Some Home Foreclosures on Hold for the Holidays
Citibank is giving some 4,000 homeowners a very happy holiday.
The banking giant is suspending foreclosures and evictions for people with Citi-owned loans through mid-January. A company spokesman said the aim is to reduce stress during a notoriously hectic time of year, according to MSNBC.com. In the meantime, the bank says it's at work on alternatives to foreclosure.
Unfortunately, helping potentially 4,000 families means only helping a miniscule percent of the millions of Americans that could lose their homes in coming months. For the lucky few, it will certainly provide relief (albeit temporarily), but the rest of us are going to have to take matters into our own hands if we want a home after the holidays.
Of the 100,000 homeowners enrolled in the President's loan modification program, only 270 had received official modifications as of November, according to the U.S. Treasury Department. With those kinds of numbers, it seems clear that waiting for a government bailout is not a miracle solution for homeowners.
Foreclosure is a frightening concept, no doubt. So frightening that many homeowners mentally shut out the possibility that it will actually happen until it's too late to stop it. In the end, it's their own denial - not the bank - that takes their house away. And that's the scariest thing of all.
If anything good has come of this economic meltdown, it's that our idea of what's normal is changing. We realize now that missed mortgage payments don't just happen to irresponsible homeowners; they're a problem with good people who happen to have bad credit. And they're even a problem with people who have good credit. Your financial circumstances don't deny who you are as a person. So instead of feeling embarrassed about foreclosure, instead of climbing under a figurative rock and hoping the late fees and notices in your mailbox will just disappear, stand up and fight for your house.
You won't be alone. First, because millions of other Americans are in the same shoes. Second, because there's an alternative to foreclosure - Chapter 13 bankruptcy - and there are professional bankruptcy attorneys who can help determine whether bankruptcy can stop the bank from putting you out of your home.
Bankruptcy has the power to legally stop foreclosure and other lender actions while providing a realistic way for you to overcome debt. It also happens to be your right per the U.S. Constitution. Find out for free if bankruptcy can help your family when you sign up for a complimentary personal debt analysis with one of our Chicago bankruptcy lawyers.