Monday, May 20, 2013

Federal Judge Leaves Constitutional Question Involving Colorado Foreclosure Laws Open While Formally Halting Homeowner's Foreclosure Sale

In Denver, Colorado, The Denver Post reports:

  • A federal judge Tuesday formally stopped the foreclosure auction of an Aurora woman's house, leaving unanswered whether he can determine whether a part of Colorado's foreclosure laws is unconstitutional.

    While U.S. District Judge William J. Martínez's order enjoins U.S. Bank, the trustee on Lisa Kay Brumfiel's mortgage, from seeking a public-trustee foreclosure, it doesn't stop the bank from pursuing her house the old-fashioned way — via a lawsuit in state court.
  • Although U.S. Bank said it would never again seek a public-trustee foreclosure against Brumfiel's house — essentially rendering her federal lawsuit moot — Martínez did not dismiss her complaint outright, because the state judge hasn't ruled yet.

    That means the question of whether Brumfiel's constitutional right to due process — guaranteed by the 14th Amendment — is violated remains on the table for now. But that can change.

    Martínez also allowed two advocacy groups — the Colorado Center on Law and Policy and the Colorado Progressive Coalition — to file briefs regarding the constitutionality issue.

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