Posted: 6:36 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rules gover how mortgage companies treat borrowers. Among them:
-Restrict dual-tracking: the practice of moving ahead with a foreclosure while negotiating on a deal to avoid one.
-Provide notice of foreclosure alternatives: mortgage companies must tell borrowers about alternatives to foreclosure after two consecutive missed payments and provide examples of other options, such as short sales or loan modifications
-Fair review: A servicer must weigh alternatives and cannot direct borrowers to the option that is most financially advantageous to the servicer
-Exhaust alternatives: Servicers must evaluate and respond to an application for assistance if it arrives 37 days before a scheduled foreclosure sale. Servicers also must give borrowers time to weigh an offer of assistance before foreclosing.
The AJC has chronicled numerous cases of alleged abuse by mortgage companies and banks. In some cases, troubled borrowers were negotiating for loan help while a bank was simultaneously attempting to foreclose. In others, an institution that didn’t have the right to foreclose actually did. On Thursday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a new federal agency created as part of a broader overhaul of the financial industry, held a meeting in downtown Atlanta to discuss new rules governing the behavior of mortgage companies.