For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: August 18, 2011

New Idaho Law Offers More Protection for Homeowners

(Boise) - Beginning September 1, a new Idaho law requires mortgage lenders to inform homeowners in default about asking for a loan modification review, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said today.  The new law also allows homeowners to request a meeting with their lenders to discuss foreclosure prevention options.

“Homeowners in foreclosure or in danger of foreclosure should familiarize themselves with the rights this new law affords them,” Attorney General Wasden said.  “To help homeowners and lenders understand the law, my office created a webpage dedicated to mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure issues.”

The webpage includes a thorough discussion of the law’s requirements as well as model forms that industry professionals may use to better comply with the homeowner notice provisions.

In addition to requiring written notice about requesting a loan modification review, the law requires lenders to notify homeowners whether they qualify for a loan modification within 45 days of a modification request.  Lenders may not proceed with a trustee’s sale during the 45-day period.  Homeowners also will receive written notice of the date and time of a future trustee’s sale if a scheduled sale date is postponed.

To help combat mortgage modification fraud in Idaho, a new consumer protection law prohibits persons from charging a fee for loan modification services unless the person is licensed with the Idaho Department of Finance or is exempt from licensing under Idaho law, such as licensed attorneys, regulated lenders, or registered mortgage loan originators.

The Attorney General publishes several consumer education manuals related to housing issues, including Foreclosure Prevention and Foreclosure Scams: How to Tell the Difference; Buying a Home; and the Landlord and Tenant Guidelines.  The manuals and other housing and foreclosure information are available on the Attorney General’s website.

Consumers who need help obtaining a mortgage modification should contact a HUD-approved housing counselor at (888) 995-HOPE.  Consumers also can contact the Attorney General’s housing specialist at (208) 334-4536.

Consumers can file complaints regarding mortgage fraud with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.  Complaint forms are available here or by calling (208) 334-2424.

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