Many people file bankruptcy right before foreclosure. Sometimes the timing of the bankruptcy is to get more time to get a loan modification approved. Sometimes the timing of the bankruptcy is to get more time to move. Sometimes it’s because people are out of work and have no where they can go.
As a Virginia bankruptcy lawyer, I see a lot of that. Because foreclosure is faster in Virginia than almost anywhere. (And while other states are adding protection for homeowners, Virginia is not. So reports the Washington Post.)
Now most people who are being foreclosed in Virginia are in fact behind on the mortgage payments. And they do owe a payment to somebody. But, it’s not always the company who is trying to foreclose them.
Just last week, I met with a couple filing bankruptcy on the eve of foreclosure. They had letters in December from two different companies, both saying they owned the loan.
Does that matter? Well, some. Now in this era of falling housing values, banks will consider loan modifications and work outs, rather than just foreclose. But you can’t apply for a loan mod, if you don’t know who has your loan.
So, it’s no surprise that several members of the Virginia General Assembly have introduced bills to give homeowners more protection. One of those was Del Bob Marshall from Manassas.
If anybody can get the attention of the General Assembly for a consumer bill, Del Marshall would be the one. He’s a member of the majority party–a Republican. He’s been there twenty years. He’s a well known right-winger. His bill has support from both parties.
(Del Marshall also said his bill would help the state collect a tax that the banks already owe and don’t pay. That was an appeal to law and order and fiscal conservative types.)
The General Assembly is in session right now. Are they doing anything about this? No so far.