Bank of America, soon to be followed by the rest of America’s major lenders, have found nothing wrong with their foreclosure processes and have now received an okay from Fannie & Freddie to resume.
And yet on October 15th, Maria & Jose Perez of Seguin, Texas, filed for a restraining order against Bank of America for trying to take their home when they did not even have a mortgage. And in November experts testified before Congress that lenders’ pervasive exploitative practices have jeopardized the entire world’s financial stability. And on Monday Reuters issued a special report on Lender Processing Services, revealing that their fraudulent practices were merely moved to their business partners’ offices once the federal investigation against them began. LPS Chief Executive Jeff Carbiener continues to insist: “…We are not aware of any defects in our signing and review processes that resulted in the wrongful foreclosure of any borrower.”
In response, die-hard foreclosure activists gathered out front of the West Palm Beach courthouse in the cold rain on Thursday. Signs demanded that the courts give homeowners their right to due process and for criminal proceedings against the corporate entities that have made South Florida’s “Rocket Docket” possible. One demonstrator who works in the foreclosure industry remarked on the recent revelations that the Treasury department has almost universally refused to use TARP’s Hardest Hit Fund on legal aid, opining that “Every dime this administration has allocated to help homeowners has gone directly to the banks in undeserved incentives, lower-than-ever borrowing rates, and loan payments paid to banks that don’t actually save anyone from foreclosure.” Several other struggling borrowers told their all-too-familiar tale of two-timing lenders who offered loan modifications while quietly continuing with foreclosure.
However, since this summer most Florida homeowners have had an option that forces their lender into direct negotiation, without involving an often all-too-oblivious judge: Mediation. Any homeowner who has had a foreclosure filed against them has the right to request a mediation session where the bank’s attorneys will sit down, discuss, and create the best deal available. Mediations take a fraction of the time that applying for a modification does, and the lenders pay for the session, but borrowers need to have representation to make sure their best interest is protected!