Having trouble paying your mortgage? Pay attention to this post. A new set of rules being referred to as the "foreclosure relief bill' is aimed at helping financially troubled Minnesota homeowners avoid foreclosure. Those rules go into effect today.

Here a summary of the key provisions, according to information from Gov. Mark Dayton's office:

  • Before a foreclosure sale is advertised, a servicer must work through all possible loan mitigation options with a borrower.
  • Prohibits dual tracking, the practice among loan servicers/lenders of processing a loan modification application while simultaneously proceeding with the foreclosure process and sale. The borrower has private right of action if a lender violates the prohibition.
  • Corrects technical inconsistencies in the statute regarding the foreclosure filing process to clarify that loan servicers must comply with all provisions of the law.

The new rules, which received broad support from housing advocates, Legal Aid, banks and credit unions, will bolster recent federal regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and will strengthen protections already in place under state law.

If you need help, or have specific questions about the new rules, contact Legal Aid's Ron Elwood at relwood@mnlsap.org.