Working families across America continue to face foreclosure with no real relief in sight. They are hassled by their banks that lose or produce fraudulent documents. The federal government has defunded ‘housing counseling’ -- one of the only tools that has been known to decrease a borrower’s chances of defaulting on a loan. And now decision-makers are considering requiring a 20% down payment for new homebuyers. It would take an average family 14 years to save that money!
Families that have gone through foreclosure have experienced a substantial blow to any financial security they once had. Some struggle to find a suitable rental unit and cover basic expenses. Many who try to save their home have identified unresponsive or unwilling lenders and botched paperwork as reasons they could not avoid foreclosure.
Take the Navarro family from southeastern Michigan, who was among those NCLR interviewed about their foreclosure experience. Even after doing everything the bank asked, they still couldn’t stay in their home. John Navarro says:
"We fell behind in a couple of payments because I had a heart attack, and so I negotiated with the mortgage company. They said send us $2,300 and you will be square. So we did. And then three days later is when I get a knock on the door and they tell me that I was in foreclosure…"
Americans in every community are in dire need of smart policies that restructure our housing finance system, rather than hold tight to the status quo.
Tell Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to help working families: stop wrongful foreclosure, provide affordable homes to rent, and protect the dream of homeownership.
1. Stop wrongful foreclosures. It is time to invest in more effective solutions. The country is in dire need of a comprehensive strategy to prevent needless foreclosures.
2. Protect affordable housing. Americans need more affordable rental housing to meet increased demand, especially in high-opportunity neighborhoods.
3. Keep safe homeownership available. Homeownership is still the cornerstone of middle class financial security. We need to keep opportunities for responsible ownership alive for the next generation of homebuyers.