Those who default on their mortgages may not be off the hook for money they owe, the Sacramento Bee reports. Banks that own bad mortgages can sell the debt, and the sellers can sic collections agents after the former homeowners, sometimes years later.
From the story:
If they win court judgments, these collectors could have years to pursue borrowers with repayment plans, and even garnish their wages, said Scott CoBen, a Sacramento bankruptcy attorney.
“The only relief a consumer will have is entering into a debt negotiating plan or filing for bankruptcy,” said Sylvia Alayon, a vice president with the New York-based Consumer Mortgage Audit Center. The firm provides mortgage analysis to lenders, advocacy groups and attorneys.
The phenomenon suggests an ominous, looming echo of today’s real estate meltdown. As debt collectors surely seek at least partial repayment of millions of dollars in unpaid Sacramento home loans, some say renewed financial stresses on tens of thousands of local consumers could dampen economic recovery.
Do you think the practice is fair?
Years after homeowners default, collectors may still come after them [Sacramento Bee]