Yesterday a New Jersey judge created a special position for an individual to oversee foreclosure proceedings. Superior Court Judge Richard Williams has been appointed “Foreclosure Overseer,” meaning that he will oversee foreclosure matters in the state and “safeguard the foreclosure process.” The move follows state Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner’s December order in which he demanded that major lenders in the state demonstrate why their foreclosure activity in the state should not be suspended in light of “irregular activities” and alleged robo-signing incidents.
The lenders in question – OneWest Bank, BAC Home Loan Servicing, JP Morgan Chase (Chase Home Finance), Wells Fargo Financial New Jersey and CitiResidential Living – all objected to the order. They insisted that they had already reviewed procedures and made improvements before Rabner made his demands. The role of the foreclosure overseer will not be to examine individual cases, but rather to supervise the process itself, looking “at the source of the document creation and ensure that these documents were created by a process that conforms to the law.”
Critics say that the judge’s decision to appoint a foreclosure overseer is not nearly enough because “more and more homes are in foreclosure,” as NAACP representative Kathleen Witcher explains. Do you think that the decision to supervise the process in addition to reviewing individual cases is a good move on the case of the New Jersey courts? Will it help restore confidence in lending?
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