BOISE, Id – More than 19-thousand Idaho homeowners got a foreclosure notice in the mail last year. Those notices created some confusion for many homeowners. A new law, which goes into effect Thursday, gives consumers more tools to try and save their home.
Idaho ranked eighth in the nation last year in foreclosure filings. As the notices flooded in, so did complaints from homeowners.
Brett Delange “We have a lot of people in foreclosure and it’s not a problem that’s going to go away quickly or easily and it’s gonna be with us for a while.”
Brett Delange is the Chief of the Consumer Protection Division at the Attorney General’s office. He says the new law will make three changes to the foreclosure process in Idaho.
The first change:
Idaho law already requires the bank to notify the homeowner when their house will be sold in foreclosure. But the law is vague when it comes to sales that get postponed.
Brett Delange “What often happened was that consumers complained I didn’t know when the sale was going to happen, it was news to me.”
The new law says if a sale is postponed, you have to give at least fourteen days’ notice to the homeowner.
The second change stems from this complaint, heard often at the AG’s office…
Brett Delange ”I’ve tried to work something out and I don’t know who to talk to or I get a different person every time.”
The new law says you have spell out clearly who to contact about your foreclosure. Companies must also offer the homeowner a chance to apply for a mortgage modification.
The third change comes about because homeowners complained about scammers that charged huge upfront fees in foreclosure rescue schemes.
Brett Delange “We’ve rarely seen, if at all, these operations help anyone.”
The new law prohibits most people from charging an up-front fee for loan modification services.
These three changes take effect Thursday. But Delange cautions they won’t solve all the problems.
Brett Delange “We’re still gonna have foreclosures, we’re still gonna have people struggling, but it does address at least some of the complaints that our citizens were reporting again and again.”
Delange says many mortgage companies have worked with the AG’s office to find common ground on how to best deal with foreclosures.
Copyright 2011 BSPR