For those of you facing foreclosure, there may be a way to stall without mace.
The Huffington Post has reported on a little-known legal provision that requires challenged bankers to prove they hold the original mortgage documents before seizing property.
This practice is referred to as “produce the note” or “show me the note” and can assist homeowners trying to keep their homes from being taken back by the lending banks.
A recent study of foreclosures in bankruptcy by Katherine M. Porter, a visiting professor at the U.C. Berkeley School of Law, found that in 40 percent of cases creditors foreclosing on borrowers did not show the note.
Huff Post quoted Rep. Brad Miller (D-N.C.) of the House Financial Services Committee saying, "You wouldn't imagine that the lenders would be that slovenly that they would not be able to produce adequate documentation of the debt.”
Actually, I can believe mortgage companies aren’t able to produce documentation when asked for it. It’s part of the myriad of reasons many lending companies were brought to their knees a year ago.
Some might argue that this stalling is only preventing the inevitable. That’s not necessarily true. In their report, Shahien Nasiripour and Ryan Grim note that lawyers who aid homeowners in fighting foreclosure have held off lending companies for years while struggling homeowners regroup.
I have not an ounce of sympathy for any of these huge companies trying to squeeze people out of their homes, especially if the homeowners are willing to work something out.
It’s about time the playing field is leveled and if it comes in the form of a technicality so be it.
These banks will survive.
In fact, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is currently mulling the idea of asking the healthier banks to bail out the government. The FDIC has essentially been tapped out after lending so much money to bail out other banks that helped create this foreclosure crisis in the first place.
Yeah, homeowners: Definitely yell “SHOW THE RECEIPTS!”
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Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.