Although foreclosure rates are significantly down from their historic numbers
at the height of the housing market crash, experts have found that many
foreclosure cases are still in limbo. According to a Planet Money story
NPR, it’s also a lot of work to tie up loose ends for people who are
still dealing with foreclosure proceedings initiated during the financial crisis.
At the peak of the housing market collapse, banks across the country became
inundated with homeowners who fell behind on their mortgages. With limited
resources to keep up with the high default rates, banks and other lenders
with large caseloads resorted to filing the paperwork needed to start
a foreclosure before hitting deadlines that terminated their right to
foreclose. The problem is that they never filed anything else, and instead
relegated these cases to what’s been called a zombie docket.
For many homeowners who received a
foreclosure notice for filings on this zombie docket, cases never proceeded to the
next phase. In effect, their foreclosures were left in a zombie state,
in some cases as long as eight or nine years. While it may seem like a
good deal to have a case where nothing happens, it can create a tremendous
amount of stress for homeowners who never know when they’re going
to get kicked out of their homes.
In Queens, where thousands of homeowners were served notices of a foreclosure
and nothing more, one court clerk who fielded their calls began to look
for more information about their cases and, because there was no information
in the system about them, was forced to tally up the numbers by hand.
Eventually, the efforts of a single clerk led to the court calling in
banks and borrowers to discuss their cases one by one. Ultimately, some
were resolved, including cases where homeowners were able to obtain loan
modifications for foreclosure filings dating back to 2007.
It’s a troublesome matter that loose ends of the financial crisis
still linger for many, and that it sometimes requires the initiative and
old-fashioned detective work of one person to ensure these cases are pushed
through the system. Still, homeowners in this position can find positive
benefits behind resolving their stressful situations and even working
out arrangements that allow them to keep their homes.
If you were served a foreclosure notice and have not heard about your case,
there is a possibility that the same situation may be happening to you.
At Sulaiman Law Group, LTD, our Chicago consumer law attorneys can help
you evaluate your available options, which may include modifications to
your loan. Our team is readily available to discuss your situation and
take the necessary steps to resolve your case, frustrations, and fears.
Contact us today.