In January 2006, 103,540 properties nationwide entered some stage of foreclosure. This was a 27% increase from the month prior and a 45% increase from January 2005. By end-year 2007, over 1% of all homes nationwide will be in foreclosure with 2.5% of foreclosures nationally involving properties valued in excess of $750,000.
"You close or hit the bricks...Get out there - you got the prospects coming in. You think they came in to get out of the rain? A guy don't walk on the lot lest he wants to buy. They're sitting out there waiting to give you their money. Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it?"
In stark contrast to the recent drop in interest rates is the rise in Pennsylvania mortgage foreclosures, especially in Philadelphia. While attributable to Pennsylvania having one of the largest populations of homeowners, the amount of foreclosures is also likely related to the growing availability of non-conventional mortgage loans (i.e., 3-7 year Adjustable Rate, Interest Only, Reverse, and 103%) to consumers who ordinarily would not able to afford their current residence. Predicated on a belief that one's income will rise and rates will stay at record lows, these new loan products may give rise to foreclosure when that optimism clashes with unanticipated reality.
For the past five years, the most continuously newsworthy topic regarding personal finance has surprisingly not been taxes, but rather mortgage rates or more specifically, refinancing. Now that it appears we are nearing the end of the Real Estate Bubble, creditors are being scrutinized for their lending tactics under the misnomer "Predatory Lending".
In keeping with this author's monthly column on attorney liability, one would be remiss in not discussing Pennsylvania's wrongful use of civil proceedings cause of action more commonly known as: Dragonetti. Few if any plaintiff's civil litigators can claim having escaped a defense Dragonetti threat. In fact, as, attorney liability vis-à-vis sanctions litigation soars, so does it appear "Dragonetti actions" are also on the rise. In order to protect yourself, an attorney facing either a wrongful use of civil proceedings threat or action must understand this complex and evolving statute.
Since Marbury v. Madison, Federal Court practice has always been complex and difficult-the litigator walks a tightrope balancing procedural pitfalls under the guise of due process and substantial energy commitment with clients' cost sensitivities in an arena of tight time constraints in contrast to its exhaustive practice requirements. Between a judge's unique procedures, local rules and the federal rules (let alone appellate rules and circuit rules), a litigator's need for predictability and certainty can often be undermined by the subjective nature attendant to the Court's undefined yet nonetheless most important expectations if not predilections. Not only do these oft-conflicting factors seem to take precedence over the "merits" and are obstacles for even the most experienced, but, on top, there is Rule 11 and §1927's admonitions toeing the undercurrent.
In response to the national and in particular the City's foreclosure crisis, the Philadelphia Sheriff, John Green, cancelled the April, 2008 Sheriff's foreclosure Sale. On the heels of that moratorium, President Judge Jones of the Court of Common Pleas sua sponte ordered a stay of the May, 2008 sale announcing the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Pilot Program as Joint General Court Regulation number 2008-01.
The "gist of the action" doctrine is otherwise known as the "economic loss doctrine". This doctrine originated from the concept that contract remedies should be distinguished from tort remedies. However, since its creation, the law regarding whether a tortfeasor is liable in tort for an action founded upon a contract has mutated with law's evolving complexity.