KEY UPATE: I neglected to mention this point: How can any homeowner be exempted from Mediation pursuant to declaration by the purported Beneficiary that they are exempt because they don't have a certain amount of foreclosures?
First of all who trusts the banks to be honest.
Second, that invites Beneficiary-shopping.
Third, and perhaps foremost, isn't that a Constitutional violation? Think: Equal protection. Home and Property ownership is a fundamental right. So shouldn't this be subject to a strict-scrutiny analysis? But what do I know. I only earned an A in Constitutional Law taught by the legendary Ted Mearns, Esq. (RIP to my favorite Law Professor by a long shot).
The Washington House and Senate Judiciary Committees heard testimony yesterday regarding HB 2723 and companion bill SB 6507 regarding the Foreclosure Fairness Act of 2011. The bills are the product of months of countless hours of issue-spotting and negotiation -- chiefly spearheaded by Columbia Legal Services' Bruce Neas (seen below, right) -- and on review I can say that most of the people I am in contact with support the bill because it incorporates more protection for the homeowner as you will hear in the introduction in the video: The meet and confer requires notice of pre-foreclosure options to be sent Certified and Regular U.S. Mail and heard where the property is located, the Beneficiary Declaration is modified to add additional descriptive information as to what transpired on efforts to meet and confer. Further, even if the borrower fails to elect to mediate at the applicable time frame the Borrower and Beneficiary may still enter mediation. Also, Beneficiary docs must include the portion of any investor description that prohibits the Beneficiary from implementing a modification, rather than excerpts from the Pooling and Servicing Agreement. The bill also defines an "Associate of Beneficiary" as an entity which controls, is controlled by, or under common control with a Beneficiary. I am not so sure I like that; it seems rather amorphous and open to abuse.
That having been said, I find it completely appropriate to inform the Committee of ongoing problems seen in the Mediation arena, where I have personally witnessed two recent Bad Faith Mediation events involving Wells Fargo as a film maker and as other advocate as outreach and mediation employee at Financial Revival Group and My Own Bailout. Moreover, as I noted in yesterday's presentation I have personally witness banks completely ignore manifest requests for Meet and Confer Sessions and issue Notices of Default. The bills address some of these concerns but my point is why do the banks have to be FORCED into doing what they were already obligated to do?
As to Wells Fargo we see them running to Federal Court on a Removal of a lawsuit Attorney Jeff Jared filed for Financial Revival Group Members Family E, as noted in this recent Mortgage Movies Journal entry and on my video page at the U.S. Independent. What happened was that in Mediation we presented a full REST report showing that the homeowner was NPV positive and should have provided a HAMP modification but did not, in similar fashion to Wigod v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A. (673 F.3d 547) and the 9th circuit case of Corvello v. Wells Fargo Bank, NA, 728 F.3d 878 (9th Cir. August 8, 2013), citing Wigod. We notified the Mediators about this case law and WF refused to provide all of their data and the full test so my request for the Bad Faith Certificate was granted; the second such Certificate issued to Wells Fargo in the past few months. Sad but true. Stay tuned for updates on those cases.
Lastly there remains the substantial question as to whether or not the DTA is even Constitutional; watch the KingCast/Mortgage Movies videos with Scott Stafne regarding Knecht v. Fidelity National on that matter. Meanwhile, a round of applause for these legislators who are working to help homeowners but be sure to read the fine print in the comments: