Assembly Bill 284 AB 284 passed by the Legislature this year should help. Assembly Bill 284 will tighten the foreclosure process, increasing the requirements of lenders planning to foreclose. It takes effect on October 1, 2011.
Cortez Masto and Assembly Majority Leader Marcus Conklin, a primary sponsor of AB284, said the law would protect the integrity and transparency of the process. Conklin said one key area addressed in the bill is “robo-signing” — bank officials, lawyers and notaries signing off on documents without really knowing what’s in them. The law will put an emphasis on lenders having all of the proper documents in place and doing things correctly.
Cortez Masto said her office has been investigating claims that officials and notaries were signing blank documents that would be filled in later. There are also complaints that people preparing the documents are making realistic-looking forgeries, including cutting and pasting signatures on a computer, to speed up the process, she said.
The new law will require that a person trying to foreclose on a property sign an affidavit with key information on it and have it recorded in the county where the property is. It also will require that documents used in foreclosures be recorded. That should help homeowners get information that hasn’t always been easy to obtain.
The law will also give the attorney general’s office a greater ability to go after mortgage fraud cases and will increase penalties for the use of fraudulent documents in a foreclosure.
According to the Nevada Attorney General, she is investigating Countrywide’s liability for fraudulent mortgage lending, including:
• failing to provide loan modifications to eligible borrowers;
• failing to make decisions on loan modifications, on average, within sixty days of
receiving requests from Nevada consumers; and
• initiating or proceeding with foreclosures while consumer’s modifications requests were pending.
• increased consumers’ interest rates and monthly payments, even though the consent judgment allows only modifications that decrease consumers’ interest rates, actually leaving consumers worse off.
• required consumers to provide extensive documentation – including pay stubs, tax returns, and sworn affidavits — to qualify for modifications, despite the consent judgment’s promise of streamlined modifications.
“After two and a half years of lost implementation – of borrowers denied modifications, discouraged by repeated and futile efforts to obtain help, or already subject to foreclosure – the state no longer can get the benefit of its original settlement with Defendants,” Masto said in a press release.