The Housing Chronicles Blog: Foreclosure Procedures In Peril?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Foreclosure Procedures In Peril?

So the Law of Unintended Consequences (in this case the securitization/packaging of mortgages) once again rears its ugly head:

According to a story in today's New York Times and also covered in the L.A Land blog lenders hoping to foreclose on properties in default may have to jump through extra hoops to show they actually own them:

"Judge Christopher A. Boyko of Federal District Court in Cleveland dismissed 14 foreclosure cases brought on behalf of mortgage investors, ruling that they had failed to prove that they owned the properties they were trying to seize."

Since a major impediment to buyers trying to negotiate with lenders has been identifying who actually owns the Note, it also works the other way -- a situation lawyers are sure to exploit:

"Lawyers for troubled homeowners are expected to seize upon the district judge’s opinion as a way to impede foreclosures across the country or force investors to settle with homeowners. And it may encourage judges in other courts to demand more documentation of ownership from lenders trying to foreclose."

If this defense becomes more mainstream, what does it mean for foreclosures and property values?

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