The City of Orem was organized in 1919 and named after Walter C. Orem, President of the Salt Lake and Utah Railroad. Orem is now the commercial and technological center for Central Utah and is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States. Housing, educational, and employment opportunities continue to be in high demand as Orem’s population approaches 91,000 residents. The City of Orem is located on the eastern shore of Utah Lake and extends on the east to Provo and the foothills of Mount Timpanogos. It shares the general location with Provo, and its history is closely related to that of Provo. Its recent explosive development and growth have resulted in Orem’s population exceeding 67,000 people, according to 1990 census figures. Prior to its incorporation, Orem was known as the “Provo bench,” and its fertile orchards and farmlands added to Provo’s early reputation as the “Garden City of Utah.” Orem was incorporated in 1919 because residents recognized the need to develop a water system for the area. Orem has little naturally occurring water, and local residents believed that Provo was unlikely to provide the public financing necessary to construct a water system. One of the first acts of the new town was to issue $110,000 in bonds to construct the water system, which solved the area’s long-standing shortage of water.
The new town took its name from Walter Orem, the owner of the interurban railroad that ran between Salt Lake City and Provo, in an apparent attempt to curry the favor and attract the investments of this prosperous resident of Salt Lake City. Unlike many Utah towns and cities, Orem was not laid out in regular city blocks with houses clustered closely together. Instead, Orem’s origins are in homesteads settled along the territorial highway (now State Street) and along other substantial arteries where area farmers built their homes and to live near their fields and orchards. As prime farmland along primary roads was taken, farms sprang up in other parts of the “bench” that is now Orem, and rural roads soon crisscrossed the area connecting the farms. This type of development, known in Utah as the “Gentile manner,” differed from typical historical development by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who were often counseled by church leaders to live in the city and cultivate farmland outside its limits. One of the cohesive influences in Orem has been the Sharon Community Educational and Recreational Association, better known as SCERA. SCERA was created in 1933 under the guidance of Arthur V. Watkins, then president of the LDS Sharon Stake and later a United States Senator from Utah, as a substantial community effort at “planned and organized recreation.” SCERA has fulfilled much of its anticipated role in the city since its birth in the depths of the Great Depression. The first major evolution of Orem began in the early 1940s when the Geneva Steel Works was constructed by the federal government as an inland producer of steel. Built along the eastern shore of Utah Lake, Geneva has provided employment to many local residents, either directly or indirectly. In recent times, Geneva has spawned controversy because of increasing concerns over environmental damage caused by the plant and related concerns about lost employment which would be caused by the shutdown of the plant. USX Corporation, the former owner of Geneva, ceased active production of steel at the plant for a brief period in the mid-1980s and then sold the plant to a small group of investors who revived operations. (The steel plant has closed since this writing).
The second major change to the landscape of Orem came as many of its farms were converted to shopping centers and malls along State Street and the University Parkway, the intersection of which now probably stands as the focal point of the metropolitan Orem/Provo area. First the University Mall and later other malls attracted business away from downtown Provo, historically the central shopping area of Utah Valley. Little successful central planning has taken place in Orem, and it is as much without a central core now as it was when it was known as the Provo bench. Pockets of commercial and residential development dot the expansive area that is Orem.
The third major evolution of Orem has been caused by the city’s development as a center of computer technology and development. Giant WordPerfect Corporation, founded by a former Brigham Young University professor and one of his graduate students and headquartered in Orem, has provided the impetus for the creation of other computer software companies in the city. A fledgling entertainment industry, begun with the construction of Osmond Studios in northeast Orem, has also helped change the face of Orem. Many of the past developments in Orem can be seen in the city’s present form. Orem’s proximity to the Wasatch Mountains and Utah Lake make it an all-season center of recreation. Geneva remains a large employer and a center of controversy. Often unchecked commercial development of the city continues. New high tech firms such as WordPerfect now compete with Geneva as the largest private employers in the city. Orem has come a long way from its days as the sleepy unincorporated Provo bench and even from its early days as an incorporated town comprised of scattered farms and orchards. It is now a vital city that must confront the issues that urbanization brings. Orem is located at 40°17′56″N 111°41′47″W (40.298753, -111.696486). Situated in a high desert, with an average elevation of 4756 feet.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.4 square miles (48 km2), all of it land. The City is located near the eastern shore of Utah Lake. Bordering Provo, Utah on the east and south, Vineyard, Utah on the west, Lindon, Utah contiguous to north, and Mount Timpanogos/Wasatch Mountain range to the east.
Challenging Fees in Foreclosure
If you fail to keep up with payments on your mortgage, you may accumulate late fees related to those payments as well as other costs related to an eventual foreclosure. The lender or mortgage servicer will include these charges in the amount that you owe, which will increase the total balance on your loan. Unfortunately, these entities often make mistakes in their calculations or add improper fees. If you suspect abuse or an error by the foreclosing party, you can challenge the fees. This may not completely defeat the foreclosure, but it may reduce the debt that you owe and make it easier to pay off any resulting deficiency judgment. Legal theories that may apply in these cases include unfair business practices, a breach of contract (a violation of the mortgage terms), unjust enrichment, a breach of the duty of good faith, and a breach of a fiduciary duty.
Errors in Foreclosure Late Fees
Many of the most common errors made in calculating fees involve late fees that are assessed when a homeowner misses a mortgage payment. Sometimes the mortgage servicer will not promptly credit the account for the payment, as required by federal rules. Or the servicer may charge a late fee that is greater than what the terms of the mortgage or state law allow. (If state law allows an amount lower than what the mortgage provides, the law generally will override the mortgage terms.) A mortgage often provides a grace period after a payment is technically due. If you make your mortgage payment within the grace period, you should not be subject to a late fee. Also, once the loan has been accelerated at the start of the foreclosure process, the entire balance on the loan will be due. The mortgage servicer should not charge any further late fees at this stage. Federal and state laws do not allow mortgage servicers to engage in a practice known as “pyramiding,” which essentially means stacking late fees. A homeowner may make a full payment on time but not pay a late fee related to a previous missed payment. “Pyramiding” happens when a lender uses part of the payment to cover the late fees. This means that the payment does not count as a full payment, and the lender then assesses additional late fees.
Challenging Other Fees in Foreclosure
You may face additional charges related to the foreclosure process, including the costs of the foreclosure itself and property inspection fees. Foreclosure costs must be reasonable and actual, as must attorney fees. Property inspection fees must be necessary to protect the condition of the property. If the lender has no reason to believe that the property will suffer damage, and the homeowner is still living there, these fees may not be necessary. They tend to be small but can add up if inspections are conducted on a monthly basis. A related type of fee is property preservation costs. These may involve addressing security issues, such as broken locks or windows, or they may cover utility payments or repairs to the landscaping. However, these fees need to be reasonably necessary. A more miscellaneous type of fee is corporate advances. The lender or mortgage servicer pays these fees with the expectation of being reimbursed by the homeowner. For example, if the homeowner allows their insurance policy on the property to lapse, the lender may purchase force-placed insurance and then charge the homeowner for those costs. If it purchased force-placed insurance in error, you may be able to wipe out that charge. If you notice charges that are unclear or that you do not understand, you should not hesitate to ask for an explanation.
Foreclosure Reinstatement and Payoff
Two ways in which you can prevent a foreclosure are reinstatement and payoff. Reinstatement involves making a single payment to catch up with everything due on a loan. By contrast, payoff involves paying the lender the total remaining balance of the loan. (Payoff before a foreclosure sale is commonly known as redemption, which is an equitable right available in every state.) You can contact your mortgage servicer to determine the amount required to either reinstate or pay off the loan. If they fail to respond, this may be a defense to an eventual foreclosure. If you are not the borrower on the loan, you will need to have written authorization from the borrower to get the quote. Whether you are reinstating or paying off a loan, you should make sure to pay the full amount that is due. Otherwise, the lender could reject your payment and move forward with the foreclosure sale anyway. The lender’s attorney or the foreclosure trustee may confirm the amount with you in advance to avoid any confusion.
Foreclosure Reinstatement Lawyer
As explained above, a homeowner can reinstate a loan by paying back any payments that are in default, as well as costs related to the default. They still will need to keep up with their monthly payments after reinstating the loan, or they will go into default again. Items that may be involved in a reinstatement, in addition to the missed payments, include late fees, attorney fees, costs of foreclosure proceedings, costs of property inspections, and a recording fee to cancel the foreclosure sale. You should try to reinstate the loan as soon as you can. Paying at the last possible moment puts you at risk of falling victim to a mistake by a courier or a bank, which could result in the foreclosure going through. State law may provide a deadline for reinstatement, or your mortgage or deed of trust may provide a deadline. Reinstatement is not automatic unless it is provided by state law or the mortgage terms, but you may be able to reinstate your loan even if the lender is not technically required to allow it. The lender may find it easier to continue with the loan than to go through the foreclosure process.
Foreclosure Payoff Attorney
Paying off the loan will involve not only satisfying the entire remaining balance but also covering costs similar to those involved in a reinstatement. Thus, the balance that you see in your monthly billing statement is not the total amount that you need to pay off because it does not account for those extra costs. Similar to reinstating a loan, you should aim to pay off a loan as soon as possible so that logistical delays do not interfere. You should plan to request a payoff quote at least five business days before making the payoff. Federal law requires mortgage servicers to provide a payoff statement within seven days of when you ask for it, unless certain circumstances apply. One of these circumstances is when the loan is already in foreclosure, in which case the mortgage servicer simply needs to respond within a reasonable time. This is another reason for getting the process started as soon as you can.
Challenging the Amount of a Reinstatement or Payoff
You have the right to contest what you believe to be an incorrect amount in a reinstatement or payoff quote. This requires sending a notice of error to the mortgage servicer. Under federal law, it has seven business days to correct an error regarding the payoff balance amount. Disputing the amount does not automatically stop a foreclosure, though, so you should think twice before delaying your payment over a small disputed amount.
What Will a Foreclosure Lawyer Cost Me?
Foreclosure can be one of the most difficult decisions a homeowner makes. Not being able to keep up with mortgage payments is one thing, but not understanding how much it may cost to defend against foreclosure or ensure it is done fairly can make matters much worse. Depending on the type of foreclosure, the typical attorney’s fees will range anywhere between $1,500 – $20,000.
What Factors Cause Foreclosure Costs to Vary?
How much a lawyer charges will certainly be a factor in the cost of a foreclosure. However, there are many other considerations ultimately determine how expensive the process will be. Below is a general lay out of the costs typically associated with home foreclosure:
• Type of Foreclosure – The cost of a foreclosure can vary largely on whether the mortgage loan has just recently fallen into default and the homeowners are willing to surrender the property, or if they are going to attempt to reinstate the home loan or otherwise defend against the foreclosure process.
• Costs – It is not uncommon for a loan servicer to assess additional charges against a borrower in default. Default-related fees include:
• Property inspection and preservation costs
• Foreclosure costs and fees, including: Filing fees, notice and certified mailing costs, where a loan is reinstated, and potentially the lender’s attorney’s fees.
• Corporate advances
• Attorney’s Fees – Generally, each party will be responsible for their own costs. However, there are some instances where the lender may seek to have the borrower pay for a portion or all of their foreclosure fees. Moreover, these fees may vary depending on how complicated the defense will be and how long the foreclosure will take.
What Goes into Determining a Lawyer’s Fees?
The primary reasons for the large disparity in the cost of a foreclosure are:
• The type of foreclosure defense strategy
• The lawyer’s fee structure
Generally, foreclosure lawyers either bill through a flat fee or by the hour. If a lawyer charges a flat fee, expect to pay $1,000-$4,000. There is a common misconception that a lower fee may indicate a low quality legal representation; however nothing could be further from the truth. A lower fee is simply an assessment of what work the lawyer expects to do with respect to the difficulty of the case. Thus, if a foreclosure is going to be quick and relatively straight forward, a lawyer will likely charge a lower flat fee. By contrast, if the borrower is adamant about continuing to live in the house, or is otherwise putting forth difficult foreclosure defenses, the fee will likely be higher.
Free Initial Consultation with Lawyer
It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Legal problems come to everyone. Whether it’s your son who gets in a car wreck, your uncle who loses his job and needs to file for bankruptcy, your sister’s brother who’s getting divorced, or a grandparent that passes away without a will -all of us have legal issues and questions that arise. So when you have a law question, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you!
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506