Attorney General Janet T. Mills Announces Reprieve for Homeowners

November 24, 2010

Attorney General Mills announced progress in her negotiations with GMAC Mortgage LLC and Bank of America regarding their foreclosure practices in Maine.

GMAC has agreed that it will temporarily halt sales on homes that have been foreclosed on, pending further talks to resolve the Attorney General?s concerns about the company?s foreclosure procedures.

GMAC recently encountered problems in court with its practice of ?robo-signing? affidavits in foreclosure cases. Bank of America has agreed not to proceed to judgment on any pending matters in Maine until it has completed an internal review of its foreclosure procedures and until it has informed the Attorney General of its findings and new procedures. According to Bank of America, this could happen as soon as next month.

Attorney General Mills has also expressed frustration with the Bank's Home Affordable Modification Program ("HAMP"). Bank of America acknowledged that there were delays due to backlogs.

"My office is receiving calls every day from homeowners who complain that the bank lost the paperwork and that they are unable to speak with the same person twice about their loan," Attorney General Mills stated. ?My office will continue to insist that the banks devote more resources to loan modifications and to streamlining their modification processes. I advise consumers to be persistent, to contact a HUD certified counselor and to document attempted contacts with their lender.?

A homeowner who is having trouble getting a trial modification converted to a permanent modification may obtain free advice from a HUD approved counselor by calling the Maine Foreclosure Prevention Hotline at 1-888-664-2569.

Attorney General Mills has also joined the national effort to change foreclosure practices of the major lenders and loan servicers. While multi-state talks are ongoing, Mills stated that no settlement has been reached. Mills noted that community banks in Maine are not the focus of this effort. ?Our local banks in Maine have been reasonable in handling foreclosure matters because they know their customers and they work with them whenever possible to avoid foreclosure and eviction during hard economic times.?


Contact: Maine Attorney General (207) 626-8599