Tennessee is one of only 5 states (Michigan, New Hampshire, Tennessee Utah, and West Virginia) which do not offer a judicial review of foreclosures (25 states offer the option of either having a judge review the process or for a non-judicial review). While it is true such judicial reviews can offer greatly lengthen the foreclosure process, that's a result of offering greater consumer protections.
Since TN does not offer that option, some striking statistics emerge in recent studies:
"What we found is not only do these neighborhoods that do not require a judicial process have higher rates of foreclosure but as a result, they have a much steeper decline in housing prices and real outcomes”, says Mian. “It’s possible that the further decline of the broader economy makes people feel less wealthy and so they start becoming more cautious with new investments and buying debt.”
The researchers collected data from RealtyTrac.com, Fiserv Case Shiller Weiss, Zillow.com, and Equifax to study foreclosures, house prices, and delinquency rates by zip code, respectively.
The rate of foreclosure per delinquent home in 2008 and 2009 is twice as high in non-judicial states. A delinquent home has a nineteen percent chance of being foreclosed in a judicial state, but thirty eight percent in a non-judicial state."
As noted in last week's Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on the bill, mortgage attorney Steve Baker, "There is no compelling reason to shorten the time for publication of public notices," and further, "The more notices published for a sale, the more it helps to create a better market" for potential buyers.
Sen. Jack Johnson, sponsor of the bill, noted in his testimony "... it may be considered I have a personal interest in this bill" as he is a board member for a state bank. Other comments, from the Tennessee Bakers Association, said "banks pay the fees for the public notices if a mortgage holder can not." It's safe to say if a mortgage holder cannot pay their bills, then they will be unlikely to pay any publication fees.
Sen. Jerry Jones noted in her opinion piece in The Tennessean:
"We are facing economic challenges not seen for decades. But instead of helping Tennessee residents hold onto their homes and get back on their feet, this legislation will make it easier to foreclose and harder on working families to recover from hard times."
House sponsor of the bill (HB1920) Rep. Jimmy Matlock, also a banker, said in an opposing editorial:
"But it is a complicated issue and at any rate is nothing but a red herring to divert attention away from the real issue — money."