After my husband passed away, it became a struggle to pay my house note. I reached out to my bank to see if I could lower my monthly mortgage payments. Under the advice of several CitiMortgage representatives, I stopped paying my mortgage so I could apply for a loan modification. I was told to ignore the notices and that the modification process was underway. After months of calls and forms faxed, re-faxed and faxed again, I received a notice that my home had been foreclosed. I soon learned that I had lost my home due to a deceptive practice called “dual-tracking” where banks continue to foreclose on homeowners even while our applications for loan modifications are under consideration.
I, along with millions of others, lost my home to fraudulent foreclosures practices during the recent economic crisis. Both the Federal Government and most state governments have declared these foreclosures fraudulent and have moved to mitigate the situation. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took action early this year to curb the practice. The one area they haven’t addressed is credit history.
Tens of thousands of homeowners like myself now battle with the devastating impact these foreclosures have on our credit history. As it stands, a foreclosure can drop a credit score by hundreds of points and can take 7 years to be removed from a credit score. This has a domino effect on the former homeowner. It becomes extremely difficult to obtain credit, we are forced to pay much higher fees for everything and renting becomes nearly impossible. Many employers now even check job applicant’s credit scores during the hiring process.
Due to the impact on my credit score, I’ve personally struggled to rebuild. My foreclosure was followed by a layoff. The result is a disastrous credit history that will take years to clean up. I can't find a decent place to live with a part-time job that doesn't remotely cover my bills. I'm trying to rent again but the foreclosure on my credit report is like a millstone that's sinking me lower and lower. Now, multiply my situation by a million or so folks and you've got a lingering crisis. If the foreclosures were fraudulent then the information on the credit report is fraudulent and must be removed.
Making this change will have a positive effect on the rest of the country. Should we succeed in having these foreclosures removed, the consumer outlook and output will improve for millions of people. That improvement will affect the overall economy.
I ask you to join me by signing this petition asking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has regulatory power over the three major credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, to have fraudulent foreclosures removed from consumer credit reports. By signing this petition you are helping millions of people, helping yourself and helping this country. Thank you for making a Change.