Zoeller: Statewide effort under way to stop foreclosures

Ashley Stinnett Jul. 27, 2009, 11:34am


INDIANAPOLIS (Legal Newsline) - A statewide crackdown on foreclosures headed by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is underway in an effort to curb the current housing crisis.

As many as 100 government attorneys have been trained to volunteer as representatives to homeowners facing foreclosure through settlement conferences designed to negotiate settlements between buyer and lender, Zoeller said.

"The foreclosure problem Indiana faces is bigger than one state agency or branch of government can solve. It will take a collaborative and thoughtful effort to fight for the financial well-being of our neighbors," Zoeller said.

RealtyTrac, a nationwide foreclosure tracking database, ranks Indiana 13th in the nation for foreclosure rates through the first six months of 2009.

The Indiana General Assembly recently passed House Enrolled Act 1176, which went into effect on July 1, prohibiting pre-payment penalties on adjustable-rate mortgages. The bill also makes improperly influencing the appraisal of a property a crime.

Around 5,500 state residents were in foreclosure proceedings last month, a 10 percent reduction from last year, according to the database.

The Indiana Senate recently passed the Senate Enrolled Act 492, which mandates homeowners must be notified of their options to contact a housing counselor, according to Zoeller.

The new bill also requires lenders to notify homeowners of their right to request a settlement conference within 30 days of a foreclosure action being filed with the court.

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