Lights On: Families Find Hope After Foreclosure Crisis
5 months ago
Black middle class still in need of relief after loss of homes; special aid program ends Dec. 31
By now, it’s no secret that the nation’s economic downturn –- sky-high layoffs, record unemployment and home foreclosures -– has had a disproportionate impact on African American families.
Some even charge that the impact was deliberate, with lenders taking advantage of the financially vulnerable.
Rarely told are the stories of black and brown families who find the light at the end of the foreclosure tunnel, with the help of organizations that want nothing more than to help put them back on solid ground.
““Eligible homeowners can request to have their mortgage file reviewed by a neutral party to see if errors occurred during the foreclosure process,” says Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League and a spokesman for Independent Foreclosure Review Project, which offers free consultations for eligible people who lost their homes to foreclosure. "If an error is found, homeowners may be eligible for compensation or other remedy such as refunded fees, stopping of a foreclosure, or payments that could range from $500 to $125,000, plus equity.”
Anyone who was involved in ANY kind of foreclosure actions in 2009 or 2010, who believes there were mistakes made in their foreclosure process, can apply for a FREE, third party review of their foreclosure files, according to Independent Foreclosure Review officials. If errors are found, homeowners may be eligible for compensation, up to $125,000 plus equity, have a stop put on a foreclosure, or some other remedy.
But there is some urgency: The Independent Foreclosure Review program ENDS Dec. 31, and it’s estimated that 4.5 million people may benefit from the IFR program – but they have to know about it and they MUST apply before Dec. 31.
How can people take advantage? People can find out if they are eligible and also apply for a free, independent review by calling the IFR Hotline at 1-855-778-0855 or go to www.independentforeclosurereview.com.
Why is this necessary? Congress and the 14 banks involved in the foreclosure fiasco of 2009-10, reached a settlement. The IFR program is one result of that settlement and its goal is to help right the wrongs made by the banks during that period. IFR officials say the program provides real, legitimate help for homeowners who were financially injured as a result of the bank’s actions during the 2009-2010 mortgage crisis.
Morial says homeowners should act quickly to find out if they are eligible for compensation or other remedies:
Remedies can't come soon enough for many homeowners. By 2010, when the Great Recession had the country in a chokehold, the black homeownership rate had fallen nearly 6 percentage points to 46.2 percent since reaching its peak in 2004, according to U.S. Census data. Nationally, the rate only fell 2.3 percentage points, with only 4.5 percent of recent white borrowers losing their homes, compared to 8 percent of black borrowers. Latino foreclosures were a close second behind those of blacks.
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