Kari Huus of MSNBC is highlighting the case of Rose Gudiel, who fought against the bank that foreclosed on her home. Gudiel says that the bank refused to work with her when she was facing foreclosure, as many Americans throughout the country are experiencing.
Gudiel faced foreclosure after her brother, who was living with her, was killed and she was furloughed at her job with the California Economic Development Department because of the state budget crisis. Gudiels parents also live with her.
She says that her bank, OneWest, refused a $2,500 mortgage payment that was two weeks late, forcing her into a loan-modification program. After she spent two months in the program, the bank rejected her from the program, driving her into foreclosure.
Gudiel hunkered down in her home, squatting after the bank foreclosed on the property. Dozens of homeowner advocates and friends surrounded them, hoping to stave off forcible removal. Instead of a confrontation, Fanny Mae canceled the eviction notice and offered the Gudiels a loan modification that could enable them to keep their home.
Nonprofit advocates say that the change of heart was in response to a series of bold protests — with reinforcements from the Occupy Wall Street movement — and a spate of media interest, which put Gudiel in the limelight and forced the banks to back down.
Like many in the Occupy Wall Street movement, Gudiel wasn’t willing to back down from the banks. Banks should not be allowed to reject mortgage payments from people trying to stay current, or force homeowners into loan-modification programs. These programs can kill credit ratings because payments are not reported to credit agencies, so it appears that the homeowners are not paying the note, even when they are making payments while being considered for the modification.
Banks then have the right to reject the loan modification, often after months of payments; keep your money; and then stick you with a balloon payment that many people will not be able to afford, thereby forcing homeowners into foreclosure. It is yet another example of banks railroading consumers and Congress failing to do anything about it.
Kudos to Gudiel for standing her ground and being heard. How many other homeowners have been railroaded because of these same policies? Since Congress is not going to stand up for homeowners, then clearly homeowners will have to stand up for themselves.
Read more at MSNBC.