A recent study confirms that minority homeowners, particularly those with limited English skills, are hit the hardest when dealing with foreclosure. According to the findings of the study that was commissioned by the California Reinvestment Coalition, loan servicers from Wells Fargo and Bank of America are doing a “poor job” of preserving homeownership. The report points out that while loan servicers have improved their practices in recent years, more needs to be done to help people keep their homes, particularly in cases involving minorities.
Also, the report states that violations of state and federal laws by loan service agents are still prevalent, despite increased efforts by authorities to prevent such illegal practices. In many of these cases, loan servicers continued with foreclosure proceedings even while reviewing the homeowners’ loan modification applications. By law, the foreclosure process must be put on hold while the loan modification application is under review.
According to the Orange County Register, the banks listed in the report are defending their practices. An official for Wells Fargo says that they have helped families keep their homes with nearly 937,000 modifications nationwide since 2009. A spokeswoman with Bank of America stated that they provided $11 billion in consumer relief and 300,000 loan modifications in California during the housing crisis.
For many homeowners, however, conditions have not improved. The loan modification process can prove challenging and stressful. The situation is worsened with the existence of a language barrier between the homeowner and the representative for the mortgage servicer. This type of a difficulty in communication is particularly prevalent among homeowners in areas such as Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles. A spokesperson for the East L.A. Community Corp says that language barriers are a significant problem for homeowners. This is certainly an issue in many areas of Orange County as well.
In the current post-recession phase of the economy and with an improving housing market, it is easy to assume that the foreclosure crisis has passed. There are still many homeowners who are struggling to keep their homes. If you are looking for information or guidance, please contact an experienced Orange County foreclosure attorney who will help you navigate what can be a complex process.