About William Morris

Denver Trial Attorney 30+ years of courtroom experience. Litigation practice includes will disputes, civil trials, real estate trials, bankruptcy contested matters, and injury law.

Zombie Mortgages — Silvernagel v. US Bank

Silvernagel v. US Bank Nat'l Ass'n Court of Appeals of Colorado, Division One October 21, 2021, Announced Court of Appeals No. 20CA1035 Reporter 2021 Colo. App. LEXIS 1441 * | 2021 WL 4928387 Jerome D. Silvernagel and Dan Wu, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. US Bank National Association, Defendant-Appellee. Prior History:  [*1] Douglas County District Court No. 19CV30565. Honorable David J. Stevens, Judge.   Disposition: JUDGMENT REVERSED AND CASE REMANDED WITH DIRECTIONS.     Core Terms trust deed, statute of limitations, district court, foreclose, holder, promissory note, evidence of debt, accrues, personal liability, foreclosure, borrower's, summary judgment, installment, monthly installments, limitations period, maturation, milestone, Mortgage, securing, becomes, default, lender   Case Summary   Overview HOLDINGS: [1]-In a action for declaratory relief, the district court erred by dismissing the homeowners' case against a bank because it rejected their claim that a foreclosure action would be barred by the statute of limitations set forth in Colo. Rev. Stat. 13-80-103.5(1)(a) (2020) without considering the effect the discharge of a debt in bankruptcy had on the time limit for the bank had to foreclose the deed of trust; [2]-The discharge in bankruptcy of a borrower's personal liability on his loan — the cessation of his installment obligations — is the analog to a note's maturation; no more payments could become due that would trigger a limitations period.   Outcome Reversed and remanded.     LexisNexis® Headnotes   Real Property Law > Financing > Mortgages & Other Security Instruments > Definitions & Interpretation View more legal topics HN1  Mortgages & Other Security Instruments, Definitions & Interpretation No recordation takes place unless the trust deed is transferred to an entity that is not a member of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems. More like this Headnote Shepardize® - Narrow by this Headnote   Civil Procedure > ... > Defenses, Demurrers & Objections > Motions to [...]

By |2021-11-14T17:29:50+00:00November 14th, 2021|uncategorized|0 Comments

Mortgage Relief

When the economy fell off a cliff in 2006 at the end of the Bush era, our firm was here to rescue families who faced losing their homes to the big banks. We will be here the next time, too. We are now in the 9th year of an economic boom. It will not last forever and there are economic signs that it may not last much longer. If interest rates spike, or you lose your job, or something else causes you to get behind on your mortgage payments, what can you do? We have saved homes for hundreds of people through Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Most people erroneously think that Chapter 13 means you repay your debts. To the contrary, Chapter 13 is a powerful tool that can be used for mortgage relief (and for other purposes such as tax relief or delinquent child support debts). Chapter 13 lets homeowners stop foreclosure in its tracks, giving homeowners five years to catch up any missed payments and get back on track. And when the economy is really bad and housing prices drop like they did in 2007, Chapter 13 can allow you to write off your second mortgage and even your third mortgage. Of course, the economy doesn't have to be bad for good people to have bad times. We file Chapter 13 cases every month for people who have had a bout with unemployment or unexpected illness, or who have budget problems for other reasons such as a recent divorce. In good times and in bad, we are here to help good people get back on track.

By |2018-06-07T19:27:36+00:00June 7th, 2018|Bankruptcy, Real Estate|0 Comments

Mortgage Litigation

The ghosts of the mortgage crisis from the Great Recession that started in 2008 continues to rear its ugly head in 2016. What happens when the second mortgage on your home was transferred several times as lenders and servicers went out of business in 2008, leaving you wondering where you are supposed to be sending your monthly payments? Well, we do not suggest that you wait ten years to figure it out but that is what happened with one of our recent real estate clients. Our client was trying to refinance her home . . . repeatedly. As part of the refi, she intended to pay off the second mortgage. After all, the value of her home in Denver had skyrocketed since the dark days of 2008. One problem: No one wanted to take her money. A refi was not possible with the second mortgage still on the home. At her wit's end, she hired us. Within a week, we filed a lawsuit to quiet title to the property. That got some attention from the lender who held the mortgage. What happened next? The lender wrote off more than $20,000 in accumulated interest over the past ten years in order to settle the lawsuit without a trial. A modest investment in legal fees on the front end paid off nearly ten times over with 20,000 in interest savings. And the client was finally able to get a new loan at a lower interest rate. Real estate litigation. No two cases are the same. Contact us to review your situation. Staggs Morris, P.C. -- Winning trial lawyers. On your side.  

By |2017-05-14T16:45:57+00:00October 26th, 2016|Real Estate|0 Comments

Uninsured Motorist Litigation

One of the most misunderstood areas of law for most people is uninsured motorist coverage. Recently, we received an inquiry from someone who sustained serious injuries caused by a hit and run driver who, chances are, was probably drunk. The potential client came to us wanting to know if we could get an investigator to find the hit and run driver. Bad strategy. First, finding the driver would likely be an expensive proposition. Second, even if the driver were found, he likely would have no money and no insurance. Third, and most important, if you have full insurance coverage on your vehicle then you have UNINSURED MOTORIST coverage -- which includes coverage for hit and run drivers. You pay good money to your insurance company every month for this coverage. Your uninsured motorist coverage does not just pay for property damage. You are entitled to pain and suffering, lost wages, recovery of medical bills, and all other damages arising from the negligent acts of the hit and run driver. It is important not to act as if your own insurance company is on your side -- even if they try to make you believe that they are. When you file an uninsured motorist claim, your insurance company primarily is interested in getting you to sign a release and waiver for the least amount of money as possible. Get a free consultation from the TRIAL ATTORNEYS are Staggs Morris, P.C. with three decades of trial law experience. We do not settle your case for less than what it is worth like most of the big personal injury law firm mills. We prepare EVERY case for trial because we have the courtroom experience to actually take your [...]

By |2016-10-26T16:43:22+00:00February 1st, 2016|Trial Law, uncategorized|0 Comments

Merger of Probate and Real Estate Law

A lot of attorneys claim to be specialists in certain areas of law. The truth is, most of the time you need an attorney with decades of expertise in TRIAL LAW -- in other words, an attorney who is very skilled at actually taking cases to trial. What good does it do a client if an attorney has an encyclopedic knowledge of a particular area of law but cannot convince a judge or jury to rule in the client's favor? And moreover, having a good knowledge of one area of law is not enough because many, if not most, cases involve principles relating to more than one area of law. For example, in January of 2016, our firm went to trial for a client who had come to us on a "probate" matter. But really, the issue was the title to a very valuable piece of real estate. A dispute had arisen between family members over property that had been owned at least in part by our client for nearly two decades. The family members wanted to take the property from our client. In the end, our expertise as TRIAL ATTORNEYS made the difference in this case. Probate had little to do with this real estate matter. We honed in on our client's best arguments. We established that the statute of limitations had run and we negated opposing counsel's argument for a constructive trust against the real estate. Your attorney should not be afraid to go to trial and, once there, should be able to focus the judge's attention precisely and concisely on the winning arguments for your case -- all in a clear, articulate, compelling presentation. It is how cases are won. And [...]

By |2021-07-02T22:46:35+00:00January 28th, 2016|Real Estate, Trial Law, uncategorized, Will Disputes|0 Comments

Scam Targets Bankruptcy Filers

Phone scammers are targeting bankruptcy filers in several states, using personal information from filings and posing as attorneys to get intended victims to immediately wire money to satisfy a debt. The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys issued a warning that “Under no circumstances would a bankruptcy attorney or staff member telephone a client and ask for a wire transfer immediately to satisfy a debt. Nor would the bankruptcy attorney and staff ever threaten arrest if a debt isn’t paid.” Bankruptcy filers in Vermont and Virginia reportedly have received calls. Vermont’s Attorney General says scammers use software to “spoof” the Caller ID system so the call appears to be originating from the phone line of the consumer’s bankruptcy attorney. Typically the calls come late in the evening or during non-business hours to make it difficult for intended victims to verify the call by contacting their attorney. Consumers receiving this kind of call are advised to hang up and contact their bankruptcy attorney as soon as possible. Do not give any personal or financial account information to the caller.

By |2016-10-26T16:43:22+00:00October 21st, 2015|Bankruptcy|0 Comments

Business Bankruptcy

When should a corporation or small business file bankruptcy? Most people are surprised to hear that the answer is nearly always, "Never." The main reason a business should file bankruptcy is because a business cannot get a discharge (a court order wiping out debts). Only an individual can get a bankruptcy discharge. So you're probably thinking, "Why do I hear in the news about corporations filing bankruptcy?"  Well, in most cases, those companies are seeking to get temporary protection from their creditors while reorganizing. These are businesses with a sound business plan and real hope for future profitable operations. These corporations file for reorganization under Chapter 11 and continue to operate. Regardless, in certain situations, we at Staggs Morris have in fact filed bankruptcies for businesses that are closing down and owe a lot of money. Even though these client businesses could not get a bankruptcy discharge, they had a lot of business equipment or other assets that needed to be distributed to creditors. By filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the owners of the businesses are able to avoid being sued over the way they might have otherwise disposed of the assets. This is because a bankruptcy Trustee marshals all of the assets in Chapter 7, sells them, and distributes the money fairly to creditors according to federal law. Finally, there are certain bankruptcies filed by individuals that are "business-related" but still are filed as individual bankruptcies. These involve situations where individuals have personally guaranteed debts for a business or used their own lines of credit for business funding.  Business-related bankruptcies receive far less scrutiny in bankruptcy court than individual bankruptcies. During the Bush administration in 2005, when big banks had Congress and the administration in [...]

By |2016-10-26T16:43:22+00:00May 18th, 2015|Bankruptcy|0 Comments

Estate Planning Mistakes

Staggs Morris, P.C. specializes in probate litigation and will contests because, far too often, people either (a) don't do any estate planning at all, or (b) try to do their own estate planning, or (c) use a lawyer to create an estate plan then forget about it. If a loved one dies without clear testamentary intentions expressed or with conflicting intentions, those left behind spend thousands of dollars on court proceedings to clear up claims to the estate. However, Staggs Morris does not only take contested wills and other probate disputes to trial.  We stand ready and willing to help you get your affairs in order so that you and your loved ones have peace of mind.  In fact, we have an attorney on staff who specializes solely in Estate Planning and has 40 years of legal expertise ready to work for you.  Bill Carpenter, Esq, has been with our firm from the beginning, having worked for nearly 20 years in one of the leading estate planning firms in the State of Colorado. Read more about Bill by clicking here. Estate planning options, depending on your circumstances, may include a living trust, a will-based estate plan, or a irrevocable trust under appropriate circumstances. In addition to your specific intentions, it is critical that tax implications be considered.  Other important planning issues include disabled heirs, protection of inheritances from beneficiaries' enemies (divorcing spouses, creditors, and maybe themselves), as well as multiple sets of children in second or third marriages. To read more about our estate planning practice, click here.  Call us anytime at 303-750-9900 to schedule your personal estate planning evaluation. What happens when you don't plan ahead . . . If you leave no will [...]

By |2016-10-26T16:43:22+00:00May 15th, 2015|Will Disputes|0 Comments

Hazards of not seeking legal advice

When you pay an attorney, you are paying good money for legal advice that you need and should count on. Why take any action without asking your attorney first? There are thousands of reasons to consult with your attorney but here is a good example. A lawyer we know (not part of this firm) had a client who was in a bankruptcy reorganization plan with very low $100 per month payments to a bankruptcy trustee. Out of the blue, the client sent the trustee a $600 check hoping to pay off the plan sooner. Bad idea. The trustee immediately wanted to know where the extra money was coming from. Now, for the remaining months on the plan, the client is going to have to pay $600 per month -- a huge increase. But for this action by the client, she would have continued to make only $100 per month payments until the end of the plan at which time the balance of her debts would have been written off in bankruptcy. Consult your attorney first. Legal self-help or non-lawyer advice (paralegal services) almost always leads to trouble.

By |2016-10-26T16:43:22+00:00April 16th, 2015|Bankruptcy, uncategorized|0 Comments

So your father (or mother) was abducted?

At Staggs Morris, P.C. we have the answer to your will contest and probate litigation problems. No two will contest cases are ever alike. Sometimes the facts are astounding. What do you do when your father disappears from a long-term memory care facility at the hands of another family member? We sue the parties involved. Family dynamics can be downright nasty in many cases, and the wealth of an elderly parent can bring out the worst in people. Most will contest cases involve undue influence of a family member. When an elderly parent is taken from his or her care facility, a trip to a lawyer's office for a last-minute change in his or her will is likely the next stop. Usually, the issue is not only undue influence but it may also involve lack of testamentary capacity by the elderly parent. If a parent is suffering from Alzheimer's Disease or dementia, the parent probably is not of sound mind to make a will. These concepts are not as simple as they sound. Proving lack of testamentary capacity due to a mental condition requires the experience of a skilled litigation attorney. When you retain Staggs Morris, P.C., we help people who have been the victim of family member's greed. We can sue to restore the deceased parent's will to reflect the actually intent of the parent when the parent was of sound mind and body. Often, we can also sue the family members involved in the improper will change for claims like civil conspiracy or even for infliction of emotional distress (outrageous conduct). Staggs Morris, P.C. -- winning trial lawyers on your side.

By |2021-06-18T20:39:22+00:00April 3rd, 2015|Trial Law, Will Disputes|0 Comments