This is the California home that Sheila Boer, single mother of five, fears she may soon lose. She wrote a letter to BusinessWeek’s Dawn Kopecki after reading Dawn’s online story about solutions to the mortgage mess. Separately, Sheila told us that she used to earn good money in the mortgage business but lost four jobs this year alone as one lender after another went under. She gave us permission to publish her letter, along with the photo of her house, on our Hot Property blog. We’re not printing this letter because we agree with it …
or because we disagree with it, but because it raises a lot of important issues about what has gone wrong and what can be done. Here's Sheila:
What about us??? I am one of over 88,792+ people that have lost their jobs due to the “Sub prime mortgage crisis”. Everyone from Title Officers to Lender Account Executives have been laid off. I have been employed in the California mortgage industry for 19 yrs. This is the only line of work I know and my families sole support. In all my years helping borrowers purchase or refinance I never once closed an Option ARM/Pick A Pay loan which I feel is a big reason for the sub prime fall out. Now I like many others have been pushed out of my job and am now facing losing my home that I have worked so hard to obtain. What about the families that are being affected by the mass layoffs? The children that are being uprooted by foreclosures and families falling apart? What can the Fed or the government do to help us now? I don't believe they are concerned about the individual homeowners. They are concerned about the big Banks ,Lenders and Investors. At this time I can't even take out a second mortgage on my home to help pay off some of the credit cards I have been forced to live on because I am employed (was) in the mortgage industry. I can't sell my home because half of California is for sale. Last year I had $250,000 in equity and now I wouldn't‘ break even!!! Do I walk away and give up like so many are doing ?? 1 in every 31 homes in Modesto, CA is currently in foreclosure and 1 in every 27 in Stockton, CA. This is an epidemic which has created mass hysteria amongst investors. What do I tell my children? Where do we go? I have spent all these years working paying taxes doing the right thing raising my children living the American dream and for what to lose it all in a matter of months. I am a single parent of five children two of which are in college and now I am unable to pay my mortgage, my bills, college tuition and just the basic everyday needs. I am faced with losing everything and have no agency or group to turn to. The bankruptcy courts are overwhelmed. Every day I hear another heart wrenching story from someone losing their home from every walk of life from the poor to the rich this crosses all lines. I am only one individual there are thousands just like me nationwide. What can be done about this? Someone has to have the answer. Can we form a an agency to help keep borrowers in their homes? Should the Government purchase these ailing loans and restructure them so that the homeowner has a chance to hang on? Most loans in Ca are over the conforming $417K so any Fannie Mae agency will not help. Will anyone listen, does anyone even care? Are you familiar with the web site www.mortgageimplode.com? I have had the opportunity to be employed with a company that ended up on the imploded list and they failed to pay my wages earned from the prior month before they closed. This in turn started a domino affect in my finances which has made it very hard to hang on. I believe that an article should be printed to shed some light and put a face to the people that are battling this situation every day.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.