While bank after bank acknowledges that it played fast and lose with the housing market, either on the front end with risky, confusing mortgages or on the back end by cutting corners and participating in outright fraud during foreclosure proceedings, approximately 10,000 people lined up at the opening of the “Save the Dream” event hoping to save their homes.
10,000 people. All struggling to keep their homes out of foreclosure. For one event. The number is staggering and the scene, quite frankly, Dickensian.
The event took place in Sacramento, California, but homeowners from all over California showed up. And Oregon. And Washington. Nevada. Arizona. Homeowners from all over the country showed up hoping to have their mortgage payments lowered because they were struggling to keep up as a result of losing a job, being furloughed, suffering from an unexpected illness or going through a divorce.
The Sacramento event is happening right on the heels of a similar event in the Los Angeles area. By the time that event wrapped, after six days, an estimated 40,000 had come through the doors looking for similar assistance. Organizers predict that when the Sacramento event closes attendance should be roughly the same, meaning that within two weeks nearly 200,000 people were desperately trying to save their homes.
The process for the modification is not simple. After showing a ticket and entering the event, homeowners go through an orientation session before meeting with counselors, both in person and in by phone. Homeowners had to bring pay stubs and other financial documents where the counselors determined what homeowners could realistically afford to pay on their home loans. That information was then sent to representatives for lenders who were on-site. It’s ultimately up to the lender to determine if they will restructure the loan based on the homeowner’s financial information.
Many attendees had been trying to work with lenders for months, sometimes even years prior to showing up at this event but had gotten nowhere. According to reports, the desperation in the parking lot was palpable.
We are well past the time for acting on this crisis and quite frankly the situation is shameful. Congress debates tax cuts for Americans making more than $250,000 year while literally hundreds of thousands of Americans struggle to keep their homes. Remember that come November.
photo courtesy of TheTruthAbout....via Flickr