15 Sep Georgia’s Foreclosure Law Now Requires Lenders to Identify a Person Authorized to Enter into Modification Negotiations
In 2008 the Georgia Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, a change to Georgia’s foreclosure laws that now require all foreclosure notices to include the name, address and telephone number of the individual or entity who has authority to negotiate a loan modification.
The citation for this provision is O.C.G.A. Section 44-14-162.2 and it reads as follows:
(a) Notice of the initiation of proceedings to exercise a power of sale in a mortgage, security deed, or other lien contract shall be given to the debtor by the secured creditor no later than 30 days before the date of the proposed foreclosure. Such notice shall be in writing, shall include the name, address, and telephone number of the individual or entity who shall have full authority to negotiate, amend, and modify all terms of the mortgage with the debtor, and shall be sent by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, to the property address or to such other address as the debtor may designate by written notice to the secured creditor. The notice required by this Code section shall be deemed given on the official postmark day or day on which it is received for delivery by a commercial delivery firm. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require a secured creditor to negotiate, amend, or modify the terms of a mortgage instrument.
(b) The notice required by subsection (a) of this Code section shall be given by mailing or delivering to the debtor a copy of the notice of sale to be submitted to the publisher.
The law is silent as to what obligations, if any, the lender has to negotiate in good faith or to take any action whatsoever other than picking up the phone. It is very possible that the “complaint division” of your mortgage company will have about as much relevance as the complaint department for the local cable TV provider.
It will be interesting to see if any of the foreclosure notices now being issued fail to include this language – presumably that would be grounds to challenge the validity and legality of a foreclosure.
Jonathan Ginsberg, Esq.
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