Predatory lending has increased in the past decade or so. Generally, a real estate loan must provide the loan terms and consequences adequately, and be financially feasible for the borrower. Predatory lenders avoid these two requirements, and borrowers like you end up in financial ruin.
How It Occurs
Most predatory lending occurs with home mortgage loans, targeting those with fixed or lower incomes, who may have checkered credit histories. A predatory lender either gets a borrower to refinance or causes the borrower to owe more. In either of these situations, the lender knows that the borrower cannot afford this, and withhold information. There are also the most common prepayment penalties, sometimes up to 80%.
If this has happened to you, it can be a devastating situation. PTSD is a psychiatric disorder after someone has experienced a shocking or life-threatening event. Some recover over time, and some become more stressed by the event. If it feels like this has happened to you, you should contact an attorney to discuss your options. Many attorneys offer free case evaluations to victims such as yourself to help get the ball moving.
Claims and recovery
There are a few claims your attorney may try to file on your behalf. It will depend on your specific case needs, and what state you are in. There also may be a class action suit you may want to join.
* Breach of contract
* The Truth in Lending Act (assure disclosure of credit terms)
* The Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (protect against loans with worse terms to residents in certain locations)
* The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (more effective disclosure of settlement costs)
* The Equal Credit Opportunity Act (prohibits discriminatory treatment)
You also may be able to recover:
* Rescission of the loan contract
* Actual damages that occurred to you as a result of the predatory lending
* Statutory damages
* Attorney’s fees and costs
* Enhanced monetary damages
* Punitive damages (in excess of actual or statutory)
* Equitable relief
If this has happened to you, it is imperative that you speak to an attorney as soon as possible. There are statutes of limitations for law violations related to predatory lending, so, if the violators are able to escape responsibility for long enough, you may not be able to obtain the compensation that you deserve for your ordeal.
It can be easy to procrastinate because you don’t want to sue, but in all reality, failing to sue for the damages you and your family deserve is not in anyone’s best interest other than those who wronged you in the first place. Get help sooner rather than later to help avoid further damaging the situation.