Monday, April 20, 2009

Money For Foreclosure Relief: An Expensive Fiction

An Associated Press story in the New York Times on April 16, 2006 headlines "SIX LENDERS TO GET HOME LOAN AID", specifying in the body of the story that the recipients of the $9.9 billion are JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo & Co, GMAC Mortgage (which owns the Ditech entity), CitiMortgage, Select Portfolio Servicing, and Saxon Mortgage.

A FRONT PAGE story in the Wall Street Journal the day before read "BANKS RAMP UP FORECLOSURES". Guess who this article refers to as "ramping up": JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and FannieMae and FreddieMac. Citigroup stated that it had stopped foreclosures until March 12th at the request of the Obama administration but has gone back to business as usual. If a borrower is a "good candidate" for a modification as determined by CitiGroup, which means that it must own the loan - no securitization - it will wait and see what happens. GMAC too had stopped actions at the Administration's request, is back foreclosing. It stated that 10% of the mortgages in some state of foreclosure may be eligible for a federal program.

It seems that the government is rewarding lenders to foreclose. They are giving additional $$billions to the same companies that are not using the funds to help homeowners, but rather are using the funds to beef-up their balance sheets. It is not even being done under the guise of some Federal program like "HOPE NOW", which has had little impact on solving the problem, but at least gives the aura of respectability. One can at perhaps admire the honesty of these companies which do what they want, with seeming impunity. Select Portfolio and Saxon Mortgage are two of the most difficult entities with which to deal. Wells Fargo, while professing to be helpful is a throw-back to the old joke about banks lending you money when you don't need it - the have taken that addage to heart with mortgage bailouts.

Why is this issue being dealt with here, where the posting have tried to educate and explain? Because this is an education also. The much publicized "homeowner relief plan" was just for PR. If you have a home in danger of foreclosure, DO NOT WAIT for the government to help you. Assume that money is being spent, but more likely than not, to pay for the deficiency balance which remains after a family is evicted from their home which just went through foreclosure, fetching 60%-70% of the outstanding balance of the mortgage. We cannot have the Banks losing any more money, can we?

Your best bet is to contact an attorney who has experience in debt counseling, foreclosure prevention, and depending on your situation, bankruptcy. A competent lawyer can answer your questions about your risk of losing your home and can suggest several courses of action which might bring you a good resolution. At least, you will have someone on your side!

Author's Copyright by Richard I. Isacoff, Esq., April 2009


1 comment:

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