Hawaii Foreclosure Defense & Employment Law Resources
The following links and resources are provided by Damon M. Senaha for the benefit of individuals in Honolulu and throughout Hawaii who are seeking information on real estate and foreclosure defense or employment law matters. We hope these resources are helpful to you. If you find that you need legal assistance to solve your problem, whether it is finding a way to keep your home or exit gracefully, or make sure you are treated fairly in the workplace, contact our office in Honolulu to speak with our foreclosure defense and employment lawyer.
Real Estate and Foreclosure Defense Resources
In 2011, the Hawaii legislature enacted the Mortgage Foreclosure Dispute Resolution Program (MFDR). MFDR sets out specific notice requirements and mediation procedures for banks attempting to take back a home through non-judicial foreclosure. If you are in default on your mortgage, you can view the notice of public sale at the MFDR online filing portal. This site will tell you where and when the foreclosure sale is scheduled to occur and connect you with important foreclosure information and resources.
Making Home Affordable is the government’s main resource for mortgage relief. The government offers many programs, such as a loan modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), a principal reduction or second lien modification, a re-fi through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) or the FHA, and more. Note that participating in these programs does not guarantee results or that your home will be saved from foreclosure. Discuss these programs with an experienced foreclosure defense and loss mitigation attorney to explore your best options.
Hope Now is an alliance of counselors, mortgage companies, investors, and other mortgage market participants that may be able to help you with a loan modification through Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP).
If you know the current value of your underwater property, this calculator will tell you how long you would have to wait before your home would be worth what you currently owe on it.
NeighborWorks America provides links to several foreclosure resources, including a counseling program and valuable information on loan modification scams plaguing the country.
In most cases, if somebody cancels or forgives a debt, the amount of the debt forgiveness is taxable income, but under the Mortgage Debt Relief Act of 2007, many types of home loan modifications and mortgage restructuring are excludable from income, so pursuing loss mitigation on your underwater home won’t wind up raising your taxes.
The bank that lent you money to buy your home may have sold the servicing rights to your mortgage to another institution, where it may have been pooled with countless others. Changes in mortgage servicing rights and beneficial interests in ownership should be tracked by MERS©, and you may be able to find servicer information for your mortgage through MERS Residential©. Pooling and servicing agreements are maintained in the government’s EDGAR database.
Employment Law Resources
Complaints of workplace discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability are investigated and enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC also handles discrimination based on the use of genetic information and retaliation by employers for filing a charge or complaint. Civil rights laws under the EEOC’s purview include Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). If the EEOC chooses not to pursue enforcement of your complaint, you will be issued a Right to Sue letter and allowed to proceed personally against your employer in court.
The Hawaii Civil Rights Commission (HCRC) enforces state laws prohibiting discrimination in employment based on race, religion, sex or ancestry. HCRC and Hawaii law also protect against discrimination based on marital status, age, disability, and participation in real property transactions. Talk to your attorney about whether you should file your complaint with the EEOC or the HCRC. In limited circumstances, the law allows you to proceed directly to court without first using the administrative complaint process.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act and other laws to assure that employees receive work-related benefits and rights, including minimum wage and overtime pay. DOL’s Employment Law Guide describes which workers are entitled to overtime and who is exempt.
The Family and Medical Leave Act entitles eligible employees of covered employers to 12 weeks of unpaid leave every year to care for a child in the event of birth or adoption, or for a serious health condition of the employee or certain family members. Emergency leave for families of military members is available as well.
Workers who are called into the armed forces have certain rights to reemployment when they return and the maintenance of certain benefits while they are serving. Relevant laws and services include the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS).
At the state level, the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations enforces Hawaii wage and hour laws, including minimum wages and maximum hours (overtime).