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In the Muck and the Mire

In the Muck and the Mire

The Wall Street Journal today reports on the entangled state of the foreclose process.

We’ve previously explored how such issues as robo-signing and the dubious status of MERS have adversely affected the system, throwing into question proper ownership of and interest in distressed properties.

Now, with legal, regulatory, and PR fallout brought about by this crisis, it seems banks around the country are handling foreclosures much more cautiously. In states like New York, for instance, there’s greater scrutiny of paperwork submitted by loan servicers when homes are seized. Though enhanced scrutiny is welcome given past abuses, it’s effectively ensnarled the system, leaving New York with the lowest foreclosure-completion rate in the country.

According to the WSJ, with the number of properties entering foreclosure outpacing the total sold or taken back by the banks, the foreclosure machinery is nearly paralyzed. With banks taking back fewer homes, there are fewer homes to sell. While this may bear well economically in the short-term, not flooding the market with distressed properties, it’s taking longer to clear and sell to new buyers the foreclosed homes that are in the market.

Much, if not all, of this is a systemic reaction to the corruption and problems that created the crisis in the first place. How long it will take to clean up and stabilize the market remains uncertain.

Please be advised that this article does not constitute legal advice nor does it provide any basis to form an attorney-client relationship. Nothing in this article should be copied without the express permission of the author.

Mr. Hounchell has a law degree from The University of Florida College of Law and he is a partner in The Law Offices of Charles A. Hounchell, P.A. � Attorneys & Counselors at Law, in Tampa, Florida. Mr. Hounchell obtained his undergraduate degree from The George Washington University in Washington D.C. and he obtained his MBA in International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management (“Thunderbird”) in Glendale, Arizona..

Mr. Hounchell is a licensed real estate agent with Smith and Associates, Inc. www.smithandassociates.com; www.livecasanova.com. He has lived in many different countries, including Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Germany and he speaks Spanish and Portuguese. A significant portion of Mr. Hounchell’s law practice is concentrated on Real Estate Law. He can be reached at 813-230-3376 or charlie@floridapropertylaw.com