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Legal League Introductory Remarks from Caren Castle

Happy New Year, and what a beginning to the year we have had. The country has, as many of you have experienced, dealt with record cold weather, snow, and ice. However, perhaps in many respects, first on our industry’s mind has been the implementation of the new CFPB servicing guidelines.

I am confident that each of our members has managed the implementation of the process with as much efficiency—and more importantly, accuracy—as is possible. As we work our way through the new rules and guidelines, rest assured that the Board and League will be reviewing issues as they arise and that we will be discussing them at our conference in April. We will hope to see all of you in Dallas.

The League has been busy thus far in 2014 as well. As most of you are aware, the League, together with the Five Star Institute, commenced a project in 2013 to review the issues surrounding vacant and abandoned properties. The effects that vacant and abandoned properties have upon our communities and our economy have been of increasing concern through the foreclosure crisis of the last several years.

Understanding the process differences either that exist today, or should exist, between the consumer who resides in their home and wants to save their home, and the home that is vacant and abandoned, is critical to the overall sustainability of our communities.

As a result, a white paper was commissioned to review this critical issue. The paper was released in late 2013, and a copy of the white paper is available upon request. The League has not stopped there, however. We are now actively involved in trying to affect change, both from a definitional perspective as well as a process perspective. We believe that it is important to our membership and the industry at large to be able to move through the default/foreclosure process on vacant and abandoned properties, thus allowing for greater focus and resources with consumers looking for alternatives to the foreclosure process.

The League has engaged with industry leaders from all areas, including regulators, servicers, consumer groups, property and preservation companies, and so on, to review and hopefully move the process forward to actionable items for dealing with the vacant and abandoned property issue with the goal of improvement of our communities.

We look forward to keeping you informed of the progress of this very important issue and project. As always, please feel free to contact any member of the Board or our great staff at Legal League with questions or comments. Let’s make 2014 a positive year for all of us.

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About Author: Caren J. Castle

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Managing Partner, The Castle Law Group, LLC

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