Local Heroes in an Economic Crisis Help People with Sensitive Housing Issues
~Information provided by Potter Handy, LLP
Everyone reading this article probably knows more than one family that has or is losing their house in the current economic crises. “People need to talk to an experienced attorney to know their options before they make big decisions that can impact their family’s wealth – including the wealth of future generations,” says consumer rights attorney Mark Potter of Potter Handy, LLP. According to Potter, almost everyone who owns a home should explore whether they qualify for a loan modification. And if they cannot afford to pay all their bills on their current monthly income, they explore their options before spending their savings.
“I want my legacy 20 years from now to be my clients living in their same homes, with the same low interest rate that we force the lender to give them”
– Mark Potter, Esq.
“I’ve met many people who have made poor decisions; many have done this without seeking professional advice, costing their family hundreds of thousands of dollars in wealth,” Potter says. “These are good, hard-working people who want to pay their bills. But they exhaust their savings or cash-in their retirement accounts to pay mortgages that far exceed the value of the property. They also short sale the property without knowing the tax implications. These people may have been able to get a loan modification that would have made their payments comparable to renting.”
Potter Handy, LLP is a boutique law firm in Scripps Ranch; It has an impressive litigation track record, which includes many successful victories. It has an even more impressive appellate practice. Indeed, on March 9, 2010, partner Russell Handy was named California Lawyer Attorney of the Year — in part for a unanimous ruling obtained from the California Supreme Court in 2009. Potter Handy is now on the forefront of litigation against mortgage lenders to save families’ homes, bankruptcy and abusive creditor lawsuits. Potter Handy has the first case going to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the Foreign Language Contract Act against Wachovia (now owned by Wells Fargo Bank).
“There is no way to know what options are best without first evaluating the total circumstances of the individual or family. Be wary of a professional that only does bankruptcy or short sales,” Potter says. “If you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” What’s more, “some people need to litigate with their lender to get their terms modified, then file bankruptcy to strip the lien and discharge their second loan. Others can’t afford a modified loan and need to determine the best exit plan. And the best exit plan is the one that is best for their family, not the best for the bank or others. The initial consultation is free and I guarantee you will leave my office empowered,” Potter says.
Potter’s passion for his clients is undeniable when he talks about cases he’s working on. “The lenders, left to their own devices, will mindlessly foreclose and evict families that can afford their home at today’s market prices and interest rates. Many of these people will end up renting forever,” Potter says. “What will their rent be 20 years from now? I want my legacy 20 years from now to be my clients living in their same homes, with the same low mortgage payment and interest rate that we force the lender to give them in 2010.”
Potter Handy, LLP
9845 Erma Road #300
San Diego, CA 92131