3 Words That Could Stave Off Foreclosure

The Consumer Warning Network is publicizing an intriguing technique that consumers facing home foreclosure can use to improve their leverage against the lender.

It’s called the "produce the note" strategy, and amounts to the consumer demanding that the lender furnish the original paperwork -- the actual promissory note -- that serves as the official legal record of the loan.

It is a document that contains the homeowner’s signature and proves that the lender threatening foreclosure is in fact the owner of the mortgage.

The technique is proving effective because so many mortgages written during the latest housing boom were sold, resold, sliced, diced, aggregated, and securitized to the point that the original loan documents might have been lost or even destroyed.

If the consumer demands the note and the lender can’t produce it, the foreclosure process could be stalled or, in some cases, stopped altogether. The Associated Press reports that a Cleveland judge threw out 14 foreclosures in 2007 because plaintiff Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. was unable to "produce the notes."

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