Foreclosure Help: Fannie Mae Interactive Tool – Too Little Too Late

‘WaysHome’ was created to educate homeowners about their options to avoid foreclosure and encourage them to get help. It’s a fairyland view of a broken system.

Palm Coast, FL – January 6, 2011 – Fannie Mae introduced an innovative interactive video for homeowners facing financial pressures and possible foreclosure. It will help them understand their options and encourage them to seek help early in the process. The program called WaysHome will be widely viewed. That is a good thing because the public is largely in the dark about foreclosure options.
Unfortunately, WaysHome is built upon a false premise; that the foreclosure system really works. It assumes that a homeowner will actually be able to reach someone capable of providing help. If the experiences of many who have already tried to work within the system are an indicator, false hopes will be dashed as they seek help from a system that has failed miserably.
This is the system that:
  • Created robo-signers (a new word) – clerks who routinely authenticated false documents.
  • Created rocket docket courts (another new word) – Florida courts with judges called from retirement – designed to reduce the foreclosure backlog.
  • Foreclosed properties that had been approved for loan modifications.
  • Foreclosed and sold properties that had no mortgage.
  • Foreclosed properties on which the mortgage payment were current.
  • Foreclosed properties on which the foreclosing lender held neither the note or the mortgage.
  • Foreclosed when proper notice had not been given.
  • Repeatedly lost documentation sent in by homeowners.
  • Diverted properties to mass auctions that were scheduled to close on short sales within days .
  • Continued the foreclosure process even while loan modifications were under review.
  • Created a phone screening system that assures that a homeowner will never, ever be able to speak to the same person again – requiring them to repeat everything they told the last person.
  • Allows some courts to rubber-stamp foreclosure paperwork that is incomplete or fraudulent on its face.
  • Etc. etc. etc.

The foreclosure process (including options; short sale, dead in lieu, loan modification, forbearance, repayment plans) is simply overwhelmed. Hence the recent exposure of illicit shortcuts by lenders, mortgage servicers, law firms, and courts. Foreclosure processing mills resemble call centers more than cogs in a well oiled financial system. They are flooded with ill-trained new hires. The entire industry was created within the last two years.

WaysHome should lead some homeowners towards the best options for their situation. I encourage everyone who is in a mortgage bind to view it. But understand that pursuing the best (or least worse) options, regardless of which ones they are for you, will take a lot more time, energy, patience and money than it should. And it may turn out to be a wasted effort in the end. Just know that going in.
Read: Fannie Mae’s FEEL GOOD press release
Watch: VideoTrailer: Gives a preview of what the movie is about and how the interactivity works. And Explaination: Why Fannie Mae created WaysHome
Watch: VideoWaysHome

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