Banking advocates lobby for the right to publish foreclosure notices somewhere other than a newspaper "likely to give notice in the affected area."
The Minnesota House and Senate passed state legislation on Friday, May 1, 2015, (SF 1147) as a gift to banks (and other foreclosing parties) that would rather not be bothered with Minnesota's current requirement that foreclosure notices actually be published "in a qualified newspaper... likely to give notice in the affected area." Minn. Stat. 331A.03
The new legislation makes publication "sufficient" if it is "in a qualified newspaper... located in the county," or, in some instances, "located in an adjoining county."
The legislation was advocated by attorneys representing banks through the foreclosure process, as it will allow banks to dispense with having to identify a local newspaper for each foreclosure in favor of simply looking for the cheapest newspaper within the same county.
This became an issue recently in Olmsted County, as well as other counties with a mix of urban and rural areas--where publication in rural newspapers may be cheaper than in city newspapers. In two different lawsuits concerning Rochester, MN homes foreclosed upon via publication in the distant and rural "Stewartville Star," Judge Birnbaum and Judge Williamson indicated that the foreclosures were not conducted in a fair and legal manner.
As someone who grew up in St. Louis County (Duluth), I find it repugnant that Duluthians will now be subject to foreclosure by publication in the Ely Echo or Chisholm Tribune Press. You can find your own county's ridiculous foreclosure publication scenarios here: list of legal newspapers.
Neighbors that may want to assist a struggling community member, community groups, churches or even local attorneys will no longer be able to rely upon the local newspaper to find out where foreclosures are happening in the local community.
This legislation reduces transparency and is BAD for MINNESOTA. Feel free to speak out if you feel similarly: "Who Represents Me?"
Full disclosure: This firm is involved in a similar case involving the Belle Plaine Herald purportedly giving notice on an Elko foreclosure--though this legislation will not affect the current standards for that case.
Drewes Law represents homeowners in foreclosure. If you or a friend is facing foreclosure, please contact an attorney for advice about homeowner rights: 612-285-3051.
The attorneys of Drewes Law have access to post and edit the blogs. Attorney Bios.