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Home ownership, still the American Dream

For many people, home ownership is still the American dream. Building or buying a house and having it be in your family for generations. But when certain circumstances befall you, that dream could rapidly become a nightmare.

“Perhaps they’ve lost a job, perhaps there’s some long term illness that prevents them from making the payments. There need to be about three payments in arrears before the banks are commencing the foreclosure action,” said Robert Rock, Attorney

If you have missed some payments, what can you expect?

Rock said, “The foreclosure process goes from the initial notification by the bank that there is a default that the payments haven’t been made in accordance with the terms of the note and mortgage that were signed at the closing. The next step in the process would the service of a summons of complaint, which formally commences a foreclosure lawsuit. The next step in a residential foreclosure is mandatory settlement with judge in the supreme court of the county in which the property is located.”

That step is to see if there is something that can be done for the homeowner to keep the property.

Rock said, “The federal HAMP, Home Affordable Mortgage Program. HARP, which is to re-do the entire loan, and pretty much all lenders now have internal processes or procedures to modify a loan to help the people keep it.”

Nobody wants to be foreclosed on, so it’s important to get out in front of it. And it’s in the best interest of the lenders as well.

Rock added, “The banks really do not want to foreclose on property. What they want to do is make the own and get repaid on the loan. If the bank does have to take back the piece of property they’re not going to want to hold it for any long than they have to because they’re incurring the taxes, they’re incurring the responsibility to keep the property up, to keep it heated during the winter.”

If you think you’re in danger of not making your payments on time or won’t be able to make any for a while, reach out to your lenders and see what options are available to you.

Bob came to Tully Rinckey PLLC with over three decades of legal experience. He joined the team after running his own general practice firm in Albany for a dozen years. Throughout his 30-plus-year legal career, Bob has always practiced law in the Capital Region.

Bob has significant experience in both state and federal courts fighting for clients in the civil litigation arena. His experience includes the representation of both plaintiffs and defendants. When Tully Rinckey PLLC’s clients believe they have been wronged by the action or inaction of another party, they may be entitled to sue for damages. Clients may also find themselves being sued and in need of the kind of proactive defense provided by Bob and the Tully Rinckey PLLC civil litigation team. Together, their experience includes disputes between individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations, municipalities, and the full range of legal entities. Bob and the team can provide aggressive representation to any of these parties to secure the best possible legal outcome for them. 

A long-time ally of distressed and insolvent businesses and individuals throughout New York’s Capital Region, Bob has been expanding Tully Rinckey PLLC’s bankruptcy practice, particularly in the areas of Chapter 11 (business) and Chapter 12 (farm) reorganization. He continues the firm’s tradition of representing debtors and creditors in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 proceedings and bankruptcy litigation. At the firm, he provides free initial bankruptcy consultations.

Bob has successfully confirmed Chapter 11 plans in diverse cases, including a rural Delaware County acute care hospital, a swimming pool builder and water park developer, a major printing company and an ante-bellum ladder manufacturer. He has also represented creditors committees in a Broome County and Pennsylvania baker, a mid-Hudson building products supplier and a consortium of banks in a case involving a purported investment company behind a massive Ponzi scheme. Bob has represented secured and unsecured creditors as well as Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 trustees in virtually every aspect of bankruptcy.

Bob received a juris doctorate from Albany Law School and a bachelor’s degree in political science from LeMoyne College. His admissions include the New York State Bar, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Southern and Northern Districts of New York, and the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

When not at work, Bob enjoys hiking in the Adirondacks and Catskills, music, local history and travel.



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