Joseph

Court throws out Iraq vet’s foreclosure after bank missed deadline

Long Island Foreclosure Statute of Limitations

An appellate panel’s decision allows a Central Islip couple to keep their home, ‘free and clear’ of its mortgage.

Chris and Barbara Joseph at their home in Central Islip on Friday. The couple won their 12-year battle to save their home when the appellate division of the state Supreme Court threw out the foreclosure case against them. Story by By Maura McDermott – Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

A Central Islip military veteran and his wife won their 12-year battle to save their home when the appellate division of the state Supreme Court threw out the foreclosure case against them.

Christopher and Barbara Joseph can keep their home “free and clear” of its mortgage now that a four-judge appellate panel ruled in their favor, said Ivan Young, the Josephs’ attorney. The judges unanimously overturned a lower court’s decision on Thursday, finding that their lender, U.S. Bank National Association, missed the state’s six-year deadline to file its second foreclosure lawsuit, court papers show.

“It’s a big weight off my shoulders, a big relief,” Christopher, 55, said in a telephone interview from his home. “It’s taken a lot of stress and pressure off us.”

Roughly a decade after the mortgage meltdown, a small but growing number of homeowners are winning foreclosure cases because the original lawsuits against them were deeply flawed and were dismissed by judges. In some instances, by the time lenders got around to filing new cases, the six-year deadline — which started running when the lender called in the full amount of the loan when it first foreclosed — had already passed.

Young said he has more than 30 clients seeking to get their foreclosure cases thrown out because the deadline has passed. Last year, the Appellate Division ruled in favor of his clients Sound Beach homeowners Fred and Theresa Tovar in a similar case.

The Josephs’ original foreclosure case dates back more than a decade. Christopher, who was deployed to Iraq as an Army staff sergeant repairing military vehicles in 2002, suffered a back injury when he leapt from a military truck under enemy fire. Upon his return he got a job preparing military trucks for combat, but his injuries made it impossible to perform the demanding physical labor, and he lost the job, he said. The couple fell behind on their mortgage payments and in 2006 their lender sued to foreclose.

The pair, who have three grown daughters, pulled more than $18,000 from their savings and the college fund of their youngest daughter, and they tried to negotiate a loan modification, but the mortgage company kept rejecting their applications, said Barbara, 51, who works as a teacher’s assistant.

Original article link: https://www.newsday.com/business/foreclosure-wells-fargo-deadline-1.17757711