New Jersey Estate Plan for the New Year
I know first-hand that one of the easiest things to do this time of year is to consider, but...
Use a Foreclosure Defense Attorney to protect your rights.
If you want to avoid foreclosure or get a loan modification, you should consult with a Foreclosure Defense Attorney now to go over all of the options to save your home. Every step you take today can get you more time in the future. Hiring an Attorney that knows foreclosre law is the first step in keeping your home.
A loan modification modifies the terms of an existing loan. This is not refinancing….
A Short Sale Negotiation is a dialogue between two or more people or parties intended to reach a …
As a New Jersey Estate Attorney, we will help you whether you need to win Probate Litigation or prepare your Will so your family can avoid litigation in the future.
Legal advice is ordinarily provided in exchange for financial or other tangible compensation
A tax is a financial charge or other levy imposed upon a taxpayer (an individual or legal
The first step we take is to listen to what the facts are surrounding your situation. We want to know everything that has happened, and what you want to happen next. We want you to tell us in your own words what happened, and what your final goal is for your situation. Many times we have clients that are in debt, facing issues that they wish they could avoid but need to solve. What we recommend depends on what they have tried in the past and what they want to do in the future. In a foreclosure situation, there are multiple solutions like foreclosure litigation in state or federal court, renting out the property, selling the property in a short-sale or regular sale, bankruptcy (Either a chapter 7, chapter 13 or even both if the situation demands it.) Without understanding your full story, we cannot get to the part where we talk about options.
Everyone’s situation is unique, and not all solutions work for everyone. A chapter 7 bankruptcy may be right for one family, but for you, it could trigger the Chapter 7 Trustee wanting to sell your home. Without going over the details surrounding your situation we cannot offer the options that may best suit you. If you have done a loan modification in the past, we will review your past loan modification and see why it was denied, and we can then make suggestions on how to get it approved. We will also tell you if your income is unlikely to get you approved or design a plan to increase your income. If you are looking at defending your home in court, we will go through all of the court filings to see if you have any defenses you have missed. We have cases involving improper service, probate matters that were handled inco
If we are not a match for you as an attorney, we will send you a copy of the notes we prepared during our interview. It will list the facts of your situation. You can then use these if you would like to interview other attorneys when we are not a good fit as your attorney.
This firm was founded to help save peoples homes from foreclosure. Our partners all focus on foreclosure defense in either New Jersey or New York. We understand the main possibilities for resolving a foreclosure using litigation, loan modification, bankruptcy or even a sale/short-sale. We work with people to buy and sell real estate. We can explain the nuances of the law and the way each of these systems interacts with each other. Speaking with an attorney today about your options can take the weight of worry off of your chest.
Public consultation, or simply consultation, is a regulatory process by which the public’s input on matters affecting them is sought. Its main goals are in improving the efficiency, transparency and public involvement.
If you need an attorney in New Jersey or New York, because you are being sued or want to sue someone, talk to one of our attornies about your options. New Jersey and New York have different types of courts for different matters.
I just got off the phone with Derek Soltis and I am so impressed and grateful I found him. I had a couple of preliminary questions before I even came him and he answered them HONESTLY. Not all attorneys will be so honest if something is worth proceeding forward with….but Derek is so honest and made me feel very comfortable. I would highly recommend this law office based off my conversation with Derek. He is kind, honest, articulate, and actually cares. Now I hope something happens to where I need to hire an attorney because I will hire Derek for sure. Thanks so much for your advice Derek! The law industry needs more lawyers like you 🙂 Review from Google
Why I became a Foreclosure Defense Attorney focusing on Saving People’s Homes:
Since founding the law firm in Jersey City, I’ve been working as a Foreclosure Defense Lawyer helping families fix or alleviate their burdens in tight spots mostly related to NJ Home Foreclosure. Every day, I become a better Foreclosure Defense Lawyer, offering more options and better advice to my clients in NJ Tax Lien Foreclosures and NJ Mortgage Foreclosures, and I couldn’t be happier with my area of work. I’ve had the great luck and honor of having excellent partners who compliment me in their own passions and areas of practice and this means better results and more resources for our clients. The most rewarding moments are seeing the impact I have on entire families, and how the result of my work leads to a completely different life for many.
My passion for law started in college at Rutgers and it started from the beginning. You see, I didn’t have law school in my cards. My initial intention was to attend a community college and then transfer to a four-year university. Possibly, become a teacher. I had no idea what a University looked like, or what higher education truly meant. It was thanks to support from a special cousin who pushed me to take a hard look at Rutgers. I obtained admission through the Education Opportunity Fund – EOF program (a program designed to give those among us from tough backgrounds a shot at higher education). The moment I walked onto campus, it was like a lightbulb went off.
How I transformed into a great New Jersey Foreclosure Defense Lawyer
I helped found a fraternity, became the youngest student government president in Rutgers’ school history, sat on committees with State Legislators. I even wrote speeches for Cory Booker (that’s a different story!), gave the valedictory address for my graduating class (see it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qBdz7oBd7Q), and my greatest accomplishment… I found my future wife in a social phycology class. (We now have our first child on the way.)
During my time at Rutgers, I went through a transformation, and started thinking big! I wanted to learn about civil rights leaders, not only here in the United States but abroad – this is what lead to my passion for law, specifically as a Foreclosure Defense Lawyer saving peoples’ homes. I applied for law school and started in 2009. In school, I started identifying social injustices that I noticed here and there, and through time. Keep in mind I was going through law school right after the great recession took hold, watching trillions flow to big banks with little to no help for millions of hard-working Americans who lost their homes to foreclosure. The culmination of all these things lead to my interest in foreclosure law, working for families, not banks.
The moment I had the chance, I spoke with Derek and Lazaro and we established this firm together. The goal was simple, work for people in tight spots, and make a living doing it. Since our founding, we haven’t looked back. I am excited that every year we continue to grow, and every year we help more than the last. With our new partner Jason Bost, our mission is now in Brooklyn New York. When my friends ask me what I do, I’m proud. I help people – there isn’t a better way to work.
Free Consultations available for:
Foreclosure, Bankruptcy, Loss Mitigation, Real Estate, and Chancery Matters.
JD – Rutgers Law, Newark NJ
BA, Political Science, Rutgers, University College
Bar Admission & Licenses
Why I became a Bankruptcy Attorney focusing on Saving People’s Homes:
Over the years I have helped people save their homes, get loan modifications, fought their cases for years in both state and federal court, helped them cash out the equity in their homes, walked people through bankruptcy, and rebuilding their credit. (A lot of people think that filing for bankruptcy destroys their credit for the rest of their lives, but that is nowhere near true. We offer a program to people called “7 steps to a 720 Credit Score.” If you want to see an article on Debt Consolidation Versus Debt Negotiation Versus bankruptcy, click here.) I have personal experience with the areas of law my practice focuses on.
In 2005 I fell off a ladder while working as a Branch Manager for Grainger. I shattered my ankle and broke my leg. Eight surgeries later over a 7 year period I walk with a limp and take pain medication on a daily basis. (Aleve gets me through the day, but I can still tell you what the weather is going to be like based on the amount of pain in my leg.)
While I was laid up and unable to walk, I was downsized by my company. Nothing like being fired from your job to make you reevaluate your situation. As I always say, “Bad things happen to good people at the worst possible times.” Grainger was closing branches all across the United States and I was just one of the thousands of people let go. The one silver lining to the situation was that because of my disability at the time I was able to negotiate a larger severance package than many of the other people from my branch. (So, I have firsthand experience with employment law. Since then I have helped numerous people negotiate severance packages and worked with others on employment discrimination lawsuits.)
Fortunately, I was also in Law School at the time when things started going sideways for me. But unfortunately, after I broke my leg, I was given bad advice by an attorney who happened to be a Personal Injury Attorney and a family friend. He said that I didn’t have a case. If I had consulted with any other Personal Injury attorney, I would have been told I was able to sue multiple business entities and would most likely be retired in Florida based on the settlements. Instead I work to protect other people’s rights and make sure they do not get bad advice from attorneys. At this time, I have a very personal connection to Personal Injury law and Product Liability law.
While in Law School, I bought a three-family home near my school in an area that was up and coming. Everything was fine until I moved out. Suddenly rent was coming in late or not at all. I had 5 evictions in a two year period. Tenants managed to get bed bugs, break into my basement, steal the property I had stored there, use baby wipes instead of toilet paper which clogged the sewer lines multiple times flooding the basement, one tenant harassed the other tenants in the building so that both of the other floors left with no notice, another eviction and three empty apartments later, 2 apartments infested with bed bugs, a flooded basement, and being about 6 months behind on payments to the bank. The bank moved to foreclose.
The building and tenants had broken my spirit about ever wanting to be a landlord again. I was now literately laid up with a leg recovering from surgery number 8, trying to secure full-time employment, and had a foreclosure looming over my head. I considered bankruptcy, debt consolidation, and debt negotiation. Made my plan and went forward with it.
If you want to know how that worked out I can tell you, but at the end of the day, what was right for me may not be right for you. So, I am not going to give you all the details as everyone needs his or her own plan tailored to his or her situation.
At the end of everything, I was eventually facing a sheriff sale of my property. Fortunately, I was able to get the bank to agree to a short sale by using a realtor and a short sale team that took on the stresses I did not want to deal with. So, instead of having a foreclosure on my record and facing a possible deficiency judgment that would have followed me for the rest of my life, I worked with investors that were able to beat up the bank and eventually buy the property for a lot less than I originally paid for it. Originally the bank was asking for $300,000 but the short sale eventually went through at around $180,000.
I lived rent-free while in Law School, learned a lot about landlord-tenant matters, short sales and real estate in general which helped grow my legal practice since I personally went through those issues. Since then I have seen multiple people in the same situation as I. Many people have been able to save their homes, others have had sold their homes to take out the equity, others have had a short sale of their homes, and others eventually lost their homes at auction as they did not have the money to save their homes or future income.
Over the years, I have found that I enjoy helping people get out of debt, and save their homes. So 50% of my practice is focused on foreclosure defense and debt relief. Another 25% is dedicated to protecting people’s assets through probate planning or probate work in court. I do work for some business related to debt collection from other businesses, chapter 11 bankruptcy, and commercial real estate sales. Another 20% of my work is spread between landlord-tenant, civil suits related to personal injury, and employment law. I rather focus on people than businesses especially when it comes to helping people that find them in a rough spot and their only options are using the court system.
Publications & Appearances
Core Practice Areas:
Free Consultations available for:
Civil Suits, Personal Injury, Product Liability, Employment and Land Lord Tenant Matters including Mitchel-Lama properties in New York City – I rarely take these types of cases, but I am willing to help point you in the right direction.
JD – Rutgers Law, Newark NJ
MBA in Management Systems – International Business Designation, – Fordham University, New York, NY – Honors: Phi Kappa Phi – Collegiate Honor Society (Awarded to top 10% of the class.), Beta Gamma Sigma
MS, Information and Communication Systems – Specialization in System Dynamics Fordham University, New York, NY – Honors: Phi Kappa Phi – Collegiate Honor Society (Awarded to top 10% of the class.), Beta Gamma Sigma
BBA, Computer Information Systems, University of Houston – Downtown – Honors: Cum Laude, Dean’s List 6 semesters, Beta Gamma Sigma – Business Honors Society
Career Previous to Practicing Law:
E-Discovery – working with clients from the Top 100 Law Firms and Fortune 100 Companies
Manager – W.W. Grainger – Responsible for $18 million in annual sales
Manager – FedEx Kinko’s – Ranked branch 37 out of 1095 for customer service
Bowery Mission, New York City, NY
American Red Cross, New York City, NY
Street Law Teacher – Alma E. Flag Middle School and Essex County Juvenile Detention Center
Domestic Violence Advocacy Project at the Essex County Court House
Bar Admission & Licenses
Admitted to the New York State Bar
Federal Eastern District of New York
Federal Southern District of New York
Licensed New York Real Estate Broker
is a graduate of the Rutgers University School of Law and an admitted attorney in the State of New Jersey. Since graduation, he has held various positions in the legal field. Currently, he is a PaPtner at Patel, Soltis & Cardenas, LLC, in Jersey City, New Jersey. In his legal career, Lazaro takes pride in assisting clients in various legal matters, from foreclosure defense to immigration issues. He currently focuses on Probate maters and Real Estate Transactions.
In addition, he serves on the boards of directors of some of the leading Latino advocacy organizations in New Jersey including the Latino Coalition of New Jersey where he serves as Deputy Director, and the Latino Action Network where he is a director. As a Latino activist and an active member of Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA), he is a regular speaker at schools throughout New Jersey discussing the importance of education and issues that impact Latinos and minorities. He is a founding chair of the Latino Festival of Monmouth County, established in 2005.
Lazaro has been a leader in defending the rights of immigrants; most recently he worked closely to ensure that everyone had equal access to the courts. His work in Monmouth County in defense of the immigrant community is well documented. He is a tireless advocate for education, his most recent effort
was to work with lawyers and legislators to assist Freehold Borough schools to obtain funding for a school expansion.
In April 2006, Acting Governor Richard J. Codey appointed Cardenas to serve on the Freehold Housing Authority as Commissioner with the mission of overseeing its functions. He was reappointed to this commission, by Governor Jon Corzine, in April of 2010, and still serves as Commissioner.
Prior to his law career, Lazaro worked in the financial services industry from 1991 till 2014. For 18 years he worked as Director of Information Technology at Prudential Insurance Company of America where he managed a team specializing in engineering technical solutions to solve business problems.
Cardenas resides in Freehold, New Jersey with his wife (Yeni) and two sons (Andres and Alejandro). He is a graduate of Brookdale Community College. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree and a Juris Doctorate degree from Rutgers University and is a member of both the Brookdale and Rutgers University Alumni Association.
My strong belief in giving back, and assisting to those in need has kept me involved with community-based programs since starting my academic career 25 years ago. After a successful career in the entertainment industry, working with clients on numerous Grammy-nominated and Grammy award-winning projects (entertainment bio can be found here), I decided to go back to school and I earned an MBA in Technology Management from New Jersey Institute of Technology and a JD (law degree) from Rutgers School of law in Newark. While at Rutgers I studied with and met some amazingly talented individuals, three of whom would later become my partners in the practice of law here at Patel, Soltis & Cardenas. It was through my partners that I was introduced to foreclosure defense and quickly discovered that, through the practice of New York foreclosure defense law, I was once again able to lend a helping hand and continue my desire to “giving back” to individuals in need.
The client in my very first foreclosure defense case had previously hired two different attorneys to assist her with fighting her foreclosure and unfortunately for her, both previous attorneys failed to provide much assistance, with one actually being disbarred, in part for his actions in her case. Needless to say, this client did not have must trust in lawyers at that time. Her niece, who was also an attorney, came with her when she met me for our initial intake, to make sure that our firm’s services were legitimate. After retaining me to work on her case, I was able to aggressively defend against the foreclosure action and I successfully negotiated a loan modification for her which forced the bank to withdraw their foreclosure action and helped my client keep the house she had worked so hard to purchase. Needless to say, she was ecstatic and beyond thankful! There are not many professional accomplishments that provide me with as much joy as helping a client meet the goals associated with their home. Whether they want to fight to keep their home, secure more time in their home in order to develop a long-term plan, or start the process of loss mitigation in preparation to either keep their home or sell their home through a short sale process, whatever the client’s goal, fighting to help them reach it is my job, a job that I thoroughly enjoy.
Practice areas include:
Rutgers School of Law, Newark, J.D. ‘13
New Jersey Institute of Technology, M.B.A. ‘09
State Univ. of New York at Brockport, B.S. ‘07
Member, New York State Bar
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