Every thirteen seconds, an American loses his/her home. In 2008, more than 2.3 million families faced foreclosure. If the government doesn't intervene in a muscular way, an estimated 6 million owners will lose their homes in the next three years.
Those sobering stats begin a Nation piece that actually may help folks trying desperately to stay in their homes. Teaming up with John McCain and conservative talk radio's favorite group, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), The Nation offers a list of 10 ways to prevent or fight foreclosure. Among them are working with your mortgage lender to get it to a lower fixed rate, contacting only nonprofit, non-fee-charging agencies such as the Legal Aid Society to get out of foreclosure, and avoiding companies that promise a quick fix. Because scamsters are out there.
You know who is not a scamster? My bank. Indeed, I would like to thank Wells Fargo for always being there for me. In these troubled economic times, it is refreshing to know that . . . ah, hell, who am I kidding? I'm kissing up because I'm hoping Wells will do what my mortgage lender won't: approve me for a new home loan. My lender says that ain't gonna happen--Obama rescue or no--as long as my debt-to-value ratio remains off the charts. It's a loan counselor or bankruptcy if Wells can't help.
In the meantime, let me pass along that Wells and the National Urban League have joined forces to co-sponsor a new edition of The Foreclosure Workbook: The Complete Guide to Understanding Foreclosure and Saving Your Home by foreclosure author Carla Douglin. The book is free to "at-risk customers" through Wells' Leading the Way Home Initiative, a strategy that aims to "stabilize housing, advance homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods in cities hit hard by foreclosure." Over the past 1 1/2 years, the bank has provided more than 706,000 foreclosure prevention solutions, claims Cara Heiden, co-president of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.
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The Urban League has helped 400,000 people with mortgage issues of their own. Allowing people to own homes, and keeping them there, gets to the core of the community-based movement that has been empowering African-Americans since 1910, according to president and CEO Marc Morial. You can get copies of at The Foreclosure Workbook at Urban League offices. Unfortunately, the closest to the real OC are in Los Angeles or San Diego. You can wait until they are distributed at a Wells Fargo home preservation workshop that hopefully comes to your neck of the woods. If you don't mind shelling out about $70, you can order a copy online here. You Rockefellers, always the show-offs!
It must be noted that not everyone holds a high view of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. Hmm...