Mike Lucey

Posted by kevin on December 24, 2017 under Foreclosure Blog | Comments are off for this article

I became involved with foreclosures in the late 1980’s representing both lenders and borrowers. By 2000, however, my only involvement with foreclosures was an outgrowth of my bankruptcy practice. Around 2007, I began reading articles from bankruptcy attorneys, including Max Gardner, about the looming problems in the mortgage markets. In 2008 with the fall of Bear Stearns, I read more about how the US (and the world) had gotten itself into the problem that we now call the mortgage crisis. Securitized trusts, Fannie and Freddie lowering requirements to buy loans, variable rate loans and negative amortization loans, stated income loans and no income loans, robo-signing and servicing “irregularities”, predatory lending and outright fraud. The conservative mortgage lending industry became like Las Vegas.

In NJ, foreclosures averaged about 15,000 per year. But by 2008, the numbers were tripling or more. I wanted to get involved again with foreclosures. But this time, representing borrowers only. So, I did my research by looking at the electronic “advance sheets” to see how the courts were dealing with foreclosure cases. They were still treating foreclosures like it was 1980, and they were not listening to borrower arguments that the system was broke.

I knew that I had a general understanding of the then environment but I also knew that I did not know enough. I needed help. In mid-2009, by chance, I met Mike Lucey. He was an FHA underwriter who was working with borrowers facing foreclosure. More so, he was educating attorneys who represented borrowers about how to given the new lending environment.

Mike grew up in Brooklyn. He was a 240 lbs tough guy with hands like catcher’s mitts. He talked fast and expected you to pay attention. He knew all the lenders and servicers. He knew the people on Wall St who put together the deals. He understood Pooling and Servicing Agreements and how to exploit them. He could formulate arguments in foreclosure matters better than any attorney I had ever met. He taught me how to be an effective foreclosure defense attorney. Now, that is not to say that he did not drive me crazy at times, and we did not have our fair share of arguments loaded with expletives. But because of Mike, I was able to help scores of clients keep their homes.

Mike died yesterday from cancer and its aftereffects. He put up a valiant struggle. For all the people that I helped over the years, I want you to know that I could not have done it without Mike. Please say a prayer for Mike and his family.