Advice from Foreclosure Ground Zero

Foreclosure sign

Foreclosure sign

A new, local PBS-produced program offers advice to homeowners who are facing foreclosure. The show’s goal is to help those who are suffering right now under the weight of a mortgage they can’t afford, and can’t get rid of – and to those who desperately want to keep their homes.

Here’s the Web site for the show, with in-depth interviews on video and in words, plus lots of resources:
KVIE Channel 6: Facing the Mortgage Crisis

Many of the resources are local to the Sacramento/Stockton area  – Stockton being the #5 hardest hit area in the country, down from #1 last year – but some might be a local branch of a national organization. (There is also a link to HUD’s Guide to Avoiding Foreclosure, which I have posted here before.)

The big lesson: Do not pay someone who says they can lower your mortgage payment! Most likely, it’s a scam. Even if the company legitimate, they can’t and won’t offer any guarantees that your lender will agree to a modification at all, much less at a payment you can afford.

The next biggest lesson: Don’t wait! As soon as you realize you’re in trouble, get help! Above all – scary as it is – open your mail and pay attention to all notices related to your mortgage.

The bad news: Hardly any lenders or servicers are willing to modify mortgages to more affordable payments, even though many mortgages are for much more than the homes are now worth. The “why” of that was not made clear, but I have read elsewhere that many servicers are actually paid more if they collect on ongoing delinquent loans than they would if they modified the loan. It makes no sense, but for now, that’s the way it is.

The good news: There are a lot of trustworthy, nonprofit organizations who are there to help you get through the bureaucratic maze.

So yourself together, gather your paperwork, and take action! And if you aren’t in crisis but you know someone who is, help as much as you possibly can, even if all you can give is moral support and a shoulder to cry on. Don’t let them suffer alone, in isolation. This is what it means to help each other through this crisis. It’s the only way we’re going to get through it.

And if you aren’t touched personally by the foreclosure crisis, work for political change, by advocating and campaigning to force lenders to modify troubled loans, for all borrowers whose incomes could manage the new payments, whenever the cost of modifying would be the same or less than foreclosing. And make them fixed-interest loans!

It should be as simple as that.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by tina Baltimore on August 27, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Tina B. & Sacramento Soul Line Dancers

    Presents Thursday Night soul Line Dancing Class

    A tribute to King of Pop

    When: Thursday September 3 2009 FREE ADMISSION

    Where: Touch of Class * 4217 Stockton Blvd. Sac, 95820

    Time: 6:30 PM – Until (Must be 21 & Over)…RAFFLE, RAFFLE

    Come and learn NewEST Soul Line dances:

    Michael Jackson Shuffle* Funky Salsa * Dangerous *

    All Aboard * Carmel Cha Cha and the JD Shuffle (wear you favorite Michael Jackson outfit)


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