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Civil Disobedience 2009 Edition: Resisting Home Foreclosures

Homeowners soon to lose that title are finding support form neighbors, community activists, and law enforcement officials alike. A civil disobedience campaign is sweeping the country, and many facing foreclosure are refusing to leave their homes.

Community activist group ACORN has launched a Home Defender campaign, training teams to organize on short notice before an officers arrives to evict a family. The teams will gather family and friends to meet at the home, while others will alert the media that a family is about to resist an eviction. ACORN is also recruiting lawyers to defend the civil disobeyers free of charge.

In some counties, government officials are refusing to enforce evictions, too. A sheriff in Ohio said: "This is a cold place in the Winter and I will not give people a death sentence for not paying their debts."

If banks and corporations get help facing the consequences of bad financial decisions, should individual homeowners get a break, too?


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mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
4.75% is wicked low! Mine was 5.5% when I did it a few years ago, I did get an 80-10-10 so I didn't have to put all of the 20% down. My 10 is at 7.25%. When you refinance you can roll your closing costs into the new mortgage structure too.
kranky kranky 8 years
Modus- I'll give you 3.5%, I must have misremembered it. It's been a few months since I looked into those loans. All the literature that I received at the time said that the interest rates were higher... so it could be that your friend might have qualified for an interest rate of less than 4.75% if she had gotten a traditional loan.
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 8 years
I think FHA loans actually require 3.5% down. Do they really have higher rates? A friend of mine is using one and she just got 4.75%.
kranky kranky 8 years
"I think from here on out banks should require that you have at least 10% to put down and that your mortgage does not exceed 1/3 of your annual net income. If it does, then you don't get the loan. It's the only way to insure that this doesn't happen again." Good news - that is what is happening now. The only way around 10% down is to get an FHA loan - which requires 3.25% down, but has higher interest rates.
Roarman Roarman 8 years
Foreclosed homes are usually in terrible shape and even if you get a so called deal on it unless you are very handy and have lots of extra cash, you won't be able to fix it up. Squatters is a whole other problem. I think from here on out banks should require that you have at least 10% to put down and that your mortgage does not exceed 1/3 of your annual net income. If it does, then you don't get the loan. It's the only way to insure that this doesn't happen again.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Good! Laughter is a wonderful thing! :) So is chocolate!
kranky kranky 8 years
diadem- Thanks for checking. I honestly believe we are setting those people up for failure if that is the case. Lower payments means they rack up interest faster (because their principle is not being paid off as fast) and end up owing more on their homes than when they started. IMO - these people will end up foreclosing eventually, and we will have wasted money on them.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
You crack me up GS :)
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
Right, lower the payments from what I understand. Not sure what happens if someone has to move, hopefully they won't I guess and just wait it out until their mortgage equals the value of the house.
kranky kranky 8 years
For the record, I love row houses. DC is full of them! So they are lowering the PAYMENTS not the principle, right? (I'm sorry to be lazy and not look myself, but I am commenting between working...) Sounds great, but what happens if those people have to move before their house regains the value of their loan?
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
I live in a row home so I still hear the neighbors all the time, especially during Eagles games. But its home! From what I'm reading this would take already commited TARP funds away from big business and use it as incentives for lenders to refinance mortgages for homeowners who owe more than the current value of the house (something that has been near impossible and affects about 5 million families). These lenders get incentives to refinance to payments that are lower than 31% of a families income.
kranky kranky 8 years
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
I only could hear it from the back porch, not inside the house! For when we are being all weird and doing things like blowing bubbles together! :wink:
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
:rotfl: Oh how little I miss apartment life. But neighborhood living is rough for me too. Our house is so close to our neighbor's that I was fully aware of when they purchased Guitar Hero and which levels he sucked on!
kranky kranky 8 years
I am very wary of the new housing plan. Are they writing off principle or just adjusting rates? I don't see how either approach would not negatively impact the rest of us.
kranky kranky 8 years
diadem- Well congrats on your home purchase, even if you are experiencing a little buyer's remorse. I, my husband, my cat, my turtle, my tiny kitchen, my entire family who wants grandkids, and (especially) my obnoxious neighbors who do not pacify their shrieking child and like to have really loud sex for hours on Sunday morning are very happy for you. ;)
kranky kranky 8 years
GS - I my experience, short sales are equal to foreclosures in terms of needing serious TLC. However, you are right, foreclosures do tend to move more quickly, I that I reported incorrectly. Funny story - we went to see a short sale (or was it foreclosure...?) and found out that the house had squatters living in it. I kid you not, when we opened the front door, a women ran down the basement and locked herself in a room. My husband thought it was hysterical, but I found it so upsetting that I spent the rest of the time sitting outside. Last time we checked, that house was still in limbo. It couldn't be sold because it is very difficult to evict squatters in my area and no one wanted to buy it occupied.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
I know buying a home is a big step and it isn't easy, I did it 2 years ago, but that is what is expected when taking on home ownership. I know lots of folks in Philadelphia, not a housing boom market, that have gotten great deals on homes in foreclosure as well as those from normal sellers. The more inventory because people can't afford these homes, lost a job and want to downsize, the better for buyers. I wish I would have waited to buy now. And I like this new housing plan, it makes sense.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Other than foreclosures there are things called Short Sales which are basically pre-foreclosures. They are done through the bank in a similar fashion and usually move almost as slowly. Around three months. And making offers on SS's and Foreclosures is hard because the bank usually won't negotiate the way sellers normally do.
kranky kranky 8 years
diadem- Good to know about the PMI - thanks! No - I do not want a government handout. I've explained that giving government handouts to a select group negatively impacts all of us. 1. It is not easy to buy a foreclosure. The process takes a minimum of 6 months. Most foreclosures are in horrible shape (oh, I could tell you stories - yuck). Minus cash for a downpayment (you must have one these days, even if it isn't 20%), doesn't leave you a lot left over to rehabilitate a home. In fact, I've been in some homes that were in such bad shape, the bank refused financing - only people with 100% cash could buy them. 2. House prices are not significantly dropping in my area in nice neighborhoods. In fact, when you take California, Nevada, and Florida out of the picture, housing prices are a lot less depressing nationwide than the media would lead you to think. 3. Consider the current situation where you can not buy a home without a downpayment anymore (I would say this is a good thing). However, in the scenario I mentioned above (2 bedroom house, $400k), how comfortable would you be parting with a minimum of $13,000 in this economy (that roughly being the 3.25% downpayment required to get an FHA loan)? That doesn't factor in closing costs - which can run several thousand more. 4. Not to mention that pretty much the second you buy a home, you will be upside down in it. Again, not a pretty prospect unless you are 100% secure that you will not lose your job or have to move in the next 5 years. Point is diadem, the sales rates of houses are low for a host of very good (and real) reasons.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
I don't understand how kranky you can say that things aren't open and fair for the rest of us. You have a great opportunity to buy a house out of foreclosure for a bargain basement price. Interest rates are super low, even if you don't have the down payment they are extremely low. Its a buyers market. You want government handouts for things to be considered fair?
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
You have been able to right off PMI on your taxes for the past 2 years actually kranky and this year you can write off points as well.
kranky kranky 8 years
Oops - I should add that the solution discussed above should pay people like GS their money back from refinancing... that is if we are making policies based on what is 'fair,' right?
kranky kranky 8 years
Agreed, haus. Assuming that the banks absorb the cost of refinancing and don't pass it along to the rest of us. It's not that I want people to suffer the indignity of being thrown out of their homes. But, no one has offered a solution that does not negatively impact prospective buyers (me) and/or shortchange the homeowners who are making their payments (see GS's comments). IMO, if it's between giving benefits to people who can't honor their mortgages or keeping the field open and fair for the rest of us, then I go with the latter. I have yet to hear an argument that we can have it both ways (other than roar and haus' suggestion, but that relies ont he banks to absorb their losses, as I mentioned.)
hausfrau hausfrau 8 years
"I did hear something not that long ago that banks were willing to refinance people to lower rates who had a good credit standing and were current on their mortgage" I think thats a great way to help! I have no problem helping people who've been doing the right things. I just hate the thought of helping those who haven't.
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