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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.

In The News

Long Island Bankruptcy Attorney Craig Robins Quoted In Newsday Article About Canceled Mortgage

Posted on Monday (November 30, 2009) at 12:45 pm to Foreclosure Defense
In The News
Mortgages & Sub-Prime Mortgage Meltdown

IndyMac is clearly not popular these days.  Suffolk County Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey A. Spinner canceled an IndyMac mortgage in a Long Island foreclosure case.Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
One of the biggest stories in years about foreclosure defense litigation on Long Island was the subject of my post on Tuesday:  Judge Cancels Mortgage Due to Mortgagee’s Shocking Behavior in Long Island Foreclosure Action .
 
The next day, Newsday reporter Alfonso A. Castillo interviewed me about the story and wrote a great article that appeared in Sunday’s Newsday, containing several quotes from me.
 
Here is the Newsday article, taken from the Sunday November 29, 2009 edition: 
 
 
Foreclosure Ruling Sends Message to Lenders
 
A Suffolk judge’s decision to wipe out the mortgage debt of a foreclosed-upon East Patchogue couple may send a message to predatory subprime lenders that unless they work to save their customers’ homes, they stand to lose everything, some real estate attorneys said.
 
“This case shows the change in the tide as to the sentiment about mortgage foreclosures in general,” said Woodbury bankruptcy attorney Craig Robins, who called Suffolk County Court Judge Jeffrey Spinner’s decision “a good demonstration that courts are not going to tolerate this type of conduct by the mortgage companies anymore.”
 
The judge’s ruling against the lender – IndyMac Mortgage Services, based in Pasadena, Calif . – was without doubt highly unusual. In addition, it was perhaps without precedent. A search of published reports nationally turned up no similar action, and several attorneys said the decision was the first of its kind, at least on Long Island.
 
But some wondered whether the precedent set is a positive one and others questioned the legal soundness of the ruling.
 
“It’s encouraging as a citizen, but as a practitioner, I can only think that if the judges have the authority to throw out mortgages, who’s going to be lending money?” Commack real estate attorney Lita Smith-Mines said.
 
In a statement, OneWest Bank E.S.B., IndyMac’s parent company, has said the bank will appeal. A spokeswoman for OneWest Bank did not return a call last week for comment.
 
Behind the Ruling
 
In his Nov. 19 decision, Spinner wrote that IndyMac Mortgage Services exhibited conduct that was “harsh, repugnant, shocking and repulsive” in its proceedings against Diana Yano-Horoski, owner of the Oakland Street home at issue.
 
Spinner wrote that IndyMac “soundly rebuffed” even the most reasonable of settlement offers, inflated the amount of debt of Yano-Horoski and her husband, Gregory Horoski, and seemed determined to kick them out of their home. In order to deter IndyMac from such “unconscionable” behavior in the future, Spinner erased the Horoskis’ nearly $300,000 debt – in effect turning over the home to the family free and clear.
 
In the nine-page decision, the judge found IndyMac’s credibility wanting and invoked the court’s “equity jurisdiction,” citing an 1890 Court of Appeals decision and numerous other cases in concluding that the mortgage company’s actions were so egregious that it had no claim, morally or ethically, to “equitable relief” in the matter.
 
“Thus, where a party acts in a manner that is offensive to good conscience and justice, he will be completely without recourse in a court of equity, regardless of what his legal rights may be,” Spinner wrote.
 
IndyMac, at its height, was known as a subprime lender that doled out high-cost loans to borrowers with less-than-perfect credit. According to Federal Reserve data, IndyMac approved the fourth-highest number of home mortgage loans out of 440 lenders, with 3,893 in 2007. They were fourth-highest in 2006 as well, with 5,058 mortgages.
 
Out of more than 500 lenders, IndyMac Bank brought the seventh-highest number of foreclosure actions on Long Island, with 970 between January 2008 and June 2009.
 
Special Circumstances
 
Robins said such improper and irresponsible practices were not isolated to IndyMac. But, while Spinner’s decision could create important case law that will likely be cited by homeowners’ attorneys in future foreclosure proceedings, Robins said he did not think it should “open the floodgates” for similar decisions.
 
“I do see a lot of the irresponsible practices that mortgage lenders commit frequently, but I think what sets this case apart was that there were several irresponsible practices in this one case,” said Robins, adding that Spinner “used this case to send a loud warning to all mortgage companies . . . that they better shape up and get their act together.”
 
Anthony Sabino, a law professor at St. John’s University who practices bankruptcy law in Mineola , said Spinner’s decision to wipe out a homeowner’s debt to a bank may seem like a victory for the underdog, but it could send a dangerous message.
 
“If all of a sudden banks couldn’t rely on being paid back their mortgages – you think it’s tough to get a mortgage now?” said Sabino, adding that a multitude of similar decisions could slow down construction and put people out of work and out of their homes.
 
Spinner’s ruling resembled – but went further than – so-called “cram-down” legislation that passed the House of Representatives in March but was defeated in the Senate. The legislation would have allowed homeowners in foreclosure to ask a bankruptcy judge to reduce their mortgage payment if their lender had not offered better terms.
 
Sabino said he doubted decisions similar to Spinner’s would follow, because while lenders may routinely engage in “nasty” practices, they would not usually rise to the level of that admonished in the Horoskis’ case.
 
“The laws of banking and real estate have been around since men and women lived in caves. A bank lends you money, you buy a house, and you have to pay the bank back the money, or it takes the house away. That’s not going to change,” said Sabino, who added that the ruling may not set a precedent at all if OneWest Bank is successful in its planned appeal.
 
Attorneys said judges usually deal with unscrupulous lenders by dismissing their cases or, in extreme instances, issuing monetary sanctions paid to the court.
 
However, Hauppauge attorney Arshad Majid, who has represented several homeowners in foreclosure proceedings, said, while they rarely use it, judges have the power in some instances to void mortgages. He was not surprised to hear that Spinner would take the drastic step.
 
“It’s not only a court of law that he presides over, but it is also a court of equity,” Majid said of Spinner. “The court, in making this decision, wanted to stop a pattern of abuse.”
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Long Island Bankruptcy Attorney Craig D. Robins Speaking at Bar Association Tomorrow

Posted on Monday (October 5, 2009) at 10:45 pm to Current Events
In The News

Long Island Bankruptcy Attorney Craig D. Robins Speaking at Nassau County Bar AssociationWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
Tomorrow I am one of three panelists who will be speaking at the Nassau County Bar Association at a public education seminar.
 
The program is entitled:  “Is Bankruptcy the Solution?  What it Can and Cannot Achieve”
 
At the seminar, we will be providing a “plain English” overview of how bankruptcy can help consumers on Long Island.
 
My fellow panelists include Long Island Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee Andrew M. Thaler, Esq. and bankruptcy lawyer Heath S. Berger, Esq.
 
The program is from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Nassau County Bar Association, 15th and West Streets, Mineola.  The program is free, but advance registration is requested.  Please call the Bar Association at 516-747-4070.  For directions go to the Nassau County Bar Association Website.
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Suffolk County Bankruptcy Attorney

Posted on Sunday (July 19, 2009) at 8:16 pm to In The News

Suffolk County Bankruptcy AttorneyWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
New Patchogue Bankruptcy Law Office in Suffolk County
 
We are pleased to announce that we have recently opened a new office in Patchogue, Long Island to meet with our bankruptcy clients. 
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We chose Patchogue because it is conveniently located to many of our Suffolk County clients.
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31 Oak Street, Suite 20
Patchogue, New York  11772
 
The Patchogue office is in addition to our other Suffolk County bankruptcy law office, which is in Commack.
 
We continue to have two bankruptcy law offices in Nassau County, Long Island — Woodbury and Valley Stream.
 
To make an appointment for a free bankruptcy consultation, please call us at (516) 496-0800.
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Long Island Bankruptcy Blog Profiled in Consumer Bankruptcy News

Posted on Friday (July 3, 2009) at 6:00 pm to In The News

Long Island Bankruptcy Blog, written by Craig D. Robins, Esq., profiled in Consumer Bankruptcy NewsWritten by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
 
The publication Consumer Bankruptcy News featured my blog in an article about bankruptcy attorneys who use blogs to provide news, information and commentary to their clients and the public.
 
Consumer Bankruptcy News is this country’s leading periodical for consumer bankruptcy attorneys.  I was quoted several times in the article, which appeared in the July 2, 2009 issue.
 
The article noted that as more people get their news from the Internet instead of from newspapers, potential clients are more comfortable learning about an attorney’s reputation from the attorney’s website and blog postings.
 
The article also quoted Brigham Young University political science professor Richard Davis who said, “Blog readers still get most of their news from regular news sources, but they are concerned that they are not getting the whole side of the story there.”
 
I will certainly endeavor to continue posting as much commentary and “inside information” as possible, in addition to the various other informational postings.
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Today’s Newsday Cover Story Is About Long Island Foreclosure Scams

Posted on Monday (June 1, 2009) at 9:10 pm to Consumer Advice
Foreclosure Defense
In The News
Long Island Economy
Mortgages & Sub-Prime Mortgage Meltdown

 

Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq. 

Your blog author quoted in Newsday article about problems with loan modification companies
 
Newsday ran an in-depth cover story in today’s newspaper addressing the problems with the Long Island loan modification industry and highlighting the Federal Trade Commission’s recent nationwide crackdown on “fraud and deception” by mortgage modification companies.
 
Randi F. Marshall, an investigative staff reporter at Newsday, wrote the extensive article, which will continue in tomorrow’s edition.  Ms. Marshall brought attention to the fact some attorneys, like myself, refuse to do loan modification work.
 
“No matter what’s going on in the economy, you’re going to have these companies come out of the woodwork and take advantage of people in a vulnerable situation,” I was quoted as saying.
 
The fact is that most lenders are not cooperative in negotiating modifications.  Yet, this has not stopped numerous people and companies, essentially those who previously sold sub-prime mortgages, to now scam those homeowners who are desperate for a solution and are susceptible to fraud.
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Newsday commented that many consumers paid exorbitant fees to loan modification companies on Long Island, only to find that the companies disappeared with their funds without doing any work at all.

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Craig D. Robins Interviewed on Television

Posted on Wednesday (October 8, 2008) at 2:48 pm to In The News

Craig D. Robins, Esq. was interviewed by Long Island News Tonight for a story about how some Long Islanders are coping with their debt problems by filing for bankruptcy. The segment was broadcast on October 8, 2008. Craig is shown here being interviewed by the television reporter.

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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 »

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

Tel : 516 - 496 - 0800

CraigR@Craigrobinslaw.com