DENVER (CBS4) – Coloradans could soon have more help when it comes to foreclosures.
Two lawmakers are introducing bills aimed at giving struggling homeowners more options if they’re facing foreclosure.
One bill would force banks to literally provide evidence or proof, showing that they have the right to foreclose. The other would give people more access to options like loan modifications to try and keep them in their homes as long as possible.
The bills are being introduced by two Democratic state representatives. They say their hope is to provide Coloradans with more security and more options which, in turn, would help to stabilize a recovering economy.
“Attorneys can now sign a certification saying that their clients have the right to foreclose because they say so,” said Rep. Beth McCann, D-Denver. “What we’re saying is, ‘Fine. Bring the proof to court.’ ”
Sharon and Rick McKee have been fight to save their home. They lost their jobs during the economic downturn and have been through a strenuous foreclosure process.
“We started the modification process in 2008. We were modified, cancelled, modified again over five times,” Sharon McKee said. “And then put into the foreclosure process at least twice.”
The two lawmakers held a meeting at the McKee home to talk about the two bills they plan to introduce.
Disabled veteran Leonard McWilliams has had multiple banks purchase and sell his loan, making loan modification nearly impossible.
“Give homeowners all of their options available to them so they can determine whether or not they are eligible for a loan modification,” said Rep. Crisanta Duran, D-Denver. “In the event that they are denied a loan modification, what this bill does is it requires the banks to give them full disclosure as to why.”
About 20 percent of homes in Colorado are underwater. There’s also data that points to tens of thousands of additional foreclosures still on the horizon.
“I don’t have any desire to criticize the other party … currently there are people on both sides of the issue who have done a superior job in helping homeowners resolve issues with their lenders,” said Rep. Chris Holbert, R-Parker. “This is exactly the wrong course of action.”
Holbert said it would be better to find ways to help the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline.
“That would be a far better effort than to make it more difficult to complete the foreclosure process,” Holbert said.
The foreclosure process in Colorado is about a year long, some of the longest in the nation.