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Local Church Rally Valley Residents to Fight Los Angeles Foreclosures

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By : Leticia Carvalho    99 or more times read
Led by Father John Lasseigne of the Mary Immaculate Church and other community leaders, residents of Pacoima and San Fernando Valley are hopeful that their battle against Los Angeles foreclosures will end positively.

The effort has spurred over 500 Latino immigrant families facing foreclosure to bargain with banks, a unique attempt at collective negotiation and information exchange according to housing experts.

Lasseigne’s congregation is a member of One-LA, affiliated with the left-leaning Industrial Areas Foundation. The group intends to record when and how lenders agree to a loan adjustment, information which they would pass on to government officials who they hope would help them stop Los Angeles foreclosures. The group also hopes to inspire other communities, and be heard by their elected officials, if not their lenders.

Indeed, policy experts and government officials have been watching the move with interest, especially since financial leaders have criticized the private sector of doing enough to help with the foreclosure problem. Rep. Brad Sherman said, in a written statement, that foreclosures affected both homeowners and communities. City Councilman Richard Alarcon said that many vacant homes have become wastelands or rave party sites.

There are those though who are skeptical of the group’s actions. Chase Bank, which met with around 60 homeowners last Sunday at a Pacoima law office says that the loans were not made as a group, thus the mortgage was a home-by-home issue.

However, residents feel that they have no other choice. The Valley has over 8,000 homes in default or in stages of foreclosure. Mortgage adjustment is tricky since home values have plunged as many borrowers have bad credit and low-paying jobs. Even modified loans at fixed rates may be unaffordable for most families.

Some residents have been pushed to bad loans by unscrupulous brokers. Others suffered illness or have lost their jobs. Whatever reason they have for not paying the mortgage, the group is serious in continuing the fight to prevent more foreclosures from taking away their homes.
Leticia Carvalho has been educated in the finer points of the foreclosure market over 5 years.

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