Newsflash – we are in a foreclosure and mortgage default crisis NOW!
Every day we not only hear of more local families falling into foreclosure and mortgage default, some of us are actually living it; we not only see newspaper articles about Hawaii’s foreclosure crisis we see the many foreclosures daily in the classified section of our newspapers (it seems there are more foreclosure notices than there are job openings); and every day states across the country are making meaningful progress to combat these foreclosures – where is Hawaii’s stand on this? Where – not here, there or anywhere in Hawaii!
Our families are struggling, our not-for-profit housing counselors are working day and night to be the best advocates they can be in our broken foreclosure process. But families and housing counselors across the islands are confronting the same dead-end: The out-of-state banks who are driving this foreclosure crisis are not accountable to families in Hawaii.
Other states including Nevada, Maryland, Florida, and New Jersey, as well as cities and counties across the country have passed laws that give families who are facing foreclosure on their primary residence the right to demand face to face negotiations with the bank that is driving their foreclosure. Last week, ABC News evaluated Nevada’s 2-year old state law and found that the mandatory negotiations have resulted in 47 percent of families keeping their homes.
Our state’s Foreclosure Task Force will hold a hearing this Friday to review their findings on how to address the foreclosure crisis, but their findings are weak, and the task force postpones making some recommendations until the 2012 legislative session.
The Foreclosure Task Force’s failure to call for swift and meaningful action forces citizen groups like FACE Hawaii to take our own action. Hawaii’s families deserve more attention now. We deserve the same rights in this foreclosure crisis as families in Nevada. We need to be solution oriented to solve this problem not take people’s homes away from them.
Hawaii families are not asking for handouts. We are not asking to be bailed out. We want the chance to sit down face to face with a representative of the Bank of America or Wells Fargo who wants to evict us from our home, who we feel has incorrectly denied us loan modification.
On Saturday, we will be looking at practical and proven means to address this foreclosure crisis. Please join us. Our foreclosure panel will feature homeowners, community organizations that have fought back against the foreclosure crisis and won in California, and an outline of FACE’s statewide foreclosure campaign.
To quote Albert Finney’s character in “Network,” “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”
Not me and not you too, now is the time we take a stand.
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