Given the unstoppable wave of foreclosures in Puerto Rico, where some 8,000 properties have been repossessed in recent years, homeowners have a pressing need for legal representation to avoid losing their dwellings. In response to that, three local attorneys have set up an operation to provide legal defense to that population in trouble.
Defiende tu Casa (Defend your Home) is a professional services corporation headed by Jesús Morales, Luis Ramos and Nelson Robles, who bring to the table extensive experience in civil litigation, specializing in federal and local laws governing mortgage transactions and protect homeowners when they can not comply with the terms of their loans.
“In recent years, banks have foreclosed more than 8,000 properties on the island. This means that thousands of families have lost their homes. Unfortunately, thousands more are at risk of going through this painful process,” said Morales, who is president of the company.
“The situation caused mainly by the global economic crisis has reached the point that one of the most important investment companies in the world has said if U.S. does not take steps to resolve the situation, as of 2014 there will more than 13 million foreclosures stateside,” he added.
In Puerto Rico the situation is no different. However, laws have been approved over the past three years that defend the consumer in many foreclosure cases and force banks to provide alternatives to qualified borrowers who have lost their ability to meet mortgage payments.
“Given the unstoppable wave of foreclosures it is more necessary than ever that homeowners have legal representation with the skill and expertise to deal with a process that can lead to losing their dwelling,” said Ramos. “That’s why we at Defiende tu Casa have trained ourselves to present the defenses provided by local and federal law to help consumers keep the most precious asset, which is undoubtedly their home.”
Meanwhile, Robles, a former U.S. Bankruptcy Court trustee who still defends cases in that forum, said the new company’s services that include handling changes in terms and conditions of mortgage loans, legal representation in foreclosure lawsuits and the filing of claims against financial institutions that have engaged in deceptive or predatory practices.
When applicable, the attorneys could also refer clients to the processes set forth in the Bankruptcy Code, he said.