Let’s Hear It For Sherriff Evans: Federal bailout act protections preempt State foreclosure

The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing

-Edmund Burke

Release Date: February 2, 2009
Contact: Ofc. John Roach, 313-224-0615
Evans halts sale of foreclosed homes
o Sheriff says move is necessary to ensure homeowners´ rights
o Federal bailout act protections preempt State foreclosure law, Evans says
DETROIT, MichiganSheriff Warren Evans announced today that he
is stopping all mortgage foreclosure sales handled through his
office and urged other Michigan sheriffs to take similar action.
Evans said a thorough review of federal law has determined that
to continue foreclosure sales would conflict with recently
enacted federal laws that provide protections for homeowners
facing foreclosure and which supercede Michigan foreclosure laws.

Evans said the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) approved by
Congress last fall requires the Secretary of the Treasury to
implement a plan to mitigate foreclosures and to encourage
servicers of mortgages to modify loans to enable homeowners to
stay in their homes. Because federal law preempts state law, the
TARP provision preempts Michigan´s foreclosure law,
meaning foreclosures cannot move forward until efforts to modify
the mortgages of homes covered by TARP have been exhausted.
“After a great deal of research, I have determined there
is sufficient legal grounds for me – and for other
sheriffs – to halt mortgage foreclosure sales,”
Evans said. “I cannot in clear conscience allow one more
family to be put out of their home until I am satisfied they have
been afforded every option they are entitled to under the law to
avoid foreclosure. ”
As a result, Evans said, the foreclosure sales that have been
held every Wednesday and Thursday are being halted until further
notice. He said an average of 300-400 sales per week have been
held in recent weeks.
Wayne County has been in many ways, the epicenter of the
nation´s foreclosure and housing market crisis. In 1998,
the Sheriff´s Office processed 2,417 foreclosure sales.
That number increased significantly each year, reaching a peak of
26,314 in 2007, up 32 percent from the year before. Foreclosures
dipped somewhat in 2008 to just20under 20,000, due in part to a
temporary foreclosures moratorium by lenders Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac that ended on Saturday.
Federal Bailout & Mortgage modifications
On October 3, 2008, the U.S. Congress enacted the
“Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008” into
law, which is more commonly known as the $700 billion federal
bailout program. Its purpose is to provide authority to the
Treasury Secretary to restore liquidity to the U.S. Financial
Created as part of that Act, TARP was designed to purchase
troubled assets from financial institutions. In most case s, this
refers to bank foreclosed homes. This is particularly the case
when the money the lender should expect to recover is greater
than it would be under a foreclosure. That is the case for most
foreclosed homes in Wayne County.
Sheriffs don´t know who is covered by TARP
Evans said since he has no way of knowing which of the
approximately 300-400 homes that come up for sale each week in
Wayne County are covered by TARP protections and which are not,
his only course of action is to halt the foreclosure sales. Since
homeowners lose their rights to a property once a foreclosure
sale is complete, Evans said he and other sheriffs could be
allowing – under state law – the sale of some homes whose
purchasers have overriding protections under federal law to
obtain a mortgage modification.
Mortgage modifications could include the acquisition of a lower
interest rate, the forgiveness of past defaulted payments,
reduction of the monthly loan payment or perhaps the lowering of
the loan principle by ways of example. Any of the above actions
could mean the difference between families keeping their homes or
being forced out of them.
“For most people, their home is the greatest investment
they will make in life,” Evans said. “They have
taken a big risk on behalf of their families and our economy. As
a public official, I have both a legal and moral obligation to
make sure that all of their legal remedies have been exhausted
before they lose their home.”
Over the past several weeks, Evans has spoken to advocacy groups
who represent foreclosed homeowners, such as ACORN and Moratorium
Now, as well as mortgage lenders as he developed his strategy to
address the foreclosure crisis in Wayne County. Evans said his
office will work with lenders and with homeowners facing the
threat of foreclosure to make sure that homeowners are being
provided every option they are entitled to under the law to avoid
“The federal law is very clear,” Evans said.
“I am urging all Michigan sheriffs to join me in
implementing this moratorium on foreclosure sales to assure that
Michigan homeowners have every opportunity to renegotiate their
mortgages before they are subjected to foreclosure
proceedings. “

8 Responses

  1. my comment is my first know about this group iwould meet withthis some time

  2. LORI: IN my opinion, subject to what your local counsel would say, you might STILL have legal title to your home, clouded by all the foreclosure stuff that went on. You have an action for quiet title and possibly damages for civil theft in addition to all the normal TILA, RESPA, HOEPA, RICO, fraud and appraisal claims. Don’t give up just because they got past you! You can still reverse course and catch them! If the home is REO (bank owned) that makes it easier. remember this: they never had one dime in the deal but they got a certificate of title anyway. That is fraud. Get a lawyer and get moving!

  3. wish this had been done in our county in time to stop the loss of our home. we live in delta county michigan and the sheriffs sale was on 12/11/08. needless to say, we lost our home, bank wouldn’t work with us at all. we are trying to save money during our redemption period so that we will be able to get a decent place to rent when this nightmare is over. (if it ever is.) and if anyone will rent to us now that our credit is ruined. good luck to everyone out there who might have a chance!

  4. well lets just say dont believe everything you hear…..perhaps one should look at cases behind the scenes, were they really sherriffs doing the sales?…wont say anything more accept watch and see …it will astound you

  5. Sir:
    It is so wonderful to see a compassionate
    sherriff conducting his job in a manner that
    truly serves his community. You restore
    faith in community justice once again.
    Thank you. Grant Marcus

  6. Check out this link, she’s got Lehman/aurora/Citi

    told her she needed to be reading this blogsite


  7. Please tell me if you can truly help these people who have comments on my blog:

  8. I wish every single sheriff in the country had the COJONES this guy has.

    Send him a thank you card!!!!

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