How to Further Heal Florida’s Foreclosure Problem

Sarah ParrI was contacted by a blogger who wanted to post as a guest on my page.  After reading some of her work, I decided to give it a go.  Here is a guest post by Sarah Parr. Sarah Parr is a Central Florida-based writer who blogs about foreclosure issues in America.

 

How to Further Heal Florida’s Foreclosure Problem

Florida, with the nation’s highest foreclosure rate for the sixth consecutive month, still needs healing from the foreclosure crisis. Florida reported one foreclosure for every 282 housing units last month, according to data from RealtyTRAC. The statistics also show that one in 849 homes in the United States faced a type of foreclosure action last month, further proving that the reality of distressed homeowners still exists.

In order for the housing market to continue rebounding, it’s time lenders, courts and legislatures made more progress in handling foreclosures better and providing additional relief to homeowners.

Prevent dual-tracking with better communication

It can be difficult communicating with a mortgage company. Often, a company passes a borrower around to many different departments of the company, and the borrower speaks with many people about the same issue. Some homeowners report that they have faxed over the same document many times. Important paperwork can go missing, and instances of “dual-tracking” have been reported recently. Dual-tracking occurs when a homeowner receives a notice of foreclosure around the same time he or she is discussing a loan modification with the lender. Dual-tracking will be restricted in January 2014, but until then, it could continue occurring. A single point of contact for each borrower could potentially solve the problem of scattered communication and dual-tracking mistakes with banks and lenders.

Alleviate backlog of cases, with homeowners’ rights in mind

States that process foreclosure cases solely through the courts see some of the longest processing times for foreclosure-related documents. Florida foreclosure attorneys handle foreclosure documents that take nearly 29 months to process, compared with the nation’s average of 13 months. This forms a build-up of cases for courts and more anxiety for homeowners. States that process cases through administrative processes in addition to judicial-foreclosures see shorter processing times for foreclosure-related documents. Currently, a handful of legislation is floating around in Florida’s legislature with the intention of curing the build-up of foreclosure cases.

Protect homeowners with bill of rights

Certain states, such as California, have passed several bill of rights measures to protect homeowners and further regulate the mortgage and housing relief industries. The law prohibits a few practices coupled with predatory lending: dual tracking and “robo-signing,” a term describing the robotic signing and production of fraudulent mortgage documents. California’s law also mandates that lenders provide a single person of contact for the borrower, and gives the borrower the power to sue for violations of the laws. California has seen a decrease in foreclosure activity since its law went into effect early this year.

Based on the ideas proposed by many different people, Florida will likely see changes in its foreclosure process soon.

 

Trying to modify? Can’t be foreclosed on during the process — anymore.

When it comes to banks, many times the left hand doesn’t know (or chooses not to acknowledge) what the right hand is doing . Looks like they are required to now… Among the new mortgage rules to protect homeowners from foreclosure is a rule that prohibits servicers from foreclosing on borrowers who are seeking loan modifications.

Read CNN Money’s story covering what banks can’t do to mortgage holders facing foreclosure here:  New rules aim to protect homeowners from foreclosure

 

No More Loan Modifications —- hmmmmm…

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 http://tbwsdailyshow.com/2012/10/01/the-termination-of-all-loan-modifications/

The TBWS Daily Show video blog hit the nail on the head again.  These guys make so much sense on a regular basis, I would love to stick them in a room with our elected officials for a day or two and hope some of their sense rubs off on our appointed Representatives.

After hearing that a minimum of 50% of all loan modifications fail, foregoing any future modifications and moving forward with (speedy) short sales and foreclosures makes all the sense in the world to me.  I have seen a number of homeowners lose months of their lives trying to work out a modification with their lender only to be answered with a joke of a proposal or a modification that offers little relief.  I have seen homeowners try to perform and make payments on these modified loans only to be in the same position 6 months down the line.  We need to save homeowners the repeated stress, pain and time, and allow them to move on and away from these properties sooner than later.  This will help the current homeowners in cutting the time it takes for them to rebuild their savings, credit and pride while allowing new buyers to come in and start a new life.

Allowing more short sales and foreclosures to proceed will also reduce the time a property will sit empty decaying and reduce the amount of deferred maintenance needed since buyers will be coming into these homes sooner rather than later.

Frank and Brian, I salute you.  I believe our economy and housing market would be seeing a swifter recovery if you had an ear or two in D.C.