(KTSF by Susannah Lee)
San Francisco Office of the Assessor-Recorder released the first audit report of county land records. And, the report finds that the loans of 84% of San Francisco foreclosure cases violated one or more of the state foreclosure laws.
The audit was conducted by a private consultant firm, and the sample includes 382 foreclosures taking place between January 2009 and October 2011.
Violations occurred in areas including assignments, notice of default, substitution of trustee, notice of trustee sale, suspicious activities indicative of potential fraud, and conflicts relating to the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems.
San Francisco Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting explains , ”Maybe they don’t have the rights to do it, so they actually sign documents giving them the loan or the power to do it, but they sign it on behalf of these other agents so that’s very very problematic . ” The problematic foreclosures seems to concentrate on the Southeastern part of the city as well as the Tenderloin District.
Ting believes this compliance breach is not restricted to San Francisco, but common in California due to its practice of non-judicial foreclosure process.”When it was developed it was quite a while ago, before securities, before mortgage backed securities, before Fennie Mae, Freddie Mac; so it’s a fairly antiquated system which clearly has not kept up with the industry and all the changes in the industry.”
While calling for oversight of the mortgage industry to this issue, Ting believes that legislation is necessary to make a real change
Ting recommends buyers to be cautious and go through the documents carefully, and seek legal advice if necessary
The San Francisco Office of the Assessor-Recorder also provides advise on foreclosures, and would refer housing counselors for further consultations.
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