Patt Morrison for August 17, 2010

Foreclosures up, loan modifications down

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Foreclosures are up nationwide.

The foreclosure crisis shows no sign of slowing—July marked a 4 percent increase in the number of foreclosure filings, up 10 percent from the same time last year. The Center for Responsible Lending is releasing a first-of-its-kind report that focuses on the character and makeup of those affected by the foreclosure crisis here in California. It examined 600,000 foreclosures in the state and found that race and geography play an important role. Another key aspect of the foreclosure crisis is those trying to avoid it by seeking mortgage modifications. But, many homeowners aren’t getting the help they need. A ProPublica questionnaire found that banks are routinely neglecting to comply with government rules, losing documents and giving false information. Many homeowners complain that the process has become an aggravating, never-ending saga of phone calls, endless paperwork, and confusion. Meanwhile, the crisis isn’t subsiding. If the loan modification process was easier would it help keep more people in their homes? Should the federal government be doing more to ensure the process is effective?

Guests:

Paul Leonard, Director, California Office, Center for Responsible Lending

Paul Kiel, reporter for ProPublica

Liz Ryan Murray, Senior Policy Analyst, National People's Action, Southern California


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