Mortgage Servicing Fraud
occurs post loan origination when mortgage servicers use false statements and book-keeping entries, fabricated assignments, forged signatures and utter counterfeit intangible Notes to take a homeowner's property and equity.
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I keep hearing people talk about going to court when they are foreclosed on - when we received our notice of a sheriff's sale we rushed to the bankruptcy attorney, Countrywide sold us to Litton and that was the end of it.  Countrywide reported the loan to my husband's credit report (I was not on the mortgage - long story) as "Foreclosure process started" in April '06...but we were not served by any law enforcement agencies or officials - only a letter from Countrywide's attorney that a sheriff's sale was scheduled for May ?, 2006.  We filed chapter 13 before that date could pass.

In the meantime, like I said, we were sold to Litton.  Had we not filed bankruptcy, would we have had a chance to go to court?

Now that we are converting to a chapter 7, from what our lawyer tells us, we can probably continue to reside in our home for another 8-9 months while the process unfolds, yet in April '06 it seemed from Countrywide's end that we were going to be out on the street in less than a month!  Was this a tactic used Countrywide to strong arm us?  It appears as though it might have been.  I know friends and family that have lost their homes, for a variety of reasons, and no one I know went to court unless it was via bankruptcy, not for a foreclosure.  My brother faced foreclosure, filed Ch. 7, and lived in his house for nearly a year before he had to leave.  Then the house sat empty for nearly a year after he left.

I really don't think people know what the correct process is - we pay what the servicer's tell us because we think "they say I owe it, so I must owe it!" and then it becomes "they said 'get out!' so I must have to get out!"  We took their word for it and now I feel like I was bluffed into Chapter 13!
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April:

When a borrower borrowers money to purchase or refinance a house, the two really key instruments are a promissory note and a mortgage, deed of trust and or mortgage security instrument.

The promissory note is the borrower's promise to repay the loan.  It is generally controlled by what is called the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), a body of commercial law covering things like notes (negotiable instruments), checks, money transfers, and so forth.  Thought the UCC is fairly UNIFORM nationally, it is STATE rather than NATIONAL law. 

The mortgage, deed of trust and/or mortgage security instrument is controlled by state law of property, including various state implementations of the statute of frauds, the recording acts, and similar legislation.  State property law is every bit as DIVERSE as the UCC is uniform.

Foreclosure is typically controlled by the law of property in the state in which the real property is located.  There are two fundamental approaches to foreclosure, but there are many subvariants within each.  Foreclosure practice has a LOT of nuances as a consequence of differences in state laws relating to property.  The two fundamental approaches are:

Judicial Foreclosure

Non-judicial Foreclosure By Power of Sale


In judicial foreclosure, the foreclosing entity must go to court and through an equitable action seek to obtain the foreclosed property or to obtain an order for the sale of that secured property.

In non-judicial foreclosure, the foreclosing entity acts through a trustee originally appointed in the deed of trust or other mortgage security instrument (but often REPLACED by appointment of substitute trustee immediately prior to sale).  When using the private power of sale, the foreclosing lender relies upon contractual provisions entitling the trustee to SELL the secured property upon the borrower's default.

In non-judicial forclosure, the foreclosing entity never has to go to court at all, EXCEPT when the borrower files for bankruptcy.  The bankruptcy effects an "automatic stay" of all other civil litigation and also stays the foreclosure by private power of sale.  This stops or stalls the foreclosure, unless and until the mortgage investor obtains "relief from stay" -- that is gets the court to agree that the property should be taken out from under bankruptcy protection.

In a non-judicial foreclosure setting, there are really only two other ways (besides bankruptcy) that the foreclosure matter finds its way into court.  The borrower MIGHT go to court and ask for a temporary restraining order or injunction prohibiting the sale.  In such an instance the borrower rather than the lender would be the plainitff.  Alternatively, IF there were sufficient irregularities to SET ASIDE the sale, the borrower could sue to set aside the sale or bring an action to quiet title to establish his or her superior title to the property.

In either a judicial or non-judicial foreclosure, the sale of the property may NOT actually be the end of the matter.  If the borrower retains possession of the premises, the mortgage investor and/or the purchaser of the property may seek the physical removal of the borrower by an ejectment action.  This is akin to an eviction of a tenant.

In those states where non-judicial foreclosure through power of sale is PERMITTED, this tends to be fairly universally the approach used (usually judicial foreclosure is also available in these same states but has fallen into complete DISUSE do to the availability of the private power of sale provisions favored by lenders and mortgage investors).  Whether a jurisdiction uses judicial or non-judicial foreclosures is therefore a matter of STATE LAW.

For borrowers in extreme financial distress, bankruptcy is very often the most economic and reliable means of protecting their home.  For this reason, this is usually favored by the lawyers working in foreclosure defense.

What I perceive from your post, you must live in a non-judicial foreclosure state.  You should make additional inquiries relating to YOUR STATE's laws to better understand what lies ahead after you emerge from bankruptcy! 
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In reviewing your post and my prior response, I realize that I failed to address your question regarding foreclosure timelines.  I thought that everybody might appreciate seeing these timelines!

To better understand precisely how much variation exists between the expected forclosure times amongst the various states, take a look at Chapter 66.31 ["Foreclosure time lines by State (01/01/06)"] and Exhibit 83 of the Freddie Mac Sellers' and Servicers' manual [Accesible generally through AllRegs from http://www.freddiemac.com/singlefamily/# ],  You will find that the time standards vary from 60 days (Virginia) to 425 days (New York City).  Freddie Mac imposes PENALTIES upon servicers which fail to foreclose in conformance withthe prescribed timelines (See Exhibit 83A).

Bear in mind that the timelines ONLY apply to Freddie Mac residential mortgages, however, the timelines were no doubt established based upon an understanding of the actual foreclosure procedures and requirements of the various states nationally.  That is Freddie Mac presumably set what it believed to be REALISTIC time standards.  But these standards are NOT binding upon servicers servincing loans for entities other than Freddie Mac.

Exhibit 83: Freddie Mac State Foreclosure Time Lines — In Calendar Days (07/01/07)

State Foreclosure Time Line — In Calendar Days 
 From DDLPI to foreclosure sale 
From initiation of
foreclosure to
foreclosure sale
 
 First-Lien
Mortgage
 
Second
Mortgage/HIL/ Previously Modified
 
Alabama 235 205 85 
Alaska 290 260 140 
Arizona 275 245 125 
Arkansas 280 250 130 
California 285 255 135 
Colorado 315 285 165 
Connecticut 370 340 220 
District of Columbia 250 220 100 
Delaware 400 370 250 
Florida 320 290 170 
Georgia 230 200 80 
Guam 400 370 250 
Hawaii 290 260 140 
Idaho 340 310 190 
Illinois 425 395 275 
Indiana 415 385 265 
Iowa 465 435 315 
Kansas 330 300 180 
Kentucky 415 385 265 
Louisiana 370 340 220 
Maine 505 475 355 
Maryland 235 205 85 
Massachusetts 285 255 135 
Michigan 225 195 75 
Minnesota 260 230 110 
Mississippi 280 250 130 
Missouri 235 205 85 
Montana 355 325 205 
Nebraska 305 275 155 
Nevada 305 275 155 
New Hampshire 260 230 110 
New Jersey* 450 420 300 
New Mexico 400 370 250 
New York 430 400 280 
New York City* 575 545 425 
North Carolina 270 240 120 
North Dakota 340 310 190 
Ohio 415 385 265 
Oklahoma 400 370 250 
Oregon 330 300 180 
Pennsylvania 450 420 300 
Puerto Rico 525 495 375 
Rhode Island 235 205 85 
South Carolina 365 335 215 
South Dakota 355 325 205 
Tennessee 240 210 90 
Texas 240 210 90 
Utah 315 285 165 
Vermont 510 480 360 
Virgin Islands 475 445 325 
Virginia 210 180 60 
Washington 310 280 160 
West Virginia 295 265 145 
Wisconsin 460 430 310 
Wyoming 250 220 100 

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archeologist

It is interesting to see the difference in the foreclosure time standards from 2007 compared to how long it is taking today.  William A. Roper, Jr. seemed to have access to some interesting information.

 

I have seen some time comparisons in the newspapers before, but nothing like this.

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Here are some Q & A about Foreclosure from NOLO
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/foreclosure

If you are facing foreclosure or having trouble making your mortgage payment, this is the place for you. Learn about the foreclosure process, ways to avoid foreclosure, and other options such as a short sale, deed in lieu, loan modification, refinancing, and more.

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