Victims of Predatory Lending Keep Their Homes

Joseph Wilkerson House, Boydton 1--Spring 2010, by Flickr user Universal Pops, licensed by Creative Commons.

Home-Free

The housing crisis in 2009 affected countless people in this country. After the housing bubble burst, many Americans were simply unable to make their Mortgage Payments. Instead of vacating their houses, in many cases people simply stopped making payments. Tens of thousands of homeowners who have missed more than five years of payments are still living in their homes. In states like Florida, New Jersey and New York, many are wondering if they will be able to keep them, or if their properties will be turned over to the state.

In these states, lenders must get judges to sign off on foreclosures. This is good news for those homeowners as Judges in these states are noting that a statute of limitations has run out on many of these mortgages. As a result, people are being granted their homes mortgage free. This is according to interviews with housing lawyers from a review of state and federal court decisions.

Housing prices peaked in 2006 and drove roughly 6.7 million Americans to lose their homes to foreclosure. According to a Moody’s Analytics estimate, an additional 800,000 people could still lose them due to delinquent payments. Those homeowners argue that if housing lenders were able to adjust their payments in the first place, then they wouldn’t be in this mess to begin with. An echoed sentiment amongst that group contends that we shouldn’t feel bad for mortgage companies experiencing backlash for the predatory lending strategies that they clearly established. “This whole event is going to take 10 years to sort out,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “We probably have one or maybe two more years to go until it is all over.”

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