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Hedge funds moving aggressively into home foreclosures

Many homeowners who encounter difficulty keeping up with their mortgages will seek to use any of a variety of ways to try to stay in their home. These will frequently involve some form of an attempt to modify the terms of their mortgage, lowering the payments and interest sufficiently to allow them to keep up with their payment schedule and to remain in the house.

As the remnants of the implosion of the "housing bubble" continue to be cleared up, though, new players are entering the mortgage market for distressed homeowners: hedge funds, and some of them are proving to be less than sympathetic to homeowners who want to avoid foreclosure.

A staple tactic of some of these hedge funds is to buy up into "bundles" large numbers of troubled mortgages from banks, which are then converted into bonds which are sold to other hedge funds into mutual funds. The homes themselves are often swiftly subject to foreclosure actions, and in some of the worst examples homeowner attempts to negotiate modifications of their mortgages are simply brushed aside. In some cases, the only way that the homeowners have been able to get the hedge fund to work with them has been to file suit after the hedge fund initiates foreclosure.

Not all of these hedge funds are as brutally aggressive as the worst examples when it comes to pushing ahead with foreclosures, and some argue that the practice actually has a benefit in putting homes that were abandoned back into the real estate market. Nevertheless, the practice of pushing homeowners out of their homes appears to be a nationwide phenomenon, which will likely affect some homeowners in Ohio.

If you are having trouble with your mortgage, and for any reason your mortgage lender is showing reluctance to renegotiate the terms of the mortgage or refuses to do so, before submitting to foreclosure you may want to consult with a law firm experienced with home foreclosure law to see if you have any legal options available before losing your home.

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Another wave of foreclosures, this time by hedge funds," Matthew Goldstein, Sept. 30, 2015

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