A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday aims to limit and standardize the timeframe that a mortgage company can go after a home owner following a foreclosure for a deficiency judgment.
Known as the Fairness in Foreclosures Act of 2011, H.R. 3566, the bill seeks a one-year cap on any deficiency judgment, except in states that already have shorter time limits already in place. The bill also proposes that mortgage lenders not be allowed to go after “low-income” borrowers for a deficiency judgment.
Deficiency judgments vary greatly by states. In some states, when a bank does not recover the money owed on the mortgage after a foreclosure or short sale, the bank may pursue the former home owners and require them to make up the loss. In some states, lenders can pursue borrowers for deficiency judgments up to six years after a foreclosure sale, HousingWire reports. Other states, such as California and Nevada, have banned deficiency judgments in some circumstances.
"A deficiency judgment after foreclosure seems to be one of the greatest injustices that occur to home owners after they have gone through the arduous foreclosure process," Rep. Edolphus “Ed” Towns, D-N.Y., who introduced the bill, said in a release. "Not only are they behind by thousands of dollars on their mortgage payments and facing public auction of their houses, the ordeal may continue indefinitely."
Source: “House Bill Proposes 1-Year Limit on Foreclosure Deficiencies,” HousingWire (Dec. 7, 2011) and “Rep. Town Introduces the Fairness in Foreclosure Act,” Congressman Ed Towns (Dec. 6, 2011)
- ^ H.R. 3566 (www.gpo.gov)
- ^ said in a release (towns.house.gov)
- ^ House Bill Proposes 1-Year Limit on Foreclosure Deficiencies (www.housingwire.com)
- ^ Rep. Town Introduces the Fairness in Foreclosure Act (towns.house.gov)