Our Rancho Cucamonga loan modification attorneys understand all too well the relationship between unemployment, financial insecurity and problems paying the mortgage. But a New York Times/CBS News poll released Dec. 14 made the connection explicit. According to a Dec. 15 article from United Press International, 13% of the unemployed respondents reported losing their homes because they could no longer make their mortgage or rent payments. Twice as many, 26%, said they had lived with the threat of eviction or foreclosure because of their financial problems. Extrapolating from the estimate that 15.4 million Americans are currently unemployed, the article said this would translate to 2 million nationwide losing their homes to unemployment.
The poll surveyed 708 unemployed adults from all parts of the United States, reached by land-line telephone between Dec. and Dec. 10. Not surprisingly, it found that the threat of losing a home was especially great for people who had been unemployed for six months or more. Of all respondents, 46% said unemployment had plunged them into a "major life crisis." For those who had passed the six-month mark, that number was 57%. Fewer than half said they believe jobs will come back to their communities once the recession ends. Slightly more than 40% of respondents said they had moved, or were considering moving, to someplace with more jobs available. Another 44% said they had tried job retraining or education, and more than two-thirds were considering a career change.
As Yorba Linda loan modification lawyers, we're not surprised to see this grim correlation. Many people consider unemployment one of the most reliable predictors of foreclosure. In fact, one of the major criticisms leveled against the federal Home Affordable Modification Program is its inability to help people with no income at all due to unemployment. Without a steady income, homeowners are forced to make hard choices, including choices between paying the mortgage and other major necessities like food and heating. This doesn't mean unemployed homeowners will inevitably lose their homes, but it does mean that they should act quickly to explore options for saving them. Those options include a temporary forbearance that stops their payments, as well as a short sale, refinance or other more radical moves.
Howard Law LLP represents homeowners who need help exploring their legal options for handling the mortgage after they have run into financial trouble. Our San Diego County loan modification attorneys represent people who are seeking loan modifications, forbearances, short sales and other actions from their mortgage servicers. As many of our clients know, servicers offer these options to people without legal representation -- but in practice, applications are ignored and repeatedly lost, or clients are told that their applications don't meet standards. We have found that lenders tend to change their tunes quickly when we join the case, perhaps because they know that we will happily sue if we believe our clients' rights were violated. We have had good luck winning changes to clients' loan structures, lowered interest rates and sometimes even write-downs of principal owed.
If you know your home is in jeopardy because you have financial problems, don't wait to call Howard Law for help. To tell us about your case and learn more about your legal options, please send a message through our Web site or call 1-800-872-5925 toll-free.