Ruggles Introduces Plan to Fine Vacant Property Owners in Easton

Edward Sieger has a great report on Roger Ruggles’ new anti-blight plan: Easton City Councilman Roger Ruggles said he plans to bring a vacant property law to council next month that would require owners to register their empty buildings and pay an annual fee based on how long a building has stood dormant. Ruggles, who [...]

Vacant Lots Vs. Laying Off Teachers

How vacant and foreclosed properties are costing taxpayers: This is the heart of the issue for local government. Vacant land and buildings not only drain value and reduce revenue, they require government action, and thereby increase expense. Derelict buildings and abandoned property exert a significant drag on local economic and fiscal health. They heighten the [...]

The Cost of Foreclosure

From Mike Konczal’s testimony on proposed legislation in California to make banks pay foreclosure costs.

Where Does Andrea Naugle Stand on MERS?

Nancy Becker, the Record of Deeds for Montgomery County, wants the county to stop doing business with banks that use the Mortgage Electronic Registry System (MERS): Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds Nancy Becker is urging registers of deeds across state and the country to withdraw public money from any banks affiliated with the Mortgage Electronic [...]

The Rental Option

David Kapell: Here’s how it would work. The borrower would lose ownership of his home, but be allowed to remain as a tenant paying fair rent for a reasonable period after foreclosure, with the requirement that he cooperate in the foreclosure. He’d pay fair market rents as published by the federal government, ensuring a clear, [...]

What Hath HAMP Wrought

Paul Muschick at the Morning Call explains the new FTC rules for mortgage rescue companies: Starting Jan. 31, companies that offer foreclosure relief services will be prohibited from collecting payment before providing services. They can’t collect until they provide a homeowner with an acceptable written offer from the loan holder… Some states already have prohibited [...]

Turning the Corner on Foreclosure Fraud?

Big win on the foreclosure fraud front today in Massachusetts. From Bloomberg: US Bancorp and Wells Fargo & Co. lost a foreclosure case in Massachusetts’s highest court that will guide lower courts in that state and may influence others in the clash between bank practices and state real estate law. The ruling drove down bank [...]