Lawmakers concerned that change is not fast enough for the crisis. The foreclosure crisis is still wreaking havoc on communities. The Star Telegram published updated foreclosure statistics this week. The article noted the highs and lows, stating that, “Residential foreclosure postings for the August Tarrant County auction are down significantly from the July 7 auction, but still higher than they were at this time last year, according to monthly figures. Addison-based Foreclosure Listing Service reports 1,545 foreclosure postings for Tarrant County, down 23 percent from May, but up 8 percent from August 2008.” National statistics were somewhat less promising. According to the Realty Trac Inc., a foreclosure listing firm, more than 336, 000 households received foreclosure notices in June.
Lawmakers, law enforcement, and economist have grappled with who is to blame and how to fix it. John Barry, for example, was sentenced to 25 years this week by a visiting judge in Collin County for his involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme with the Stonebridge Ranch Community. According to the Dallas Morning News, the scheme involved buying “distressed homes in the Stonebridge Ranch community in 2006 and 2007 get inflated appraisals and qualify for mortgages using false information. The partners would then sell the homes to someone involved in the scheme, and they would split the difference between the original purchase price and the loan amount. The buyer wouldn’t make the mortgage payments, and the house would eventually fall into foreclosure, lowering the value of surrounding homes and making them harder to sell, prosecutors said.” Capitol Hill is still debating the fix.
With the number of households still at risk of foreclosure, concerns continue to grow that foreclosure aid programs are not working or aren’t working fast enough. Executives of mortgage companies have been asked to defend their lack of progress in light of the amount of money doled out for the program. They have responded by citing the need for more staff and training to make the program effective. Even if reform is driven through, there is still no guarantee that the programs will work to help some groups of homeowners. Curtis Glovier, the managing director of Fortress Investment Group, warns that the current programs don’t really help consumers who owe “far more on their mortgage than their home is currently worth.”
With the amount of red tape and debate involved, the foreclosure crisis is likely to continue threatening the homes of many consumers. Reform may not come fast enough for your situation. If you need help cutting through the red tape and reviewing what options are available to you, contact a qualified bankruptcy attorney in your area to help your avoid foreclosure . He or she can advise you on how to save your home through bankruptcy. You don’t have to be another foreclosure statistic.