12 Days of Christmas with Cabanillas & Associates

As 2017 begins to wind down, we're highlighting some of the clients we've had the opportunity to help through legal challenges this year. It has been our honor.

Thank you to every person who has trusted us to fight for you.


Day 12

Getting J.M. back on track with his mortgage plus a principal forgiveness of $105,000.00.


J.M. stopped paying his mortgage in 2016 because of reduction in income. He came to us seeking help when the bank started a foreclosure proceeding.


First, we filed an answer to the foreclosure complaint to preserve our client’s defenses. Then, we requested a loan modification and filed a mediation request to seek court supervision of the whole process. Our client was approved for a loan modification with a $1,500.00 reduction in his monthly payment. The terms included a 2% interest rate and principal forgiveness in the amount of $105,000.00.


Our client was able to save his home because now he is able to afford the new reduced mortgage payments.


Day 11

Fighting E.M.'s uphill legal battle until we won.


Our client, E.M., had a $130,000.00 second mortgage with Citibank.  


In December 2016, we successfully  negotiated E.M.’s debt down from $130,000.00 to only $30,000.00. Unfortunately, E.M. had a change of financial circumstances and no longer had the required funds to accept the offer. We attempted to renegotiate a lower amount, but the bank would not budge. Nor would the bank engage in our loan modification requests.  Still, we would not give up.  After more back and forth with the bank, the loan was forgiven.


E.M. was extremely thankful and relieved to be able to stay in his home without the extra debt causing his home to have negative equity.


Day 10

Using a HAMP loan modification to keep the entire family under one roof together. 


J.E. and her husband live in their Bushwick home along with four grandchildren, including seven month old twins. They reached out to us when their home went into foreclosure.


We attended foreclosure settlement conferences on their behalf for a year. A loan modification application was submitted in December of 2015, and although we submitted all required documents, much to our surprise, we were denied for missing documents in May of 2016. We disputed the reason for the denial and the bank reopened the review. However, they continued to request the same documents over and over, causing anguish to our clients.

The bank offered a streamline modification of over $4k a month. We requested the specific terms, including interest and never received them. The bank's pattern of delaying, requesting docs at the last minute and issuing wrongful denials was repeated until March 8, 2017 when the bank said that the file was denied because HAMP had expired.

We filed a motion in May of 2017 seeking a bad faith hearing and requesting $12,000 in sanctions. The very next month, we received a HAMP trial modification with a payment of $3600 and a 2% interest rate. J.E. and her husband now have a permanent modification.


J.E. and her family are finally able to rest assured that they will not have to leave their family home.  Now, she and her husband can meet their new monthly mortgage payments.


Day 9

Fighting to help M.V. keep her home after her family dealt with natural disaster and personal loss. 


M.V.’s Queens home was completely destroyed in Hurricane Sandy. There was five feet of water on the first floor and the property is still uninhabitable. She is currently undergoing the demolition process to rebuild the home.

A year after Sandy, her husband died of cancer. She came to us after she was sued for foreclosure, and the deadline to file an answer had passed.  The bank’s attorneys refused to accept a late answer.


We filed a motion to compel acceptance of our answer or for a traverse hearing to determine whether service of process was proper.

According to the affidavit, the person served was J.A., a 5’6” woman age 60 with brown hair. However, M.V.’s mother, M.M. is 87 years old, with white hair and only 4'7. We demanded a traverse hearing. At or about the same time, M.V. received a flex modification with low payments. She has accepted a trial plan and is now expecting her permanent modification.


M.V. and her mother can remain in their home as they continue to rebuild it with lower mortgage payments.


Day 8

Saving M.L. and her father's home after a series of unfortunate events.


Our client, M.L., and her 72 year old father lived together in their Bronx home. M.L. suffered from a fall at work which left her permanently disabled. This fact caused her to fall behind on the mortgage because she no longer had any income. Her home was scheduled by her bank to go up for sale at the end of October so she reached out to us.


Because the sale notice was a “nail and mail” (ie a sale notice was affixed to her front door) and M.L. was in and out of the home at the time (and therefore never saw the door notice), we filed an Order to Show Cause (OSC) on her behalf and stopped the sale. The OSC was granted and M.L. received a traverse hearing.

We decided to hold the traverse hearing in abeyance for settlement conferences because M.L. submitted a loan modification. She was previously denied because there was a third party on the home’s Deed; we filed a Quit Claim Deed (QCD) to get that person off.

The next challenge was that her income was going to substantially decrease due to receiving worker's comp. We were initially denied but reapplied for the loan modification on her behalf and she got an approval which she accepted.


M.L. and her father are able to remain in their home with a now, lower mortgage payment that she is able to keep up with (even with less income).


Day 7

Demanding a response and ending a (very) bad deal. 


Our client, P.N., felt he had been tricked into signing a contract for a timeshare. However, despite trying to reach out to the timeshare company shortly after signing it, he was unable to have his contract voided or even get a straight answer from anyone at the company regarding his options. Frustrated with the company and worried about his credit, he came to us to take over communicating with the timeshare company.


We sent P.N.’s timeshare company a letter of legal representation advising them that the terms of the contract were unclear and demanding a full refund of the deposit. The company immediately responded and agreed to the cancellation and refund.


P.N. got his full deposit back and no longer had to worry about a timeshare that was a very bad deal and which would have hurt his credit if he defaulted.


Day 6

A father's citizenship granted after more than 10 years.


Our client, C.S., was found inadmissible to the US because of misrepresentation.

U.S.C.I.S. wanted to deny his eligibility for an adjustment of status because, wanting to be as honest as possible during his interview, he admitted to the officer that he had remained in the country after his visa expired in order to provide a better future for his minor children.


On C.S.’s behalf, we filed a I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility, to prove that his wife would face hardship if C.S. was removed from the country.


Our waiver was approved and C.S. was granted a green card after being without a status for over 10 years of being in the US.


Day 5

Helping a father with his final wish.


Our client, A.K., explained to us that while his health was steadily deteriorating, all of his children abandoned him except for one.

A.K. worked very hard during his lifetime and was able to build significant wealth. He did not want the children who abandoned him to inherit any of his estate. Instead, he wanted his child that stood by his side during his illness to inherit all of his estate.

Our legal team explained to A.K. that all of his children would inherit his estate in equal shares if he did not execute a will stating how he wished to distribute his estate.


Our legal team promptly drafted a will according to A.K.’s wishes and it was executed.


Unfortunately, A.K. passed away two months after signing his will. However, his final wish to have his estate passed on as he saw fit was granted. The state did not distribute A.K.’s estate to the children that were not supportive while he was battling terminal cancer.


Day 4

Fighting for what's fair and saving a home.


Our client, R.A., was served with a Notice of Petition/Petition for a Holdover Proceeding because her ex-husband was trying to evict her from her home (she currently lives in the property they once shared).

The petitioner was trying to evict our client based on a Judgement of Divorce between the parties which stated that if our client defaulted in maintaining the mortgage payments for the residence, then she would no longer be entitled to the property. However, the divorce judgment granted our client exclusive use of the marital home.


We filed a Motion to Dismiss on behalf of the Respondent. Wherein we argued that:

  • The husband had no standing to evict his former wife as she is 50% owner of the marital home as well. As an owner of the property, our client could not be evicted by her former spouse.
  • Since our client is part owner of the subject property, the 30 Day Notice Served was defective because there was no landlord/tenant relationship between the parties.  
  • Finally, we argued that the Petitioner is in violation of the Judgment of Divorce, which granted exclusive use to our client, and as such does not have the right to commence this Hold over action.


The case was dismissed and our client remained in her home.


Day 3

Helping Mom and saving a home.


V.O. and W.O. stopped paying their mortgage in order to be able to pay for her mother's medical expenses. They came to us when they received a sale notice from their bank on their home.


We filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy to stop the sale and quickly applied for loan modification, which was approved. Less than a month after coming to us with a foreclosure sale date notice from the bank, V.O. and W.O.’s loan modification was approved.


Both V.O. and W.O. were extremely grateful to be able to help her mother and remain in their home with their new, lower mortgage payment.



Keeping J.T.'s family together.


Our client, J.T., came through the border illegally. He eventually married a U.S. Citizen and had three children. The notario he had fill out his visa waiver paperwork made many mistakes and so he came to us (with a very short deadline) to correct it and resubmit his waiver application.


We quickly resubmitted his waiver which was approved immediately.

We then proceeded to complete his consular processing application and registered him for his visa interview at the U.S. Embassy in Guayaquil, Ecuador which he attended and passed. He returned to the U.S. with his green card.


J.T. was able to reunite with his family in the U.S. where they now live together without worrying about the threat of deportation.



Helping L.L. to rid herself of baggage and move on with her life.


Our client, L.L., owned a property with her ex-husband. Due to unforeseen circumstances she could not keep up with mortgage payments and she was sued for foreclosure.

Her ex-husband did not want anything to do with the house and her attempts to modify her loan were not successful because her income was not sufficient. She decided that she was better off moving to a smaller place where she did not have to deal with the burden of house maintenance plus a large debt with the bank.

In addition, even though the house title was under her name, the debt was still joint with her ex-husband and she wanted to sever any connection so that she could start anew. She came to us for help in selling her home and settling her debts.


We negotiated a short sale (which is an alternative to a loan modification) with the lender which included both loans affecting the property.

The house was sold at market value but under the amount owed to the lenders. In addition, we were able to successfully close even though the ex-husband refused to cooperate since he had filed for bankruptcy after the divorce.

Both lenders forgave the deficiency (balance of debt not covered by the purchase price).


L.L. has one less thing to worry and now she can focus on starting a brand new life without any ties to the past and, most importantly, without debt to any lender.