Tag Archives: Foreclosure Legal Assistance Project

The foreclosure crisis hits seniors hard

Midday with Dan Rodricks on WYPR-FM explored a new AARP report that says the number of older Americans seriously delinquent on loans jumped more than 450 percent in the last five years.

Some 3.5 million older homeowners are underwater on their mortgages.  Older African Americans and Hispanics are the hardest hit. A show earlier this week looked at how the mortgage crisis has effected the country’s senior citizens and left millions of them fiscally vulnerable in retirement.

Dan’s guests were Vicki King Taitano, director of the Foreclosure Legal Assistance Project at Maryland Legal, and Susan Reinhard, senior vice president and director for the AARP Public Policy Institute. To hear the show, click here.

The face of foreclosure in Maryland

Today’s lead letter to the editor in the Washington Post paints a clearer picture of the foreclosure crisis than an article that appeared on the front page over the weekend.

“The March 4 front-page article ‘We don’t believe in living for free’ told of a Prince George’s County couple fighting eviction from their home of five years even though they had never paid any money on their mortgage. While fascinating, the article did not reveal the true face of foreclosure in the county, and it was a disservice to readers who want to understand the situation,” wrote Vicki King Taitano, director of Maryland Legal Aid’s Foreclosure Legal Assistance Project.

“The reality of foreclosure in Prince George’s is this: People were aggressively pursued by mortgage brokers, who in turn received bonuses from banks for selling consumers high-interest loans,” Taitano continued. “The foreclosure crisis is not the result of speculation by people such as Keith and Janet Ritter, the focus of the article.”

To read the entire letter, click here.

Legal Aid foreclosure expert in the Post

After Occupy D.C. protestors rallied in support of Bertina Jones, a grandmother who lost her Bowie home to foreclosure, the Washington Post spoke with the director of Maryland Legal Aid’s Foreclosure Legal Assistance Project.

“Occupiers chose Jones to rally behind after discussions with staffers at Maryland’s Legal Aid Bureau, where Vicki King Taitano, who directs the bureau’s foreclosure legal assistance project, has championed Jones’s case for months,” today’s article said. “’This is a perfect example of a woman who was making her payments, and they still foreclosed on her,’ Taitano said.”

To read the article, click here.

The mortgage settlement and Maryland

Last week, Midday with Dan Rodricks on WYPR-FM looked at the $25 billion mortgage settlement reached with major banks and 49 attorneys general. Panelist Vicki King Taitano, director of Maryland Legal Aid’s Foreclosure Legal Assistance Project, called the settlement “positive.”

“I think refusal [by banks] to do principal reduction has been a big problem,” Taitano said. “This is a lot of money. If loans can be reduced to fair-market price . . . I’m hopeful this will make a big difference for a lot of people.”

To hear the broadcast, click here.

Foreclosure mess affects local firms

Vicki King Taitano, director of Maryland Legal Aid’s Foreclosure Legal Assistance Project, was quoted in The Daily Record today.

The topic: “Robo-signing” of documents where attorneys have not reviewed or read the foreclosure documents they signed (or, in some cases, didn’t sign).

“In some of the robo-signer cases there’s a potential that there are things wrong,” Taitano said. “We’re not supposed to be quickly signing these documents and getting it done, we’re supposed to be giving people the opportunity to have modifications and a chance to stay in their homes.”

To read the article, click here.

New wave of foreclosures on the way

Foreclosure Legal Assistance Project staff attorney Kathleen Skullney

Maryland Legal Aid Foreclosure Legal Assistance Project staff attorney Kathleen Skullney (left) appeared on Fox45 TV News last night in a segment warning that another wave of foreclosures could hit soon. To see the clip, click here.

Unintended consequences from foreclosure notice requirement?

An unintended consequence of a change in procedural rules that now require lenders to better notify homeowners before taking possession of  and selling their homes may be making it easier for lenders to go after borrowers, the Daily Record reported.

“[S]ome who work with foreclosures wonder whether the change may have also had the unintended result of making it easier for lenders to go after borrowers for the difference between the money owed on the original loan and the funds received from the foreclosure sale,” the article said.

“The remaining debt is referred to as the deficiency.”

While the jury is out on whether the direct-notice requirement for foreclosure has made it easier for lenders to serve former homeowners with delinquency notices and whether most homeowners lack the funds to pay the debt, one legal expert pointed out that not everyone who ends in foreclosure does so because of an inability to pay.

“Seniors are highly vulnerable” because they may not be judgment-proof,” said Kathleen Skullney, staff attorney in Maryland Legal Aid’s Foreclosure Legal Assistance Project. “They might have assets a lender could go after in a  deficiency proceeding.”

To read the article, click here.