California Attorney General Pushed Harder Regarding Foreclosure Practices

California Attorney General Kamala Harris's holdout position in a proposed agreement with banks over foreclosure practices may reap financial and political rewards at the cost of prolonging some constituents' suffering, Bloomberg News reported today. She is pushing a broader probe of banks' mortgage practices, including securitization of the loans. The strategy may lead to more favorable terms in a proposed multistate agreement said to be worth as much as $25 billion. State and federal officials have been negotiating a settlement with Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and Ally Financial Inc. The nationwide foreclosure probe, begun in October 2010, was triggered by revelations that companies were using faulty documents in seizing homes.

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Home Modification Program Introduction

The American Bankruptcy Institute reported that the number of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac related modifications is only 25% to 33% of what was expected or hoped by the Obama Administration.


The Treasury Department yesterday said that nearly 910,000 troubled borrowers on the verge of foreclosure have had their mortgages permanently modified to lower payments as part of a White House program -- far short of the original goal, reported yesterday. That number is up from roughly 880,000 permanent modifications as of October, according to the Treasury's November report. The Treasury also noted that as of November 30, banks have reduced the principal amount owed by about 36,000 borrowers. These are borrowers with mortgages that are not owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; the two government-seized mortgage giants are not participating in a government principal-reduction program. According to the Treasury, the median amount of principal reduced is about $66,000 - or 31 percent of a homeowner's previous unpaid principal balance. The three largest servicers, Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. account for 71 percent of the principal modifications so far. The number of permanent modifications is still far short of the 3 to 4 million foreclosures that the White House aimed to stop when it unveiled the program in February 2009. Read more.

In re Salazar: Assignment of Beneficial Interest in Deed of Trust

Under California Civil Code, Section 2932.5 the Assignment of the beneficial interest in the Deed of Trust must be recorded before the foreclosure sale can proceed.  For more information, one can review In re Salazar, a bankruptcy court case in which the court found that the assignment had not been recorded.  The only way to discover if the assignment has been recorded is to go to the County Recorder’s office and look at the property.  Afterwards,  one should check with MERS online to verify who the beneficiary is of your loan.

In re Salazar can be found here.

Foreclosure Warnings and Repossessions Increase in October

The American Bankruptcy Institute brings alarming news by way of its daily update.  The ABI summary of the Wall Street Journal article is below.
RealtyTrac: Lenders Stepped Up Foreclosure Warnings, Repossessions in October
More U.S. homes entered the foreclosure process in October than in the previous month, with Florida, Pennsylvania and Indiana registering among the largest monthly increases, new data show, The Washington Post reported today. Some 77,733 properties received an initial default notice last month, up 10 percent from September, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday. The number of homes scheduled to be auctioned or repossessed by lenders also posted monthly increases. All told, notices of default, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions hit a seven-month high in October. The numbers are further evidence foreclosure activity is picking up. The rate that homeowners were 60 or more days late on their mortgage payment rose in the June-to-September period for the first time since the last three months of 2009, according to TransUnion. The credit reporting agency said 5.88 percent of homeowners missed two or more payments, an early sign of possible foreclosure. That was up from 5.82 percent in the second quarter of 2011. Read more (free subscription required).

Mansfield Law Office is here to help if you are caught in this increase in foreclosures in Ventura County.

28.6% Home Mortgages Underwater

This is an incredibly high number.  I will look for local Ventura County mortgage numbers to compare.  In the meantime, this explains a good deal about the bankruptcy crisis, too. From MSNBC.
A whopping 28.6 percent of homeowners with mortgages owe more on their loans than their homes could sell for, according to quarterly data released Tuesday by Zillow, a real estate website. That's up from 26.8 percent in the second quarter. Home values declined only 0.2 percent from the second quarter but were down 4.4 percent year over year.
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