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Archived: Editorial: Health Care Vote Provides Historic Step Forward: Time Now to Really Solve Foreclosure Crisis

While the vote overhauling America’s health care system passed amid a number of unknowns, it is nonetheless a historic step forward on the road to giving all Americans access to health care, at what we hope will be a reasonable cost.

There are numerous conflicting reports on what the legislation will provide and at what cost. The road to fine-tune the legislation will no doubt be bumpy and fraught with political posturing, as it has all along, but it is time to move on and recognize that health care reform is the first to providing a healthier future for all citizens.

It is now time to re-focus on the other problems plaguing our economy and daily lives, but which seem to have been forgotten, or at least put aside as the health care fight consumed our attention. One of those issues is the ongoing problem of home foreclosures.

Families continue to lose their homes in record numbers even as both large banks and their so-called predatory lending arms continue to pile up record earnings. This week alone we were made aware of three families in danger of losing their homes because of cruel and abusive games being played at their expense by their mortgage lenders.

In one case, a family has been at the mercy of GMAC and one of its entities that uses loan modification representatives who refuse to provide their names on the telephone. Hours and hours are spent on the phone trying to reach a live person to talk to. Checks are cashed but not credited. One month the homeowner received notification their modification was approved, only to receive a letter from ETS Services, LLC on behalf of GMAC a short time later telling them their home will be sold at public auction in ten days.

The family received several temporary modifications over the last two years, each costing about $1,500 in added fees, and all the while adding mountains of new debt to the back end of their loan. In this case, the homeowner had put down a substantial down payment, giving them more than enough equity to survive a decrease in market value, if it were not for the mess lenders have made of their loan.

But not only do they receive a letter, someone shows up at their door and tells their 14-year-old son his home has been foreclosed on and they have to get out. Now their son is being treated for severe anxiety and is on medication.

This is not an isolated case, it is happening over and over to well-meaning people who are being overwhelmed by the process.  They are not deadbeats, as some would characterize them. Each month they pay thousands of dollars into a black hole hoping to hold onto their home, their American dream.

Why we continue to allow families to be swindled out of their hard earned money under the guise of helping them is hard for us to understand. People have been lied to and urged to take loans out, all in the name of profits.

It seems to us that it is time for state attorneys general to go after the mortgage lending industry for the fraud they have in the past and continue to perpetrate on the public. And as for the president’s so-called “Hope” program, it should be renamed “Hoax,” because that is what it really is.