The news reports are heartbreaking - families across New Hampshire seeing their dreams of home ownership put at risk because of predatory lending or foreclosure rescue scams.
That is why we acted this year to prevent predators from taking advantage of New Hampshire families who are in a financial crisis. The legislature passed and I signed a new law aimed at helping protect homeowners from losing their homes - and the valuable equity they have built - to foreclosure rescue scams. The law imposes new standards on pre-foreclosure sales and requiring greater disclosure from foreclosure consulting companies. We also created stiff penalties - including fines, jail time, and repayment of equity to homeowners - on people who run foreclosure rescue scams.
New Hampshire's Banking Department is also working to help families avoid having problems with their mortgages.
The banking department is conducting information sessions across the state to help families avoid risky mortgages. At the sessions, the department's examiners review loan documents with borrowers and potential borrowers to check for improper activities by mortgage originators and provide consumers with referrals for further assistance. Informational sessions have been conducted in Rochester, Keene, Nashua and Salem, and will continue next week in Manchester in the Aldermanic Chambers at City Hall from 2 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 28th. Sessions will also soon be held in Portsmouth, Berlin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Claremont and Concord in the coming weeks. People with questions about their mortgages can also contact the New Hampshire Banking Department at 271-3561, or toll free at 1-800-437-5991.
With a recent report by the New Hampshire Banking Association predicting a continued increase in mortgage foreclosures, we will continue to watch this important issue carefully. I look forward to continue working with lawmakers, our Banking Department and all of you on this important issue.
As always, Susan and I deeply appreciate your continued support, your hard work and your encouragement.
All the best,
John H. Lynch