States Tighten Foreclosure Regulations

The Hawaii Legislature and Massachusetts House of Representatives passed bills that put tougher restrictions on foreclosures. In Hawaii, the new bill updates the state's foreclosure law, which was called the strongest in the country when it passed last year. The update makes the regulations even stricter, and provides additional protections for Hawaii homeowners.

The law that passed last year was written in part to deal with the huge increase in Hawaii foreclosures. It required the lenders to meet face-to-face with homeowners before foreclosing on a property. Now, in addition to the meeting, an attorney must be present to verify the accuracy of all case documents. "Once again, we won one for the homeowners, and I couldn't be more pleased," said State Rep. Robert Herkes, who serves as the chairman of the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Commerce. "The bill we passed last year had its critics, but our primary focus was always on helping and protecting the homeowner."

Hawaii attorneys say that this new bill might go too far, and even stop foreclosure cases altogether.

In a similar move, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a bill designed to block unnecessary foreclosures. It would require banks to analyze a loan before foreclosing, and promotes loan modifications in lieu of foreclosures when possible. The bill now goes to the state Senate.

See also:
Mortgage Settlement Windfall May Be Diverted in Some States
After 37 Years, 'Neighbors From Hell' May Finally Face Eviction
Neighbor Nabs 'Contractors' Breaking Into Vacant House

6 Places Where Rents Are Skyrocketing
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States Tighten Foreclosure Regulations

Change in rent: +10.2%
Change in sales price: +4.3%
Price drop from peak: -11%
Job growth, 1 year: +0.53%

Colorado Springs has as experienced only a modest increase in jobs in the past year. Yet rent in the region increased 10.2 percent in the 12 months ending April 31 -- the sixth-largest increase among the 100 metropolitan areas the agency examines. Home prices also increased over the same period by 4.3 percent. According to, the number of listings in the area fell more than 25 percent in the past year, perhaps partly explaining the price increase.

PHOTO: House of Hall,

Change in rent: +11.1%
Change in sales price: +1.7%
Price drop from peak: -6.6%
Job growth, 1 year: +1.49%

Of the 100 metro regions examined by Trulia, home prices in Indianapolis had the second-smallest decline during the recession, losing just 6.6 percent of total value. In the past year, job growth was roughly 1.5 percent, above average for the cities on our list. Compared to rents, asking home prices increased to a much lesser extent of just 1.7 percent, the 32nd-largest rise among the cities examined. According to, list prices as of April 31 were among the lowest in the U.S.

Photo: Intiaz Rahim,

Change in rent: +11.8%
Change in sales price: +6.9%
Price drop from peak: -35.5%
Job growth, 1 year: +2.53%

During the recession, home prices in the Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills area of Michigan fell 35.5 percent, among the biggest drops in the country. Recently, however, asking home prices in the region, which is part of suburban Detroit, have recovered rapidly, up 6.9 percent in the past year alone. Compared to homes, however, rent prices have truly skyrocketed in the past year. In the last quarter alone, rent went up 4.5 percent. In the past 12 months, rents are up 11.8 percent. The likely reason for this increase is the 2.5 percent growth in employment in the area, the 10th-highest jump in the U.S.

Photo: Sidesmirk,

Change in rent: +12.3%
Change in sales price: +16.1%
Price drop from peak: -45.5%
Job growth, 1 year: +2.34%

Among the real estate markets to have the largest increases in rent in the past year, no region was more severely affected by the recession. Home prices in the area fell 45.5 percent from peak, the 14th-biggest decline in the country. However, the situation has begun to turn around in the area. Home prices increased 16.1 percent in the past year, and rents rose an estimated 12.3 percent during that time. Job growth is strong in the area at 2.34 percent.

Photo: PilotGirl,

Change in rent: +13.2
Change in sales price: -0.5%
Price drop from peak: -22.1%
Job growth, 1 year: +2.92%

The increasing popularity of the San Francisco real estate market is extremely lopsided. List prices for homes actually fell 0.5 percent in the past 12 months. Meanwhile, rent prices increased 13.2 percent -- the second-largest increase in the country. The number of employed people in the city grew just shy of 3 percent in the past year, the seventh-highest rate in the country.

Photo: riacale,

Change in rent: +15.6%
Change in sales price: -4.7%
Price drop from peak: -18.2%
Job growth, 1 year: +0.69%

Job growth in the Edison-New Brunswick metro area has been modest. Nevertheless, rent in the region jumped a full 15.6 percent in 12 months, by far the largest increase in the country. In the past quarter alone, rent increased 4 percent. Meanwhile, home prices actually fell 4.7 percent, the 11th-largest decrease in the country.


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