A nationwide process is underway to investigate the numerous residential foreclosures that have occurred during the economic downturn. This state-by-state investigation comes in the wake of purported irregularities and mistakes by lenders and others when foreclosing consumer mortgages.
The Utah Attorney General’s office has joined in this investigation, with an announcement that it intends to look at the current Utah residential foreclosure experience and to determine what steps, if any, should be taken. From what we know so far, we believe that most of the irregularities reported in the national press come from states with foreclosure processes that are much different than the Utah foreclosure process. It has been our experience for many years that Utah mortgage lenders are careful and prudent when exercising foreclosure remedies. In addition, our experience indicates that claims raised by defaulting borrowers against Utah lenders have no merit. As a result, we are confident that the Utah investigation will lead to a successful outcome for Utah lenders and for the Utah real estate market.
Given our broad experience representing mortgage lenders, we have organized a team to respond to the needs and questions of clients and others who may be affected by the Utah investigation. Right now, RQN’s Foreclosure Investigation Team will consist of the following:
Stephen Tingey and Michael Mayfield are experienced commercial litigators who represent lenders in foreclosures and who are currently defending mortgage lenders in numerous Utah lawsuits in which borrowers are trying to stop foreclosures by arguing that there are irregularities in the foreclosure.
Brett Tolman is the co-chair of our firm’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Corporate Compliance Practice Group. Mr. Tolman is the former United States Attorney for the District of Utah.
Matthew Lewis is the other co-chair of our White Collar Criminal Defense and Corporate Compliance Practice Group, and represents clients in government investigations, white-collar criminal matters, complex civil litigation, and administrative proceedings. Mr. Lewis served in the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. as Senior Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division.
Also, we have a large number of other lawyers and support staff in our Litigation Practice Group with broad experience in governmental investigations in the event this investigation becomes more widespread or extensive. Mortgage and foreclosure law expertise can be provided by our Banking and Financial Institutions Group.
Again, it remains unclear where the Utah Attorney General’s investigation will go, but we want our clients to be prepared for any eventuality. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.