An Ohio homeowner may be among the first individuals to use a provision of the Dodd-Frank law to file a lawsuit against a mortgage servicing company.
A nonprofit’s annual study of foreclosures in Cincinnati and Hamilton County found reason for homeowners to feel hopeful, as well as continuing cause for concern. The number of foreclosure sales in 2013 was down 17.5 percent. Twenty-four percent fewer foreclosure proceedings were initiated during the year.
According to an article examining foreclosure filings in Ohio, what began as a problem affecting mostly urban areas in the mid-1990s ballooned to crisis levels, with more than 70,000 new foreclosures filed in 2012.
The prospect of facing foreclosure and losing your home can be traumatic. This reality faces many, including the mayor of Akron, Ohio, who had to deal with the possibility of foreclosure on his former home recently. The foreclosure action was filed by Wells Fargo bank on the property jointly owned by Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and his former partner. Although his name was on the title, the mayor said he had no involvement with the property for four years. According to him, his ex-partner stopped paying the mortgage when she moved to Columbus, Ohio, unbeknownst to him. He claimed not to have received any notice from the bank.
In the past several months, some have heralded the fact that the foreclosure crisis is over. Having addressed abuses like overextended credit, wrongful evictions, and other practices that took the dream of homeownership away from many families, lenders seem to have changed the way they handle the foreclosure process. But, have these wrongful practices really disappeared? Or have they just shifted to another segment of the financial industry?
After several years of record-setting foreclosure rates in Ohio, the rates dropped in 2013 as compared to previous years, according to a news report. Even though that sounds like good news, Ohio does still rank fifth in the country in the rate of foreclosures. In 2013, one of every 65 properties in Ohio was involved in the foreclosure process at one point or another.
In the wake of the housing market crash, mortgage lenders have gotten a bad reputation for improper and rushed foreclosures that violate the rights of homeowners. In a case that is currently before the Ohio Supreme Court, a bank has filed a foreclosure action against an Ohio couple before the bank even held the mortgage.