A mortgage banking foreclosure practice requires that a lawyer be able to handle issues related to the origination of the loan, loss mitigation initiatives upon default, the foreclosure process, eviction or summary ejectment post-foreclosure, intervening consumer litigation, bankruptcy, and the disposal of the reclaimed real estate owned properties (REO).
In practice, mortgage banking foreclosure attorneys provide legal services to lender and servicing clients on a wide variety of issues encompassing real property law, civil litigation in state and federal courts, bankruptcy and administrative courts. Specific legal tasks include everything from title searches, loan closings, foreclosure processing, bankruptcy processing, litigation, as well as, practice in administrative courts and agencies in both state and federal courts.
Attorneys in this area may have general experience in real property, bankruptcy, and litigation, and can specialize in these fields, but must have the ability to work within all of these areas of practice. Attorneys in this practice area also must be well versed in federal laws and regulations, including but not limited to, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Servicemember Civil Relief Act, and the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009, as well as, GSE guidelines, CFPB regulations and mandates, and consumer initiated litigation arising out of mortgage loan transactions, and mortgage loan servicing activities. Attorneys also must be familiar with investor and agency regulations and guidelines and the applicable provisions of national settlements involving banks and servicers to both provide clients advice on these matters and to ensure timely compliance with regulations, statute, agency guidelines, and national settlement standards effectively.
Finally, with the advent of mandatory GSE review of the qualifications of law firms providing default legal services on GSE owned loans, it is imperative that a lawyer in this area of practice not only be able to demonstrate his competency as a lawyer, but also be able to prove, among other things, that his firm has adequate staff and attorney to file ratios, possesses suitable technology/software to accommodate legal functions and safeguard confidential information, is able to satisfy reporting requirements, has established internal quality control policies and is financially stable.