Bill Reducing Foreclosure Notices Clears House

The House voted 72-19 today to scale back on publication of foreclosure notices in newspapers as urged by the Tennessee Bankers Association.
The bill, HB1920, will reduce from three to two the number of times a foreclosure notice must be published. It also will shrink the length of notices by declaring that a full legal description need not be published.
Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir City, who sponsored the bill drafted by the bankers association, said the current requirements unnecessarily drive up costs of foreclosures.
Critics said the bill undermines one of the few safeguards for borrowers in a state that already makes it easier to foreclosure of a property than most other states.
Some said there are still cases where individuals learn their property is facing foreclosure through a newspaper notice, even though the law otherwise required notification by certified mail.
One example offered was where a couple has separated and the spouse receiving the notice does not inform the other, who is responsible for payment. And Rep. Eric Watson, R-Cleveland, said he knew of a situation were an accident sent a homeowner into a nursing home for months, where the mailed notice was not received as a bank moved forward with foreclosure.
On the other hand, Rep. Johnny Shaw, D-Bolivar, who operates radio stations, jokingly suggested the bill be amended to require newspapers to publish foreclosure notices on their front page. Matlock said that would not be practical.
The bill now awaits a vote on the Senate floor.

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