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AG Coakley Reviews Successful Home Foreclosure Program

AG FORECLOSURESpringfield, Mass (WGGB) — Attorney General Martha Coakley’s office says the money it received in the 2012 foreclosure settlement is going to good use — helping to keep people in their homes. The country’s five largest mortgage lenders were ordered to pay up billions across the country — and Massachusetts got over $300 million. Now, that money is helping to curb the alarming foreclosure trend.

Including people like Springfield resident Tammy Sullivan. She’s a single mom, whose worked the same job seven days a week for 14 years. Sullivan had enough money to pay her mortgage back in 2011, but says JP Morgan didn’t give her the chance.

“Banks do not want to talk to the homeowner,” Sullivan said. “They continue to close you out, shut you out, and tell you that you didn’t hand in this paperwork or that paperwork.”

Four days before Christmas, Tammy’s home was foreclosed on. A third party investor purchased it.

“I called so many people. The doors would close in my face, every place I went,” Sullivan said.

That’s why, using funds from the 2012 joint settlement,  Coakley started the nation’s first HomeCorps program. Here’s how it works: anyone in danger of being foreclosed on can contact her office and get assigned a foreclosure counselor that will serve as a liaison between the big banks and homeowners.

“When the banks get a call from the attorney general’s office, they know we are serious about this,” Coakley said. “They know that we are committed to making sure we are helping every person that we can.”

In just over a year,  HomeCorps has tallied more than $35 million in principal reductions and 1,700 permanent modifications. Sullivan got her home back and is a proud HomeCorps success story.

“The banks always get bailed out, but the homeowners get thrown out, and that’s not right,” Sullivan said.

Coakley agrees. She was in Springfield Friday to discuss ways to make the program even stronger. She says her office will keep the heat on big banks until everyone keeps a roof over their heads.

Coakley also adds that the one mistake many people make is waiting too long to call her office. She says call her office as soon as you suspect
foreclosure could become an issue.

The phone number is 617-573-5333. You can also log on to www.mass.gov/ago/homecorps

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