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There may be help to stop foreclosure after all

These days, many would argue that consumer confidence is at an all-time low as the national economy continues to struggle and millions of people deal with issues like serious personal debt and bankruptcy. In too many instances, homeowners and other consumers may be led to believe that issues concerning their foreclosure or Chapter 7 bankruptcy are their fault. However, it’s important to remember that consumers do have rights and access to legal recourse in many cases.

Last year alone, it is estimated that over 100,000 consumers filed complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) over issues relating to mortgages. In fact, the majority of mortgage-related complaints made to the CFPB revolved around foreclosures, collections and loan changes. Fortunately, however, there is evidence to suggest that such complaints were met by action and results in many instances.

In a report recently given to the U. S. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, the director of the CFPB noted that consumer victims have been awarded approximately $750 million in disputes over consumer protection policies and violations. Factors like prompt responses, online assistance and easy-to-understand policies have all contributed to the Bureau’s progress, according to the director.

Another program that is expected to help homeowners is the Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule, which is expected to go into effect next year. By encouraging mortgage lenders to implement effective and fair practices and make lending decisions based on reason and good faith, the QM may prevent some borrowers from losing their homes.

In addition to addressing mortgage issues, the CFPB also addressed concerns over credit card debt, student loan debt and bank account transactions. Similarly, the rights of women business owners were promoted by the Bureau.

Source: Atlanta Daily World, “CFPB Returns $760 Million-Plus to Consumers,” Charlene Crowell, Nov. 20, 2013

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