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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 is the managing partner of the Albany office of Tully Rinckey PLLC and the head of the Firm’s insolvency practice. He has 35 years of experience in dealing with complex financial, corporate and commercial issues. Throughout his 35year legal career, Bob has centered his practice in the Capital Region but has represented clients all across New York including in each of the four United States District Courts and the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Bob has extensive experience before both state and federal courts fighting for clients in the civil litigation arena. When Tully Rinckey PLLC’s clients have been wronged by the action or inaction of another party, they find an ally and advocate in Bob as they pursue their rights in court 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. Bringing to bear the lessons learned over decades of representing individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations, municipalities, and the full range of legal entities, Bob and the team provide aggressive representation to secure the best possible legal outcome for our clients.

A long-time ally of distressed and troubled businesses and individuals throughout upstate New York, Bob has been expanding Tully Rinckey PLLC’s bankruptcy practice, particularly in the areas of Chapter 11 (business) and Chapter 12 (farm) reorganization while continuing the firm’s tradition of representing individuals in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 proceedings and all types of bankruptcy litigation.

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 successfully represented a ski manufacturer in protecting its rights and ensuring that its position was adequately protected in the bankruptcy of a central New York ski area. 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 was the lead attorney on a landmark case involving the eligibility of certain New York partnerships to seek reorganization under Chapter 11. 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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