I am writing to let you know that, as a consequence of the robo-signing allegations that have recently come to light, the Common Pleas Court for Cuyahoga County, Ohio is in the final stages of formulating new rules that will apply to all mortgage foreclosure cases.
Last November our office sent a bulletin advising of a dispute regarding title report endorsements that arose in Cuyahoga County. At that time, the Ohio Title Insurance Ratings Bureau announced a change to its policy regarding judicial title report forms and strictly forbid the use of title report endorsements previously used in Cuyahoga County.
Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Nancy Margaret Russo recently implemented a new policy requiring something called a Property Status Report Form (“PSRF”) be filed in every foreclosure assigned to her docket. The PSRF was prepared by Judge Russo and has been circulated to creditors’ foreclosure counsel. A copy of the same is included as an attachment to this Bulletin. Failure to file a completed PSRF within twenty (20) days of the filing of the foreclosure may result in a dismissal without prejudice.
The Ohio Title Insurance Ratings Bureau (“OTIRB”) recently announced Preliminary Judicial Reports (“PJR’s”) used in foreclosure cases must adhere to its prescribed format. The OTIRB is an insurance rating bureau that includes among its members most title underwriters doing business in Ohio.
Judge Nancy Margaret Russo has announced new foreclosure procedures which are now in effect. These changes affect Plaintiff’s obligations in foreclosure cases assigned to her docket. Read more
A federal law was recently passed which significantly impacts a lender’s right to take possession of tenant occupied property bought at foreclosure sale. This law is known as the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act and became effective upon its enactment on May 20, 2009. This law applies to tenant occupied property that is bought by a lender who has foreclosed a “federally related mortgage loan” as defined in the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974 (“RESPA”).
The Standing Rule is Raised in Federal Court
In early 2007, in a group of foreclosure cases that had been filed in Federal Court, Judge Timothy Boyko issued an opinion in which he stated that if a lender cannot prove that it owned the note and mortgage on the date the complaint was filed, the lender’s case must be dismissed. The Judge reasoned that under such circumstances, the lender lacks standing to invoke the jurisdiction of the Federal Courts. While the Standing Rule announced by Judge Boyko appeared to be limited to foreclosure cases that had been initiated in Federal District Court, judging by the mood of the economy, we predicted that his reasoning would soon find its way into state court proceedings.