A bill to stop “dual tracking” — a foreclosure practice that Minnesota banks have repeatedly used against homeowners who have fallen on hard financial times — got its first hearing in the legislature Wednesday in the Housing Finance and Policy Committee. The UpTake has highlighted many of the people who have fallen victim to “dual tracking” in which banks tell homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage that they will work with them to modify their payments, while at the same time arranging to foreclose on the home. Rose McGee was one of those who was “dual tracked” into foreclosure by Citibank.
Prior to Wednesday afternoon’s hearing, DFL representatives Mike Freiberg (Golden Valley), Karen Clark (Minneapolis) and Raymond Dehn (Minneapolis) held a press conference on the proposed legislation.
The bill expands an individual’s rights when facing a possible foreclosure. The bill’s authors say it would:
· End dual tracking; a lender beginning or continuing a foreclosure while also in modification discussions.
· Require lenders to give homeowners a single point of contact during the foreclosure process.
· Require mandatory mediation if requested by a borrower.
· Provide extra protections for Minnesotans serving in the military who find themselves in danger of losing their homes.