By Curt Guyette
A small group of people gathered on Detroit’s west side last week to celebrate what appeared to be a victory. It looked as if Marvin and Louise Morris, both in their late 70s, would be staying in the modest house they’ve lived in for 32 years.
The problem, says attorney Jerome Goldberg of the Moratorium NOW! Coalition, is that such victories are far too rare. And one of the reasons for that is the government programs intended to keep people in their homes are largely failing to stem a massive wave of foreclosures that has yet to crest.
The federal programs intended to keep people in their homes are largely ineffective, serving as a “silent bailout of the banks,” says Goldberg. What’s really needed, he says, is what his organization has long been advocating: a moratorium on foreclosures.
Goldberg and the attorney he shares a Detroit office with, Vanessa Fluker, are like foot soldiers on the frontlines of the foreclosure battle, seeing firsthand the devastating effects of America’s mortgage crisis.
But you don’t have to be at Ground Zero to know that the fight to help keep people in their homes is largely being lost. Last week, a day before Marvin Morris was passing around pizza as a way of thanking supporters, the New York Times was reporting this news regarding the Obama administration’s program to help prevent foreclosures:
“Only 390,000 homeowners have seen their mortgage terms permanently modified since the $50 billion program was announced in March 2009. That is a small fraction of the three to four million borrowers who were supposed to receive assistance under the program, which is financed by money from the $700 billion Wall Street bailout authorized in late 2008.”
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