Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

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Mortgage Foreclosure: Change in the Air?

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | November 9, 2008

Posted by Cliff Tuttle

News reports indicate that Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is proposing to the legislature the enactment of legislation increasing the period for cure of default before notice of sale from 20 days to 45 days. The same legislation would allow 30 days to vacate after sale. Texas is a non-judicial foreclosure state, meaning that it is not necessary to file a complaint, get service, take judgment, issue a writ of execution and schedule a sale. A 20 day notice is very quick by any standard. Forty five days is hardly much better. In Pennsylvania, an unopposed judicial foreclosure takes a minimum of five months and the defendant can bring the mortgage current at any time up to one hour before the sale. Texas would still be a pretty dangerous place to miss a mortgage payment.

Nevertheless, times are changing. On October 31, J P Morgan Chase announced a nationwide self-imposed 90 day foreclosure moratorium while it puts together a new mortgage foreclosure prevention program. Initially, the program would apply to J P Morgan Chase owned mortgages only, not those that are being serviced by Chase. However, they will try to encourage investors whose mortgage portfolio is serviced by Chase to participate. One stated goal of the program is to eliminate negative amortization loans from the portfolio by modification. Chase has had a mortgage modification program that has been criticized as taking undue advantage of borrowers by internet web sites.

Foreclosure moratoria are being seriously discussed in California, where Governor Schwarzenegger is reported to be proposing a 90 day moratorium and in Colorado where a moratorium after filing for negotiation and mediation has been discussed by public officials. New Jersey Governor Corzine is also proposing mediation in that State. In Florida, a nonprofit corporation named Earth Angels United has been engaged to administer a mortgage foreclosure mediation program in Seminole County.

Meanwhile, in Allegheny County, much awaited proposals for the imitation of Philadelphia’s foreclosure mediation program surface periodically in the news. Here is one of the latest.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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