Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Do you have friends, neighbors, or family members who are facing foreclosure of their homes or considering filing for bankruptcy? The number of people going through these ordeals has increased at an alarming rate. We are indeed going through a very difficult time. What action do you think we should take as individuals or as a community?
While the financial institutions have been enjoying the benefits from the federal government’s bailout programs, taking in hundreds of billions of dollars, and while bank executives are receiving millions of dollars in bonuses, many families in Silicon Valley are suffered their greatest loss: their home, the symbol of the American dream!
Since April 2009, about 1 million homeowners have been put into trial loan modifications. However, only about 116,000 families actually received modification agreement with some form of payment reduction. The number of loan modification approvals will continue to be low. People with approved loan modifications still run the risk of dropping out of the program and facing foreclosure.
It is understandable that banks do encounter serious backlogs, but it is not acceptable to have people’s homes auctioned against their will when banks ignored the Obama Administration’s HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program) and proceeded to deny loan modification requests in bad faith, citing reasons such as “your loss of income is not permanent”, “your unemployment benefits cannot be counted as income” or “the home is underwater so much that its Net Present Value is not high enough for you to consider keeping the loan.” Banks even denied loan modification requests for borrowers who actually passed the HAMP income/expense ratio test.
Working families are being evicted from their homes. The bad credit rating they received as the result of their homes being foreclosed makes it hard for them to relocate as their rental applications are regularly rejected. Yet those people whose risky investment methods have brought about the collapse of the banking industry were rescued with federal bailout money and now are being rewarded for continuing to engage in questionable financial practices. Is this just? Should we continue to sit on the sideline watching the very fabric of this society deteriorate?
For children, the home is the cradle of their youth, the zone of their safety, and the launch pad of their dreams. For families, it’s the symbol of comfort, harmony, dignity, and achievement. For all who live there, it’s the tie that binds them together. Thus, the loss of the home is more than an economic loss: it is the loss of the things that matter most in the lives of everyone who lives there. I could still hear the cry of Mrs. M’s grandchildren the day she came to our office after her house were sold at a public auction. Mrs. M did not have time to mourn her loss: she and her family were being evicted and came to me for help. She was being forced to leave the place where, for more than twenty years, she watched her children and grandchildren grow up. What will happen to Mrs. M and her grandchildren? What will happen to other people who are going through the same ordeal? For the moment, the only thing one can do is to wish them well.
The bank that financed Mrs. M’s home loan could have helped her by offering a loan modification with payment terms she could afford according to the HAMP and therefore avoid foreclosure. Mrs. M submitted an application for loan modification hoping that it would be approved. The bank never told her the result of the application review, but instead, sold her house away at the public auction without re-informing her of the sale.
In the face of this foreclosure crisis, we would like to invite you, the members of this community, to join us in unity to challenge the banks bad faith practices. Without coming together, our community will face and will continue to face the prospect of losing our homes. The national economy is still in bad shape Unemployment remains high with no prospect of stable new jobs in the horizon. As a result, the entire nation is suffering and banks need to shoulder the economic burden with the rest of us, especially when they have been the beneficiaries of the federal bailout.
Please stand with us to restore stability to our community!
Your first contribution is to attend this meeting:
WHEN: Saturday March 20th, 2010 at 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: San Jose Public Library Martin Luther King, Jr.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND: All who have lost their homes, who will lose their homes, who anticipate to lose their homes or who just want to help
For more information, please email us at info@AllAmericanAdvocates.com or call 408-455-0175.
Hanna Bui, Esq.
Dan Do, Esq
Jenny Do, Esq.
Michael Luu, Esq.
Bick Nguyen, Esq.
Van Hoang Tran, Esq.