Protect your home from foreclosure
Home is usually the place where we can shut out the worries of the world, but for many families, their homes have become a source of worry.
Foreclosure rates in Michigan are among the highest in the country, due in large part to our state's tough economy. Some homeowners have been victimized by unscrupulous lenders. Far too many state residents have already lost their homes, and the experts warn that things may get worse before they get better.
The Michigan Senate has moved quickly to protect citizens with new mortgage safeguards. In May 2007, the Senate passed my legislation to prohibit appraisal coercion. The measures would help eliminate fraudulent practices that sometimes occur between mortgage brokers and appraisers. They are awaiting action by the state House.
The Senate took another step last fall to help protect homeowners by passing my reform measure that will require the 30,000 mortgage loan officers that are brokering or originating loans in Michigan to individually register with the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulations.
The legislative package will also develop a mortgage industry advisory board and require employers to conduct a criminal records check on mortgage loan officers. Even more importantly, the bills would establish educational and application requirements for becoming a registered loan officer and develop standards for the registration renewal process, including continuing education.
The rising number of home foreclosures is a crisis that all Michigan residents must face together. The seriousness of this problem transcends partisan politics. The House and Senate must work together to focus on the state's economic problems, and we must bring the mortgage industry and consumers together to keep Michigan families in their homes.
As a homeowner, you can take steps to help yourself. Ignoring a mortgage problem will simply increase the chance you could lose your home, so please keep these steps in mind:
o Contact your lender right away if you have a problem and be honest about your financial situation.
o Know your mortgage rights. Review your loan documents carefully.
o Call the MSHDA Foreclosure Prevention Hotline toll-free at 866-946-7432 for assistance.
o Beware of foreclosure scams. Don't sign anything you don't understand.
In addition to those affected directly, the impact of the mortgage crisis has rippled beyond homeowners who have lost their homes. Foreclosures have led to declining property values in many neighborhoods and communities.
If you would like more information on how to protect your home from foreclosure, please contact my office toll-free at (866) 556-7917 or visit my Web site at www.senatorrandyrichardville.com.
Toll-Free: (866) 556-7917
Posted: Wednesday, February 27, 2008
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