Editor's note: While the following blog posting from Washington attorney Scott Stafne (born and raised in Bettendorf, and online at ScottStafne.com) concerns Washington state jurisdiction, it is still highly instructive for all of us on how the courts contribute to foreclosure inequities, resulting in the destruction of not only the middle class but of property rights under our Constitution.
In Washington state, there are thousands of families having their homes fraudulently foreclosed on, most without due process from the courts - which are tasked with protecting due process under the state and federal constitutions. Recently an appeals judge in Washington ruled in favor of bypassing due process, further enabling nonjudicial foreclosures.
Nonjudicial foreclosures allow a lender to foreclose on a property without a court proceeding. The only way for an owner to fight this type of foreclosure is to file a lawsuit. Often, nonjudicial foreclosures occur without the participation, or even knowledge, of the owners(s). Only 32 states permit nonjudicial foreclosures. While Iowa and Illinois are not among them, Iowa has a provision known as "alternative nonjudicial foreclosure," which permits the owner(s) to request a nonjudicial foreclosure to avoid court (RCReader.com/y/foreclosure1).
It is important to understand these remedies that exist for lenders and how they impact property owners' rights, because legislators could eventually allow their use without us (Iowans and Illinoisans) knowing, especially if we are not paying attention. Most mortgages contain language that provides mortgagees' consent to these remedies, but sadly most buyers are clueless about what they are actually agreeing to.