Thursday, November 10, 2011

More reporting, little analysis of the Snellville home "occupation"

It gets old watching the media jump all over the Occupy Atlanta based "occupation" of a home that's in the process of foreclosure.

A blog at Time magazine is among those to jump on the story:
According to the protesters, Tawanna Rorey of Snellville, Ga., is at risk of being evicted from her home after she had trouble paying her mortgage and tried to get a loan modification. The authorities say the foreclosure process is ongoing and no eviction is scheduled.
Has anyone bothered to read the narrative provided by Occupy Atlanta? It says, in part:
Tawanna Rorey is a full-time homemaker, while her husband works in law enforcement; they have three children. The house on Shoreside Circle was their first home purchase, in 2003.  When SunAmerica, their original mortgage company went out of business, their mortgage become securitized and was eventually purchased by Fannie Mae and serviced by EverHome. The Roreys had never missed a payment on their mortgage, but sought loan modification because of rising expenses and also because they were trying to send their oldest daughter to college.  They were told by EverHome they would have to show financial hardship and should do so by missing a payment; this practice is increasingly common and puts homeowners at risk unnecessarily. EverHome began foreclosure  proceedings immediately while also moving forward with the loan modification, a practice called “double processing.”  At this point the Roreys approached by a con artist named John Harris; he pretended to be an advocate for borrowers who would help them with the loan modification process.  His real motive was to gain access to homes which were being foreclosed on so that he could pretend to be the landlord and rent them once they were empty; he was arrested in Cobb County October 17.  Before the foreclosure they engaged a lawyer who did not file properly; the suit was dismissed for that reason.  At that point they engaged a new lawyer who is addressing the situation as it now stands.
If the narrative provided is accurate, the Rorey's had money to cover their mortgage payment, but they decided they wanted to spend the money elsewhere. Educating a daughter may be a worthwhile endeavor,  but should you really expect your mortgage company to underwrite the bill with a modification?

The Roreys also appear to have fallen for a slick come-on by an alleged con man. Is this the mortgage company's fault?

Occupy Atlanta also describes Mrs. Rorey as a full-time homemaker. Is this by choice? A lifestyle decision? Again, based solely on the narrative provided by Occupy Atlanta, the family comes off looking like it wanted its mortgage company to subsidized its lifestyle by lowering its payments.

If the lender was pursuing foreclosure while simultaneously pursuing the loan modification, surely the Rorey's had some notice. They chose a path with risk. They took the risk. And now want someone to bail them out for a series of what appear to be largely self-inflicted mistakes.

There are foreclosure cases where lenders have engaged in egregious practices. And in some cases, the lenders don't even have documentation they are the legitimate lien holders on the property. I'd have more sympathy for someone in a situation like that. Or someone who fell behind due to long term illness or unemployment.

But to argue a stay-at-home mom deserves a loan modification because she and her family need money to take on a new obligation of sending a daughter to college just falls flat with me.

1 comment:

  1. You are spot-on. They were trying to scam the system. The loan modification program was supposed to help those who couldn't make their mortgage payments, not those people who can make their mortgage payments, but who would like a new, low, rockin interest rate.