Minnesota Adds Loss Mitigation Requirements, Prohibits Dual Tracking

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On May 24, Minnesota enacted SF 1276, which adds pre-foreclosure requirements for most mortgage servicers. Effective August 1, 2013, servicers must notify a borrower in writing of available loss mitigation options before referring the loan for foreclosure. Servicers also must, after receiving a modification or loss mitigation request, exercise reasonable diligence in obtaining documents and information from the mortgagor to complete a loss mitigation application, facilitate the submission and review of loss mitigation applications, and give the mortgagor a reasonable amount of time to provide the required documents. The law further requires servicers to timely review and offer a modification to eligible mortgagors, or timely offer other loss mitigation options for which the mortgagor is eligible. Effective October 31, 2013, except under certain circumstances, servicers generally are prohibited from (i) referring a loan to foreclosure while a loss mitigation or modification request is pending, and (ii) moving for a foreclosure order on loans that already have been referred if the servicer subsequently receives a loss mitigation application. The law also requires servicers to halt foreclosure sales in some instances and prohibits a servicer from moving for a foreclosure order if a mortgagor is in compliance with the terms of a modification or if a short sale has been approved.