A few weeks ago the PD did a piece about all of the bipartisan legislation introduced during this session to help deal with the foreclosure crisis – all of which is going to die at the end of the year because Senate President Bill Harris “does not believe it is the government’s role to fix the foreclosure problem.”

Today the Dispatch ran a piece with even more details about the foreclosure problem in our state.

The Dispatch article specifically focuses on a family who was told by their mortgage company (Chase) to stop making their payments so they could seal a loan-modification deal. Four months later the same bank filed for foreclosure on their home.

In Ohio, the foreclosure track has far outpaced the resolution track. The state ranks 47th in the percentage of borrowers who have received a loan modification.

The number of foreclosures in Ohio has doubled in the past 10 years, rising each year. Lenders have foreclosed on about 652,000 homeowners here since 2000. And about 700,000 Ohio borrowers owe more than their home is worth.

Consumer advocates lay some of the state’s foreclosure problems on Ohio state senators who have sat on a bill to regulate the mortgage-servicing industry. Provisions of that bill would prohibit servicers from telling borrowers to stop paying as a condition of receiving help and would ban foreclosures while borrowers with the means to make payments are seeking a settlement.

The bill zoomed through the Ohio House with bipartisan support. It has been collecting dust in a Senate committee for 18 months.

“I’m pissed,” said Rep. Mike Foley, the Cleveland Democrat who sponsored the bill. “It’s an out-of-control system. They’re incentivized to bring foreclosure.”

Sherrod Brown and AG Rich Cordray have also called for stricter regulations on the mortgage-service industry.

Unfortunately, Rep. Foley’s legislation is going to die this year without being voted on. As is all of the other legislation that could have helped.

And now that Republicans are going to be running the show for the next few years we can expect no action from the House or the Attorney General’s office, and no leadership from the Governor on this issue either.

Things are going to get worse, people. There’s no doubt about that.

But hey, it’s nice to see the Dispatch finally writing about this story – even though it’s much too late to do anything about it.

 

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