Stopping Foreclosures May be Last Chance for Home Ownership

Ideas and Issues

New Orleans It’s time to be honest in America. foreclosure-bank_ownedsales We have no housing policy it seems, and the dream of future homeownership has become just that:  a dream.  Perhaps the best chance for millions of working families to own a home is to finally have a way to stop a foreclosure.

Release, report, and article after article on the demise and future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pretty much say that lights are out for the 30-year mortgage with a fixed rate unless you pay a premium for it after putting down 20% or more.  More money up front, higher interest rates AND no guarantees of an interest rates pretty much puts a 2×4 in the heart of the low-and-moderate income housing market.

The only hope for many of these families today would be to hold on to the houses where they live and stave off foreclosures.  Proposals to the banks from the state attorneys general and the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are encouraging because they would finally fix the home modification program that banks and servicers have stymied and high jacked.  The Times reported that the proposal would prevent any steps being taken by the lender to foreclose while a borrower was involved in the modification process.  That step alone would prevent the injustices experienced by homeowners like Frances Gomez in Phoenix whose situation we have talked about often when Bank of America admitted to wrongfully stealing her house, but still did nothing to remedy the situation even after conceding fault.  Additionally, any borrower making three (3) trial payments successfully would be guaranteed a permanent modification.  This would also be huge since actually securing a permanent modification has been like finding the Holy Grail no matter how successfully or for how long a homeowner has met the trials by fire and payments.

We need to hurry and make this deal since Republicans have also announced as we discussed a couple of days ago that they want to clawback the $75 billion set aside for home modifications since only $1 Billion has been accessed so far.

Time is running out for homeownership for working families.  We need to grab the last straws now.