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Washington Foreclosure Fairness Act Reaches 2,300 Mark

Progress is being reported in the second year of Washington State’s Foreclosure Fairness Act (HB 1362), but local attorneys say there is still room for improvement. Bruce Neas, staff attorney with Columbia Legal Services, says the law got off to a slow start, but after 14 months it seems to be gaining traction in helping local homeowners get out from under problem mortgages that have debt greater than their homes are worth – so-called “underwater” mortgages.

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Posted in An Inclusive Economy

Senator Jeff Merkley’s plan to help underwater homeowners

Homeownership has been a hallmark of the American dream since the days of westward expansion, but today that dream has never been more fragile. Every day, families struggle to make payments on underwater mortgages in a depressed housing market, threatening

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Lucrative “foreclosure factories” spark nationwide investigation

Mounting evidence indicates shady business practices are rife among big banks foreclosing on homeowners. But new evidence shows some foreclosures were not only improper or unnecessary – they may have been outright illegal. Last year, consumer attorneys accused five major

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A win for homeowners despite difficult year for Washington families, economy

It’s no secret this year was a difficult one for Washington. Persistent unemployment, the continuing budget gap, skyrocketing tuition, high gas prices, plummeting home values and cuts to essential services – at a time when they’re needed most – have

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In difficult year WA legislature passes bills to protect homeowners, encourage savings

By Gary Burris, Senior Policy Associate With the current state budget shortfall, federal budget deficits and looming cuts in vital services, it’s easy to miss a few of the good things that are happening in our state legislature. Specifically, several

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Foreclosure: A poem by Marilyn Zuckerman

Foreclosure by Marilyn Zuckerman Before the auction, the realtor puts out a sign and places flowers on the windowsill. Someone has mowed the lawn shut off the water and electricity —still the swing in the back yard moves as though

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Posted in EOI

Foreclosure fairness bill would require bank mediation, keep more people in their homes

By Gary Burris, Senior Policy Associate The mortgage crisis has hit millions of Americans. Most recent estimates show that 23% of home owners nationwide owe more than their homes are worth – including tens of thousands of Washingtonians. Banks used

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New legislation seeks to improve consumer finance protections for homeowners

Over 30,000 Washington homeowners lost their homes in 2009, 37,000 in 2010, and the Associated Press reports that 2011 is projected to be even worse, with 41,100 home foreclosures forecast. Many people could keep their homes if they could get

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