Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Most State Mortgage Laws From Civil War Era: Not Adapted To Today's Realities Of Home Ownership, Lending, Or Securitization

Posted by Milton Recht:

From WP Carey School Of Business, Knowre "Housing-Market Woes: Prof Says They Should Prompt Legal Reform:"
According to her [Andra Ghent assistant professor of real estate at the W. P. Carey School of Business], most of today’s [mortgage] laws evolved by happenstance. “It’s not so much that each state made a conscious decision to design their mortgage laws in the most efficient way possible.” Often, she explains, laws evolved as a result of some individual judge’s decision rather than statutory intent. Or, they developed as one state tried to emulate another, assuming that the model state had it right in the first place.

The random development of mortgage laws is all the more disconcerting when you consider another reality. “These laws are very old and extremely slow to change,” Ghent notes. In fact, her research traces laws back to 1863 for 37 states. Among them, only 11 states changed their foreclosure proceedings substantially between Civil War days and 2008. In the states for which Ghent had more recent data, similar inertia prevails.

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