Thursday, February 4, 2010

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan helping save homes

Three Charlotte families, whose struggles to avoid foreclosure were shared Sunday in The Observer, are now getting help from Washington.

U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan's staff is looking into problems the three families have had trying to modify their mortgages and save their homes. Hagan told Save Your Home this afternoon that during her first year in office, her staff worked with more than 100 N.C. families facing foreclosure. About 75 percent are still in their homes, she said.

The foreclosure-prevention cases represent a small but complicated and important part of her constituent services effort.

"Foreclosures affect whole neighborhoods, whole communities, not just the individual," she said. "Due to the economic environment we're in...they're more than they've ever been."

Statewide, foreclosure filings jumped 17 percent last year while Mecklenburg County saw a 52 percent gain compared with a year earlier.

A year ago, the Obama Administration rolled out a $75 billion foreclosure-prevention program intended to slow the bruising pace of home losses. The program has been widely criticized, with much of the blame falling on lenders and mortgage servicers for being slow to respond. Banks and other firms have scrambled to improve, but homeowners, lawyers and foreclosure-prevention counselors continue complaining of confusing requirements, repeatedly lost paperwork and poor customer service that create lengthy delays.

"We can't force anyone to approve a modification, but we can certainly contact regulators," Hagan said. "A bank has to respond to a regulator, so it's a good way to get information to a constituent when they haven't been able to do it on their own.

"A lot of the time, the issue is lack of paperwork or not getting in touch with the right person. That's something we can help with."

Here are Hagan's answers to several other questions.

Question: What does it say about a big federal foreclosure-prevention program when it takes a U.S. Senator's staff to get people through the process intended to help them?

Hagan: It's probably due to the fact that we have so many people in this foreclosure situation. That's one reason I'm saying my office is open to help. We have a toll-free line: 877-852-9462.

Question: There's a debate about whether the government should be involved in widespread foreclosure prevention. What do you think?

Hagan: Home ownership is one of the basic building blocks of (personal) equity. I want to do everything possible to keep people in their homes. A government can help citizens in these very vulnerable times.

Question: One factor driving the foreclosure crisis has been exotic loans, often with spiraling interest rates, that borrowers didn't understand. The first bill you proposed in the U.S. Senate deals with financial literacy education. What would it do?

Hagan: This bill offers funding for states to put forward (financial literacy) curriculum in grades 6 through 12 that would actually teach our students about borrowing, credit cards, loans, accessing your credit score -- teaching young people the skill sets necessary in this world. This is critical.

Note: If you're struggling to save your home from foreclosure, I'd like to hear from you. Please e-mail or call direct at 704-358-5173.

See where the foreclosures are in Mecklenburg County with our interactive map, just updated with 2009 data.


Algernon said...

"$75 billion foreclosure-prevention program"?? Lay out some details on that one Stella?

What exactly was that supposed to do and why did it fail?, is it like that stimuless' thing.

Government involvement is going to prove as gripping a problem as Chinese finger cuffs. The solution is the same.

"Fixing someone's mortgage now does not guarantee they can/will pay later, it's like the Govt. bailing out corporations. What is the incentive to watch the bottom line if they know you can go sit on the Govt's foot if they get in trouble?

Toffler's predictions come to haunt us us indeed: there is just to much going on all at once...banking, foreclosures, economy, jobs terrorism, waffling Whitehouse, 'global warming'.

Economy/Jobs and foreclosure problems should be Presidents job number one. Until he decides to roll up his sleeves and get out of the health care social justice jungle, and address those two issues nothing will all.

Anonymous said...

Hagan's not saving "homes." The homes will be there whether the borrowers can pay their mortgages or not. I read the stories about these 3 borrowers. At least 2 of them made incredibly ignorant decisions.... interest only loan, vacations for kids, etc...

Anonymous said...

What an amazing fluff piece on Hagan, also known as the one term Senator.

Anonymous said...

Here is a Senator using her staff to directly help her constiuents with a major problem. What do most of the people who post here do? Complain about her actions. I guess most of the posters are Republicans. That way they can be sure that a Republican Senator will do nothing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this uplifting piece Stella. Thanks to Kay as well for at least doing something. A little is better than the typical GOP nothing.

Thanks again and ignore these trolls that post on the Observer.

Anonymous said...

How is Hagan "helping her constituents"? What she's doing in reality is STEALING money from the SMART PEOPLE who CAN afford their homes and GIVING it to STUPID GREEDY PEOPLE who bought more home than they can afford.

Oh, and the REAL reason Hagan's doing this is to keep an endless supply of cash flowing to the banks.

Hagan talks about "equity" but these modifications do NOTHING to improve homeowner equity - all they do is LENGTHEN the term of your loan so you end up paying MORE INTEREST (to the banks).

When Hagan demands that the banks take a 40% haircut on loans the way homeowners have taken that loss on their equity, THEN I'll pay attention to her. Otherwise, I'll recognize it for what it is: a cheap political stunt with no tangible benefit (unless your name is Brian Moynihan).

Anonymous said...

Somebody tell 0bama's yes girl nobody is buying it. Tell her if she want's to save some jobs, houses and her reputation... cut income taxes!

Anonymous said...

Liberalism.. is is bad for our country...It does not solve anything except make it worse...Fooloish Liberals never think of the future...only giving hand-outs from the Tax-payers.

Anonymous said...

Kaye Hogan is a joke. Litty Dole was a bigger joke. Dole plus the Obama tide allowed her to win.

I am a registered Democrat. I can't wait vote against and work against Hagan. She is a puppet for Reid-Pelosi. She voted for the health bill. She is a tax and tax advocate.

Anonymous said...

Senetor Hagan,

I can't wait to vote you out of office.