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.
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.
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.
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.
Maryland Legal Aid’s Vicki King Taitano, director of the Foreclosure Legal Assistance Project, was interviewed by Black Enterprise for an article about foreclosure rescue scams.
“I think people need lawyers. And I hope attorneys will volunteer or take more cases and represent people in mediations and foreclosures because when people are represented I think they do much better,” Taitano said.
To read the entire article, click here.