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Attorneys find several defenses to stop foreclosure actions

Consumer bankruptcy attorneys in the state of Washington are experienced in representing homeowners in mortgage foreclosure proceedings. Many different defenses can be asserted to stop foreclosure proceedings on a temporary and sometimes permanent basis. This can be done in the state courts right after the foreclosure is first filed, or it can be done in a  bankruptcy court if appropriate under the circumstances.

During the real estate and financial crisis, the federal government passed various regulations and laws protecting homeowners from mortgage lenders taking advantage of the vast numbers of people who had fallen behind in their payments. Perhaps the best known program was the Home Affordable Modification Program, known as HAMP. This was a project to get lenders to modify qualified mortgages by making the terms more affordable for the borrowers.

Other regulations limited certain heavy-handed practices by mortgage lenders and their servicers. In addition, new laws such as the Dodd-Frank Act also imposed consumer protection provisions and regulated the industry. Although the courts ruled that homeowners did not have a legal right to demand a loan modification, there are several cases that have protected homeowners from inconsistent and deceptive modification rejections made by the lenders and their servicers. Thus, lenders who did not act in good faith during the loan modification application procedure have in some instances been ordered to provide a modification of the mortgage to borrowers.

In a complicated area of the law, the courts have issued numerous decisions that grant homeowners the right to have the mortgage servicing standards of recent years enforced against mortgage lenders and servicers. Some mortgage foreclosure actions filed by servicers have been met with homeowner claims that the servicers did not provide them the fair benefits of the new servicing laws passed after the mortgage or deed of trust was signed. In Washington state and other states, these and related issues are being decided by the state courts, and in many cases, by the bankruptcy and other federal courts, in an ongoing quest by consumers and their attorneys to stop foreclosure actions.

Source: jdsupra.com, "Fourth Circuit Asked to Rule on Whether Mortgage Retroactively Incorporates Federal Servicing Requirements", Feb. 21, 2018

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