About Me
Craig D. Robins, Esq. New York Bankruptcy Attorney, Longisland bankruptcy attorney

“ Craig D. Robins, Esq., has been a practicing Long Island bankruptcy attorney for over twenty-four years ”

Craig D. Robins, Esq.

Archive for October, 2010

Some Debtors in Bankruptcy Have Higher Duty to Keep Records

Posted on Saturday (October 30, 2010) at 6:30 pm to Bankruptcy Tips Consumers Should Know
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Suffolk Lawyer
Uncategorized

Businessman debtor denied bankruptcy discharge for failing to keep business recordsWritten by Craig D. Robins, mind Esq.
   
Businessman debtor denied bankruptcy discharge for failing to keep business records

As a consumer bankruptcy practitioner, I am often concerned with clients who fail to have sufficient paperwork to document their past finances.  This often leads to the question: At what point can a consumer debtor be in jeopardy because he or she failed to keep financial documents?
 
I discussed this issue exactly four years ago in my monthly column in the Suffolk Lawyer when I reviewed an opinion by Judge Stong (sitting in the Brooklyn Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of New York), who held in that particular case that the debtor was entitled to a discharge even though she failed to keep a number of important financial documents.  See:  Recent Decision Summarizes Consumer Debtor’s Obligation to Retain Documents and Explain Pre-Petition Loss of Assets
 
In that case the debtor had a good excuse for not being able to produce copies of bank and credit card statements.
 
However, a judge from the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio just addressed the same issue, although this time for a consumer with business debts, and determined that the debtor in that case was not entitled to a discharge.
 
In this month’s column I’ll discuss the recent Ohio decision and provide some insight as to when a consumer debtor can face difficulty for not having financial documents.
 
Businessman Fails to Keep Documents
 
In the Ohio case, In Re: Kim Wesley Michael, no. 09-3258, (Bankr. N.D.Ohio 2010), the debtor, a businessman, had been involved in at least a dozen different business enterprises over a thirty-year period, six of which he operated in the five-year pre-petition period.
 
Two of the businesses enabled the debtor to draw compensation in excess of $100,000 per year.  The debtor had various roles in these business ventures including sales manager, freelance graphic designer, insurance salesman and concert promoter.
 
When the debtor ultimately defaulted on some business obligations, he sought Chapter 7 relief.
 
At the time the debtor filed for bankruptcy relief, he was not employed, no longer involved in any part of his business venture, and had no income.
 
One particular creditor, who the debtor borrowed $60,000 from for the purpose of financing his most recent business venture, filed an adversary proceeding objecting to discharge pursuant to Bankruptcy Code section 727(a)(3) for failure to keep adequate records.
 
As it turned out, the debtor failed to maintain any kind of records regarding his most recent business ventures, including the one for which the objecting creditor lent money.  As such, the debtor had no check registers, accounting ledgers of any kind, or any other kind of financial records.  In addition, the debtor hadn’t filed tax returns for several years.
 
The bankruptcy court held the debtor to a much higher standard than the average consumer debtor because of his business experience.  Thus, the judge determined that the debtor’s inability to explain his financial affairs because he had not kept sufficient records warranted a denial of discharge.
 
In his decision, the judge explained some basic, but important principles.  A bankruptcy discharge is an extraordinary remedy, and carries with it certain duties and obligations.
 
Only those debtors who are fully cooperative and honest are entitled to a discharge.  In that way, a debtor who receives benefits under the Bankruptcy Code must also accept its burdens, and one of them is to be fully transparent with all matters regarding financial affairs.
 
The Bankruptcy Code Requires Debtors to Maintain Financial Documents
 
Bankruptcy Code Section 727(a)(3) provides that the court can deny a debtor his discharge if the debtor failed to keep or preserve any recorded information, including books, documents, records and papers.  If a party objecting to discharge under this provision can establish that the debtor failed to keep or preserve the necessary information, and can also demonstrate that the lack of financial records makes it impossible to ascertain the debtor’s financial condition, then the objecting party has met its evidentiary burden.
 
The burden then shifts to the debtor who can still prevail and get a discharge if he can demonstrate that his failure to keep documents was justified under all circumstances of the case.
 
Some Debtors Are Held to Higher Standards than Others
 
The court pointed out that a debtor with primarily consumer debts should not generally be held to the same standard as a debtor with mostly business debts.  As such, issues of this sort must be reviewed on a case-by-case basis
 
In this case, the court determined that it should examine the size, complexity and volume of a debtor’s business to ascertain the sufficiency of the debtor’s records.  In addition, the court can consider the debtor’s expertise, experience, sophistication and any other circumstances.
 
Here, the court observed that the debtor had considerable business experience and earned substantial sums of money from the business.  Thus, the court inferred that the debtor’s failure to produce any financial documents was because he was attempting to obfuscate his financial dealings.
 
The court also pointed out that the debtor’s intent to hide or conceal information was irrelevant, nor was it necessary to show that the debtor intended to defraud a particular creditor or the trustee.  Instead, the test for determining whether a debtor has adequately justified the lack of financial records is an objective one, focusing on whether others in like circumstances would ordinarily keep financial records.
 
Practical Tips for Bankruptcy Attorneys When Their Clients Don’t Have Prior Financial Documents
 
If a client comes to you and presents a problematic scenario because of a lack of prior financial documents, does that mean you should turn down the case or advise against filing?  Not necessarily.
 
As long as you have sufficient documents to enable you to do your BAPCPA due diligence, then no one can fault you for filing the case.  However, if the debtor does not even have sufficient written information to enable you to answer the mandatory questions in the petition, then perhaps you should turn down the case.
 
If a debtor with deficient past financial documents does file, then he can only get into trouble if the trustee or a creditor makes an issue of it.  Then, even in a worse-case scenario, if the debtor’s discharge is denied, he would likely be in the same position he was in prior to filing.
 
About the Author.  Long Island Bankruptcy Attorney Craig D. Robins, Esq., is a regular columnist for the Suffolk Lawyer, the official publication of the Suffolk County Bar Association in New York. This article appeared in the OCTOBER 2010 issue of the Suffolk Lawyer. Mr. Robins is a bankruptcy lawyer who has represented thousands of consumer and business clients during the past twenty years. He has offices in Mastic, Patchogue, Commack, West Babylon, Coram, Woodbury and Valley Stream. (516) 496-0800. For information about filing bankruptcy on Long Island, please visit his Bankruptcy web site: http://www.BankruptcyCanHelp.com
 
Print This Post Print This Post
Be Sociable, Share!

Bankruptcy Means Test Figures Change November 1, 2010

Posted on Thursday (October 28, 2010) at 1:00 pm to Uncategorized

link 2010″ src=”http://longislandbankruptcyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/new-changes-to-means-test-500b.jpg” alt=”The bankruptcy means test has changes effective November 1, price 2010″ width=”500″ height=”144″ /> 
 
Written by Craig D. Robins, buy cialis Esq.
  
New Bankruptcy Means Test Criteria Goes Into Effect November 1, 2010
 
The figures that you need to use for the means test change periodically.  The last change was on March 15, 2010.  The recent changes actually make it slightly harder to qualify.  However, the difference is relatively small so that it should hardly matter for most Long Island consumers.
 
In order to automtically pass the bankruptcy means test your income must be less than the median income in the state where you live.  For New York residents, it will be slightly more difficult for some families to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy than last year.  For those seeking to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, some families will have to pay slightly more each month.
 
The figures used for the each state’s median income are based on United States Census data, and adopted by the Office of the United States Trustee.  These figures routinely change once or twice a year.  
 
Usually income rises each and every year because of inflation, the cost of living, etc.  However, because we are currently in a recession, income has actually decreased slightly from the prior year.   This started happening with just some family sizes last year.
 
The last time the median income figures were updated for the Means Test prior to the March 15, 2010 change was November 1, 2009.
   
To see the old and now obsolete median income data for each of the 50 states, go to the U.S. Trustee Census Bureau Median Income Means Test Chart for cases filed between November 1, 2009 to March 14, 2010.
  
To see the current median income data for each state, which is only good through the end of this week, go to Median Income Means Test Chart for cases filed between March 15, 2010 and October 31, 2010.
 
To see the new median income data going into effect next week, go to Income Means Test Chart for cases filed beginning November 1, 2010.
 
New Means Test Figures
 
Family Size of One:  If you are a single individual, which means that you have a “family size of one”, the New York median income has decreased for the third time, from $46,320 earlier this year to $45,548.  This is a minor but nevertheless significant change of $772 per year, or about $64 per month.  However, chances are that very, very few potential Chapter 7 debtors will be adversely affected by such a small change. 
  
Family Size of Two:  For a family size of two, the new median income figure is $56,845.
 
Family Size of Three: For a family size of three, the new amount is $67,292.
 
Family Size of Four: For a family size of four, the new median income amount is $82,587. 
 
 
The Bankruptcy Means Test
 
This is a comprehensive, very complex series of calculations that the federal government designed to ascertain whether someone qualifies for Chapter 7 filing. 
 
Under the old bankruptcy law, almost anyone could seek to eliminate their debts by filing Chapter 7.  The new laws changed that.  Click here to take a look at the actual Means Test form.
 

The Means Test formula is designed to evaluate whether a debtor has the financial means to pay back a substantial portion of his or her debts. If the person does, then he or she may not be eligible to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and may instead have to file a payment plan bankruptcy under Chapter 13.  

 If  debtor’s income is below the New York State median income for a family of that particular size, then passing the Means Test is virtually automatic.  If not, the debtor must have a sufficient amount of acceptable deductions permitted by the Means Test.

Impact of New Means Test Figures on Consumers Filing Bankruptcy on Long Island
 
In my Long Island bankruptcy law practice, I estimate that at least 7 out of 8 clients now seeking to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief do indeed qualify under the means test.  However, the new numbers may just slightly hurt some couples or small families trying to qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy when the new criteria is used.
 
The new figures underscore the importance of meeting with an experienced New York bankruptcy attorney to ascertain eligibility for filing for bankruptcy relief.

New Median Family Income Figures for New York

(Effective for cases filed after 11/01/10)
 
Family Size                     Amount
     1                                       $45,548
     2                                       $56,845
     3                                       $67,292
     4                                       $82,587
  
Add $7,500 for each individual in excess of 4. 
 

 

 

 

Print This Post Print This Post
Be Sociable, Share!

Robert L. Pryor, Long Island Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee

Posted on Wednesday (October 27, 2010) at 11:00 pm to Bankruptcy Trustee Profiles

unhealthy Long Island Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee” src=”http://longislandbankruptcyblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/trustee-robert-pryor-270.jpg” alt=”Robert L. Pryor, price Long Island Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee” width=”215″ height=”270″ />Written by Craig D. Robins, pharm Esq.
    
This post is part of a series of biographies and profiles of Long Island bankruptcy trustees and judges.

Long Island Chapter 7 Trustee Robert L. Pryor enjoys a great deal of respect from the bankruptcy bar who recognize him as a bankruptcy attorney who is not only savvy with issues in large-scale corporate restructuring Chapter 11 cases, but also familiar with the finer legal issues surrounding consumer cases.  Bob has been involved in several high-profile cases in the past.
 
Bob has been a panel trustee in the Eastern District of New York since 1984, where he is assigned cases filed in the Central Islip Bankruptcy Court.
 
Bob is the managing partner and co-founder of the Westbury bankruptcy law firm,  Pryor & Mandelup LLP,.  He and partner, Scott Mandelup, began that firm in 1987.  Prior to that time, Bob had his own firm in Hempstead.
 
Bob obtained his bachelor of arts degree, Phi Beta Kappa, from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1974, and his law degree from Hofstra University Law School in 1981.  He was admitted to practice law in New York in 1982.
 
He is very active in the bankruptcy bar and frequently lectures on a variety of issues.  I have often quoted and written about the commentary Bob has provided at continuing legal education programs.  Bob has been a featured speaker at county and state bar association seminars, as well as tax symposiums.
 
In February of this year, Bob and I were on a panel of speakers, together with Judge Eisenberg and Trustee Andrew Thaler, in which we gave a bankruptcy presentation to attorneys and judges in a program of the Theodore Roosevelt American Inns of Court .
 
Bob has a reputation of being a highly knowledgeable Chapter 7 trustee who tends to be fair and realistic, and who is usually guided by sound business judgment. 
 
He is one of only two trustees in the Central Islip Bankruptcy Court who requires debtors appearing before him to provide a laundry list of documents before the meeting of creditors.  This is a relatively new requirement that he implemented this year.
 
Bob lives on the North Shore of Long Island.  Outside of practicing law, one of his passions is tennis.
 
Although it looks like he is testifying at some Congressional committee, I took the photo of Bob at a recent bankruptcy seminar in which he was a panelist.
 
Here’s Bob’s contact info:
 
Robert L. Pryor, Esq.
Pryor & Mandelup LLP
675 Old Country Road
Westbury, NY 11590
Phone: (516) 997-0999
 
Print This Post Print This Post
Be Sociable, Share!

Come and See Live Drama at the Bankruptcy Court on Long Island — For Free

Posted on Monday (October 25, 2010) at 3:00 am to Central Islip Bankruptcy Court & Judges
Info on Bankruptcy and the Court

Central Islip Bankruptcy CourtWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
My mother used to tell me that when she was growing up in Brooklyn, a cheap date would be to go to night court and watch the litigants.
 
If you’re curious about bankruptcy or thinking of filing bankruptcy, you can see for yourself what actually happens in bankruptcy court, by visiting our Central Islip Bankruptcy Courthouse.
 
Although many bankruptcy matters are mundane and routine, someone who has never been in a bankruptcy court before should find the hearings interesting, and if you’re lucky, you will see some human drama and real life theater.
 
Interesting Things Happen in Bankruptcy Court
 
I often find myself in the Long Island Bankruptcy Court in Central Islip with time to kill.  I may have arrived early for some hearings or I may find that I have a block of time with nothing to do in between hearings. 
So how do I pass the time?  Well, sometimes I’ll catch up on work or go to the law library.  But frequently, I’ll find a bankruptcy courtroom with some action and sit in to see what’s going on.  It’s a great way to find out how the bankruptcy judges are resolving other pending issues.
 
Typical hearings include matters in Chapter 7, Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.  Creditors may be arguing that the bankruptcy stay should be lifted.  Trustees may be suing various parties to turn over assets.  Creditors may be litigating about whether they are entitled to priority or secured status.  Trustees may be seeking approval of their attorney’s fees and trustee commissions.  Creditors may be suing debtors over the dischargeability of their debts.  Debtors may be seeking to have their Chapter 13 plans confirmed.  The list goes on and on.
 
You, Too, Can Get Some Bankruptcy Court Action
 
I previously wrote that if you’re a consumer who files for bankruptcy on Long Island, You Will Probably Never Meet Your Bankruptcy Judge .  
 
That’s because judges only get involved with resolving disputes in bankruptcy cases, and most consumer cases do not have disputes that require the consumer debtor to appear before the judge.
 
Here’s what you can do.  If you are filing for bankruptcy, you will have at least one hearing in court called the meeting of creditors.  This is when you meet with the trustee on the fifth floor.  Afterwards, you can often go upstairs to one of the bankruptcy courtrooms and see attorneys arguing cases before one of the three bankruptcy judges — Judge Dorothy Eisenberg on the seventh floor; Judge Robert Grossman on the eighth floor; and Judge Alan Trust on the ninth floor.
 
The Bankruptcy Court on Long Island is Open and Welcomes Your Visit to Its Courtrooms
 
Bankruptcy courtrooms are public places and always open to the public.
 
Watching real-life courtroom drama has proved so popular, that we have the People’s Court, Divorce Court, Judge Judy, Judge Alex, Judge Joe Brown, Judge Wapner and a host of other realty TV courtroom programs.
 
However, you can see for yourself live what actually goes on in a real bankruptcy courtroom, right here in Suffolk County.
 
Long Island Bankruptcy Cases being argued at the Central Islip Bankruptcy CourtThe Bankruptcy Courtroom Cast of Characters
 
The cast of characters is shifting, yet somehow constant.  There’s the bankruptcy judge who presides over all hearings.  Then, an attorney from the Office of the United States Trustee often sits in or is a party to various matters.
 
Of course, there is the debtor and his attorney, creditors’ attorneys, Chapter 7 and 13 trustees, various professionals, and more.
 
You will see lawyers and parties constantly filing in and out, although most litigants arrive timely for their hearings.
 
The Bankruptcy Courtroom
 
The courtrooms in the Central Islip Federal Courthouse are extremely modern and impressive.  There are ceilings that must be close to 20 feet high.  There are two tables in the front of the courtroom — just like  on Perry Mason — for two opposing parties to sit at.
 
The judge sits at a high desk in the front called “the bench.”  There are also desks in the front for the courtroom deputy and the court reporter.  A low rail divides the room — with the judge and litigants on one side and the public on the other.  Parties get to the front of the courtroom through a low, swinging gate.
 
Unlike some older courts in Manhattan, you will not find decades-old petrified chewing gum on the floor, creaking wooden furniture, Venetian blinds in a state of disarray, or tobacco stains on the tables of a vintage when smoking was permitted there.
 
When and Where to Go
 
Just feel free to wander into one of the courtrooms.  Most judges have hearing dates several days a week, and most hearings are in the morning.  You can also see a calendar of courtroom matters which is kept on the counter in the Bankruptcy Court Clerk’s office, which is on the second floor.  Here are the Courtrooms:
  
Judge Eisenberg — Room 760
Judge Grossman — Room 860
Judge Trust — Room 960
 
 
And you may also be curios about the unusual architecture of the Central Islip Federal Courthouse:  read about it in Long Island Bankruptcy Court – Housed in Controversial Architecture .
  
Print This Post Print This Post
Be Sociable, Share!

New Forelosure Law in New York Requires Attorneys to Verify Foreclosure Papers

Posted on Friday (October 22, 2010) at 11:45 pm to Current Events
Foreclosure Defense
Mortgages & Sub-Prime Mortgage Meltdown

New foreclosure rule in New York requires bank attorneys to verify court papersWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
We’ve all seen the news inundated with stories these past two weeks about the widespread problems with the foreclosure process, not only here in New York, but across the country.
 
Now, New York’s Chief Judge, Jonathan Lippman, essentially said “enough is enough” with the sloppy and often incorrect papers that many foreclosure attorneys are filing on behalf of their mortgage and banking industry clients.
 
This week he imposed a new court rule directing attorneys for mortgage lenders to take certain steps to make sure the papers they file are accurate.  Effective immediately, foreclosure attorneys must engage in due diligence to verify the information contained in the documents that they file in foreclosure cases in New York.
 
This new verification requirement is a court rule as opposed to a law promulgated by the legislature, and lawyers can be severely sanctioned for non-compliance.
 
The National Crisis of Robo-Signed Foreclosure Papers Has Led to New Court Rule
 
Apparently Judge Lippman has become appalled at the number of banks who have employees signing thousands of mortgage foreclosure documents a day — a feat that is physically impossible to do without reviewing them for accuracy.
 
Articles about the robo-signers have been front-page news lately as we have learned that a great number of homeowners have lost their homes because the banks submitted incorrect, backdated, or downright fraudulent documents to the courts.
 
New Foreclosure Verification Law May Have Profound Impact On Foreclosure Process
 
For years, many foreclosure attorneys and their mortgagee clients have been playing fast and loose with foreclosure paperwork.  In my Long Island foreclosure defense practice, we have routinely come across backdated assignments and related mortgage documents.  In the past, when we brought these irregularities to the attention of the court as a foreclosure defense, the court would, at most, dismiss the case.
 
Now, however, under this new law, bank attorneys will be much more hesitant to submit clearly erroneous or improper papers as they will now face serious sanctions for being a party to a fraud.
 
What Does the New Foreclosure Verification Rule Mean to the Homeowner Facing Foreclosure?
 
The new law will force foreclosure attorneys to think twice before blindly submitting foreclosure documents to the court.  As a result, the entire foreclosure process in New York will be slowed down until the bank’s attorneys become more equipped to fulfill their due diligence requirements.
 
This will be a win for the homeowner in several respects:
 
    1.    The new law will delay the inevitable foreclosure proceeding by a period that could be weeks or months, giving homeowners in foreclosure more time before they have to eventually leave their homes. 
 
    2.    Innocent homeowners will be safeguarded, at least to a certain degree, from banks who previously abused the foreclosure system by taking illegal shortcuts.
 
    3.    Foreclosure defense attorneys such as myself, may have an easier time resolving some contested issues with bank’s attorneys as the new law will give us leverage in personally calling the bank’s attorneys to task when irregularities are found.  This is because the foreclosure verification requirement imposes a continuing duty on counsel.  Thus, if they later learn that a previously-submitted document is false or inaccurate, they must then immediately take corrective action.
 
    4.    Thousands of homeowners who are in default will be in a better position to have their rights safeguarded, now that the court is looking after their interests as well.
 
It’s About Time Steps Are Imposed Against Mortgage Banks and Their Attorneys for Playing Fast and Loose
 
   I personally think it’s about time the court system imposed some reasonable standards on attorneys for banks and lenders. 
 
The practice of robo-signing documents is certainly unfair to homeowners.  Now bank attorneys will not be able to so easily submit robo-signed documents to the court, as they will be required to verify the information they contain.
 
Homeowners In Foreclosure Will Not Be Protected Automatically
 
Consumers who have defaulted on their mortgages and find themselves in foreclosure should not assume for one minute that the this rule, by itself, will stop the foreclosure or enable them to assert their rights.
 
Homeowners should continue to consult with a foreclosure defense attorney to discuss their rights and learn about steps that can be taken to protect their home.  Click here to see a number of other posts on my blog about New York foreclosure defense information.
 
Print This Post Print This Post
Be Sociable, Share!

Has Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates Served You with Foreclosure Papers?

Posted on Tuesday (October 5, 2010) at 8:00 pm to Creditors Engaging in Abusive Bankruptcy Practices
Foreclosure Defense
Mortgages & Sub-Prime Mortgage Meltdown

Foreclosure law firm Rosicki, Rosicki & AssociatesWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
The Rosicki Law Firm is another foreclosure law factory and becoming quite a giant here in New York
 
Rosicki, Rosicki and Associates is another “Foreclosure Factory” on Long Island that brings foreclosure law suits against many thousands of homeowners each year.
 
I recently wrote about New York’s largest foreclosure law firm, Steven J. Baum, P.C. that brought an incredible 12,000 foreclosure lawsuits last year.  I will now talk about the firm that is number two:  Rosicki, Rosicki and Associates.  They are located in Plainview, which is fairly close to my Woodbury bankruptcy law office.
 
I know them fairly well, having dealt with them regularly in the course of my consumer bankruptcy practice and also in various matters where my firm engages in foreclosure defense.  I also regularly see their attorneys in court and at continuing legal education seminars.
 
I don’t have the actual filing figures for the Rosicki Law Firm, but they claim to be the leading mortgage banking law firm in New York.  They also claim to be the largest single law firm in New York State in the combined areas of foreclosure, bankruptcy, evictions, closings and outsourcing.
 
Is Rosicki, Rosicki and Associates a Reputable Foreclosure Law Firm?
 
A major part of my detailed review of the Steven J. Baum law firm was the fact that there were a multitude of complaints against them and that this law firm did not seem to enjoy the best reputation. 
 
However, my opinion of the Rosicki Law Firm is much different.  Although from my perspective — which is to protect consumers and homeowners — they are considered the “evil bad guys,” because they bring foreclosure proceedings — the fact remains that someone has to do the job of representing mortgagees in foreclosure suits, and I think they do a fairly respectable job of that.
 
Many other foreclosure firms seem shrouded in a cloud of negative publicity, and there are a great many foreclosure firms that have been sanctioned for engaging in frivolous or improper litigation.  However, there appears to be a dearth of negative information and cases about the Rosicki firm.  For that reason, and based on my personal dealings on my firm’s cases with their firm’s attorneys, I can only conclude that they are a respectable and reputable foreclosure law office.
 
My Biggest Victory Against a Mortgagee for Frivolous Litigation Was Against a Mortgagee Represented by the Rosicki Firm
 
Several years ago the Rosicki Firm represented a mortgagee, Bayview Financial, whose prior counsel filed a grossly improper motion for relief from the stay in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy case in which I represented the debtor.
 
That motion for relief indicated that the debtor had failed to pay his real estate taxes, which was not true.  After I brought a counter-motion for sanctions, Rosicki immediately withdrew the motion for relief.  Thereafter I negotiated a settlement in which Rosicki’s client, Bayview Financial, paid an award to my client worth in excess of $30,000.  I reported this situation at length in my post:  Litigating Against Abusive Mortgagees. Your Columnist Scores Big Win Against Mortgagee Who Filed Frivolous Motion .
 
I should note that the Rosicki firm was not the firm that filed the frivolous motion, but that they took over representing the mortgagee after prior counsel filed it.  I litigated this case for a number of months with several attorneys in the Rosicki firm and found all of them to be very courteous, civil and professional
 
Rosicki Firm Gets Into Trouble Over Wells Fargo Mortgage Foreclosure Brought Without Standing
 
In 2008, the Rosicki firm brought a typical mortgage foreclosure action against a Brooklyn homeowner who had a Wells Fargo mortgage (Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. John Reyes).
 
In that case, Kings County Supreme Court Judge Arthur M. Schack conducted his own search of New York City real estate records (ACRIS) and discovered that Wells Fargo never owned the mortgage. 
 
Here’s the law:  If a mortgagee does not officially own the mortgage, then they do not have standing to bring a foreclosure proceeding.  Lack of standing is a major mortgage foreclosure defense that I frequently use in my Long Island foreclosure defense practice.  For more info see:  Mortgage Companies Entitlement to Bring Foreclosure Proceedings: Prove It or Lose It
 
Consequently, Judge Schack, in what can be considered a blistering opinion, denied the foreclosure and even set a hearing as to why Rosicki attorney Mary McLoughlin shouldn’t be sanctioned for filing a frivolous foreclosure case.
 
rosicki-rosicki-associates-thomas-rosicki-and-cynthia-rosickiHistory of Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates
 
The Rosicki firm is driven by the husband and wife team of Cynthia Rosicki and Thomas Rosicki who, to me, do not seem to be your typical foreclosure lawyers.  They are a very ambitious “power house” couple extremely involved in public service.  They are also vintners who own a Long Island winery.
 
What is unusual about the Rosickis is their zealous dedication to be so active in community-based public service and participate in many community organizations, fund-raisers and not-for-profit organizations.  They seem to regularly win service awards and be honored for their humanitarian efforts.
 
The Rosickis met at a debutante ball in 1987.  Tom proposed to Cynthia just two months later.
 
At the time, Cynthia had a small Brooklyn practice and Tom was not even an attorney.  That led him to enroll in Yeshiva University’s Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, although he subsequently transferred to Touro University School of Law.
 
The firm initially emphasized mortgagee representation and apparently grew and grew to point where the firm now has about 500 employees.
 
The Rosickis make it a policy to employ those with handicaps and disabilities and approximately 10 percent of their law firm employees are disabled.
 
The Rosicki Firm has Five Partners
 
In addition to Cynthia and Tom Rosicki, there is Kelly Ann Poole, Cynthia Nierer and Craig Wolfson.
 
Rosicki Law Firm Contact Information
 
The firm’s main office is at 51 East Bethpage Road, Plainview, NY  11803.  Phone (516) 741-2585.  They also have additional offices in Fishkill and Batavia New York. 
 
Some Interesting Info About the People Who Are Suing You:  Bio of Tom Rosicki
 
Tom is a graduate of Chaminade High School, here in Mineola; Duke University, where he majored in management science and accounting; and Touro Law School.  Right after college, Tom owned a fast-food Chick-Fil-A store in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
 
Then, from 1982 to 1989, he became an FBI special agent concentrating in their organized crime division.  Mayor Koch noticed his investigation of corruption at the South Street Seaport and then offered him a job as Deputy Commissioner of the New York City Taxi and Limosine Commission.
 
From there he took a position as vice president director of security for Macy’s where he was in charge of security for 59 stores as well as the Thanksgiving Day Parade.
 
Tom has been president of the Board of the Association for the Help of Retarded Children for a number of years.  He is also involved in a number of other community-minded charitable organizations.
 
The Other Half:  Cynthia Rosicki
 
Cynthia attended Adelphi University, graduating in 1982 with a degree in drama and political science (maiden name — Cythia Senko).  There she acted as a theatre manager in the Calderon Theatre and acted in performances as well.
 
Cynthia Rosicki then went on to New York Law School, graduating in 1986.
In the late 1980s, Cynthis Rosicki got her start with mortgage law working for a mortgage foreclosure firm.  She then went out on her own, opening a small law office in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, in the front office of her parent’s funeral home.
 
Cynthia is on the Board of Directors of the Kosciuszko Foundation and the Association for the Help of Retarded Children (AHRC).  She is also active in the organization’s “Gift of Life” and “Help the Homeless.”
 
The Rosickis reside in Nassau County in Muttontown.
 
Political Affiliation
 
One can wonder if they are Republican or Democrat.  Cynthia was previously named New York State Businesswoman of the Year by the National Republican Congressional Committee.  Tom was hired by the very Democratic Mayor Koch.
 
I previously wrote a column about how creditors and mortgagees tend to be pro-Republican, and those in favor of bankruptcy and consumer rights tend to be Democrat:  Being Haunted by the Vampire Bankruptcy Bill: It’s Just Politics .
 
Are You Getting Drunk by the People Who Are Trying to Foreclose Your Home?
 
The Rosickis have done very well financially, enabling them to purchase an 12 acre summer home and vineyard in Southold, Long Island.  With a vineyard in the backyard, they founded Sparkling Pointe Winery in 2003.  They have since tripled its size.
 
What kind of wine do these foreclosing attorneys make?  Champagne, of course.  Technically, Champagne is the sparkling wine made in the Champagne region of France.  In New York and elsewhere it is called sparkling wine.
 
The wine actually won a top honors award.  Their 2000 Brut Seduction received top prize in its category at the world-class 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
 
One can only wonder if Tom and Cynthia break open a bottle of the bubbly and toast each successful foreclosure.  Perhaps they should send a bottle of bubbly to the poor, foreclosed-upon homeowner as a consolation.
 
What Can You Do If You Are In Foreclosure?
 
In assisting clients with Long Island mortgage foreclosure defense, we routinely come across situations where the paperwork submitted by the foreclosing bank is not in order.
 
However homeowners have rights afforded by the law.  A bank cannot foreclose unless they do it the right way and all of their papers were prepared properly.  If they are not, then the homeowner has a meritorious defense to the foreclosure action.
 
Even if the bank eventually corrects the problems, a homeowner can usually add many additional months or years to the time that they can stay in their home.  It therefore pays to meet with an experienced Long Island foreclosure defense attorney.
 
Dozens of Articles About Foreclosure Defense Are On This Blog
 
I have written many, many articles and posts about foreclosure defense on my blog.
 
 
Print This Post Print This Post
Be Sociable, Share!

About Us

Craig D. Robins, Esq. is a Long Island bankruptcy lawyer, who is focused primarily on helping individuals and families, find solutions to their debt problems. Read more »

Subscribe

Subsribe via RSS Feed Reader

Contact Us

Craig D. Robins, Esq.
35 Pinelawn Road, Suite 218E, Melville, NY 11747.

Tel : 516 - 496 - 0800

CraigR@Craigrobinslaw.com