We’ve written about this before, but as more and more people face foreclosure (last year’s foreclosures totaled 2.3 million, according to the AP) its a good time to remind people of this strategy.
From the AP:
During the real estate frenzy of the past decade, mortgages were sold and resold, bundled into securities and peddled to investors. In many cases, the original note signed by the homeowner was lost, stored away in a distant warehouse or destroyed.
ompel production of hard-to-find or nonexistent documents can, at the very least, delay foreclosure, buying the homeowner some time and turning up the pressure on the lender to renegotiate the mortgage.
“I’m going to hang on for dear life until they can prove to me it belongs to them,” said Lovelace, a 50-year-old divorced mother who owns a $200,000 home in Zephyrhills, near Tampa. “I’ll try everything I can because it’s all I have left.”
In a few cases that we wrote about in 2007, judges halted foreclosure proceedings because the banks could not prove that they actually owned the mortgages.
The AP says some lawmakers are in favor of the stalling technique:
Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur of Ohio endorsed the strategy in a fiery speech on the House floor during debate on the federal bank bailout last month.
“Don’t leave your home,” she said. “Because you know what? When those companies say they have your mortgage, unless you have a lawyer that can put his or her finger on that mortgage, you don’t have that mortgage, and you are going to find they can’t find the paper up there on Wall Street.”
We think that fair is fair. The bank certainly wouldn’t just take your word that they owed you several hundred thousand dollars.