CVLS' Resident Foreclosure Divorce Team is at It Again!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Matthew Hulstein, Supervisor, Chancery Court Access to Justice Program

In our April newsletter, we told you about how CVLS Staff Attorneys Rob and Matt tag-teamed a divorce/foreclosure and helped a single mom, Archangel, save her home. Matt and Rob are at it again!

Crystal was the sole owner of her home and the only borrower on her mortgage loan. She was married, but the couple was separated and her husband had filed for divorce. Crystal fell behind on her mortgage and was soon facing foreclosure. Originally, the bank offered her a trial payment plan that promised a permanent modification after the trial period. She was thrilled with the prospect of being able to keep her home. Crystal followed through and made the necessary payments. The bank then sent her a proposed modification, with one caveat; the bank would only complete her modification if her husband signed the document. Crystal’s hopes were crushed as her husband refused to sign. Crystal had done all she could alone and had to watch as the foreclosure of her home continued.

Rob Zielinski, CVLS Staff Attorney, Child Rep Program

With nowhere else to turn, foreclosure judge, Hon. William Sullivan, referred Crystal to CVLS through the Access to Justice Program. Our resident foreclosure divorce team, Matt Hulstein and Rob Zielinski, stepped up to the plate to represent Crystal. Matt explained to the lender’s attorneys why Crystal’s husband’s signature was unnecessary and how they were violating the trial payment plan offer and federal servicing requirements by not processing the modification. Meanwhile, Rob filed emergency pleadings in the divorce, and the Domestic Relations Judge ordered Crystal’s husband to sign the modification offer.

Rob took the extra step and even visited Crystal’s husband in jail to get his signature! But much to Rob’s dismay, Crystal’s husband refused, saying he’d rather see the house burn down than Crystal keep it. But Rob would not be thwarted in fighting for his client. Rob took Crystal’s husband’s refusal to the Domestic Relations Judge and persuaded the Judge to sign the modification on Crystal’s husband behalf. As Rob argued in Domestic Relations, Matt convinced Crystal’s lender to finally relent and accept the permanent modification without Crystal’s husband’s signature!

Crystal’s mortgage was brought current, and the foreclosure was dismissed. Also, with Rob’s help, Crystal will soon be happily divorced. “CVLS did what I thought was impossible,” says Crystal, “And I am so grateful!” Well done Rob and Matt, and thank you Judge Sullivan for the referral!