POLITICS

Paul LePage Vetoes Bill Offering Protection For Maine Homeowners In Foreclosure

03/30/2012 02:50 pm ET | Updated Mar 30, 2012

Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) vetoed a bill on Friday designed to increase regulation of foreclosure proceedings.

The bill, which passed Maine's House and Senate with bipartisan support, would have required banks to show proof of ownership or an original mortgage note before foreclosure proceedings, and prevented large mortgage companies from foreclosing on homes they may not have legally owned.

In his veto, LePage said he agreed with the bill's aims but favored increased penalties instead.

“This law would not do anything to shorten the foreclosure process in the state of Maine,” LePage wrote in the veto letter. “Instead, it would add a new burden on our lenders to produce original copies of documents or swear under penalty of perjury why they are not able to. This will simply create more paperwork in the foreclosure process with little benefit for Maine people."

Supporters of the bill disagreed.

"This simple bill would have protected Maine homeowners in foreclosure from the widely reported abuses of the national mortgage companies,” said the bill's sponsor, state Rep. Bobbi Beavers (D-South Berwick), according to the Bangor Daily News.

The veto could be overturned by a two-thirds vote of Maine lawmakers. None of LePage's 15 previous vetoes have been overturned.

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