NM officials urge foreclosure reform

NM Comunidades en Accion

Attorney General Gary King, Senate Majority Leader Michael Sánchez, and State Sen. Stephen Fischmann will hold a news conference at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Roundhouse Rotunda to express their support for comprehensive foreclosure practices reform in New Mexico.

Among the proposals is the Mortgage Fair Foreclosure Act, which ensures that homeowners can negotiate with the actual mortgage holder and receive a 30-day notice prior to loss of their home. It also stops the “dual track” practice of processing foreclosure complaints and loan modifications at the same time.

Another proposal calls for banks to offer mediation as part of the first default notice, ensuring that homeowners have a full understanding of the foreclosure process and can better maximize their options to save their homes.

New Mexico has seen a spike in foreclosures since the last quarter of 2011 due to unemployment and families are finding themselves in a complex process with little help from outside sources because federal funding has diminished in the past 2 years. Currently, 18.2 percent of New Mexican homeowners are under water, meaning that they owe more than their house is worth. Legislators, the attorney general and community groups from those communities hardest hit by foreclosures, the Albuquerque metro area and Las Cruces are responding to this crisis through legislation, advocacy and education.

“All we’re asking for is fairness,” said Adrián Pedroza, executive director of the Partnership for Community Action, a statewide, community-based organization that works to build strong neighborhoods through leadership development and civic engagement. “If we level the playing field between banks and homeowners, we can prevent thousands of families from losing their only asset – their homes.”

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