Over the past two years, we've helped prevent more than 330,000 foreclosures, primarily by modifying loan terms.

That's what Chase said (Thursday, March 12, 2009) on its website. With real unemployment rates hitting somewhere in the neighborhood of 19% (way above "official" figures) and with more and more older people pouring back into the labor market competing for low wage jobs putting downward pressure on wages and salaries, we can't emphasize enough the importance of individuals taking an aggressive position concerning remaining in their homes. We don't mean taking a violent position. The RLCC isn't advocating doing things to get arrested. We mean doing everything possible including questioning the laws allowing people to be put out on the street at a time when huge corporations have been bailed out at taxpayer expense. People should exhaust every remedy and reasonable suggestion even so-called squatting where law-enforcement has shown sympathy and if one has no place to go except the streets.

This is an emergency public-policy issue that will not receive the needed attention it deserves before people start dying from the financial depression or people do things to hit the news before it's too late for them.

So, contact the banks. Renegotiate everything. Downsize. There are plenty of foreclosed homes on the bank's books.

Now, Marcy Kaptur of Ohio has made the suggestion from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives that people demand to see the promissory note as proof that they even owe anything. People know whether or not they took out loans. We aren't suggesting people deny the truth that they borrowed. Courts aren't going to cause mortgage companies to write off all such loans when there are many supporting documents to show that the borrower did in fact borrow the money. What were they making payments for in the first place if they never had a loan? It's a specious approach, and we don't need more dishonesty. We need less and none at all. Use the legitimate means. The movement of the people will be toward not allowing others to die on the streets if we can simply get the truth in front of the people. That's the challenge when the banks still control the money that controls the corporations that control the mainstream mass media.

The Congress is working on legislation that might allow judges to reset loan terms.

If you do a workout with a bank, try to get a fixed rate loan. If inflation comes back with a vengeance due to huge government fiscal deficits, interest rates will be set higher and higher to wring out that inflation. Lower the payment by lowering the principal (home value), lowering the interest rate, and extending the term from 15 years or 30 to even 40 years if necessary.

Watch out for foreclosure-rescue fraud. It's rampant.

  • Make sure your counselor is certified by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • Don't sign away your home without being released from the mortgage.
  • Have an independent real estate attorney evaluate any deals before you commit.

(See: "Mortgage Foreclosure Rescue Scams." Fraud Guides. Last accessed: Sunday, March 15, 2009.)

One in 8 US homeowners is delinquent or in foreclosure. The scammers know this and know how to find out who they are. Use all the free community services available too. Not everyone can afford an attorney. Look for those who are doing pro bono work.

Tom Usher

About Tom Usher

Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.