The Associated Press reports:
- Buried in a housing law signed [last] week by President Barack Obama are protections that will help thousands of renters stay in their homes — at least for awhile — after their landlord has been foreclosed on.
- The law allows tenants to remain in their foreclosed rentals through the end of their lease and then 90 days after that before being forced to vacate by the lender. Renters without leases will have 90 days, a significant improvement over what most received before: almost no notice at all. “Until this law was enacted, there had been no national protections for any of these households,” said Linda Couch, deputy director at the National Low Income Housing Coalition. “This gives renters time to adjust their lives.”
For more, see Law protects renters from foreclosure evictions.
In Cleveland, Ohio, The Plain Dealer reports:
- Cleveland Housing Court Judge Raymond Pianka on Thursday ordered Wells Fargo Bank to temporarily stop selling any foreclosed homes it owns in the city. A housing-advocacy group sought the temporary restraining order, saying that Wells Fargo has expanded its practice of dumping vacant and deteriorated homes for paltry sums without first doing repairs. Wells Fargo and Cleveland Housing Renewal Project Inc., a subsidiary of Neighborhood Progress Inc., are to be in Pianka’s court [this] week for a hearing to consider whether Wells Fargo properties should be declared public nuisances and be repaired or demolished before they can be sold. The group estimates the order could cover as many as 183 properties.
For more, see Wells Fargo Bank blocked from selling foreclosed homes in Cleveland by Housing Court Judge Raymond Pianka (if link expires, try here).
In Sarasota, Florida, the Sarasota Herald Tribune reports:
- Starting Friday, hundreds of people could lose their property each month in foreclosure hearings scheduled to take less than two minutes. Often called a “rocket docket,” the streamlined foreclosure court can schedule up to 250 cases per day, sending properties to auction in cases where the owners never showed up to defend themselves.
- Speeding those cases through the court system will help unclog a glut of foreclosure cases, allowing civil judges to focus on cases where homeowners are fighting to save their property, as well as the other lawsuits they normally oversee. […] “I don’t want to have these undefended cases stacking up,” 12th Circuit Chief Judge Lee Haworth said. “It just seemed to be the right thing to do.”
- Foreclosure defense attorneys, who have seen case after case where lawyers representing banks are giving false statements in court, worry that some homeowners will slip through the cracks and lose property they should not. […] A retired attorney living in Sarasota, whose study of 180 Sarasota County cases found only one in four had complete paperwork, said the fast docket leaves less time to catch those kinds of mistakes. “There is no check, no screen, to make sure the most obvious, egregious errors are corrected,” Richard Kessler said. “It’s not a hearing, it’s a hanging.”
- Haworth said the system puts the burden on the person being foreclosed on to point out any flaws there may be in the case against them. “If they decide for whatever reason they choose not to defend it, then they are defaulted,” he said.
For more, see Two minutes, and home goes away.
For story update, see ‘Rocket docket’ for foreclosures begins.
For posts that reference the failure of mortgage lenders and their attorneys to file the proper paperwork when bringing foreclosure actions, Go Here, Go Here, Go Here, Go Here, Go Here, Go Here, and Go Here.
In Las Vegas, Nevada, Las Vegas Business Press reports:
- A Las Vegas bankruptcy judge has dealt a blow to an obscure but critical piece of the mortgage enforcement machinery that could slow foreclosures. After a rare hearing in front of three judges last year that initially encompassed 27 cases, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Linda Riegle has ruled that the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) could not represent lenders seeking to foreclose on delinquent homeowners already in bankruptcy unless it could produce the actual loan note. This goes to the heart of how home lending has evolved over the past two decades, with a loan rarely staying on the books of the originator but often being sold several times to other institutions or investment groups. As a result, producing a loan document is far more complex than opening a drawer in a filing cabinet.
- Riegle’s ruling not only parsed federal and state law but at least implicitly rapped MERS on the knuckles for its practices. For example, she noted that MERS acted as the attorney on several loans in Las Vegas even after they were transferred to non-MERS members. She also rejected the argument that lenders who belong to MERS and designated it to be their legal representative should be good enough for the court. Without the loan papers, she concluded, MERS’ terms and conditions for its members do not give it any rights to foreclose under Nevada law.” To reverse an old adage,” she wrote, “if it doesn’t walk like a duck, talk like a duck and quack like a duck, then it’s not a duck.”
For more, see Judge’s ruling deals blow to national mortgage servicer.
For the judge’s ruling, see In re Mitchell.
For posts that reference the failure of mortgage lenders and their attorneys to file the proper paperwork when bringing foreclosure actions, Go Here, Go Here, Go Here, Go Here, Go Here, Go Here, and Go Here. E