Legislation designed to reduce foreclosures and protect homeowners in the process has resulted in an agreement that is going to make a difference for a lot of individuals.
Representatives from banks, social justice, and other concerned parties were working on the final details as of May 16, 2013.
The legislation, which was sponsored by Senator Patricia Torres Ray, DFL-MN is a salvaged version of what was called the “Homeowners’ Bill of Rights.” The bill was one that was pushed by a number of social justice groups, including ISAIAH. When in committee, the legislation stalled out because of opposition from the banking industry and other parties concerned with the measure.
The revamped proposal does not include the mandatory mediation for lenders looking to foreclose on homes. This was the most controversial provision of the first version of the bill. What it did include was the prohibiting of “dual tracking,” whereby lenders would proceed with loan modification negotiations while moving forward with foreclosure efforts. It also requires that lenders show homeowners all of the options that are available to them when they fall behind on their mortgage payments and it allows the homeowners to take legal action when the bill provisions are not met.
ISAIAH’s strategic campaign coordinator, Lars NEgstad, said that the bill compromise was a victory and a “step in the right direction.” The group feels very good about the bill in that it will help more homeowners keep their homes, thus reducing the rate of foreclosure. It is a win for both homeowners and the lenders losing lending power because of foreclosures.