Wal-Mart, Bill Clinton & Now Act 885… Things I know about Arkansas?
I didn’t realize it until now, but when I think about the State of Arkansas, only two things come immediately come to mind: Wal-Mart and William Jefferson Clinton. That’s it. Name a city in Arkansas? Little Rock. Name two cities in Arkansas? Umm… errr… well… give me a minute… how about: Clinton? Is there a Clinton, Arkansas?
Oh wait… isn’t there a Hot Springs, Arkansas? I’ve heard of that, but I’m pretty sure that’s only because my mind connects a place called Hot Springs with naked people. I have no idea whether there are naked people in the Hot Springs… it’s just that basically my brain is still at times the brain of a 15 year-old boy… so, sue me.
So, this whole thinking about Arkansas thing came up because Arkansas was the first state to pass legislation requiring banks to follow what are existing laws covering the transfer of real property prior to foreclosing on someone’s home. (Yesterday, Hawaii became the second state to pass such legislation.)
Democratic Rep. Tiffany Rogers sponsored the bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Mike Beebe on March 31, 2011.
The new law, ACT 882, requires mortgage servicers to provide homeowners with copies of the note, mortgage and any assignments, along with the physical location of the note and payment history, BEFORE initiating foreclosure proceedings on their home.
But wait… that’s not all…
The new Arkansas law also extends the minimum number of days before a home is sold that the homeowner must be notified… it takes it up from five to 10, and I’m sorry… maybe it’s just late, but I find that hysterical. It was five days before?
See… I just can’t help but wonder if the banking lobby fought that change tooth and nail as they do all others…
“Oh, no… now you’re going too far. The banking industry cannot be expected to survive under such burdensome restrictions on free trade. Being forced to notify the borrower more than five days ahead of selling his or her home just isn’t always possible. If such a demand is placed on the lending industry, the impact will be to slow economic growth, reduce available lending capacity, and place upward pressure on interest rates paid by all… um… Arkansasians, which will reduce homeownership throughout the state thus depriving credit worthy borrowers of the American Dream… and you know what comes next don’t you… that’s right… Communism and Fascism.
Oh my God, if that ever starts to happen again, would someone please grab a hammer and smash my fingers as they’re typing… I think I started to channel Sen. Shelby there at the end and now I’m inexplicably fighting the urge to picket in front of a Planned Parenthood facility, defund the NEA and NPR, and then have a sarsaparilla while I exchange naughty emails with a good looking young page just shy of his 18th year.
Good Lord, did I just say that out loud? I apologize… I don’t know what got into me. That’s powerful stuff… you go down that path, even for a moment or two, and next thing you know you find yourself wondering about Obama’s birth certificate and blaming the Jews for most of what’s wrong with this world.
Relax, Martin… just breath, breath, slowly… See, what we need to do is build a fence across Texas, and then get us some buses… STOP IT, STOP IT, for the love of God and all that is Holy… STOP IT!
Okay, so the new Arkansas law also requires servicers to provide information about available assistance programs and encourage loss mitigation and loan modification before foreclosing… which should work out fine because if, as a group, these servicers are anything, Lord they are an encouraging bunch.
It also says that servicers have to… oh, who cares? The point is that the new law requires mortgage servicers to provide homeowners with copies of the note, mortgage and any assignments, along with the physical location of the note and payment history, BEFORE initiating foreclosure proceedings on their home.
Isn’t that the 800 lb. gorilla in the room that we’re talking about here? I mean, can they provide any of those things? It certainly doesn’t seem so, unless LPS or DOCX or some foreclosure mill law firm is going to “create” them, or perhaps they’ve just taken their robo-signing divisions off shore.
I really don’t know what the banksters are planning next, but I’ve learned to expect just about anything, so am I’m staying tuned? You’re darned tootin’.
I do know this, however…
If a group of human beings are faced with a problem situation… any type of problem situation… and they get together to brain storm the possible solutions… and at the end of the day they come up with something that sounds like this…
“I know what we can do… let’s have some guy sit in an office and sign 10,000 affidavits a month that he’s never read so we can try to pass them off with the judge…”
… then there weren’t all that many other ideas on their list of possibilities, if you get what I’m saying here. I mean, you wouldn’t try to tell me that a group of adults CHOSE that idea off of a list, would you? Because if that’s the case, then the other ideas on the list would have to be so far outside my powers of imagination, that if I had to guess and my life were on the line, I don’t think I could save it.
Do you remember the old television game show, The $10,000 Pyramid? Contestants would have to chose a listing of things and then try to guess what would be on the list? So, what if the question was: “List of Ideas for Solving a Problem on Which is Found Robo-Signing 10,000 Affidavits a Month to Take Into Court.”
Go ahead, try… what else do you see as being on that list?
Here, I’ve got one that might be there: KILL YOURSELF. (Ding, ding, ding, ding.)
So, now because there are state laws popping like popcorn that all seem to be saying that you actually do need to prove you own something before you can throw someone out of it, and with only the promise of more to come, God willing, now the banks are going to magically find the documents they need to prove the loans were actually assigned to the trusts that are now trying to foreclose?
Last time they went with committing forgery and a fraud on the court, but that was just to avoid what? Looking harder? Sending someone to a warehouse across town? The whole robo-signing strategy was only used because it was slightly more convenient than actually showing up with the real documents? Seriously?
They robo-signed hundreds of thousands of affidavits to avoid something on a scale of rush hour traffic? All of them? At the same time? Alrighty then, if you’re okay with it, then I’m okay with it.
And, all I can think to say to that is… thank heaven the recession has ended.
P.S. One thing I wasn’t able to figure out. I read through the draft of the bill and I couldn’t find any mention of a “private right of action,” or anything about “reasonable attorneys fees paid by defendant,” as was the case with Arizona’s disappearing SB 1259. So, that could mean that even if servicers break law, nothing can be done… which would sure dilute the whole thing. If anyone can figure out whether the Arkansas law does or doesn’t provide for either of those things, let me know… I’d appreciate it… I’ve tried everything I know how to do to find it, but nothing comes up.
But, nonetheless… the way I look at it is that it’s a bill that imposes requirements that won’t be easy for servicers to comply with, so it’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out. And it’s another defeat for the banking lobby, and that can never be a bad thing.