Joseph Bellinger, Offit Kurman Bankruptcy and Restructuring Practice Group Chair, Publishes Article on the National Mortgage Settlement in American Bankruptcy Trustee Journal
For Immediate Release
Baltimore, MD | July 8, 2015 The National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees has published an article written by Offit Kurman bankruptcy attorney Joseph J. Bellinger in the Spring 2015 edition of American Bankruptcy Trustee Journal. The article, entitled “Have Your Debtors’ Mortgage Liens Been Released Under the National Mortgage Settlement?”, illuminates the rights and requirements of mortgage servicers, lenders, and debtors under the National Mortgage Settlement (“NMS”).
The NMS was a 2012 joint state–federal agreement with five major financial institutions, and is meant to provide homeowners with relief in the form of mortgage loan reductions as well as cash payments to eligible borrowers whose homes were foreclosed upon. However, as Mr. Bellinger indicates, public information about the settlement is limited, and debtors may not know they may receive NMS assistance. He writes:
Chapter 7 debtors may appear at the meeting without any knowledge that they are entitled to home mortgage loan benefits under the NMS. Homeowners would find out if they are entitled to any benefits under the NMS by calling their Servicer, or they may receive a letter from their Servicer. Think about the homeowner who is behind on their mortgage payments. Are they going to call their Servicer when they are concerned that they will be asked when they will be making a mortgage payment? If they are receiving default letters from their Servicer, it is very possible that a letter from their Servicer notifying them that they are entitled to NMS benefits will end up in the trash or filed away with the stack of default letters without being opened.
Mr. Bellinger’s previous article for the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal was published in October 2014. For his latest write-up, follow the link below.
About Joe Bellinger
Joe Bellinger serves as chair of Offit Kurman’s bankruptcy and restructuring practice group. A seasoned lawyer and commercial litigator, Mr. Bellinger has served on the panel of Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustees for the District of Maryland since 1997. His clients include asset-based lenders, factors, equity funds, financial institutions holding secured and unsecured claims, indenture trustees, equipment lessors, landlords, manufacturers, taxing authorities, Chapter 7 and 11 trustees, state court receivers, turnaround professionals, and purchasers of distressed loans or assets.
From 2007–2015, Mr. Bellinger was named a Maryland Super Lawyer. In addition, he has received the highest professional (AV) rating from his peers as reported by Martindale-Hubbell. He is a also member of the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Maryland Bankruptcy Bar Association, and the National Association of Bankruptcy Trustees.
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