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New Bill Could Change Foreclosure Process in Arkansas

A North Little Rock woman is fighting to keep her home, which is set to be auctioned in just three days.
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR -- A North Little Rock woman is fighting to keep her home, which is set to be auctioned in just three days.

A single mother who feels she's being run over by a big bank now has a plan to prevent her home from being auctioned off.

Single mom and military veteran Anita Howard is relieved to file bankruptcy, saying it's her only option to protect her home, as she pulls out all the stops to fight her home's foreclosure.

"I would not want any homeowner to go through this," Howard says.

Dozens of problems identified on her account, like missing money and reversed payments, that she says CitiMortgage won't address, have left her on the brink of losing her home despite her claims she made every payment.

"We don't have a voice standing at the gate of the courthouse to say, 'please provide proof,'" she says.

Instead, she's filing Chapter 13 bankruptcy to stall the sale so she can prove she's not in default.

"I don't think it's fair. It's humiliating, I didn't do anything wrong," Howard says.

State Rep. Jim Nickels is trying to level the field by making sure big banks go through the court system to foreclose.

"They've really stuck it to a lot of Arkansas consumers," Nickels says.

His bill would make Arkansas a judicial foreclosure state, meaning the process goes in front of a judge at the start.

"Your private property should not be taken away without due process of law," he says.

Howard's credit will suffer from filing bankruptcy, but she says she still has hope.

"To know me and my children will be in my home on Friday," she says.

And that's what she'll focus on for now.

CitiMortgage issued the following statement in response:

“We work very hard with distressed homeowners to help find solutions to keep them avoid potential foreclosure and remain in their homes. Unfortunately, our attempts to assist this homeowner have not been successful. We have, however, been responsive to inquiries and have provided full documentation for the payment discrepancies in question.”

To read the proposed bill, click here.

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