Sunday, October 20, 2013

Homeowner's fight for right to buy home back from Freddie Mac

My comment on article in T&G:
   Freddie Mac stalls on family re-purchase of home in foreclosure

       By Paula J. Owen, TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

Juan Alvares is a great speaker and sharp as a tack in his native Spanish, but has had a hard time due to his very limited skill with English. Translators have sometimes failed to communicate the meaning of what bank lawyers, judges and even his own lawyers said to him. He's been an inspiration to all of us with his willingness to bounce back from every setback and keep on fighting, and his standing up for other homeowners and tenants fighting to stay in their homes after foreclosure. 

In the original move against him, three different entities filed competing foreclosures at the same time. A good legal defense coupled with a media strategy could have made a laughing-stock of them and forced a fair loan modification settlement, but this is not the kind of standard move that charity lawyers are generally willing or able to make. 

Those standard moves, designed for a time when mortgage and foreclosure law was well established and the motives of the parties involved were reasonably transparent, now generally only get the homeowner a delay and a better "cash for keys" deal. Every law on the books is being flouted by these vast entities masquerading as banks, and nothing is what it seems. Juan's story shows the need for creative and aggressive strategies, and for lawyers seeing themselves as partners in a movement alongside their clients. 

The fact that Juan is now dealing with Freddie Mac is a case in point. The original confusion may have been caused by Freddie already being involved as the real owner behind the scenes. And Freddie, like the big private banks, has not been honestly negotiating loan modifications. We can only guess at their real motives. 

Jon Marien is right in calling the unlawful refusal of Freddie Mac to sell to BCC or anyone else who might sell back to the borrower an effort to punish them. I'd use the word "terrorize". 

Fannie and Freddie are owned by us, the American people. We have a right to demand and expect better! 
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