Comprehensive foreclosure legislation now heads to the Governor’s desk for signature
ST. PAUL (May 19, 2013) — On Sunday the Minnesota House of Representatives passed H.F. 1377, the Minnesota Homeowners’ Bill of Rights, on a bipartisan vote of 123-0. The bill, authored by Representative Melissa Hortman, now heads to Governor Mark Dayton’s desk for signature. A companion version of the bill, authored by Senator Patricia Torres Ray, passed in the Senate Thursday evening.
“We’re grateful to Rose McGee and other homeowners who courageously told their stories, and who along with the members of faith, labor and community organizations lifted up support for this bipartisan legislation in communities throughout Minnesota and at the legislature,” said Donna Cassutt, Director of Minnesotans for a Fair Economy. “And we are incredibly grateful for the leadership of Representative Melissa Hortman for her perseverance to pass the Homeowners’ Bill of Rights, with significant provisions to protect homeowners, this year.”
This legislation is aimed at protecting consumers facing foreclosure in the following ways:
- Requiring loan servicers to communicate ALL options to homeowners.
- Requiring loan servicers to offer loan modifications to all eligible homeowners.
- Banning “dual tracking,” preventing servicers from foreclosing without a clear yes or no on loan modification.
- Requiring servicers to assist homeowners in submitting documentation regarding the foreclosure process.
- Allowing homeowners to take the servicer to court to stop foreclosure if the servicer fails to comply with any aspect of the law. Lawyer’s fees and court costs would be covered should the homeowner prove their case. This is commonly referred to as “private right of action.”
Throughout the state, more than 150,000 Minnesota homeowners have lost their homes to foreclosure since 2006. In 2012, there were three times more foreclosures in Minnesota than in 2005, continuing to have a disastrous effect on Minnesota communities. These foreclosures can and should be avoided.
The campaign to pass the Minnesota Homeowners’ Bill of Rights has been led by leaders and members of ISAIAH, Jewish Community Action, MN Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC), Occupy Homes, andMinnesotans for a Fair Economy.