States Tighten Foreclosure Regulations

The Hawaii Legislature and Massachusetts House of Representatives passed bills that put tougher restrictions on foreclosures. In Hawaii, the new bill updates the state's foreclosure law, which was called the strongest in the country when it passed last year. The update makes the regulations even stricter, and provides additional protections for Hawaii homeowners.

The law that passed last year was written in part to deal with the huge increase in Hawaii foreclosures. It required the lenders to meet face-to-face with homeowners before foreclosing on a property. Now, in addition to the meeting, an attorney must be present to verify the accuracy of all case documents. "Once again, we won one for the homeowners, and I couldn't be more pleased," said State Rep. Robert Herkes, who serves as the chairman of the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce. "The bill we passed last year had its critics, but our primary focus was always on helping and protecting the homeowner."

Hawaii attorneys say that this new bill might go too far, and even stop foreclosure cases altogether.

In a similar move, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a bill designed to block unnecessary foreclosures. It would require banks to analyze a loan before foreclosing, and promotes loan modifications in lieu of foreclosures when possible. The bill now goes to the state Senate.

See also:
Mortgage Settlement Windfall May Be Diverted in Some States
After 37 Years, 'Neighbors From Hell' May Finally Face Eviction
Neighbor Nabs 'Contractors' Breaking Into Vacant House


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