Castle’s Principal, Benjamin Hillard, Esq., is a former investment banker and mortgage loan acquisition consultant turned lawyer. He’s worked “on the inside” with Ocwen Financial, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Countrywide and many other institutional lenders; and has an insider’s understanding of how banks view the foreclosure process and servicing upside down loans. In addition to having first-hand knowledge of the banking industry, Ben understands today’s real-estate landscape. Ben maintains a Florida real estate broker’s license and is a former Florida licensed real estate appraiser and title agent – all making Ben the go-to foreclosure defense attorney in the Tampa Bay area. See Ben’s Profile.
Ben stays up-to-date on the financial and banking crisis, lending standards and deviations, and other factors affecting foreclosure litigation today. He understands that historically unprecedented times and an unpredictable legal climate call for new approaches to foreclosure defense.
Ben believes that the large lenders are largely responsible for you being upside-down in your house. During the 2001 to 2006 period, the lenders grossly deviated from historically-sound lending standards which caused hyperinflation in real estate prices. Further, lenders were in a better position to evaluate or assess the risks associated with their largess, and therefore should bear some or all of the loss. More on Ben’s approach to
Ben undertakes a structured strategic defense that blends an individually tailored, case-by-case plan of action with cover-all-bases wisdom. He educates clients on their legal and practical options – including loan modification, short sale, deed-in-lieu, and strategic default. We then pursue the solution which best fits clients’ unique circumstances, which is often a multi-pronged approach that accounts for alternate outcomes. In all, his primary objective is helping clients avoid deficiency judgment and he has a boast-worthy success rate in this regard. Many of Ben’s clients are not good candidates for bankruptcy. Ben also works with those whose litigation goal is to receive a loan modification, or to enforce a loan modification that was breached by the lender.
Ben’s approach is education and empowerment. In one-on-one sit downs, Ben evaluates the client’s particular circumstances, addresses risks, informs clients of their legal and practical options and develops a strategy that fits their individual situation. As Ben’s primary business for approximately five years has been foreclosure defense, Ben can provide good statistical probabilities associated with undertaking various strategic options relative to an individual’s unique situation. Ben doesn’t sugarcoat the facts, but prepares clients for potential outcomes and readies a “Plan B.”
Clients connect with his business-casual demeanor, approachability and honesty. Ben “keeps it real” with clients on where they truly need counsel and where they have do-it-yourself options. His clients reward his integrity with loyalty.
Lastly, unlike many firms, your consultation takes place with a knowledgable attorney rather than a member of support staff.