December 5th, 2008
08:45 AM ET

Foreclosure for Christmas?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/11/26/art.foreclosuresign.jpg]Mary Kane
The Washington Independent

This is supposed to be the season for a break in home foreclosures, a pause in evictions over the holidays.

But it’s not working out that way for everyone. And certainly not for Julio Angulo of suburban Virginia, another victim of a foreclosure machine that seems to be almost unstoppable.

To great fanfare, mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced last month they would temporarily halt foreclosures and evictions from Thanksgiving to Jan. 9. One analyst called the move “a giant timeout” to help people stay in their homes while they try to get their loans modified. The decision also avoids the spectacle of two government-controlled finance companies throwing families out on the street at Christmas time.

Days before, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac unveiled a major rescue plan to streamline modifications of loans to make them more affordable for potentially hundreds of thousands of borrowers. Banks including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America also suspended foreclosures while trying to restructure troubled homeowner loans.

And Monday, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said for the first time that he would consider using money from the $700-billion Troubled Asset Relief Program to help avoid foreclosures.

But nothing seems to shut down the foreclosure machine — at least so far.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Economy • Housing Market • Mary Kane
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. hugh ~ california

    Cindy...Ga. writes,"it’s their own stupidity that got them to this point and I could care less if they get evicted. They made their bed now they have to lay in it." Will you feel more vindicated when they lose their bed too? Will you feel better if they're laying in the streets with their children?
    Cindy, why do you feel the need to respond with such comments to the less fortunate or the demise of others? Try a little tenderness.

    December 5, 2008 at 7:42 pm |
  2. JC- Los Angeles

    Unfortunately, endless people, in their materialistic pursuit of the American dream, lived over their means and are paying the appropriate price.

    Since people are like sheep and need to be pointed in the right direction, leadership and oversight could have saved an awful lot of people from themselves.

    Since our nation has lacked fundamental leadership traits for almost eight years , today's America should surprise no one.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  3. William of Iowa

    765,558 foreclosures in the third quarter with more on the way. Maybe 1.5 million or more. Everyone thinks of houses – except in this case when the human being removed is given print. I wonder if 1.5 million people who defied law enforcement and did not leave would make for a good media event. The law would arrest the individual, sometimes in multiple, and jail, provide hearings, trials and possibly housing in our penal system. What if the people just said no. Maybe the lenders who demand the return of the property would see that maybe reducing mortgages or charging a lessor fee for rent is better than maintaining a property empty – or are people lined up to purchase the aforementioned condo. Our nation is poised upon a dangerous precipice – it is only a matter of time before people fight back and demand what they truly believe is their right. Home, hearth and happiness.

    December 5, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  4. Cindy

    @ Teresa, OH...I do feel bad for the ones who have worked and worked and didn't live above their means and are still losing their houses. I feel really bad for them.

    It's just the ones that go into buying a house knowing that they can't afford it yet get into it anyway just to look good that I have no sympathy for. Getting a house that you can't afford and knowing that you can't pay for it but doing it anyway is just stupid to me.

    Now if there was a way to separate those who are in foreclosure by no fault of their own and those who jumped into houses just to be keeping up with the Jones' then I'd say help the ones who aren't at fault but just fell into hard times for sure! But you really can't do that so....


    December 5, 2008 at 12:22 pm |
  5. Michael, Pittsfield, MA

    Here's a question... instead of giving all of these companies billions and even trillions of dollars eventually, why not bailout the american people. Establish a huge stimulus where each american taxpayer gets 200,000-300,00 dollars . Its our money let us decide what to do with it . Yes I know your talking trillions of dollars initially (which we're heading towards anyway). Think of what this could accomplish, no more foreclosures since just about everyone could pay off their house, which rescues the banks. Money left over can go to buying cars and paying off credit cards or spending. All of this would help the car companies and would probable slow down or halt layoffs for most retail and small businesses. This would also help all those folks who don't have jobs. I would think all of this money going back into the economy would eventually make up for the stimulus amount and get americans back on track. Yes its an easy way out for some people who were careless and probably will continue to be careless with their money, but what it could do for those responsible people would be amazing. I know I'm probably nuts and that there are consequences I'm not aware of , but that can't be any worse than what we are going through now and have yet to go through.

    December 5, 2008 at 11:47 am |
  6. Teresa, OH

    @Cindy: I usually love your comments and insights. But for the life of me, I cannot understand how you arent more sympathetic to people who have fallen into this foreclosure situation.

    In Ohio, local newspapers have shown the real people who ended up in this situation. Many of them are IGNORANT to what they are signing.... they are patted on the head, told not to worry, and that their house payments will never go up. Most have been lied to and misled.Some are simply not very intelligent people, to put it kindly.
    It pains me to see someone with your intelligence and insight call these people STUPID. It's ok though, cuz God will show you firsthand how easy this can happen to people. ; )

    December 5, 2008 at 11:33 am |
  7. Joanne, Solvay, NY

    I do not understand how the $700 Billion bailout is not effectively helping the people that brought our Government's attention to the fraudulent banking practices in the first place?

    It is fine to have earmarked money for legitimate mortgage financing; however, it should be retro-active for those that were swindled. After all, why does it matter when you were swindled?

    This issue should be totally addressed. Preferably before the Big Three get a dime.

    December 5, 2008 at 10:42 am |
  8. Cindy

    On one hand I do feel bad for these people that are losing their homes...that can't be an easy thing especially during this time of the year when you should be happy and thinking of what you're buying and doing for Christmas. At least Fannie, Freddie and the rest are trying to help some of the newer foreclosures from happening now. Hopefully the people can refinance their homes so they can afford them.

    But on the other hand if these people are just those who got into a house in the first place that they couldn't afford just because they wanted to keep up with the Jones' then it's their own stupidity that got them to this point and I could care less if they get evicted. They made their bed now they have to lay in it.


    December 5, 2008 at 9:18 am |