Five years after the housing market peaked, the mortgage mess remains a significant drag on the economy. Banks, policymakers and investors have yet to figure out a way to stop the cycle of massive foreclosures and the fire sales that inevitably ensue. In September, foreclosures and short sales accounted for 30 percent of existing home sales.
The calls are rising, from all points of the political spectrum, for mortgage modification — i.e., figuring out a way to let people stay in their homes even if they can't afford the current mortgage payment. While banks, the Obama Administration and the taxpayer-owned mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dither, one non-profit lender is taking matters into its own hands. Boston Community Capital, which has been active in the region for 30 years, last year set up the Stabilizing Urban Neighborhoods (SUN) initiative. The plan? Buy properties back from banks who aren't willing to modify. Then resell them to the owners who were in danger ofRead More »from Mortgage Modification: What One Non-Profit Lender Is Doing to Help Homeowners