By Kay Wilson-Bolton
October 4, 2008
All the recent talk about the new face of the banking industry and the obligations “they” have to talk to borrowers before foreclosure proceedings begin is true.
They are talking. They are listening and they are making amazing and life changes decisions for homeowners on the verge of foreclosure.
It isn’t easy and it doesn’t happen overnight. Is it worth it? You bet. Here are two cases of success.
A family in Ojai had a mortgage of $3300 after their interest rate adjusted and they could not make the payment and decided not to try. However, with some prompting a fellow REALTOR®, they began the communication process with their bank.
After 70 days, the letter arrived granting them a loan modification with interest only payments of $1700 for five years at a reduced interest rate: no balloon payment, no accelerating interest rate, no build-up of unpaid interest.
The new amount is what they would have to pay in rent had they moved, so it was a win for all parties in many ways.
Another family in Santa Paula owned their home for 12 years and refinanced it when the kids where going to college and a family member was sick. Payments were $4500. It took four months and numerous letters but the day their letter arrived, they learned that their new payment would be $2800 with a fully modified loan that will keep them in their home.
Some will argue that the mortgage meltdown should have not happened in the first place but that is old news. We need to look to the future and fix what we can with our new tools—thanks to Congress.
One thing both homeowners had in common was that they were current on their payments and contacted the bank when they knew they couldn’t make another one.
The full benefits and impact of this legislative have yet to be felt. If you are discouraged, scared, mad about your financial situation and the potential loss of your home, get out your loan payment coupon and find the toll-free number to someone who can help you.
Yes, we are all in the hands of our mortgage company or bank in one way or another. This new legislation is a perfect example of why government is often needed to make people and institutions do the right thing.
I don’t remember that specific element in the Constitution but I know that Amendment IV refers to the rights of people to be secure in their persons and their houses.
Kay Wilson-Bolton is the owner of CENTURY 21 Buena Vista with offices in Santa Paula and Ventura. She brings a regional perspective to local issues. She can be reached at 805.340.5025. Her web address is www.readysetkay.com