A trio of DFL lawmakers plans on Wednesday to unveil a foreclosure reform bill at the Capitol that would spare Minnesota homeowners some of the “unfair practices” that the representatives believe have become notorious.
“I wanted to do what I could to prevent it from happening again,” said first-term Rep. Mike Freiberg (DFL-Golden Valley), who is introducing the bill in his first week on the job.
Freiberg says he was inspired by a constituent who is fighting to win her home back from foreclosure.
“She was the victim of some difficult, unfair practices,” Freiberg said in an interview Tuesday.
As economic policy and law expert Peter Swire wrote, “the dual-track problem symbolizes why our foreclosure mess is so fundamentally unfair to too many families. Mortgage servicing companies (and the lenders and investors they work for to collect monthly mortgage payments) collect the documents needed to consider modifying the mortgages of many responsible but overburdened families, but then swoop in nonetheless to take the home away.” The Minnesota bill is supported by several community groups and Occupy Our Homes MN. The Occupy Our Homes movement has been integral in preventing unfair foreclosures around the country.
In addition to doing away with dual-tracking, the bill provides other key protections for homeowners, including ensuring that they have a single point-of-contact with their lender and requiring that the lender participate in mortgage mediation (a great system for preventing foreclosures) if the homeowners desires. California codified many of these protections in its Homeowners’ Bill of Rights last year.