East Orange Calls for Changes to Foreclosure Practices

“It’s sad to know that you can’t enjoy something you worked so hard for.”

Martha Nelson bought her East Orange home in 2004 — a rambling three-story on Oraton Parkway.

When the Great Recession hit, she lost her job, property values tanked and she now owes the bank twice what her dream home’s worth. And she can’t get an affordable mortgage refinance, even though it’s an FHA — Federal Housing Administration-backed loan.

“If it’s a private loan, they can do much more for me. But with the loan that I have, there’s nothing much than can be done,” Nelson said.

“In East Orange we have many examples, many examples of hard-working families fighting to preserve and maintain their homes,” said East Orange Mayor Lester Taylor.

At a news conference, Taylor talked about blighted neighborhoods like Nelson’s where two houses down the street are in foreclosure and a couple others look completely disheveled and abandoned. He blames corporate greed and lax government.

“For too long, Wall Street speculators are becoming major landlords, in communities of color in particular, like East Orange. Government agencies such as Fannie Mae, HUD, Freddie Mac have allowed private interests to trump the interests of working class families in our communities,” Taylor said.

Read on.

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