The housing debacle began after 2006 and people are still losing their homes. Last year in Virginia they passed a law to make it easier for lenders to defend themselves against homeowners who have too little time to do anything about impending foreclosures.
Homeowner’s can receive less than two weeks notice to do anything about it. Can you imagine? They may have lost their jobs during the recession and the state helps the busy lenders to speed them out of their homes. The homeowner must get a court to stop the sale in that narrow time frame, they must gather evidence, file a lawsuit and maybe even post a bond with the court that could be thousands of dollars. Most of the time the borrowers run out of time just trying to deal with their lender when they should be moving to the next step of getting legal help.
Lenders have recently been in the news for robot foreclosures – just signing them through to get it done and over with. Some of the paperwork is incorrect but the deck is stacked in the banks’ and mortgage brokers’ favor. In Virginia and 28 others states, as well as the District, borrowers face non-judicial foreclosure processes – lenders can foreclose without going through the courts. Maryland allows the process to without little or no judicial review, but makes it easier for homeowners asking a court to delay a sale.
Homeowners fates are in the hand of “trustees” rather than judges. But there’s a conflict of interest: they are hired by the lenders.
I’m sure there are people that are in homes they never could have afforded in the first place that have just hung on until the inevitable but maybe there were other circumstances. A sick family member, they got downsized, their small business just stopped with the economy. Someone needs to listen in the end. There can’t be much worse than losing your home and being given a couple weeks to get out.
Every effort should be made to give a family a chance to stay in their homes. Where will they go? How will they hold up?
“Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members ; the last, the least, the littlest.” Cardinal Roger Mahony (1998)
Matthew 25:41-46 (New International Version (English Translation)
41″Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44″They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45″He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
Politicians everywhere, when you’re sitting in church this Christmas with your loved ones and looking at the manger display, what will you be thinking and feeling? They were without a place to stay, too.