What started out within a few lenders has now turned into a major halt to the nation’s REO and foreclosure business by Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Bank of America, GMAC, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and many other large and small lenders.
For HomeSteps a foreclosure program,Properties with Sales Pending: Per Freddie Mac, buyer must be notified,through the buyer’s attorneys and buyer’s agents, that all buyers who are under an executed, approved contract, may keep their contracts in place while the issue is being addressed and resolved. However,should any buyer wish to terminate his or her contract, Agents must work with the assigned closing agent to terminate the contract of sale and promptly return the earnest money deposit.
Buyers must be notified, through the buyer’s agents per Freddie Mac, with which Freddie Mac has only accepted verbal offers but have not executed a written contract, that the property is being taken off the market temporarily to address title related issues. Once the property is available, Agents must notify all listing agents affected, and reach out to the buyer's agents to resubmit their offer, with direction from Freddie Mac.
How did it happen? Some bank employees in multiple unrelated cases
around the country testified in court that they could not “verify the accuracy of every foreclosure” put in front of them as they were receiving between 10,000 and 18,000 cases per month. This brought into question the validity of some completed and ongoing foreclosure actions. If the foreclosure was defective because the lender bringing the foreclosure action did not have the legal authority to foreclose, then the buyer at the sheriff’s sale, along with successive purchasers, could be challenged on the validity of the title they are holding. As Wall Street was “re-packaging” loans prior to the meltdown that started in 2007 the actual“final” owner may or not have had legal title to the promissory note and mortgage therefore creating the gap causing the current issues.
If the mortgage holder who brought the foreclosure action did not have the authority to bring the action or otherwise failed to comply with the requirements of the foreclosure statues, then the court has the power to vacate the foreclosure judgment(s) for an ongoing transaction as well as prior closed ones. Lenders will not resume foreclosures until the flaws in the process are resolved, they need time to confirm that the foreclosure was properly initiated by a legally authorized party and that the due process was completely followed.