Mortgage Daily

Published On: September 5, 2008
Foreclosure ReliefRecent foreclosure prevention activity

September 5, 2008

By SAM GARCIA

As signs of improving subprime performance emerge, the business of foreclosure prevention goes on. New legislation in Illinois will require servicers to wait longer before evicting tenants of foreclosed properties, while a new North Carolina law adds at least 45 days to the foreclosure process.

HomeForeclosureFighter.com announced Wednesday that it has helped put nearly 100,000 borrowers in contact with foreclosure prevention specialists this year.

A new vacant property registration service has been launched by First American Field Services and First American Real Estate Tax Service, a press release yesterday said. The offering helps maintain compliance with changing municipal ordinances by managing, tracking and maintaining the registration process on vacant properties for servicers.

HomeServices of America announced last week that its 375 branch offices throughout 19 states specialize in managing, renting and selling REO properties. The Minneapolis-based firm said it provides marketing, settlement services and reporting designed specifically for foreclosed properties.

Ocwen Financial Corp. said yesterday that its technology-enhanced loan modification program has helped either hold or reduce subprime delinquency in every category during the past three months. Subsidiary Ocwen Loan Servicing, which services around 297,500 subprime mortgages, has reportedly prevented 58,000 foreclosures since 2007 through loan workouts.

Ocwen noted its process is highly tailored to each loan and said the results are “the first sign of stability since the subprime crisis began last year.

However, the National Delinquency Survey announced today by the Mortgage Bankers Association and a report from HOPE NOW in July both indicated subprime delinquency improved in the second quarter — indicating improvement at Ocwen may just be part of an overall trend and not necessarily the result of an extraordinary servicing process.

A law passed in Illinois on Aug. 25 increases the amount of time that a tenant can be evicted from a foreclosed property by 90 days when a forcible detain action is filed, Jill D. Rein, managing attorney for Pierce & Associates, P.C., said in a recent bulletin. If a supplemental petition for possession is utilized, then the new law virtually ensures a tenant will be given 120 days or the duration of their lease.

“Supplemental petitions are not usually practical or time efficient as we can not name unknown occupants in them (which we can do in forcible detainer actions) and the time frames are often impossible to comply with due to court scheduling issues,” Rein said. “Accordingly, the process we use to evict tenants after the foreclosure is complete is the forcible detainer action which now will take an additional 90 days to complete.

“The forcible detainer action however will still be more effective and time efficient than a supplemental petition in most cases.”

House Bill 2623 has been signed into law, North Carolina Governor Mike Easley announced last month. The new law requires a notice be sent to borrowers and the state’s Commissioner of Banks at least 45 days before a foreclosure is filed. The legislation also gives the commissioner authority to extend foreclosure filing notices by 30 days, while the state works with the borrower and lender to come to agreement on a loan interest rate and payments.

Portions of the new North Carolina law become effective July 1 and Nov. 1.


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