Thursday, April 09, 2009

What Can I Do?

FOCUS Your Attention on Foreclosures

The Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO) is asking Ohioans to join them in Columbus on April 22 for a FOCUS on Foreclosures Lobby Day in support of Ohio House Bills 3 and 9. NEOCH supports the FOCUS group, and have written to support Rep. Mike Foley's HB 9. If you are interested in joining them, please contact cathy johnson at to become a part of their listserv and receive regular updates.

Ohio House Bill 3 is an important bill for homeowners facing foreclosure. Currently, it:

  • declares a six month moratorium on foreclosures [even though some banks have stated they are imposing their own foreclosure moratoriums, Cuyahoga County alone is still seeing more than 1,000 foreclosures a month];
  • gives courts the power to modify mortgage agreements, allowing not only for homeowners to remain in their homes, but also ensuring mortgage companies get their money;
  • allows for a homeowner to remain on the property after foreclosure should the mortgage company not require the property for personal use. Every meeting with large gatherings of homeless people the topic always moves to how can there be so many vacant homes and so many
  • establishes a Mortgage Services Registration Law which requires mortgage lenders to adhere to business standards (including responsibility to the borrower) and to provide homeowners with information regarding resources and rights before foreclosure; and
  • sets up the Foreclosure Prevention Revolving Trust Fund, which provides money for grants for preventing and mitigating foreclosure issues.

Ohio House Bill 9, on the other hand, provides important rights for renters whose landlords are facing foreclosure, including:

  • requiring landlords to inform tenants should the property face foreclosure [too many tenants don’t find out about the foreclosure until the sheriff shows up to evict them];
  • requiring landlords to inform tenants of date, time, and place of sale at least 21 days before the sale of the property; and
  • requiring any rental agreement on a foreclosed property to continue as a month-to-month agreement, thereby making the mortgage company the landlord, because there’s no reason a tenant who always pays rent on time should be punished when the landlord is foreclosed on.

If you have the time and the means, please contact COHHIO and join them on their lobby day. Speak with your representatives and let them know that these bills are vital in protecting Ohio’s citizens and keeping Ohio’s families in homes. Again, if you are interested, contact cathyjohnson at or call them at 614-280-1984.


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