NEW LAW HELPS HOMEOWNERS PRIOR TO FORECLOSURES

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April 12, 2011

LITTLE ROCK - Attorney General Dustin McDaniel joined Rep. Tiffany Rogers of Stuttgart today to applaud a new state law that equips homeowners with necessary information prior to a foreclosure and encourages loss mitigation or loan modification efforts before the foreclosure can be initiated.

The law, Act 885 of 2011, was a part of McDaniel's legislative package. Rogers was the lead sponsor.

The Act requires mortgage services to provide copies of the note, mortgage and any assignments; the physical location of the note; and payment history to any homeowner who is about to face a nonjudicial foreclosure. Homeowners must also be given information about available assistance programs.

Such information is not typically given to Arkansas homeowners currently. These critical documents will help homeowners decide how they need to proceed before a "For Sale" sign is placed in their yard, McDaniel said.

The Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's Office receives dozens of calls each month from concerned homeowners who do not have access to information that may be helpful in allowing them to keep their homes.

"It's easy to understand the frustration of homeowners who are unable to access the information they need that could help them stay in their homes," McDaniel said. "This Act addresses the concerns that we often hear from consumers. We appreciate Rep. Rogers' work on this bill, which improves the foreclosure process for Arkansas consumers."

The Act does not offer financial assistance or foreclosure relief. However, it directs mortgage services to provide the names and contact information for any loss mitigation or loan modification services that may be available.

Rogers said she sponsored the bill because she has witnessed problems related to a lack of information provided to homeowners.

"Homeowners have had difficulties in learning where the loan was even located, never mind finding out what was needed so that they could make good on their debt and keep their homes," Rogers said. "We hope these changes will help Arkansans work through a difficult experience."

Gov. Beebe signed the Act into law on March 31. It passed both houses overwhelmingly.

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