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Maine League Testifies On Seven Foreclosure Bills
PORTLAND, Maine (5/13/13)--The Maine Credit Union League testified on seven foreclosure bills before the State Legislature's Judiciary Committee Wednesday.

The league testified on a bill that would establish a timeframe for mediation, allow for an option for the borrower to out of the mediation program and shorten the redemption period cases where mediation was completed (Weekly Update May 10).

The league helped draft the bill. Testifying on behalf of the league was attorney Ben Marcus, the league's legislative counsel. In his testimony, Marcus said the league believes the bill balances the interests of consumers and lenders by providing reasonable and modest changes to the current system.

Marcus also testified in support of LD 1389, which would expedite the foreclosure process. The changes in the bill would make the foreclosure system more efficient, effective and better able to serve those that need assistance, Marcus said.

Other bills Marcus provided testimony on included:

  • LD 612, which would protect owners of property in foreclosure from accumulating debts when mortagees refuse to complete the foreclosure process;
  • LD 1116, which would amend the attorney's fees provision in foreclosure actions; and
  • LD 784, which would impose penalties for residential mortgage fraud and false representation concerning title;
Another bill, LD 392, designed to protect homeowners and reduce foreclosure fraud, was passed by both the House and Senate before it was vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage. The bill required, upon request, that the original mortgage note be produced for foreclosure proceedings to continue.

"We feel that this bill makes certain that the consumer's interests remain paramount and a top priority throughout the process, while providing the appropriate safeguards to ensure foreclosures are not unreasonably delayed and protects against abuses of the system, Luke Labbe, president/CEO of PeoplesChoice CU, Saco, wrote in testimony submitted on behalf of Maine's credit unions in support of the bill.

The league also testified in opposition to LD 807, also would provide protection to a condominium when a condominium is foreclosed on. The bill had been presented in two previous legislative sessions.

LD 807 would negatively impact the availability and terms of mortgage loans to acquire condominium units throughout the state, Quincy Hentzel, the league's director of governmental affairs, said in her testimony.
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