Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Kennebec Journal Staff
The fact is that Maine foreclosures must be handled by the courts, and no foreclosure can be finalized without a judge accepting the lender's ownership certification. Proof of ownership enhancements were put into Maine law in 2009, and a 2011 law allows the court to levy penalties against any lender not acting in good faith during the foreclosure process.
These laws, along with Maine's foreclosure prevention programs and the state's settlement with large out-of-state mortgage servicers, made L.D. 145 not only duplicative but unnecessary.
L.D. 145 also would add delays to Maine's lengthy foreclosure timeline of 420 days, considered one of the longest in the nation. Extended foreclosures reduce property values and delay the housing recovery. Property values likely decrease, partially because there are foreclosed homes in the town or neighborhood.
Maine's housing recovery will continue to be delayed because potential homebuyers wait on the sidelines for a foreclosure deal to come along.
We thank Gov. Paul LePage, his staff and lawmakers who opposed L.D. 145 for evaluating the bill in the framework of current Maine law and the bill's likely negative impact on most Mainers. Our member banks are committed to ensuring that our state's foreclosure process protects consumers without jeopardizing future homeownership and economic prosperity for all Maine citizens.
Peter Judkins, chairman
Maine Bankers Association
President-CEO, Franklin Savings Bank