First they Come For the Renters − Then They Come For Homeowners!

by Ken Kappel on July 7, 2011

Below we are sharing a great article from Progress Illinois, titled: “How Big Banks Displace Families Who Rent.” The point to this article is the effect this has overall on homeowners who have immediate foreclosure issues, as well as those underwater. The underwater number is that 28% of ALL mortgages are underwater and the number is growing daily.

To the article:

“Banks taking over foreclosed properties are considered the new homeowners, but what happens when the building is home to dozens of families who rent? A local neighborhood group says that should make the banks the landlords too — at least temporarily.”

” … The reality, though, is that banks tend to prey on people who don’t understand their rights and immediately evict the innocent tenants, even though displacing families blights entire communities and vacant buildings often become a safety issue.” [Emphasis Added.]

“In a report (PDF) issued last week by the Lawyers’ Committee for Better Housing, there were 17,467 rental units in 5,904 foreclosed properties in Chicago — which amounts to tens of thousands of Chicagoans who were left homeless in 2010. The banks involved in the majority of the foreclosure filings are Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, Deutsche Bank, US Bank, and CitiMortgage.”

Ken here. These are the so-called “Too Big To Fail Banks,” which are in fact Too Big to Succeed.

“Progress Illinois spoke to Diane Limas of the Albany Park Neighborhood Council (APNC) to understand the issue. She said when the owners or landlords of apartment buildings — particularly affordable housing units often occupied by families — file for foreclosure, tenants are left in a bind. Banks attempt to evict the tenants as soon as possible, but the buildings then remain vacant for a long period until a new buyer completes a purchase — if there even is a new buyer. Meanwhile, children are pulled out of school, oftentimes at a random point of the academic year, and families are left fragmented in space and time.”

“Typically, the renters only find out when the processing bank issues a notice on their door telling them to vacate by a certain date, often seven or 14 days. “The tenant goes into panic. The big banks are praying the tenants don’t know their rights,” Limas said. Legally, the bank must honor the remainder of their lease or housing contract, and if there isn’t a written agreement, the bank must provide at least 90 days to move. Since most tenants aren’t aware of this, sometimes banks will also proactively offer a financial incentive to get them out. For example, the bank might offer a $200 “bonus” if the tenant signs an agreement stating that they will move out in a week, Limas explained.” [Emphasis Added.]

“Bank often contend they are simply not interested in being landlords. Fearful of having to attend to emergency lock-outs or broken toilets, the financial institutions simply don’t want the responsibility of managing a property. But the reality is until the building is sold to a developer, banks are ultimately responsible for the property’s upkeep and maintenance. Their other option is to negotiate a deal with the owner who filed for foreclosure or to appoint — and pay for — an outside management company to do the grunt work for them.”

“Ald. Richard Mell (33rd Ward) is now taking on the issue, pledging to intervene on multi-unit building foreclosures to negotiate tenant protections. Mell said he will push to help new purchasers with appropriate tax increment financing (TIF) funds to off-set the purchaser’s cost, if they agree to maintain the property as affordable rentals. Just last month, the Chicago City Council passed a related policy measure, the Vacant Building TIF Purchase and Rehabilitation Ordinance. The ordinance allows residents with a household income no greater than 100 percent of the regional median income to apply for a TIF grant that would pay for up to 25 percent of the cost of purchasing and rehabilitating an empty residential property.”

Foreclosure Process is Long
“But as many Americans know, the foreclosure process itself is long and can take a year or more. Affordable housing advocates say the tenants should be allowed to stay there until there is actual action taken on the property. Limas cites a building in Albany Park that went into foreclosure three years ago with seven families were living in it. Sheriff Tom Dart eventually ordered a temporary moratorium on foreclosure evictions in Cook County, saving the families. “We have proof positive in the Spaulding [apartment building]. All seven units continue to pay rent. Every child is still going to the same school. That’s the way it should work,” Limas said. ”

“Displacing tenants, there’s no need for that. The bottom line is why can’t they keep tenants in the homes during the foreclosure process,” she continued. “Why are they in such a hurry to board it up?”

Ken here. Why? Indeed. It’s easier for them − AND − they simply don’t care about the American People, only the money they can obtain from them, often using fraudulent tactics that the average person does not understand. They teach neither basic: economics nor law in high school, and not often in college unless a student is majoring in such subjects.

For homeowners, the very least you can do is to put your money into a local − a community − bank. The next step is to arm yourself with a Securitization Audit, which can prove out the issue we came to know as robo signing. Then you can confront the Banksters over your Predatory (illegal) loan with facts you can take to court. Stay tuned!!!

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