Foreclosures

Resource Guide

Despite federal efforts to provide leadership and funding at the national level, in many ways the foreclosure crisis continues to be a state specific issue, with foreclosure proceedings being addressed in accordance with state laws set forth by the state’s legislative authority. While states have varied significantly in their approach to the foreclosure crisis, common approaches include the creation of foreclosure specific pro-bono projects, one-stop resource centers, diversion programs, and foreclosure task forces.

Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.


Featured Links

Glink, Ilyce Foreclosure Rates Impact Courts. (2012). CBS News.

U.S. foreclosure activity has now decreased on a year-over-year basis for 20 straight months including May, but the jump in May foreclosure starts shows it's going to be a bumpy ride down to the bottom of this foreclosure cycle.

Nabanita Pal and the Brennan Center for Justice Facing Foreclosure Alone: The Continuing Crisis in Legal Representation. (2011).

This paper looks at how four years into the economic downturn, massive numbers of families continue to face the prospect of losing their homes through foreclosure.  While for some, it may be inevitable, for others, it can be avoided if they have the right help. This paper discusses how many borrowers have legitimate legal defenses to foreclosure that can only be raised with skilled legal advice and assistance.

General

Clark, Melanca and Daniel Olmos Emerging Strategies In Foreclosure Mediation. (2011). This article describes several foreclosure mediation program features that appear to have a positive impact on effectiveness and offers those features for consideration by jurisdictions that are seeking to develop or expand programs. The article also includes a list of existing foreclosure mediation programs throughout the nation that are interested in sharing their experiences with mediation program stakeholders in other jurisdictions.
Rao, John and Geoff Walsh. Foreclosing a Dream: State Laws Deprive Homeowners of Basic Protections. (February 2009). National Consumer Law Center, Inc. This report takes a look at the laws in each of the fifty states pertaining to foreclosures and identifies recommendations to modify these laws in light of the foreclosure crisis.  The report also includes an appendix that conducts a detailed analysis of each state's foreclosure law and an appendix that discusses mortgage foreclosure mediation programs.  
Report of the Judicial Branch Commission on Foreclosure Diversion. (June 2009). Maine Judicial Branch Commission on Foreclosure Diversion This report details recommendations for use of mediation as a diversion method in Maine prior to foreclosure proceedings, as well as a requirement for notice of free or low-cost legal assistance, credit counseling and other services. 
The Economic Impacts of Delays in Civil Trials in Florida`s Courts Due to Under-Funding of Court System. (January 2009). The Washington Economics Group, Inc. This Interim Report, prepared for the Florida Bar, demonstrates the dramatic impact that mortgage foreclosure filings have had over the past two years on the Florida court system.
Clark, Melanca and Maggie Barron. Foreclosures: A Crisis in Legal Representation. (2009). Brennan Center for Justice This report by the Brennan Center for Justice looks at the impact of the mortgage foreclosure crisis on families, identifies ways in which legal assistance protects families while in foreclosure, discusses impediments to providing legal representation in foreclosure, and concludes with recommendations. 
Walsh, Geoffry. State and Local Foreclosure Mediation Programs: Can They Save Homes?. (September 2009). National Consumer Law Center. This article discusses issues and concerns with the way current state and local foreclosure mediation programs operate and suggests changes to make them better.
Total Foreclosure Filings, Rates and Filing Fees for U.S. States. (October 2008). National Center for State Courts This chart indicates the total foreclosure filings for 2007, the foreclosure rate, and filing fees for foreclosures in the states.
Defaulting on the Dream: States Respond to America`s Foreclosure Crisis. (April 2008). The PEW Charitable Trusts This report provides a comprehensive look at the policy responses that states have taken to tackle the critical issue of mortgage foreclosures.  The report showcases approaches in two principal areas:  helping borrowers avoid foreclosure and preventing problematic loans from being made.    
Foreclosures. (December 2008). Law Library, Superior Court of Arizona, Maricopa County

This resource provides valuable bibliographic information about foreclosure books, forms and articles, both generally and more specifically applicable to Arizona.

Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer. Ohio Offers Comprehensive Response to Foreclosure Problem. (September 2008). National Center for State Courts, Future Trends in State Courts 2008.

Courts across many states are grappling with an explosion of foreclosure cses, and Ohio is no different.  Ohio's courts and legal system play a major role in a statewide effort aimed at helping Ohioans remain in their homes.

Wood, Lawrence. Illinois Eviction Court Benchbook. (February 2001). Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago This Benchbook guide provides guidance on the following topics dealing with landlord/tenant relations: the propriety of granting a landlord's motion for use and occupancy; whether a tenant can cure a criminal lease violation; or the circumstances under which an agreed order may be vacated.

Task Forces and Committees

Florida: Foreclosure Backlog Reduction Plan for the State Courts System. (August 2013).

​Recommendations of the Foreclosure Initiative Workgroup​. The Workgroup made recommendations to clear approximately 358,000 foreclosure cases pending in the trial courts.The major causes for delay, as identified by the Workgroup: 1) plaintiffs to do not appear to be inclined to seek disposition of pending foreclosure cases in an expeditious manner; and 2) paperwork and procedural problems continue to exist in foreclosure cases.

Florida - Final Report and Recommendations on Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases. (August 2009). Florida Supreme Court, Task Force on Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Cases The task force addresses a variety of aspects of mortgage foreclosure case processing, including attorney involvement, consumer education, pro bono efforts, and the existing judicial foreclosure processes.  Recommendations for improvement include case management considerations, rule proposals, and best practices forms.
Skinner, Raymond A. and Thomas E. Perez. Homeownership Preservation Task Force Final Report. (November 2007). Maryland's Task Force includes several workgroups focusing on specific issues involving foreclosures, including financial resources, education and outreach, and legal and regulatory reform work groups.  This report provides information about the workgroups as well as task force recommendations.
Connecticut - Bench-Bar Foreclosure Committee. State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Connecticut has created a Bench-Bar committee dedicated to foreclosure.  The committee's website include meeting notices, agendas, minutes and proposed standing orders.
Texas - Task Force on Judicial Foreclosure Rules. The Supreme Court of Texas The Texas Supreme Court has issued an Order Creating Task Force on Judicial Foreclosure Rules to examine Rules 735 and 736 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, rules intended to address judicial foreclosure of home equity loans and reverse mortgage loans.  The Task Force website includes links to Task Force meetings and forms.