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Several Banks Suspend Foreclosures While Procedure is Scrutinized
Monday, 18 October 2010

The National Association of Realtors is reporting that in the last two months, 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 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.

NAR has summarized some key points pertaining to this issue:

• There’s no way of knowing what percentage of foreclosures that were improperly processed were, in fact, inappropriate or wrongly taken. The assumption is that for most of them, this may be only a technicality and that the property ultimately would have been repossessed.

• For owners who believe their home was wrongly foreclosed, they may wish to contact a real estate attorney to investigate the possibility of a property claim.

However, that could prove costly and time consuming – regulations vary by state.

• For banks, it may make sense to modify loans or agree to short sales to expedite disposal of inventory.

• For buyers, the assumption is that listed foreclosures come with clear property title but they should discuss any necessary contract contingency with their attorney. Foreclosures in limbo are likely to be withdrawn from the market.

• It’s too early to tell if there’s an impact on the market but we will be monitoring the situation.

2010 Art & Garden Tour
Monday, 26 July 2010


Despite the unpredictable weather, we had a good turn out at our recent Art & Garden Tour. We'd like to thank everyone involved, especially the following GPBR volunteers: Cheryl Gauss, Judy Barker, Ruth Ellen Mayhall, Paula Morris, Kelly Martin-Rahaim, Beth Provenzano, Sharon Nouhan, Cindy Bojnowski, Joyce Gore, Kellie McMillan,Peggy DeLozier, Cindy Drake, Myrna Smith, and Sue Dungan.

Also a big thank you to our generous sponsors:

  • 3C's Landscaping
  • A Southern Gardener
  • Charvat the Florist
  • Iron Ivy
  • Jane McFeeley Original Oils
  • Pointe Alarm
  • Posterity: A Gallery
  • Savatore Scallopini

We look forward to hosting this event again next year! :)


EPA's New Rule on Lead Based Paint Affects Remodelers
Thursday, 06 May 2010

The US Environmental Protection Agency has recently announced a new rule regarding remodeling structures built prior to 1978. While compliance responsibilites for Realtors are minimal, the new rule will require contractors and remodelers to be certified with the EPA's new Lead Based Paint work practices. Current remodeling projects may even put put on hold for some homeowners while their contractors go through the certification process.

For more information about this rule, we suggest you visit NAR's informative page on the topic.

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