Newspaper Archive of
Bath County News - Outlook
Owingsville, Kentucky
November 17, 2010     Bath County News - Outlook
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November 17, 2010

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Bath County News-Outlook Your Hometown Newspaper Nov. 17, 2010 11 The number of people who are losing their homes is astonishing to me. The foreclosure crisis has greatly affected our commu- nities. Foreclosures destabi- lizes families and erodes our neighborhoods. You may bolieve that there is nothing that can be done, but there is! Many people are losing their homes unnecessarily. The president has created a program that encourages banks to modify home loans to help all parties avoid a costly foreclosure. I believe that few people in our com- munity are aware of the Home Affordable Modifica- tion Program, or (H), and even fewer have access to an advocate to help guide them through the loan mod- ification and foreclosure pro- cess. When I became circuit judge in 2000, I averaged three or four foreclosures matters a month on my docket in each of my four counties. 99% of the time, the homeowners who were losing their homes, never showed up in court. I also did not require attorneys for the banks to appear in court on motions for default judg- ment in foreclosures mat- ters, because the attorney fee for coming to court would be tacked on to what the home owner owed the bank and cost the homeowner more in the encL However, over the past few years, the foreclosure matters on the docket have steadily increased. As most of you know, this increase in foreclosures, is not just something that we axe ex- periencing locally, but some- thing that is occtm'in4 across this country. Today, I typi- cally have approximately 30 foreclosure matters a month on my dockets in Montgom- ery and Rowan Counties, and. approximately 15 per month in Bath and Menifee. The matters on the docket are at a various stages of the foreclosure process. What has changed is that the homeowners are showing up for court, but the banks still are not. Please let me distinguish to whom I am referring when I talk about banks. For the most part, our local banks have done a good job with showing up to court and working with folks on modifying their mortgag- es. It is the large conglomer- ate banks, with offices else- where that are the problem. Homeowners come to court and tell me that they have called and called these big banks, but they never get a live person, or get the run around. Oi~n they are told to fax or mail their financial information to the bank to see if they would qualify for a modification, and the big bank received their infor- mation, the homeowner is told that the big bank never received the fax or mailed copy, so the homeowner must go through the process of faxing and mailing again. This may happen three or four times before we come back to court on the case. Often when foreclosure cases come before me on the docket the homeowner tells me that they were out of work and missed a payment or two, and when they went back to work and mailed in a payment, the big bank sent it back and initiated foreclosure proceedings. The homeowner often tells me that they are back to work and that if the big bank would work with them to refinance, they could roll their missed payments into a new mortgage and catch up their payments, but no one at the big bank will talk to them or acknowledge that they faxed or mailed in their modification paper work. And, to make mat- ters worse, when the ho- meowner appears in court, often the attorney hired by the big bank, is located in Cincinnati or Louisville, and they don't drive here to court. When this hap- pens, I cannot question the attorney to see if the hom- eowner has mailed in their modification paper work, or whether they qualify for a modification. When the attorneys for the big banks do show up, they often don't know what is going on be- cause they do not work in the bank, and the loan de- partment has not informed the attorney that the bank has decided to work with the homeowner. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. The big bank may legally be en- titled to a default judgment if they homeowner has not filed anything in the record asserting a defense. All I can legally do is ask the homeowner if they are re- questing 20 days to file a late answer. They look at me puzzled. When a person is served with a lawsuit, they have 20 days to answer the alle- gations in the lawsuit. This answer is supposed to be in writing. However, most people don't know the law, and don't have the money to hire an attorney. When you don't file an answer in writing, the one bringing the lawsuit is entitled to judgment, as a matter of law. However, when I have a homeowner standing in front of me, stating they can now make their pay- ment, it is insane to have the home sold on the court- house steps. When a home is sold at foreclosure, the master commissioner sells it on the courthouse steps. If, for example, the mort- gage amount owed to the bank is $100,000.00, and at the master commission sale, the home only brings $50,000.00, the bank will get a judgment against the homeowner for the de- ficiency, of the additional $50,000.00. When this happens, the bank can gar- nish the homeowners wag- es from now to the end of time, until the $50.000.00 is paid in full, and also tack on the statutory rate of in- terest at 12%, plus attorney fees. This usually leaves the homeowner no option but to file bankruptcy. If there is a bankruptcy, the homeown- er may never be able to own a home again, and Will have difficulty financing a car, a washer or dryer or anything for years to come. With the holidays upon us, millions of Americans are hit- ting the road to vis- it with family and friends. The Ken- tucky Office of High- way Safety (KOHS) wants every cele- bration to be a joy- ous occasion, so it's reminding travelers that state and local and buying pres- ents for loved ones - don't throw it away simply because you failed to buckle up." While seat belt use 1,120 crashes over injury-is reduced by the Thanksgiving 50 percent. holiday, resulting For more infor- iri 330 injuries and ruction about the seven fatalities. Of Click It or Ticket those fatalities, fiveseat belt enforce- is at a record high were unrestrained, ment campaign for "Wearing a seat highway safety dur- belt costs you noth- ing Thanksgiving, ing, but not wear- please visit www. ing it could cost you trafficsafetymar- a ticket or worse.., keting.gov and be 649peo le who were all drivers and pas:. http://highwaysafe- Nov.-15 to Nov. 28, killed in motor re-Senger~s to Click I~- ty:ky:gov. sending the strong hicles last year in or Ticket, day and message to Click It Kentucky were not night." or Ticket. wearing a seat belt. Regular seat belt "No one wants to "Sadly, the holi- use is the single start off the holidaysdays, which for most effective way with a ticket," said many are the hap- to protect people Transportation Cab- piest time of the and reduce fatali- inet Secretary Mike year, is also one of ties inmotor vehicle Hancock. "Save your the deadliest and crashes, according money for turkey most tragic," said to NHTSA. Re- Co a- ('y/ ec0s Oa bok 5iaze ],5Y-f We k4et- come Your ,55ci-28Cl- 278 Lo- KOHS Executive Director Chuck Ge- veden. "Clearly this is an indication that people are just not aware of the huge risk taken by not buckling up." In Kentucky last year there were search has shown that when lap and shoulder belts are used properly, the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passen- ger car occupants is reduced by 45 per- cent, and the risk of moderate to serious William D. Eilington AGENCY MANAGER Derek Ellington, Agent gsville Ph.: (606) 674-6335 FARMERS HOME MUTUAL INSURANCE OF FLEMING COUNTY "Since 1875" 108 Court Square, Flemingsburg 606-674-2237 FIRE, WIND, LIGHTNING, PERSONALAND FARM LIABILITY, MOBILE HOME INSURANCE Charles "Bud" Hunt, Bath County Directory 1080 Maple Ridge Avenue MaysviIle, ICY (off US 68/Maple Leaf R0ad- Very ~Jce- Must see to ap. 2 BRI2 BA Tow~ouse Vaulted ceiling, Cherry cabi ets, Island kitchen Laundry room, Walk.in closet, 0PENHOUSE SAT. NOV 20- 2.4 CALL OUR CREDIT HOTUNE Saturday 9am-5pm Sale Held Inside Sun. Nov. 21 st 10:00 a.m. New Building Supplies Plus Call or See Web for List & Terms Towler's Auction Service, Inc. Mike Towler, Auctioneer CHRYSLER. DODGE .Jeep