Will the new plan help local homeowners?

February 18, 2009 6:40:45 PM PST
People on the brink of losing their homes are hoping the Obama plan will mean desperately needed help.

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Nadine Scott has owned a home in Oakland for 15 years, but it may not be for much longer.

"It's predatory lending. That's what I found out later is what it's called," said Scott.

The former postal service employee retired early on disability, and then last year, she and her husband fell behind on their $4,200 a month mortgage payments.

Now, the foreclosure notices are piling up -- stack after stack, they sit on their dining room table. It is a painful reminder of just how desperate their situation is, today, their loan is worth more than the actual house.

"Fair market value now for the home is about $180,000. The loan is $535,000," said Scott.

Nadine Scott is not alone. More than a quarter of all US homeowners with a mortgage, owe more on their mortgages than they do on their home.

President Obama's $75 billion foreclosure plan could help as many as nine million people keep their homes. But, like countless others in neighborhood, Scott might not be one of them.

Leon Huntting is the past president of the California Association of Mortgage Brokers.

"The lender always has the right to say yes or no with regards to the concessions that are proposed in the plan," said Huntting.

Oakland housing activist Larry Hynson says people facing foreclosure could be spared.

"If you haven't paid your mortgage in seven months, but you haven't received a formal notice of default, this program, depending on your situation, could possibly help you," said Hynson.

Scott isn't ready to give up yet.

"The thought of even having to pick up and leave, is something that, you know, we try to put in the back of our minds," said Scott.

Something she may not be able to do for much longer.

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