However, lending institutions are now allowed to inspect the interior and exterior of a foreclosed property without scheduling an appointment with the homeowner if they suspect the home may have been damaged. If damage is discovered, the bank or mortgage company can accelerate the redemption period to protect its assets.
Bank officials must also offer the opportunity to modify the mortgage and provide a list of housing counselors.
Local real estate developer Chris Peel said he is happy the six-month redemption period remains. Initial versions of the bill would have clipped it to 60 days.
“It's there because there are certain circumstances that could have been unfortunate for them," Peel said, "like medical problems or other issues that allowed them to get into the position they're in.”
Peel, manager of Greenridge Realty's Grand Haven branch, said the half-year can give people a chance to get their finances back on track.
He also understands the need to accelerate a redemption if a home is being damaged or vandalized.
“People are out there stealing copper wiring and appliances,” Peel said. “The lender has a right to protect that asset. There have been cases where we've walked into a foreclosed home and the cabinets are gone, the furnace is gone. It's not good for anyone when a home is damaged.”
Peel isn't fond of the new provision that allows a lender to show up at anytime for an inspection.
“I'm not in favor of them stepping in unannounced,” he said. “... I think people deserve the courtesy of an appointment.”
Peel said home sales are up and the local foreclosure market is drying up. But it may not all be due to the market's uptick.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.