Biden, lawmakers take on foreclosures
DOVER, Del. (Legal Newsline) - Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden and a bipartisan alliance of legislators unveiled five new bills last week to respond to the Delaware home foreclosure crisis and to improve the growth of the state's economy.
The five bills are meant to curtail the pace of foreclosures in the state, which includes over 22,000 foreclosure filings since 2007. The state projects a record year for foreclosures in 2011, surpassing the 6,400 filings in 2010.
The first bill will create an automatic mediation program when a complaint for foreclosure has been filed by a homeowner. The complaint will lead to a pause in the litigation during the mediation process.
Lenders will be forced to give borrowers notice of foreclosure along with available assistance in the second bill. It also requires an affidavit from lenders ensuring that loss mitigation was considered before entering judgment.
The third bill provides bonding and registration of mortgage modification companies and includes certain consumer protections like prohibiting advance fees.
An office that manages foreclosure-related programs and activities will be created in the attorney general's Fraud and Consumer Protection Division ny the fourth bill. The office will also act as the liaison with lenders in difficult cases.
The fifth bill will treat the filing of any false documents in a foreclosure as a deceptive trade practice.