sent by a third party vendor, and the witness sufficiently detailed her training of the mailing policies and procedures of her employer and the vendor. Pursuant to the Fourth DCA, this testimony was sufficient to establish a “reasonable effort” under 24 C.F.R. § 203.604(d).
Important to note: In this case, because the HUD regulations were incorporated into the mortgage, the Fourth DCA stated that Lakeview was required to substantially comply with the HUD regulation prior to accelerating the obligation or filing the foreclosure complaint. This issue was recently addressed in PennyMac Loan Services LLC v. Ustarez, No. 4D19-3547, 2020 WL 5541982 (Fla. 4th DCA 2020), which states that the HUD regulation is not a statutory pre-condition to foreclosure applicable to all mortgage foreclosure suits. Instead, PennyMac concluded that incorporation of the HUD regulation into a note or mortgage constituted a self-imposed contractual pre-condition to foreclosure. In other words, compliance with the regulation is only an issue if the note and mortgage contain language requiring compliance. In Lakeview, the loan documents did incorporate the HUD regulation, therefore, the servicer was required to introduce evidence that it complied with the regulations.
[October 7, 2020 | Dallas, TX] Today Padgett Law Group (PLG) announced the promotion of Kris Zilberstein, Esq. to the role of Supervising Attorney of Bankruptcy Operations. Previously, Kris served the firm as a Senior Bankruptcy Attorney. She joined PLG in 2020 and has practiced in the creditors rights' space since 2009.
In her new role, Kris leads PLG's docket related matters (“DRM”) in bankruptcy, also known as the practice's national unit, which include PLG’s National Attorney Network, Special Projects, and business purpose loans. In addition, Kris continues her California & Chapter 11 practice.
"Kris proved to be an immediate asset to PLG with her many years of focused, specialized bankruptcy experience from Chapter 11 work to complex litigation and managing multi-jurisdictional work. As our national practice continues to grow, Kris was clearly the right fit to help the firm manage that growing piece of our business," said Managing Attorney of Bankruptcy Keena Newmark, Esq.
"I am thrilled to step into this new role with PLG. My diverse experience in all facets of bankruptcy has prepared me for a national operational and legal oversight role. I am excited to start this next chapter of my career with PLG," said Kris.
Kris is based out of the firm's Dallas, TX office. Kris is license in Texas, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Texas, and Washington. She can be reached at Kris.Zilberstein@PadgettLawGroup.com.
Marissa Yaker, Esq. Wins 'Rising Business Leader' Award from Five Star Global in 2020 Women in Housing Feature
[ OCTOBER 6, 2020 | ATLANTA, GA ] Padgett Law Group (PLG), is pleased to announce that Managing Attorney of Foreclosure, Marissa Yaker, Esq., has been recognized by Five Star Global as the 2020 Rising Business Leader award recipient as part of the annual Women in Housing Awards.
Yaker was featured last month in the September issue of The M Report along with all 25 other finalists. Other award categories include the Cultural Leader Award, Community Leadership Award, Diversity & Inclusion, and the Laurie A. Maggiano Legacy Award. With open nominations, each category is narrowed to just five finalists each year in a peer review conducted by Five Star Global’s editorial group and then a final winner is revealed for each category.
Yaker said, "This award is an affirmation that our industry recognizes, encourages, and supports women who have a drive, passion, and desire to question and improve this industry. We each have a voice, but collectively our voice is louder and stronger. I feel grateful to work in an industry that supports one another and helps strengthen professionals such as myself." Her full feature can be read online at TheMReport.com.
The firm was previously recognized in the same category when Keena Newmark, Esq., the firm’s Managing Attorney of Bankruptcy was a top-five finalist, making the 2020 nomination the firm’s second consecutive year in the awards’ top five nominees. In 2019, Newmark was the only non-servicing professional recognized in the category. The same year, The M Report recognized PLG as a Top 25 Place to Work in the default services industry.
Yaker joined PLG in 2017 and has practiced in the residential mortgage default space since 2013. She is licensed to practice in the state Florida. In her role as Managing Attorney of Foreclosure, Yaker oversees foreclosure processing and operations across seven physical locations within the firm’s footprint which includes Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Texas, and Ohio.
Yesterday, the office of Governor Desantis released this Memorandum. The Memorandum confirms that Executive Order 20-211 (Mortgage Foreclosure and Eviction Relief) will not be extended and has expired. The Memorandum states that Executive Order 20-211 was not extended in order to avoid confusion with the recent CDC Order, which provides relief to tenants that provide a valid Declaration to their landlord regarding their inability to pay rent due to COVID-19. The CDC Order is specific to tenants and landlords, and PLG has successfully argued in some Florida jurisdictions that it does not apply to mortgagees, note holders, and borrowers. Accordingly, with the expiration of Executive Order 20-211, there is no longer any foreclosure moratorium specific to the state of Florida. Foreclosure sales should now proceed as scheduled in all 67 counties absent an investor or client-imposed moratorium.
Contact Marissa Yaker, Esq., Managing Attorney of Foreclosure, or Steven Hurley, Esq. Supervising Attorney of Florida.
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