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Processing of Foreclosed Houses and Fixer Uppers Scrutinized in Ohio

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By : John Cutts    99 or more times read
Foreclosure processing, including those for foreclosed fixer uppers, have gained increased attention from law authorities in Ohio. In response to allegations of faulty foreclosure documents, several judges from Franklin County have required attorneys to verify the validity of documents submitted for residential foreclosure cases.

With the number of Cleveland distressed homes and foreclosed properties in the rest of the state remaining at high levels, the processing of foreclosures has increasingly become a hot topic in the state. The decision by the county judges was not appreciated by a number of lawyers who, in turn, filed a writ of prohibition that requested the state Supreme Court to reverse the county judges' orders.

The complaint filed by the attorneys sought to prevent the judges from ordering attorneys who represent owners of Ohio distressed properties and foreclosed residences to sign certifications for their clients. According to housing market observers, the complaints filed by the attorneys can hold back the processing of several foreclosure cases in the region.

Meanwhile, local reports revealed that several other judges from Franklin County were planning to issue the same order to lawyers representing homeowners facing foreclosure problems. The orders were supposed to ensure that the procedure of foreclosing on residential properties, including fixer uppers, is done legally and correctly. However, two more judges who initially planned on issuing the orders reportedly put them on hold after six lawyers filed the writ of prohibition last December.

County judges stated that lawyers do have another option if they did not wish to sign the said certification documents. They stated that lawyers handling cases involving foreclosures and listings of distressed properties can appear in court and produce evidence of mortgage ownership during a hearing. The legal practitioners who issued the complaint, on the other hand, argued that the orders from the judges will force them to reveal details of communications they have had with their clients, which violates lawyer-client privilege.

While this is going on, attorney generals from various U.S. states, including Ohio, have announced plans to take a closer look at alleged fraudulent documentation involving foreclosed properties, such as fixer uppers. Reports revealed that the investigation was prompted by earlier admissions from mortgage firm employees that they engage in robo-signing to speed up the processing of foreclosures.
John Cutts has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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