What is “predatory lending?”
The United States housing bubble that popped in 2008 and led to the current economic recession in our country is commonly traced back to the dramatic increase in subprime mortgage lending in the years leading up to that point. Whereas historically subprime mortgages – defined as home loans made to borrowers with lower credit scores – accounted for only about 8% of all mortgages, this number rose to 20% in the mid-2000s. It is estimated that 90% of these loans were adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs). Countless homeowners across the country were lured into signing loan documents based on enticingly low interest rates, only to find out after a short period that the rates were being jacked up to a point where the borrower would have to raise a fortune to afford the monthly mortgage payment or a balloon payment.
This is only one example of predatory lending. Broadly, the term predatory lending refers to the imposition of any type of unfair or even abusive loan terms. It can involve failure to take the time to ensure that the borrower fully understood what he or she was getting into by signing the loan papers or outright cheating and stealing from the customer. Predatory lenders take advantage of the fact that few people have experience in the fields of finance and real estate by hiding key information in obscure clauses deep within the paperwork and using difficult-to-parse terminology in an effort to frustrate attempts at understanding and confuse laymen.
Defending Victims of Predatory Lenders
Whether you have been the victim of a simple Truth in Lending Act violation or you have been taken in by a mortgage lender who could best be described as a con artist, you can find help by contacting a Jacksonville foreclosure defense lawyer at The Law Offices of Justin McMurray, P.A. We may be able to help you file a lawsuit or to defend against a threatened foreclosure by demonstrating that the terms of your home loan are unfair and even predatory. Depending on the circumstances of the case, it might be possible to halt a foreclosure or even to rescind the mortgage, allowing you to recover interest, points, fees paid, and your down payment, and leaving the bank powerless to enforce the mortgage. Contact us now for a free consultation to discuss the case and learn more about your options.