GOVERNMENT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIAO
FFICE OF THE
Statement of Enforcement Intent Regarding Deceptive Foreclosure Sale NoticesOctober 27, 2010
The Attorney General for the District of Columbia issues this enforcement statement toprovide guidance to the public and the mortgage industry regarding the application of theDistrict’s consumer protection law to notices of foreclosure sales involving owner-occupied residential property in the District of Columbia. Foreclosure sale notices, whensent to homeowners to commence foreclosures of their homes, violate the District’sConsumer Protection Procedures Act if they have a tendency to mislead homeownerseither by misrepresenting a material fact or by failing to state a material fact. D.C.Official Code § 28-3904 (e) and (f). The Attorney General is responsible for bringingenforcement actions in D.C. Superior Court against violations of the ConsumerProtection Procedures Act and is authorized to seek injunctive relief, consumerrestitution, and civil penalties. D.C. Official Code § 28-3909.A foreclosure proceeding in the District of Columbia begins when an owner of realproperty is sent a notice of foreclosure sale on a form prescribed by regulation and issuedby the Recorder of Deeds. 9 DCMR §§ 3100.1 and 3100.2. The Notice of ForeclosureSale form requires identification of, among other things, a “Security Instrument recordedin the land records of the District of Columbia,” a “Maker(s) of the Note secured by theinstrument,” and a “Holder of the Note.” The “Holder of the Note” is the noteholderwhose security interest in the real property is the basis for the foreclosure proceeding.Under District law, a noteholder’s security interest in real property should be reflected inthe property records maintained by the Recorder of Deeds, even if the noteholder was notthe original maker of the note. In contrast to the laws of many states, District lawimposes a recordation obligation on each transferee of a security interest in real property:“Within 30 days after the execution of a deed or other document [by which] an economicinterest [or] a security interest in the real property is conveyed, all transferees of, and allholders of the security interest in, real property shall record a fully acknowledged copy of the deed or other document . . . with the Recorder of Deeds for the District of Columbia.”D.C. Official Code § 47-1431(a). While most assignments of security interests “from onelender to another, on the secondary market” are expressly exempted from the District’srecordation tax, D.C. Official Code § 42-1102.01, these assignments are
exemptedfrom the District’s basic recordation requirement, which is presumed to apply to everytransfer of an economic or security interest in real property. D.C. Official Code § 47-1432.