Bill On Governor’s Desk Would Hasten Foreclosures

CHICAGO (CBS) — A bill making foreclosures quicker and easier for banks is on Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk.

In a state that already ranks ninth in the country when it comes to foreclosures, critics say the legislation would cause that rate to soar if it’s signed into law.

“It’s terrible for consumers. It really is robbing them of their rights,” says Erica Minchella of the Association of Foreclosure Defense Attorneys.

The bill would give homeowners just 60 days to move to dismiss a foreclosure notice or question the legality of how they were served with that notice in the first place. Right now, there is no such limit as long as the foreclosure hasn’t been completed.

“The defendants won’t have the time they need to defend … because it’s basically creating what we refer to as a ‘rocket docket,’” Minchella said.

Minchella says it seems like the legislation is for the banks and possibly by the banks. But it sailed through both houses of the General Assembly without a single “no” vote.

Republican state Sen. Matt Murphy supported the measure, he says, because something needs to be done to get foreclosed homes back in the marketplace so they don’t blight neighborhoods.

But over at the Daley Center, on the 28th floor, scores of people show up each day to try and save their property. Most say the banks won’t work with them to renegotiate the terms of their loans. They say speeding the process for banks is bad for homeowners.

“They don’t have nowhere to go. What are they going to do, live in the street?” Kerry Harris of Englewood says.

Murphy says some people have bought more home than they can afford.

“You’ve got to get this done in a way that is respectful to the rest of the people in the neighborhood, too,” Murphy says.

The governor has two months to act on the bill.

Senate sponsor Kirk Dillard says it’s important to note that a judge can overrule the statute and extend the time period for good cause. He says he wouldn’t have sponsored the bill without that key provision.

  • johnt

    Why is it that of all the people in Chicago who could be quoted, they regularly choose ignorant Englewood residents to quote in news articles speaking their ebonics English like “They don’t have nowhere to go?” She sounds like another “honor student.” Why do those of us who actually received an education have to be constantly reminded of how many truly stupid people there are? Her quote certainly does nothing to add to the credibility of the story.

  • tom sharp

    I was hoping for something on his desk that would “hasten” his departure from office!

  • Kathy

    How can we fight this?

  • Martin Seegers

    How does this bill rob people of their rights? Do we have the right to not keep up with our financial obligations? How is 60 days not enough time to defend? How many full length novels could the average person read in 60 days? An entire house can be built in 60 days. If someone buys more home than they can afford, should the bank just look the other way? Make the payments or lose the collateral. I also agree with johnt, that black ebonic babble really does make a person sound stupid.

  • Greg

    What the reporter didn’t bother to put in the article is that the “60 days” in question doesn’t start running until the homeowner gets involved in the foreclosure proceedings for the first time. There’s no “rocket docket” or anything like that as a result of this bill.

  • Ellen Beth Gill

    Murphy is ignoring the problem of homes foreclosed and then abandoned by the banks. There is no reason to speed this up because banks cannot handle the inventory anyway. Another problem not mentioned in the story is that the banks themselves can force the dismissal by responding to discovery slowly, running out the 60 days.

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