Va. law speeds up foreclosure

RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Lawyers say a year-old foreclosure law in Virginia fails to protect homeowners, who often get only two weeks' notice of impending sheriff's sales.

The law was introduced after the state Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that a bank had not given a homeowner enough notice of foreclosure. The state legislature provided greater protection for banks.


Under the law, foreclosures are not handled by the courts, The Washington Post said. Homeowners who want to make a legal challenge have limited time to find the evidence -- and the cash -- they need to file a lawsuit.

"There's no question that people are losing their homes when they should not be," said James W. Speer, executive director of the Virginia Poverty Law Center.

Bruce T. Whitehurst, president of the Virginia Bankers Association, said homeowners having trouble paying their mortgages usually have weeks or months to work things out with their lenders before the foreclosure begins. He argued that speeding up the system ultimately benefits the economy by allowing banks to get bad loans off their books more quickly.

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