Or Get a Cash Settlement Following Foreclosure
In 2014 most home foreclosures can be stopped, through a myriad of federal and state programs that have sprung up. Given that hundreds of thousands of families continue to lose their homes every month, it’s really sad how few Americans are aware of these programs. Clearly Wall Street banks and the corporate media don’t want struggling families to know about them.
Fix My Payment (www.fixmypayment.com) is a free website and advisory service for homeowners who have lost homes to foreclosure or who are currently struggling with mortgage payments.
Many of the mortgage relief programs listed on the Fix My Payment website stem from settlements the banking industry has made with the Department of Justice, the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller and various states following criminal indictment for predatory lending practices (i.e. banks sold subprime mortgages to low income borrowers they couldn’t possibly repay) and fraudulent so-called “robo-signing” foreclosures. Others are federal programs enacted in 2009 as part of the Obama administration’s recovery package.
Below are some specific programs:
1. Department of Justice Settlement with Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo in predatory lending indictment
Homeowners (and foreclosed homeowners) with mortgages issued by any of the above banks are eligible for mortgage relief under the following conditions:
- Financial hardship ($17 billion available for principal reduction)
- Upside down mortgages in which the property is worth less than the mortgage loan ($3 billion in refinancing relief)
- Borrowers lost property to foreclosure between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011
2. Federal Reserve and Office of Comptroller settlement with Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, Aurora Loan Services. MetLife Bank, PNC Financial Services Group, Sovereign Bank, SunTrust Banks and US Bancorp in wrongful “robo-signing” foreclosure indictment (i.e. banks foreclosed on homes without proof of legal title).
Borrowers with mortgages with the above banks are eligible for $3.3 billion in cash settlements if they have lost their home due to foreclosure and $5.2 billion in principal and/or interest reduction to existing mortgages (in cases of financial hardship).
3. Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)
Federal assistance the Obama administration enacted in 2009 providing financial incentives for banks and loan servicing companies to rewrite loan terms to help troubled borrowers (excludes mortgages owned or guaranteed by the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).
4. HAMP-VA, HAMP-FHA, HAMP-USDA
The above programs provide incentives for banks and loan servicing companies to write loan terms for mortgages guaranteed by the VA, the Federal Housing Administration or the US Department of Agriculture. (excludes mortgages owned or guaranteed by the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).
5. Housing Affordable Refinance Program (HARP)
Federal assistance the Obama administration enacted in 2009 providing financial incentives for banks and loan servicing companies to rewrite loan terms to help troubled borrowers with mortgages owned or guaranteed by the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
6. Keep Your Home California (KYHC)
California residents are also eligible for four state programs:
- The Unemployment Mortgage Assistance Program – helps homeowners who are currently unemployed and receiving California EDD unemployment benefits.
- The Mortgage Reinstatement Assistance Program – helps homeowners who have fallen behind on their payments and need help in reinstating their loan.
- The Principal Reduction Program – helps homeowners who have experienced a financial hardship along with a drop in the home’s value.
- The Transition Assistance Program – provides relocation up to $5,000 in relocation funds to help eligible homeowners transition into a new housing situation after going through a deed-in-lieu or short sale.
Free Personal Assistance
In addition to the numerous options listed on their website, people can also phone (909) 937-2400 or visit a mortgage adviser (without charge) if they live in Los Angeles. In addition to recommending specific programs homeowerns can apply for, Fix My Payment customer service representatives seem to know exactly what documents to file to halt foreclosure proceedings.
The Non-Existent Recovery
Economists predict no end in sight to the present foreclosure crisis. Despite manipulation of the “official” unemployment rate by the Obama administration and the corporate media, the percentage of employed Americans of working age has flat lined. According to the Department of Labor’s own statistics, the percentage of American families in which no one has a job stands at 20%. The percentage of unemployed working age adults stands at 41%. Prior to the 2008 economic downturn, this figure had been stable at 35-37% for nearly a decade.
With the recent news that the US economy shrank by 2.9% in first quarter 2014, the potential for new job creation looks extremely bleak. The technical term for a shrinking economy is deflation. Deflation leads to a downward spiral. A shrinking economy means less money in circulation. Low demand forces retailers to reduce their prices, while consumers postpone purchases in anticipation prices will drop further. As sales continue to decline, companies lay off more workers, which makes finding new jobs even more difficult.
photo credit: JefferyTurner via photopin cc
Seems to me like this would be extremely helpful. Hopefully, people will be made aware of the help that is out there for them to take advantage of. You have no idea how uninformed people are and in this day and age, it doesn’t make any sense. People are taken advantage of simply because it is a well-known fact that they are clueless and ill-informed.
Thank you for this eye-opening post Dr. Bramhall. As always, you are ever so thoughtful and helpful. I would wish you a Happy 4th of July but I am sure you know that I am not celebrating this mess! But I shall wish you good health all the same.
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Thanks, but it’s already July 5th here, as we are a day ahead. I don’t celebrate July 4th, either. Kiwis don’t really like Americans much and I try not to draw attention to myself. I rarely celebrated it in the US, except for participating in a few flag burning ceremonies.
Thank you for posting such useful information, Dr. Bramhall. I shared a link to your post with my daughter — she is in the process of renegotiating her mortgage, a process that has taken more than a year for her to even get a response from her lender.
Cool. I hope to see this information disseminated as widely as possible. They should be featuring this kind of stuff on the six o’clock news. They don’t, obviously. Because Wall Street banks don’t want Americans to know about it.
I’m grateful that you posted it, and will pass it on to anyone I know who would find it helpful 🙂
Hello Stuart — Very good to know about this as so many are suffering from this madness perpetrated by Wall Street and the banksters. I spent my 4th getting my visa renewed — a fitting celebration of independence.
Here is an article that I hold as a great victory for the light. I’ve followed the story off and on for about 8 years and it’s another sign that relief for another kind of suffering (cancer) may truly be in sight. http://www.stage2omega.com/feds-finally-release-burzynski-cancer-cure-treatment/
Thank you, Alia
Very interesting link. I, too, have been following alternative treatments for cancer, including the Hoxsey Clinics in Tiajuana and various “oxygenation” treatments. After watching the torturous deaths several friends experienced while undergoing chemotherapy, I have absolutely no wish to follow in their footsteps.
This is important information. Great share. Hugs, Barbara
This is very valuable information. Thank you Barbara for posting this.
I appreciate your knowledge and taking the time to post for people facing foreclosures, but having fought side by side with the foreclosure victims for onward of ten years, I have to say it. You know, the program sound very inviting, and look good as hell on paper, but they don’t seriously help many people.
The servicers make more money foreclosing on the properties, so even if the lender wants to do the modifications and/or other assistance, most people never get the chance. On the 52 Billion dollar settlement that was supposed to go to help those wrongfully foreclosed upon… In GA the state govt kept all the money and said that they were going to create jobs for people.
Bullshit, pure and simple bullshit. No jobs, no more work, nothing here in GA. The state stole the money that belonged to the victims. That is what it is really like here in GA. And I tell you what, if I can ever find anyone who has squatted with the foreclosure victims, or assisted them by helping them stay in their homes, before, during or after foreclosure, I will gladly kiss someone’s butt. Not in GA. The cops would shoot you first, and they would not have to answer to anyone afterwards….
Thanks for your comment, nootkabear. It sounds like the level of state and local corruption is well advanced in Georgia. The nonprofit group FixMyPayment is located in California – and (at least for now) the state of California doesn’t seem to be pocketing this federal money.
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Mr 84 year old client in Colorado was going to be evicted after foreclosure, then, the Castle lawfirm there got slapped with a lawsuit by CO Atty General, so the eviction stopped. Freddie Mac hired new attorneys recently, so the eviction was on again. A female deputy from the sheriff’s office went to see our client. The client said when the deputy started crying, when telling her that they were going to evict her the next day, the client got really scared. She was like, that was all it took, so she quickly got everything she could together and moved as much stuff as she could within the 20 hour or so window. When the next day came, the client, who also by then had filed a case into federal court, found out the bank’s attorneys had called the eviction off temporarily.
Back when we fought the foreclosure through the state level courts with her, I called the attorney general, AARP, Freddie Mac, HUD, and all of the advocacy groups out in Colorado, who have websites bragging about shutting down foreclosures. No one would do anything. She is 84 years old for God’s sake, and no one cared.
How deplorable. I don’t suppose you would be interested in writing a brief article about your experiences? I could post it as a guest post.
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If I can ever get caught up enough to breathe, I might have to take you up on that. I just now got back here to the blog. Sometimes takes me longer. I have them waiting on a schedule right now, but it should not be long, if I can just stay with it long enough.
But then, I had to file suit against my ex-neighbor and the jerks that bought his property. See my DeKalb County Sux blog, and the property in the pictures is next door. Finally have had enough.
I find is comical that the “author” spelled “predatory” wrong in the tags and that is how it shows up in web searches.
Thanks Craig, for pointing out the error. Interesting that the mispelling is showing up in web searches. Perhaps I have started a new trend.