Monday, November 25, 2013

Latest Foreclosure News 11-25-2013

Both the Fair Housing Act and Civil Rights Act were designed to protect consumers and homeowners from being trampled in the way they have been repeatedly… if you were told you did not qualify to apply, should not apply, or otherwise discouraged from applying for a loan or modification for any reason it could be a Fair Housing violation; if you believe you are qualified for loans you can repay to keep you in your home but believe you have been improperly denied a loan or modification it could be a Fair Housing violation; if during the course of the loan, from beginning to now you believe you were discriminated against, treated differently, or harmed by your Servicer or Lender it could be a violation of the Fair Housing Act. Read More at The Huffington Post

With home prices on the rise and foreclosures down nearly 30 percent from this time last year, the major issue distressed homeowners face today is the lack of laws that mortgage servicers are forced to abide by… During the housing crisis, the sloppy and unscrupulous collection practices were exposed as millions of homeowners could no longer afford to pay their mortgage. Because of this, various laws came into play and the CFPB has established a new set of rules servicers must follow – beginning January 1, 2014. Read More at LoanSafe

The Massachusetts Division of Banks has adopted amendments to its debt collection and loan servicing rules that prevent third-party mortgage servicers, including banks, from foreclosing on mortgaged property if an application for a loan modification is in process. The amended rules, which became effective on October 11, are meant to complement the recently adopted foreclosure prevention rules that require home mortgage lenders and servicers to modify certain mortgage loans if the cost of modification is less than the cost of foreclosure, according to the Division… Under the amended debt collection and loan servicing rules, third-party mortgage servicers are required to consider options to avoid foreclosure and third-party mortgage servicers are prohibited from initiating a foreclosure when an application for a loan modification is in process, a practice also known as “dual tracking.” Read More at Lexology

Saving Homes from Foreclosure in Ohio Today… with Ohio’s Former Attorney General Marc Dann 10-30-2013
Marc shares what’s worked to prevent foreclosure in Ohio and what hasn’t, and he’s a lawyer that makes the law easy for anyone to understand.  He also talks about the decisions handed down by Ohio courts that impact homeowners and the types of lawsuits his firm is currently involved in and why…
If you’re a homeowner in Ohio, you don’t want to miss this opportunity to learn from a true expert in foreclosure law who is passionate about helping Ohio’s homeowners stand up to the banks and remain in their homes. Read More at Mandelman Matters

[Oregon's newly expanded foreclosure] mediation program -- created by the legislature in 2012 but largely ineffective until lawmakers revamped it this year -- requires the state's large lenders to offer a meeting with homeowners before they can foreclose… Under the program, large banks are required to offer homeowners the chance to meet before starting the foreclosure process. If the homeowner chooses to participate, they need to first meet with a housing counselor. Both the bank and the homeowner pay a fee to cover the cost of the session. The goal is avoid foreclosures where an alternative -- like a mortgage modification, a sale, or handing over the keys without the credit hit of a foreclosure -- is possible. Read More at The Oregonian

LAST week, for the first time since the financial crisis, the government faced off in court against a major bank over lending practices during the mortgage mania… For decades leading up to the foreclosure debacle, plaintiffs’ lawyers say, judges generally took the side of lenders when borrowers came to court complaining of problematic lending or predatory loan servicing. Many judges still do. But some are getting tough, perhaps having seen too many examples of dubious bank behavior. Read More at The New York Times

[The Federal Housing Finance Agency] is looking for underwater but current borrowers, including almost 60,000 homeowners in the Chicago area, who are eligible to refinance their Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac-backed mortgages to more affordable terms under the Home Affordable Refinance Program… To be considered for a HARP refinancing by a lender, a mortgage must have been owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009, and the borrower must be current on payments and have less than 20 percent equity. About 19 percent of mortgages refinanced during the second quarter were considered deeply underwater. Read More at The Chicago Tribune

The controversial Florida law intended to whisk foreclosures through court has instead led thousands to pile up, prolonging the agony of the state's housing crisis, new court data show… Attorneys say the law, which was supported by banks and became the state's most prominent foreclosure shift since the housing crisis, has fallen victim to unintended consequences. As bank attorneys recalibrate their efforts to move foreclosures back into action, housing advocates say courts, homeowners and neighborhoods will be the ones suffering due to indefinite foreclosure delays. Read More at The Tampa Bay Times

… in 2007 Congress enacted Section 108(a)(1)(E), which provides that a taxpayer who is neither insolvent nor in bankruptcy can still exclude up to $2,000,000 of COD income related to the discharge (in whole or in part) of qualified principal residence indebtedness. This exclusion applies whether a taxpayer restructures his or her acquisition debt on a principal residence, loses his or her principal residence in a foreclosure, or sells a principal residence in a short sale… Now, why do you care about all of this? Because as of today, this exclusion is set to expire on December 31, 2013. Read More at Forbes

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