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The American Dream: Re-Established?

Is there any concept more closely identified with the American Dream than homeownership? In his attempt to convince Mikhail Gorbachev of the virtues of American democracy, Ronald Reagan took the USSR president on a helicopter ride and showed him the private homes of common American citizens, complete with swimming pools and barbeque grills. Unfortunately, due to the recent economic downturn, many homeowners are finding themselves facing foreclosure. Loss of employment, disability, death of the breadwinner, and adjustable-rate mortgages are all potential contributing causes of the foreclosure epidemic affecting American families across the nation.


Fortunately, there is help. Federal loan modification programs are not a panacea, but they are better than nothing. Homeowners facing foreclosure may request modification of the loan terms of their mortgage agreement with their lender, thereby potentially lowering their monthly payments. Of course, as with most government programs, there are many hoops to jump through.


Until recently, the initiation of the modification process did nothing to slow the foreclosure proceedings. In other words, homeowners attempting to save their homes by lowering their monthly payments could be foreclosed upon and have their homes sold at foreclosure sales while buried in the paperwork and dealing with the bureaucracy involved in the modification process. Some lenders even got into the habit of assuring homeowners that their modification requests would be granted all the while continuing the foreclosure proceedings against them. Homeowners, satisfied in the cooperation of their lenders, neglected the ongoing foreclosure process only to have their homes snatched up from underneath them.


In an attempt to remedy such patent injustices, the Bureau of Consumer Affairs has finally moved to create rules that prevent “dual tracking” where a lender would work with a homeowner or borrower on the modification process and carry on with a foreclose at the same time. Additionally, the Bureau of Consumer Affairs has placed communication requirements on the lenders, whereby now a lender has to at least communicate with the borrower or homeowner who is attempting to obtain a modification. These developments protect homeowners from being blindsided by their lenders in court while attempting to obtain a modification.


The attorneys at the Law Firm of Grigaltchik & Galustov, P.A. are experienced in working both sides of foreclosure defense. We will fight your foreclosure in court, and also deal with your lender on your behalf to obtain a modification. You may reach us at (904) 738-8398.