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RealtyTrac Finds California Military Towns Hit Particularly Hard in Foreclosure Crisis

April 18, 2011

As Riverside foreclosure defense attorneys, we know southern California is home to a lot of military families, who have special constraints when making housing choices. So we were disappointed but not surprised to read an April 11 article in the Sacramento Bee about the disproportionate effect the foreclosure crisis is having on those families and the cities they live in. According to Irvine-based RealtyTrac, foreclosures have risen higher in ZIP codes near military bases over the past three years, although of course foreclosures are up throughout the region. Eight southern California cities, four of which are near Camp Pendleton in north San Diego County, were in the nation's top 20 military towns with high foreclosure rates.

Experts told the newspaper that part of the problem stems from servicemembers' inability to stay put and just ride out the market, as civilians might. Military families may buy a property where they're stationed, but when they're reassigned, they have to sell that property. That's very difficult in the current southern California market, where properties are underwater and sales are slow. There is a federal law intended to prevent civil actions like foreclosure against servicemembers deployed overseas, but even that can be ignored by loan servicers. A veterans' foundation spokesperson added that predatory lending is also a factor, with lenders eager to exploit young, inexperienced servicemembers. A veterans' hotline in Los Angeles said calls about housing payment problems were 40 percent of all calls in 2010.

This reflects badly on our country, but as Oceanside foreclosure defense lawyers, we're sorry to say we're not surprised. At the height of the housing bubble, when home loans were easy to come by, it's easy to see how a steady military paycheck could be attractive to lenders. Meanwhile, young military servicemembers and their families would have had clear housing needs -- but not necessarily the financial experience to understand what they were agreeing to pay. Military families and veterans have resources to draw on and some laws to protect them, but it's difficult to fight foreclosure while you are overseas literally fighting a war. And the rise in military foreclosures hurts all homeowners indirectly in military-heavy towns like Moreno Valley, Murrieta and many in San Diego County.

Howard Law PC helps homeowners fight back against foreclosures stemming from unfair predatory loans or illegal foreclosure tactics. Our Temecula foreclosure defense attorneys have a particularly strong practice representing people who were denied a HAMP loan modification against HAMP rules. That includes people who were denied a loan modification even though they met all the standards, or people whose lenders refused to convert a trial modification to a permanent one despite having the right income and making all the payments. We also represent homeowners who were foreclosed before they even had a chance to discuss alternatives with their lenders. We consider all of these forms of predatory lending and we fight back aggressively with lawsuits, which can stop a pending foreclosure as well as allow your case to be heard in a court of law.

If your home is in default or soon will be and you're not getting anywhere with your lender, you should call Howard Law for help today. For a free, confidential case evaluation, send us a message online or call toll-free at 1-800-872-5925.