By Richard Clay
Well, if families, communities, and schools are really going to make a better effort to raise, educate, and save Black boys as I keep imploring them to do, we’re going to have to have homes to launch these efforts from. Homes? Currently, Black families and communities nationwide are loosing homes faster than the winless Detroit Lions Football Team is loosing football games. Ever-growing numbers of foreclosures are leading to more Black families being made homeless, and even more Black boys living in crisis. This tragic reality runs counter to our mission at blackboysincrisis.com. Therefore, we have elevated foreclosure education and home loss prevention to high-priority status on our overall agenda.
As millions of home owning families from all backgrounds across America continue to loose their homes to the foreclosure crisis that is threatening to drive the world’s economic system into a depression, politicians at all levels, from both parties keep telling us to “Just hang in there. Help in the form of some kind of major mortgage foreclosure relief package is on the way.”
If I had a dollar for every homeowner or family that I have seen loose their home while waiting and searching for that government-sponsored helping-hand to come, I would be one filthy rich man. If it ever comes, it will no doubt be too late for millions of people who are facing foreclosure right now. So we cannot wait for it. We have to do more as grassroots organizations and caring individuals to help each other avoid loosing our homes to foreclosure.
Throughout this year, those of us affiliated with blackboysincrisis.com have been actively researching the causes, effects, and solutions to the American foreclosure crisis and resulting mortgage meltdown. We have taken action first by engaging in in-depth dialogue and debate with politicians, housing counseling agencies, foreclosure attorneys, and mortgage lenders regarding this crisis. We have compiled a list of some local and federal foreclosure prevention resources.
We have participated in educational community forums on this crisis, and come to understand it very well. We are now educating and advising politicians, activist groups, and homeowners who are on the brink of foreclosure as to how they should best approach this crisis. We are proud of the fact that we have already successfully helped several families save their homes from foreclosure.
Before I go any further, let me make a few points perfectly clear. I am not, just as we here are not in any way HUD certified housing counselors or legal foreclosure prevention specialists. We are not real estate attorneys we are concerned citizen volunteers. We do not legally represent homeowners in foreclosure proceedings, or guarantee them that we can save their homes or stop evictions. We do not charge those whom we assist anything or have them sign any type of contracts, and thus are not legally responsible for any final decisions that they choose to make. Perhaps most importantly, we do not waste anyone’s time with meaningless or sheer moneymaking procedures.
What do we do for homeowners who are facing foreclosure? We assess their individual cases and give them free, invaluable advice that helps them to better understand and navigate through the elaborate mazes that accompany mortgage foreclosure situations. We share scenarios and information with them that helps them to determine whether or not it is worth it to try to save their homes from foreclosure. If they decide that they want to work to maintain ownership and possession of their homes, we share appropriate strategies and resources with them that give them the best chance at succeeding in their efforts.
Again, we never bill them or solicit their social security numbers. In return, we simply ask them to go onto our web site and make a humble donation in order to support the continuance of our Foreclosure Education and Home Loss Prevention Campaign. We also ask them to share the knowledge that they have learned from us with other homeowners who are in similar situations.
If you fear for any unavoidable reason that you may soon fall behind on your monthly mortgage payments, or if you are already up-to 90 days behind, you need to contact the federal government’s foreclosure prevention HOPE Hotline immediately. That phone number is: (888) 995-4673. This service can refer you to HUD certified housing counseling agencies and mortgage lenders in your local community that might help you to sell your home via what is called a short-sale, or stay in your home by refinancing or modifying the original terms of your mortgage loan. Depending on the selected lender, you may qualify for refinancing with anything from excellent to bad personal credit.
Act with urgency and do not wait. If this is your situation, make this initial call, and the follow-up calls that you are instructed to make ASAP.
If you are more than 90-days late on your monthly mortgage payments, already into the pre-foreclosure stage, already into the redemption period, or have been recently evicted from your home do to foreclosure proceedings, the traditional foreclosure prevention resources are probably not going to work for you. You should call the number listed above and give them a try, but don’t expect much if your goal is to maintain or get back into your home. In these instances, we can probably better advise you how to make the best use of your money, time, and efforts. You may call us Tuesdays-Thursdays 10:00-5:00 PM Eastern Time at: (313) 247-3301. We will give you an honest, common-sense, legally non-binding individual case assessment and advice.
In your situation, time is especially of the essence. If you need to consult with us, call us ASAP.
If this information alone has helped you, or if you are presently not facing a home foreclosure situation but you support our Foreclosure Education and Home Loss Prevention Campaign, we encourage you to go to our web site, blackboysincrisis.com, and make a donation via the front page donation button. Your donations will help us continue to carry-on this campaign both on the Internet and in the community.
Finally, let’s not fool ourselves. What I have outline here are emergency stop-gap measures that we must engage-in in order to help more distressed homeowners save their homes as long as the government and the mortgage banks continue to sit and twiddle their thumbs through the crisis. These measures however will not resolve the national foreclosure crisis, or even slow-down the obscene redistribution of property that the crisis is enabling to take place in this country.
The only way to stop the “big bank winners” from eventually taking it all from the people is to support grassroots organizations in their efforts to pressure local, state, and national government officials to enact two-year moratoriums on mortgage and property tax home foreclosures. This would halt the mass seizure of homes during the current economic recession, give distressed homeowners some real financial relief while the U.S. economy struggles to rebound, and force the banks to appropriately modify the mortgage loans of homeowners proven to be cash-strapped in ways that benefit everyone involved instead of stalling-them-out until court-sanctioned eviction dates. Anything short of a two-years-long moratorium on mortgage foreclosures in this economy will simply add up to more of the same; too little too late.
To the fearful critics of a national moratorium on mortgage foreclosures, I have two responses. First, moratoriums on mortgage foreclosures were successfully used by some states following the Great Depression. Secondly, nothing else that the government has tried thus far has worked. Why don’t we at least give some version of a moratorium a chance to work?