January 22, 2008
Taylor Applauds Senate Passage of Foreclosure Bill
MADISON – Today at the Capitol, Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) celebrated the Senate passage of Senate Bill 298 (SB 298). The bill provides mortgagors with key protections against predatory practices by foreclosure purchasers. Its co-authors are Senator Jim Sullivan (D-Wauwatosa) and Representative Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee)
“The lack of regulation in this area is hurting a lot of people,” said Taylor. “Banks and mortgagors are made to play by a set of rules, but foreclosure purchasers aren’t. A lot of foreclosure purchasers have taken advantage of the situation to impose some obscenely punitive measures on Wisconsin’s mortgagors.”
SB 298 bars foreclosure purchasers from imposing reconveyence or lease terms that are unfair to mortgagors. It also requires foreclosure purchasers to ensure that mortgagors can meet the terms of the agreed-upon lease or reconveyence agreement. The bill also requires a court to grant a stay of eviction where a mortgagor has either commenced an action concerning a foreclosure reconveyance or asserts deceptive practices in connection with it.
Taylor, Sullivan, and Richards each represent parts of Milwaukee County, which has been particularly hard hit by the sub-prime mortgage crisis. Already this month, the County has been home to well over 1,000 foreclosures, with many more expected in the coming weeks.
“Right now, thousands and thousands of Milwaukeeans are literally begging for some sort of help with foreclosures,” Taylor noted. “They need some way—any way—to stay in their houses. Foreclosure reconveyances can be a big help with that, but only if they’re conducted fairly and with a minimum amount of risk to all the parties involved. SB 298 takes care of those concerns. Now that we’ve passed it, it’s the Assembly’s turn to step up on behalf of mortgagors around the state.”
SB 298 passed the Senate on a voice vote. A companion bill, Assembly Bill 568, is currently awaiting an executive hearing in the Assembly Committee on Financial Institutions.