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Prosecute lenders responsible for gross foreclosure abuses

Prosecute lenders responsible for gross foreclosure abuses


I recently did a post on this where the lender broke into the home not once but twice! Just who the hell do they think they are??

Posted: June 9, 2010

EDITORIAL Freep.com

Michigan’s floodtide of home foreclosures has given rise to a disturbing pattern of abuses by lenders and law firms eager to repossess properties before the legal requirements of the foreclosure process have been met. The horror stories of home owners whose houses have been burgled and emptied by unlicensed trash-out teams, documented in a recent front-page story by Free Press staff writers L.L. Brasier and John Wisely, cry for a muscular response from law enforcement agencies and regulatory authorities.

Foreclosure is a traumatic event rife with the potential for uncivil behavior by both sides. The danger that borrowers on the verge of losing their homes will steal fixtures or vandalize property they are scheduled to forfeit is a real one, and mortgage lenders have every right to protect their collateral.

But a series of cases Brasier and Wisely scrutinized suggests that some of the state’s largest lenders and law firms have become dangerously cavalier about the rights of those whose houses they are trying to repossess.

The reporters found numerous instances in which lenders or their representatives had entered and emptied homes without seeking an eviction order. In some cases, home owners who had redeemed their delinquent mortgages or purchased foreclosed homes lost all their possessions to trash-out firms that were not provided with up-to-date information.

Collecting compensation for even egregious errors has proved time-consuming and costly as lenders, lawyers and trash-out firms engage in finger-pointing worthy of BP Oil and its subcontractors. Where there is evidence that firms prosecuting foreclosures have systematically cut corners, judges should grant requests for class-action status that allow multiple plaintiffs to press their claims in a single lawsuit.

Trash-out firms who enter and empty homes without the requisite legal authority to do so should be prosecuted under criminal statutes, but prosecutors should be careful to target the firms and individuals that negligently authorize such actions as well as the hapless underlings who execute them. The practice of granting salvage rights to trash-out crews seems disturbingly close to piracy and ought to be outlawed.There is probably no way to take the heartache out of a legal process so fraught with economic and emotional distress. But as the nationwide recession and housing collapse continue to exact a disproportionate toll on Michigan, courts and prosecutors must take special care to protect economically vulnerable home owners from unscrupulous predators.

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Posted in foreclosure, foreclosure fraud, foreclosure mills, trespassingComments (0)


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