Submitted by Sasan Aval, Canaday Group Agent
In September and October 2010, several lenders suspended foreclosures in two dozen states due to questions about whether foreclosures were being processed consistent with applicable state law requirements. Concerns are being raised by state and federal elected officials, as well as consumer and fair housing groups, about the validity of ownership of mortgages that have been securitized and resold. At the center of the controversy is Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS). This firm is responsible for electronically tracking the transfer of assignment of mortgages. Class-action suits are being brought against MERS alleging that the use of the system circumvents state laws.
On October 1, 2010, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac released statements regarding servicer compliance with foreclosure processing of Fannie and Freddie loans. In the releases, both organizations reiterated that servicers must comply with applicable state laws governing foreclosures. Although nearly all of the foreclosures in question are expected to be fixed eventually, the current situation is creating difficulties and a new hurdle to the recovery of the housing and mortgage markets. NAR members are reporting that upcoming sales have been delayed indefinitely or cancelled, to the detriment of all involved. Additionally, homes on the market without clear title will make sales much more difficult. While banking executives focus their attention on this problem, it is possible that servicers may be somewhat more receptive to approving loan modifications and short sales, since they avoid the foreclosure procedural problems altogether.
Fannie Mae Statement
Freddie Mac Press Release