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Bar News - March 13, 2009


Homeowners Given Few Rights During Foreclosure, Report Says

A recent report from the National Consumer Law Center has concluded that "antiquated state laws" may favor banks and lenders with laws that may deny basic protections to homeowners.

New Hampshire ranked "weak or non-existent" on all but two measures for pre- and post-sale consumer protections, from access to court review to deficiency jugements.

The state did rank strongly, however, in one aspect – that of the accounting of sales proceeds. According to the report, New Hampshire’s laws well protect homeowners from losing gains made during the sale of a foreclosed home.

After examining the laws and regulations of all 50 states, the report’s authors conclude that in many states, renters facing eviction have more protection than homeowners facing foreclosure.

Support for the conclusion includes:

• 30 states – including New Hampshire – allow mortgage holders to conduct foreclosure proceedings without court – or other impartial body – input.

• All but two states allow mortgage holders to conduct foreclosure proceedings without loan modification and other home loss avoidance discussion.

• 47 states – including New Hampshire – allow mortgage holders to pursue foreclosure without allowing homeowners to catch up on late payments.

The report breaks down data on a state-by-state basis and proposes state-level reforms that would provide homeowners with more rights when facing foreclosure.

Learn more about the report by visiting www.consumerlaw.org.

NHLAP: A confidential Independent Resource

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