Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard signed an order Oct. 7 stating that rather than advance the Mortgage Foreclosure Best Practices to the rulemaking stage, the court will oversee the guidelines, updating them as needed.
In January, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller petitioned the court to advance the Best Practices to rulemaking. In its order, the court wrote that after the receipt of Zoeller’s petition, six of the recommended Best Practices were incorporated into Senate Enrolled Act 582, which became Public Law 170 on July 1. The court also wrote that the petition had generally raised awareness about mortgage foreclosure, and that 20 counties had already adopted the Best Practices. But due to frequent changes in the mortgage industry, the court stated that it would be most appropriate to keep the Best Practices under the court’s purview, and keep the process of revision “fluid.”
The mortgage foreclosure guidelines were developed by a foreclosure-prevention task force established by the Indiana Supreme Court, which included the attorney general’s office, judges, Supreme Court staff, legal services attorneys and attorneys for mortgage lenders.
The guidelines are based on observations of the functions and results of settlement conferences that have taken place around the state under a statute that went into effect July 1, 2009, and settlement conferences that have taken place as part of the Mortgage Foreclosure Trial Court Assistance Project.