Attorney General Issues Q&A Guide for Foreclosure Process

All three statements apply to foreclosures involving owner-occupied residential property in DC

Attorney General Peter Nickles issued “Questions and Answers” today about his October 27, 2010 Statement of Enforcement Intent Regarding Deceptive Foreclosure Sale Notices. The earlier statement explained how foreclosure sale notices, when sent to homeowners to commence foreclosures of their homes, can mislead homeowners and violate the District’s consumer protection law. The statement clarified that a foreclosure against a District homeowner should not proceed unless the noteholder’s security interest is properly supported by public filings with the District’s Recorder of Deeds.

The purpose of today’s issuance is to provide professionals involved in the foreclosure process with practical guidance on how the general principles set forth in the Statement of Enforcement Intent will be applied.

The Questions and Answers clarify, among other things, that a noteholder’s failure to record the note prior to the foreclosure sale does not, by itself, invalidate the foreclosure.  In addition, today’s issuance explains how a foreclosure can be initiated on behalf of a noteholder if conveyances of the note have not previously been recorded. It also reaffirms the attorney general’s intent to bring enforcement actions, if necessary, to stop the use of deceptive foreclosure sale notices.

“A homeowner should be able to go to the Recorder of Deeds and confirm who has a security interest in his or her home and who has a right to foreclose,” Nickles said.