Woodstock Institute identifies trends and impacts of the foreclosure crisis and works to limit foreclosures’ negative effects on communities.
New foreclosure filings on condominiums are a rising share of foreclosure activity in the Chicago region, new data from Woodstock Institute show. New filings on condominiums in the six-county region grew by two percentage points from 17 percent to 19 percent of all foreclosure filings between the first half of 2009 and first half of 2010.
A housing counseling agency that’s so swamped with demand for foreclosure prevention counseling that its executive director personally handles clients. Stalled real estate markets where buyers are waiting for prices to drop even further, and buyers who do want to buy now are struggling to obtain financing. Scam artists who take off with troubled homeowners’ last dollars while promising to save their homes. These are some of the challenges that face those who are trying to combat the effects of foreclosure in the Chicago region’s neighborhoods.
The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) should be updated give financial institutions credit for activities that support, enable, or facilitate projects carried out under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), says a recent public comment letter submitted by Woodstock Institute.
There’s been a constant flow of anecdotes from housing counselors, homeowners, and the media saying that the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), designed to prevent foreclosures by lowering monthly mortgage payments, has major flaws in its implementation. Homeowners and counselors report difficulties in communicating with their servicers and problems with repeated loss of documents or errors in determining eligibility that can bog down the process—or even result in mistaken foreclosure. A recent report from Congress’ investigative arm states that these anecdotes indicate systemic problems in HAMP’s implementation.
The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has been an effective tool that has been used over the past 30 years to ensure that banks are meeting all the credit needs of the communities they serve, particularly low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities. It has been used to improve access to low-cost mortgage credit in underserved markets, promote the provision of sustainable financial services tailored to low- and moderate-income consumers, and encourage sound investment in underserved communities who badly need it. However, many questions have been raised about how CRA can be used to meet one of the most pressing needs facing communities today—helping families avoid foreclosure when possible.
The impact of the foreclosure crisis continues to be front and center for the Chicago region’s communities. The 2010 Regional Home Ownership Preservation Initiative Annual Plenary will be an opportunity to hear from experts on economic and foreclosure trends, as well as a chance to share information about successes, challenges and emerging initiatives from peers and practitioners throughout the region. Topics to be covered include:
Thanks to your support, House and Senate conferees have passed a strong financial reform bill (read the summary and full text) that will protect consumers and introduce transparency to the financial system. The bill now goes to the full House and Senate for consideration. These reforms are major steps towards preventing another crisis and creating a sustainable financial system where all consumers can safely borrow and save for a brighter future.
Permanent loan modifications in the Chicago region continued to rise, increasing by 17% from April to May, but trial modifications and total Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) activity continued to drop. Trial modifications fell by 27% from April to May, and total HAMP activity fell by 13% over the same period (see charts A and B below).