Jan. 7, 2008
Bare-Bones Foreclosure Notice Violates Homeowner’s Constitutional Right to Due Process, Public Citizen to Tell Court
Plaintiff First Learned of Home’s Sale When New Owner Tacked a Note to the Door
WHAT: Deepak Gupta, an attorney for Public Citizen, will argue before the Maryland Court of Appeals – the state’s highest court – that the procedures used to notify Joyce Griffin that her house would be sold at a foreclosure auction violated her constitutional right to due process. This case provides an example of how predatory subprime lenders, a fast-track foreclosure process and a lax legal system can combine to ruin people’s lives.
Griffin, a Maryland resident, was tricked into refinancing her home by now-defunct Ameriquest when she had simply wanted the name of her deceased fiancé taken off the mortgage. When she was unable to make the higher mortgage payments, the company began foreclosure proceedings. After the company’s shoddy efforts to notify her of pending action were unsuccessful, Griffin lost her home in an auction and learned of the sale when the new owner tacked a note to her door.
Though Griffin hired a lawyer to block the sale, the court upheld the lender’s actions. Griffin is appealing the decision with the aid of Public Citizen and Baltimore-based Civil Justice Inc. In its briefs, Public Citizen argued that a 2006 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Jones v. Flowers requires that additional reasonable steps must be taken to notify a property owner if a foreclosure notice is returned as unclaimed at the post office. If the Court of Appeals decides in Griffin’s favor, the decision could become a precedent for how foreclosures are handled nationwide.
LEARN more about the case.
WHEN: 11 a.m. EST, Tuesday, Jan. 8
WHERE: Robert C. Murphy Courts of Appeal Building, 361 Rowe Boulevard, Annapolis, Md.
WHO: Deepak Gupta, attorney for Public Citizen