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BUSINESS
Yvonne Wenger | May 30, 2012
More buyers are looking to score a deal on a foreclosure, while more Americans are worried that the foreclosed properties will lower their home values. Those are two of the highlights from a recent Realtor.com survey that illustrates how people's attitudes about foreclosures are changing. That's perhaps not too surprising, given that bank-owned properties have become commonplace in American cities in recent years. Realtor.com, the website for the National Association of Realtors, commissioned the survey, which was conducted May 4-6. The results are based on more than 1,000 interviews.
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BUSINESS
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | September 8, 2014
Developer Patrick Turner again put off possible foreclosure on the South Baltimore waterfront he wants to redevelop as the parties agreed Monday in backruptcy court to an Oct. 24 hearing on all matters in the case. The delay gives Turner's Inner Harbor West LLC another month or so to attempt to come to terms with creditor Westport Property Investments LLC, which had asked the court to lift the automatic stay triggered by the bankruptcy that blocks foreclosure. If Turner and his creditors don't reach agreement before then, Judge Robert A. Gordon could be asked to decide the fate of Turner's aspiration to turn 43 acres on the Patapsco River into a project including homes, stores, hotels, a high-rise building and a park.
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BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | October 15, 2010
A committee that proposes rules for Maryland's courts recommended changes Friday that could set off "massive audits" of documents filed by firms trying to foreclose on homeowners. The emergency proposal, which will be considered by Maryland's highest court on Tuesday, comes after revelations that two Maryland foreclosure attorneys did not sign a number of their affidavits but instead directed others to reproduce their signatures. An affidavit, the written equivalent of court testimony, cannot be signed on someone else's behalf.
NEWS
July 17, 2014
Foreclosure activity in June dropped to its lowest level nationwide since before the housing bubble started to burst nearly eight years ago, a new report said Thursday. The number of homes facing bank auctions, default notices and scheduled auctions totaled 107,194 last month, down 16 percent from June 2013, according to RealtyTrac, a housing industry research firm based in Irvine, Calif. June's total was the lowest since July 2006, the company said. "Nationwide foreclosure activity in June reached an important milestone," Daren Blomquist, a RealtyTrac vice president, said in a prepared statement.
NEWS
January 13, 2012
This letter is in regard to your recent coverage of the foreclosure protest in Union Square ("Occupy Baltimore members gather to fight foreclosure," Jan. 11). As a reader and subscriber to the online and print editions of The Sun, I am disappointed because the article lacked facts and background information that could have made it great. It's also a situation that ties into many issues The Sun has covered recently such as "Occupy" protest, the city's high property tax rate, foreclosures, short sales, disillusion at large banks receiving special treatment that little people do not, and human interest about the plight of our elderly.
NEWS
November 28, 2007
Cities across America are feeling the sharp pinch of the subprime mortgage crisis: billions in lost tax revenues, a decline in new-housing starts, fewer home sales and - most insidious - a swell of vacant, foreclosed homes. Mortgage lenders aren't responding fast enough to the crisis, which leaves room for others to step in - and bankruptcy judges are in an excellent position to help. They should be given the power to reset home mortgage rates as an immediate remedy for those seeking bankruptcy protection.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | October 13, 2010
Revelations that attorneys at two Maryland firms had other people sign their names to foreclosure documents brought a rebuke Wednesday from the O'Malley administration, which called the practice a "potential example of further mishandling and mistreatment of Maryland homeowners. " Also on Wednesday, several borrowers' lawyers said they have filed a class-action suit against one of the law firms in federal court in Greenbelt. And attorney general offices across the country — including Maryland's — teamed up for a joint inquiry into nationwide reports of improper documentation used to foreclose on homeowners.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | April 30, 2012
A Reisterstown synagogue facing foreclosure is one of an increasing number of U.S. houses of worship suffering in the continuing financial slump. Susquehanna Bank filed to foreclose on Adat Chaim in March, saying in court papers that the 27-year-old synagogue had defaulted on an $800,000 loan taken out in 2005. The Lititz, Pa.-based bank, which filed the case in Baltimore County Circuit Court, listed remaining debt of more than $756,0000. Once nearly unheard of, foreclosures on houses of worship jumped to record numbers nationally in the past two years, showing that religious facilities are not immune to the wave of foreclosures that followed the bursting of the credit bubble.
BUSINESS
By Steve Kilar and The Baltimore Sun | January 8, 2013
A Baltimore Circuit Court judge has given the go-ahead for Citigroup to sell property in South Baltimore's Westport neighborhood that is owned by developer Patrick Turner, according to court records. In November, lender Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp. filed a foreclosure action against Turner-affiliated companies, alleging they owed nearly $32 million on a 2007 loan. Several parcels of land -- 2401 through 2417 Kloman Street -- were secured as collateral for the loan, according to court records.
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | January 18, 2011
GMAC Mortgage said Tuesday it is dropping about 250 Maryland foreclosure cases that were apparently "robo-signed," giving homeowners a second chance to save their properties — and raising the possibility that other lenders might follow suit. The company said it is asking Maryland courts to dismiss cases in which it submitted "potentially defective" affidavits, documents signed by an employee who didn't confirm the information's accuracy and that were improperly notarized. The practice, dubbed robo-signing, appears to have been widespread among large mortgage servicers.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | May 15, 2014
Fewer foreclosures were initiated in Maryland last month than in any month so far this year, even as the number of completed foreclosures climbed, according to a monthly report published Thursday. The figures could suggest that the state's backlog of foreclosure suits -- typically cited as the reason for Maryland's persistently high foreclosure rate -- has started to be cleared from the system. Maryland has experienced 22 months of year-over-year increases in foreclosure activity as measured by foreclosure filings, contributing to a foreclosure rate that was the second highest in the nation last month for the third month in a row, according to an analysis by real estate information firm RealtyTrac.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman and Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | April 10, 2014
Even as the housing market recovers nationwide, echoes of the mortgage lending crisis continue to reverberate in Maryland, home to the nation's second-highest foreclosure rate last month. One in every 527 housing units in the state was touched by a foreclosure filing in March, the 21st consecutive month of year-over-year gains and the second highest rate in the country behind Florida, according to a monthly report by RealtyTrac, a California real estate firm. Meanwhile, median home prices in the Baltimore region remained flat, and distressed properties continued to make up an elevated share of sales, according to new reports on the regional housing market released Thursday.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman | March 13, 2014
Maryland's foreclosure rate remained one of the highest in the nation last month, but there are some signs the situation is starting to improve, according to a new monthly report. One in every 557 housing units in the state reported a foreclosure filing in February, up about 30 percent from a year ago, second only to Florida and almost double the national average, according to data from information firm RealtyTrac, which tracks the filings. Baltimore-Towson had the third highest foreclosure rate of the major metro areas behind Tampa-St.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser | March 4, 2014
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Heather R. Mizeur on Tuesday accused her front-running rival, Lt. Anthony G. Brown, of playing “petty, cynical politics” when he criticized Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler over Maryland's burgeoning rate of home foreclosures. At a State House news conference, Mizeur said Brown as well as Gansler -- the other Democrat in the race for governor -- must be held accountable for the state's foreclosure rate. She said the state had seen a 275 percent increase in foreclosures last year and now ranks No. 2 in the country in that rate.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2014
The General Assembly will consider a handful of bills related to the mortgage crisis, but unlike in previous years, many focus on what happens to borrowers after foreclosure. The bills — most of which would limit the risks of debt that can linger after homeowners have lost their houses — are important, proponents say, but they are smaller in scope than in years past, a reflection of a system that has experienced drastic overhaul since 2008. "There's been significant improvement.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | February 24, 2014
Civil rights groups are pressing lawmakers in Annapolis to impose a six-month moratorium on home foreclosures, as the number of cases has surged in Maryland. But a banker's group and the O'Malley administration contend that there's already plenty of help available for struggling homeowners, and that the housing market can't fully rebound until delinquent mortgages are dealt with. Maryland had the third-highest foreclosure rate in the country last month, according to RealtyTrac, a firm that monitors such activity.
BUSINESS
By Gus G. Sentementes, The Baltimore Sun | October 14, 2010
A committee that sets rules for Maryland's courts is scheduled to meet Friday to debate whether lawyers who filed legal documents in foreclosure cases without actually having signed the papers themselves should be required to defend their work in court or risk having the cases dismissed. At issue are hundreds of foreclosure cases in which "corrective affidavits" were filed by two attorneys who apparently allowed others to sign their names to court documents. Improperly signed affidavits could call into question the validity of the foreclosure process as well as the integrity of deeds on homes taken back by lenders or sold at auction.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | February 13, 2014
Maryland had the third highest foreclosure rate in the country in January, with one in every 543 homes touched by foreclosure filings, according to a monthly report released Thursday. The increase in foreclosure activity - up 98 percent year-over-year to almost 4,400 filings  - ran counter to the national trend, which saw foreclosure activity fall 18 percent from January 2013, according to data from real estate information firm RealtyTrac .The firm tracks default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions.
BUSINESS
By Natalie Sherman, The Baltimore Sun | December 20, 2013
After losing her job as a teacher, Guernica Williams tried for months to get her bank to modify the mortgages on her Windsor Mills home. When her unemployment insurance ended in 2012 and she defaulted, she kept trying, leaving voice mails for a changing roster of case managers and repeatedly submitting documents. In September, she met with a Wells Fargo representative at a court-administered mediation session, where she received assurances that the bank would review her loan, if she submitted additional documents.
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