Attorney General Wants Answers on Foreclosures
Attorney General Roy Cooper's Consumer Protection Division has expanded its investigation into questionable foreclosure tactics to include 14 more mortgage lenders.
Cooper said in a news release that he wants to find out if any lenders have routinely signed off on large numbers of affidavits in North Carolina foreclosures without proper review. He is also calling on the mortgage lenders to suspend foreclosures in North Carolina until they can show that their affidavit procedures have been reviewed and are in compliance with the law.
"If mortgage companies are using potentially unlawful practices to push through foreclosures in North Carolina, that needs to stop," Cooper said. "Foreclosures have to happen when people don't pay, but homeowners deserve a fair shot at keeping their homes when possible."
Cooper's investigation began in late September following revelations that GMAC Mortgage employees may have routinely signed off on foreclosure affidavits without properly reviewing them or verifying their accuracy, a news release said.
Reports now indicate that other mortgage companies also may have approved foreclosure documents without really reviewing them. Cooper said she wants to know if lenders have used this practice in North Carolina, which could cause some homeowners to lose their homes unfairly.
North Carolina law requires lenders to make a good faith effort to work out a loan modification before they proceed with a foreclosure. Cooper said he is concerned that if foreclosures are not being properly reviewed by lenders, some homeowners may not get a fair chance at loan modifications that could save their homes.
"When a foreclosure happens, a family loses its home, neighbors lose property value, and the bank loses money," Cooper said. "That's why lenders need to make a real effort to work out payment plans and loan modifications."
In letters sent last week, Cooper asked 14 mortgage companies for information about their foreclosure practices in North Carolina and to suspend foreclosures in the state until they can show that they comply with the law.
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