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Courts consider foreclosure issues

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

To address recent news regarding foreclosures – including a handful of national banks putting holds on foreclosure proceedings regarding their lenders – participants in the foreclosure prevention efforts of the Indiana Supreme Court, including judges in pilot programs around the state for settlement conferences, held a conference call Oct. 19 to address these issues.

During the call, the participants addressed two main issues, according to Elizabeth Daulton, project manager of the Mortgage Foreclosure Trial Court Assistance Project, which is overseen by the Indiana Supreme Court Division of State Court Administration.

The first concern is the “robo-signing,” where it was reported in the media in the last few weeks that some banks had someone who wasn’t the correct person sign off on foreclosure paperwork without giving it enough attention to make sure it was done properly.

“However, this is just the tip of the iceberg,” Daulton said via e-mail Oct. 21. “A second problem is the fact that many plaintiff lenders have filed suit and proceeded to judgment without sufficient documentation establishing that they are a holder in due course of the underlying debt. Judy Fox, who serves as a facilitator in St. Joseph County (and also leads a legal clinic at Notre Dame Law School) says that her clinic doesn’t handle that many foreclosure cases, but a staggering number of them involve insufficient documentation – so she believes the problem is widespread.”

She added that lenders that had “robo-signed” paperwork have been “re-certifying” pending foreclosure cases, “but this only involves checking the accuracy of the amounts owed (and checking the computer system for errors). Recertifying does not involve investigation of the note’s ownership or tracking back the various assignments, many of which are undated,” she said.

While no definite cause of action was decided during the call, a number of ideas have been shared, and there will be a follow-up call Oct. 28, the same day Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum will host a daylong CLE about mortgage foreclosures as a follow-up to CLE seminars that took place over the summer of 2009.

Daulton said new guidelines would be decided on in the coming weeks that “should apply to all pending cases, as well as post-judgment, pre-sheriff’s sale cases. After the sheriff’s sale has taken place, there may not be much recourse for the borrower (though this is something else we’re looking into),” she said.
 

Rehearing "New approach to foreclosure prevention successful" IL Sept. 15-28, 2010

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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