Lawmakers Deliberate on Bill Related to Foreclosures for Sale by Owner

by on States

A legislative bill expected to affect all issues related to foreclosures, even the processing of foreclosures for sale by owner, is currently being considered at the Georgia House of Representatives. The measure is aimed primarily at protecting homeowners from possible fraudulent activities in foreclosure processes.

The bill is reportedly part of Attorney General Sam Olens' agenda for addressing problems associated with processing foreclosures in Atlanta and in the rest of the state. Under the measure, falsification of documents will be considered a criminal offense. It was also designed to provide district lawyers the power to investigate fraud claims.

There have been considerable cases of inappropriate conduct associated with handling cases of foreclosures in Georgia, which eroded the confidence of homeowners not only in Georgia, but also in the rest of the country. Analysts stated that the main problem is that the existing law on mortgage fraud, originally passed in 1995, did not provide clear guidelines for foreclosures and did not set parameters as to what can be considered fraud under the state's law.

This, analysts explained, prevented the attorney general and other authorities from demanding documents and investigating complaints filed by homeowners. One of the main issues is said to be lenders who backdate documents and falsify paperwork to speed up the process of foreclosure, particularly in cases where multiple ownership transfers have been done. The recently proposed measure is designed to address such issues and to make sure that the processing of foreclosures for sale by owner and other distressed properties is done correctly.

The latest bill will regard backdating foreclosure properties for sale documents as an act of forgery, according to sources. The AG has reportedly sought the cooperation of the banking industry prior to the introduction of the bill. The industry is said to be highly supportive of the measure.

There was one key suggestion made by banks though, that of adding provisions that will distinguish intent from errors. Analysts claimed that if the bill is passed, it will create significant changes in the processing of distressed properties and foreclosures for sale by owner in the state.

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