Homeowners across the nation are struggling to make their mortgage payments, and Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is calling for changes in leadership at the Federal Housing Finance Agency to help these very homeowners. Coakley, along with attorneys general from several other states, is demanding the replacement of FHFA Director Edward DeMarco, whose agency oversees the operations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, two government-backed mortgage finance organizations. Coakley and her counterparts have identified lending practices utilized by those organizations that they believe have contributed to the widespread mortgage crisis.
Although Coakley's efforts on behalf of Massachusetts homeowners are noteworthy, the changes that she advocates may not result in fast enough reforms to help people who are currently fighting to stay in their homes. For individuals who are on the verge of losing their homes, more immediate options for relief are available.
While Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offer individual credit counseling and other consumer programs to help homeowners who are suffering under the mortgage crisis, other non-profit credit counseling agencies exist that can also help guide homeowners with their finances. Additionally, bankruptcy and real estate law may be able to offer additional options on alternatives to foreclosure.
Homeowners may be eligible for forbearances or loan modifications to either temporarily stop or decrease mortgage payments. Other homeowners may consider selling their homes to their mortgage creditors in order to satisfy their loans, while others may be able to sell their homes directly to third parties to relieve themselves from their mortgage payments.
Even though many people are still struggling to pay off their home loans under the continuing mortgage crises, the work of individuals like Coakley may be paying off. As a previous post here detailed, Massachusetts has experienced some improvement in the housing market during the last year. However, for those people who are still fighting to keep their homes, opportunities exist to alleviate the burdens of their home mortgages.
Source: GoLocalWorcester, "Coakley Leads National Push for New Leadership at Fannie and Freddie," March 21, 2013