Foreclosure help slams door on homeowners

April 16, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
When it comes to foreclosures, the numbers are up across the country to almost 25-percent from this time last year. A $300 billion federal program that was supposed to help keep people in their homes, isn't helping much at all.

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"There's a lot of paperwork. I've got a couple more tubs in that room right there," said Nadine Scott, a homeowner.

Scott has a tub full of documents, and stack after stack, that she filled out hoping she could qualify for the hope for homeowners program.

"We did everything we were supposed to do. No funding was approved," said Scott.

Scott is hardly alone. Congress passed the act last summer and set aside $300 billion to help people like Scott who are facing foreclosure, refinance into more affordable mortgages.

It was supposed to help 400,000 people keep their homes. So far, it's helped one. Experts like Rick Harper say the program has been too confusing and too few lenders are willing to participate.

"The Hope for Homeowners was not very helpful because there were just a handful of loans that had actually gone through that process. It was confusing it was difficult for us as counselors to try to figure out what's up," said Harper.

In the meantime, the foreclosure figures continue to rise. In the first quarter of the year one in every 159 U.S. housing units received a foreclosure filing. California now has the third highest foreclosure rate in the country -- one in every 58 housing units.

The grim numbers released today caught the attention of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"Every statistic is a family and the statistics have to be changed so that families can stay in their homes," said Speaker Pelosi.

Nadine Scott is now hoping for a loan modification so that she doesn't become one of those statistics.

"Sometimes I do feel like another statistic, but on the other hand I have faith that everything is going to work out," said Scott.

Analysts say not only are the foreclosure figures on the rise, they're likely to get even worse as a result of so many home owners now losing their homes because they've now lost their jobs in this economic climate.

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