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Fed up, Springfield, Mass. Council approves tough anti-foreclosure laws

Fed up, Springfield, Mass. Council approves tough anti-foreclosure laws


Lenders may face up to $30,000 if they screw up!

The Taunton Gazette-

The Springfield City Council has passed what advocates are calling the toughest municipal anti-foreclosure legislation in the country.

The council on Monday voted unanimously to approve an ordinance that requires mortgage lenders to engage in mediation with homeowners facing foreclosure, or face a $300 per day fine.

The council also passed a second ordinance requiring lenders to place a $10,000 bond to secure and maintain any of their foreclosed and vacant properties.

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Via Housing Wire-

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“If they don’t negotiate in the first 45 days, the process stretches out to 150 days,” explained Springfield City Councilor Amaad Rivera, who proposed the ordinance. A failure to mediate within the 150-day period easily amounts to $31,500 in fines, with the offender having to pay $300 per day after the initial 45-day period.

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READ LETTER | Massachusetts AG Coakley to Register of Deeds re: Meeting on MERS Fraud

READ LETTER | Massachusetts AG Coakley to Register of Deeds re: Meeting on MERS Fraud


THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
ONE ASHBURTON PLACE
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS 02108

MARTHA COAKLEY
ATTORNEY GENERAL
(617) 727-2200
www.mass.gov/ago

July 25, 2011

William P. O’Donnell
Register of Deeds
Norfolk Registry District of the Land Court
649 High Street
Dedham, MA 02026

Re: Massachusetts Register of Deeds Association Request for Meeting

Dear Register O’Donnell,

Thank you for your letter of July 8, 2011. We look forward to meeting with you and your fellow Registers on August 11th, to discuss your concerns regarding MERS, the filing of false or misleading documents with registries, and other matters.

As you are aware, we are currently investigating creditor misconduct in connection with unlawful foreclosures, including failure to establish the right to start a foreclosure as well as filing false or misleading documents with registries in the Commonwealth. We have focused particularly on creditors’ reliance on MERS and whether MERS conforms to the requirements of Massachusetts law, in the context of foreclosures and otherwise. In the next week, we plan to send civil investigative demands (CID) to Registers in order to gather critical information to our investigation, and appreciate your continuing cooperation in this process. If the Massachusetts Registers of Deeds Associations or any individual Registers have questions or concerns about the CIDs, they should contact Public Protection and Advocacy Deputy Bureau Chief Stephanie Kahn at 617-963-2986.

Many of your fellow Registers also have asked about the impact of our investigation on the ongoing federal-state negotiations with the large banks. We have made clear that Massachusetts will not sign on to any global agreement with the banks if it includes a comprehensive liability release regarding securitization and the MERS conduct. We strongly believe that these investigations must continue and responsible parties must be held accountable in order to fully protect homeowners and return to a healthy economy.

We look forward to continuing to work with you on these important matters.

Cordially,

Martha Coakley

cc: John F. Meade, Barnstable Register
Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., Berkshire Middle Register
Frances T. Brooks, Berkshire Northern Register
Wanda M. Beckwith, Berkshire Southern Register
Barry J. Amaral, Bristol Northern Register
J. Mark Treadup, Bristol Southern Register
Bernard J. McDonald, III, Bristol Fall River Register
Dianna E. Powers, Dukes Register
Robert F. Kelley, Northern Essex Register
John L. O’Brien, Jr., Southern Essex Register
Joseph A. Gochinski, Franklin Register
Donald E. Ashe, Hampden Register
Marianne L. Donohue, Hampshire Register
Richard P. Howe, Jr., Northern Middlesex Register
Eugene C. Brune, Southern Middlesex Register
Jennifer H. Ferreira, Nantucket Register
Jolm R. Bucldey, Jr., Plymouth Register
Francis Roache, Suffolk Register
Kathleen Reynolds Daigneault, Northern Worcester Register
Anthony J. Vigliotti, Southern Worcester Register

MC/pas

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© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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INDIANA AG Zoeller petitions Indiana Supreme Court to set new requirements for lenders

INDIANA AG Zoeller petitions Indiana Supreme Court to set new requirements for lenders


For immediate release: Jan 03, 2011
Posted by: [Attorney General]
Contact: Molly Butters
Phone: 317-232-0168
Email: molly.butters@atg.in.gov

Best Practices sought to thwart foreclosure violations
Zoeller petitions Indiana Supreme Court to set new requirements for lenders

INDIANAPOLIS – As the 50-state investigation continues into improper “robo-signing” foreclosure practices, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller today filed a petition asking the Indiana Supreme Court to impose new procedures to ensure that borrowers’ legal rights are fully protected and mortgage lenders follow the law.

“When some mortgage lenders try to foreclose on distressed homeowners by filing foreclosure documents that are unverified, unauthenticated or riddled with errors, it not only violates the rights of the homeowners but it is also a fraud upon the court,” Zoeller said. “In Indiana, we are not going to wait for federal government action; we will forge ahead to craft our own solution.”

A foreclosure-prevention task force established by the Indiana Supreme Court developed a list of guidelines to provide assurances to lenders, servicers, courts and borrowers that state and federal laws are being followed for the protection of homeowners.

The Indiana Supreme Court’s task force included the Attorney General’s Office, judges, Supreme Court staff, legal services attorneys and private-practice attorneys for mortgage lenders. Zoeller’s office today filed in the Supreme Court a petition — called “Mortgage Foreclosure Best Practices” — that included all the task force proposed guidelines and added some wording to strengthen them.

The Supreme Court is likely to take the proposals under advisement and decide at a later date whether to adopt them as requirements that lenders and services would have to follow.

The proposed best practices developed by the task force would do the following:

·         Require a mortgage lender seeking to foreclose to produce the original signed mortgage note when asked by the court – or other legal proof if the original cannot be located — and the chain of title proving that the lender has the right to enforce the note.

·         Require that the court send a notice to the borrower of their legal right to a settlement conference with the lender; and require that the judge not take final action until the settlement-conference report has been filed with the court.

·         Prohibit the mortgage lender from asking the borrower to waive his or her legal right to a settlement conference.

·         Allow courts to impose monetary sanctions on lenders who fail to comply with the Best Practices. The petition notes that judges in Allen and St. Joseph counties have ordered sanctions of between $150 to $2,500 for similar violations.

Because of concerns that some distressed borrowers have not been given the full opportunity to pursue “loss mitigation” – alternatives to foreclosure, such as loan modification or a short sale – the Attorney General’s petition includes additional wording to strengthen the task force proposals. It would require the mortgage lender to show, by verified affidavit, that the lender complied with federal requirements concerning borrowers’ legal rights during foreclosure, including providing borrowers with reasons for a denial of modification or other loss mitigation. And it would prohibit a court from ordering a home foreclosed if the borrower is being evaluated for a loan modification under the federal Home Affordable Modification Program or similar programs.

If adopted by the Supreme Court, Zoeller’s petition also would make the task force proposals requirements rather than recommendations.

“By some estimates, a sizeable percentage of homeowners facing foreclosure are not represented by attorneys, so no one is looking out for the borrower’s interests except the court. We must ensure the process is fair,” Zoeller said.

“These proposed best practices would provide much-needed transparency to the foreclosure process, encourage appropriate investigation and disclosure by the servicer and lead to better enforcement of existing federal rules,” Zoeller added. “I hope the Supreme Court will adopt the recommendations and implement them in Indiana’s courts.”

Zoeller said he applauded the Indiana Supreme Court for its leadership on the problem and the members of the task force for their willingness to take the initiative in Indiana rather than waiting for federal action.

On October 13, Zoeller announced that Indiana and the other 49 states had launched an investigation into fraudulent and illegal practices in the mortgage-servicing industry. The multi-state investigation was sparked by admissions by some mortgage lenders’ employees that they signed foreclosure documents without reading or understanding them, and allowed those documents to be filed court without authenticating them. The practice is known as “robo-signing,” and the result of the lack of due diligence has been numerous mistakes and even complaints that potentially erroneous foreclosure actions were filed against homeowners, some of whom were not delinquent on their mortgage payments. The 50-state investigation, led by Iowa, is ongoing.

On November 16, Zoeller organized and led a civil justice summit at the University of Notre Dame on the legal, economic and social impact of mortgage foreclosures in Indiana and efforts by all three branches of state government to stop mortgage fraud and assist borrowers in avoiding foreclosure.

Zoeller warns homeowners not to use illegal for-profit “foreclosure rescue” consultants when nonprofit organizations offers foreclosure-prevention advice for free. Contact the Indiana Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN) toll-free at 1(877)GET-HOPE or www.877gethope.org for advice at no charge.

[ipaper docId=46265177 access_key=key-7ivxrxjg1fpzsnvhmtb height=600 width=600 /]

© 2010-15 FORECLOSURE FRAUD | by DinSFLA. All rights reserved.



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New Home Foreclosure Rules for New York State

New Home Foreclosure Rules for New York State


October 20, 2010, 11:26 AM ET

By Chad Bray

New York is instituting new filing requirements in order to ensure the integrity of the home foreclosure process, the state’s chief judge said Wednesday.

Lawyers bringing foreclosure claims will now be required to file an affirmation that they themselves have taken reasonable steps to verify the accuracy of documents filed in support of residential foreclosures.

“We cannot allow the courts in New York State to stand by idly and be party to what we now know is a deeply flawed process, especially when that process involves basic human needs–such as a family home–during this period of economic crisis,” said New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman in a statement.

The new filing requirement goes into effect immediately. In new cases, the affirmation must be filed along with the initial request for judicial intervention. In pending cases, it must accompany a request for judgment or must be submitted to the court referee if a judgment has been entered, but the property hasn’t yet sold.

Continue reading…WALL STREET JOURNAL

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OCC LETTER |TRUSTS NOT EXEMPT FROM STATE LAWS’

OCC LETTER |TRUSTS NOT EXEMPT FROM STATE LAWS’


From: b.daviesmd6605

THIS IS A GREAT LETTER FROM THE SENIOR COUNSEL AT THE OFFICE OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE CURRENCY REGARDING FEDERAL PREEMPTION BY THE TRUSTEE OF A MORTGAGE BACKED SECURITY TRUST. THEY ARE NOT PREEMPTIVE BASED ON THE OFFICE OF THE COMPTROLLER OF THE CURRENCY AS THEY ARE NOT IN THE FUNCTION OF A LENDER. THIS IS EXCELLENT.

[ipaper docId=34676415 access_key=key-1g670yqhyn75qwrshpx4 height=600 width=600 /]

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