Tag Archive for: MERS Class Action Michigan

Detroit Free Press – Jan 16, 2014 –

Ken Gross: How the Legislature hurt Michigan homeowners

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A foreclosed house sits for sale in Southfield. / 2011 photo by Carlos/Osorio/Associated Press
By Ken Gross

Detroit Free Press guest writer

I’m not sure why this applies — but the adage “all good things must come to an end” rang true last week, a key afforded to homeowners expired.

In July 2009, the Legislature passed a statute to help homeowners facing foreclosure to save their home. The law mandated that before a lender could foreclose by advertisement (the common way in Michigan), a homeowner had to receive written notice of a right to request a mediation. If this request was submitted in a timely fashion, a bona fide effort to modify the mortgage was available. I can tell you the law worked — and worked well — and similar laws were then passed in other states. This law helped thousands of Michiganders save their homes from foreclosure and was recognized by mortgage industry experts as a good law to avoid foreclosure and assist in curtailing Michigan’s foreclosure crisis.

Unfortunately, the law, which had been modified over the last couple of years, was extended through only Jan. 9 of this year. In its place, the Legislature has passed a new law, which irrationally helps only certain people. If the servicing agent for your mortgage is one of the five lenders subject to the National Mortgage Settlement (Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citi or GMAC/Ally), the servicer must provide you a letter offering you 30 days to elect to have a meeting to attempt to work out a modification. If that is your choice, the lender cannot commence foreclosure proceedings until the meeting has occurred.

But here’s the rub. If one of the five lenders transfers your loan to another servicer, the new servicer is not bound by the law. If you happen to have a mortgage held by someone other than these five lenders, you receive no protection. It makes you scratch your head and ask: “Why does my neighbor, whose mortgage is with Chase, get the benefit of help, and I don’t because my mortgage is held by HSBC, Comerica, Fifth Third, Huntington or any one of the hundreds of other lenders?” This makes no sense, whatsoever. On top of that, a “meeting” under the new rule has no standards or mandates such as existed under the previous law.

The Michigan Legislature has succeeded in unraveling the one good thing it did to help a Michigan homeowner in mortgage trouble.

Ken Gross is an attorney with Thav Gross and host of “Financial Crisis Talk Center,” which airs 8:30-10 a.m. on WDFN-AM (1130) and on MyTV20 at 11 a.m. Sundays.

Spotlight On the News with Chuck Stokes – Ken Gross appears to discuss Short Sales and What to Do if You're Underwater in Michigan

Houses Under Water – Solutions for Michiganders – Ken Gross Interviewed by Chuck Stokes – On Spotlight on the News 6/25 Channel 7

Catch TV Broadcast – Ken Gross on Detroit Wants to Know – The Housing Crisis – MERS Foreclosure and Michigan's Expiring Mediation Law

In depth discussion of the MERS Class Action in Michigan as a result of the recent Michigan Court of Appeals decision and the need for Michigan to take action to extend the Foreclosure Mediation Law that is expiring July 5, 2011

Podcast of May 28st Show – Word of the Day – "Uneasy" – Why you should not use a National Tax Service

CLICK HERE FOR PODCASTS

Ken Gross to appear on Detroit Wants to Know – Sunday 1 PM 5/22/11 – Topic is MERS Class Action in Michigan and Extension of 3205 Foreclosure Mediation

Be sure to watch Detroit’s Steve Hood interview Ken Gross on the hottest topics in Michigan housing – the Court of Appeals decision invalidating MERS foreclosures by advertisement and  the extension of Michigan’s Foreclosure Mediation Law that is set to expire July 5, 2011

THAV GROSS – issues statment of purpose behind MERS Michigan Class Action Foreclosure Lawsuit

This lawsuit is about leveling the playing field. The financial institutions caused the housing bubble to be created by pursuing profit motives with no regard to realistic underwriting criteria. When the bubble burst and they were one week from collapsing (going out of business) and causing a World Wide end to financial markets – we, the taxpayers, bailed them out. The government then directed them to pursue policies designed to modify mortgages and avoid foreclosure. Instead, the industry gave lip skink to the requirements – ignoring the directives and choosing to cause millions of homeowners to be played like fish in the process of attempting to modify their mortgages, only to be told at the last minute, “Your paperwork was incomplete, or you didn’t respond timely.” Then bang – the house is sold at the foreclosure sale 2 to 4 weeks later. Motives – it’s easy. The banks, in our perverse world – are better off foreclosing because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – have to buy back the mortgages and end up covering the loss – not them. That cost was already at $148 Billion in November, 2010 and is estimated to exceed $280 billion. Guess who is paying for it? The banks, instead of appreciating the fact that we allowed them to stay in business, have simply continued to push the costs of their failure business practices to the taxpayers. Ms. Boser is the Class Representative of those Michiganders – who are the victims of the banks wrongful conduct. If successful, the banks, not the taxpayers, will be forced to absorb the losses they caused and some (but not all) of the people harmed will benefit. Ms. Boser’s and all future class representatives’ actions deserve our best wishes and applause.