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City of Riverside Secures More Funding for Anti Blight Program Buying Foreclosed Homes

September 23, 2009

As Riverside loan modification lawyers, we know Riverside County and the Inland Empire generally have been hit especially hard by the foreclosure crisis. That's why we were pleased to see a Sept. 16 press release from the city of Riverside announcing that it has secured a large line of credit as part of its "neighborhood stabilization" program. The program uses federal stimulus package funding and now, this line of credit, to buy and rehabilitate foreclosed and abandoned homes, then sells or rents them to lower-income households and first-time home buyers. With the new line of credit, the release said, the amount of money available for the program will nearly triple, allowing the city to acquire more properties in more areas.

That's important, because Riverside has been badly affected by the foreclosure crisis. According to the release, nearly 4.5% of the city's housing units went into foreclosure between July 1 of 2007 and May 13 of this year. When those properties sit vacant and un-maintained for months, they look bad, attract crime and lower property values for their neighbors -- worsening the real estate market and sometimes triggering more foreclosures. The federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program funding was supposed to fight this by allowing cities to buy foreclosed homes and repurpose them as low-income housing. Unfortunately, cities ready to buy properties found that they were routinely out-competed by private buyers who were willing to pay cash and didn't have a long escrow or government approval requirements. The new line of credit may give the city more flexibility in making its bids.

Our Corona loan modification attorneys support the goals of this program, which could ultimately bolster real estate values if successful. While it is heartening that buyers are snapping up foreclosed real estate faster than predicted, reports say many of those buyers are real estate investors, some of whom will turn properties into rental housing. Rentals are an important part of affordable housing, but it won't help the real estate market or create the sense of ownership and community the authors of the program were after. That's why we hope the line of credit for the city of Riverside is effective at helping it compete with buyers in the next round of foreclosed properties.

Anaheim-based Howard Law LLP works closely with California homeowners trying to negotiate a loan modification that keeps them out of foreclosure in the first place. In our experience as Rialto loan modification lawyers, we have found that simply having a lawyer can make the difference that gets clients' applications approved. Even lenders who have outright denied eligibility for a loan modification, or lose paperwork multiple times, may sing a different tune when they discover that an attorney is on the job -- because they know a lawsuit may not be far behind. In fact, we will sue our clients' mortgage lenders and servicers whenever we believe it's necessary to stop an unfair foreclosure or fight predatory lending. Our goal is always to get our clients a fair, sustainable change in monthly mortgage payments.

If you're fighting for a loan modification in California and you know you need help, you should call Howard Law as soon as possible. For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, please call us at 1-800-872-5925 or contact us through the Internet.