Thursday, May 16, 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 mootMartínez 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.