Plan announced to help with foreclosures

February 13, 2009 6:38:07 PM PST
The nation's biggest mortgage lenders and three of the country's biggest banks have all declared a moratorium on foreclosures for now.

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Friday's announcement promises to put the brakes on hundreds of thousands of foreclosures around the U.S. It's only for three weeks, but the expectation is that more relief is on the way.

Every day Elva Salgado expects to find a foreclosure notice in her mailbox. Elva and her daughter have a three-bedroom home in Richmond that the family bought in late 2006.

Two years later, Salgado's husband has been laid off from his construction job, and in December she was laid off from her cafeteria job at UC Berkeley.

"They had told the bank that their income was lower because they stopped working," said Salgado.

Bank of America owns the mortgage. Salgado says the bank has not been willing to negotiate.

"They don't want to arrange anything lower the prices or nothing like that," said Salgado.

But on Friday, Bank of America was one of three big banks announcing a moratorium on foreclosures for at least the next three weeks.

Fannie Mae says it'll stop it's foreclosures for the same period of time, in anticipation of the Obama administrations announcement of a national foreclosure prevention and loan modification program.

At the ACORN office in Oakland housing counselor Taylor Erlbaum has been working with the Salgado's to try and save their home.

"I think the government is trying to come up with the best possible solutions just to keep people in the homes and just cut down on the foreclosures," said Erlbaum.

On Friday President Obama's press secretary said the president will deliver a speech on the foreclosure prevention program next Wednesday.

Saying the amount of money being talked about is between $50 and $100 billion. No one believes that is nearly enough to stem the problem, and for the Salgado's it's not what they really need.

With both parents unemployed, the family is living on what their oldest daughter makes at her two jobs.

"My dad goes every morning to San Francisco. He wakes up at 4:30 in the morning to be in San Francisco by 5:30 a.m. or 6:00 a.m. to see if they actually have some jobs listed up there, but they never do," said Salgado's daughter Elva Sarabia.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Friday the stimulus bill is about jobs.

The Salgado's and millions of other families like them are hoping those jobs come in time.

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