San Mateo supes: Stop foreclosures

UPDATE – San Mateo County supervisors today unanimously approved a non-binding resolution calling for subprime mortgage lenders to agree to suspend foreclosures in the county for three months.

The resolution, introduced by Board of Supervisors President Rose Jacobs Gibson, came in response to the nationwide spike in foreclosures in the past year, correlating with a rise in subprime mortgages with higher rates and fees,according to Jacobs Gibson.

Foreclosures in San Mateo County in April of this year were more than six times the number in April 2006, according to Jacobs Gibson.

“Subprime loans have turned the dreams of home ownership into nightmares,” Jacobs Gibson said, adding that seniors and minorities “have been hit the hardest.”

“We're in troubling times with the lending situation the way it is,” Supervisor Jerry Hill said, lamenting “the lives that are being dislodged…the families that are being destroyed … the life savings that are being lost.”

Supervisor Adrienne Tissier noted that loan documents are often cumbersome for customers, and that lenders can be misleading.

“A lot of times, what's in that document is different from what you're being told,” Tissier said.

“This is a time to take a closer look at the lenders, and the real estate agents,” Tissier continued. Some loans “never should have happened,” she said.

Estela Baldovinos, of South San Francisco, attended this morning's hearing in support of the resolution, along with other members of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

Baldovinos told the supervisors that her mortgage broker lied to her about her adjustable rate mortgage and told her after two years, her mortgage would be lower.

Today, Baldovinos said, she is four months delinquent on her mortgage and struggles to care for her nine children while fending off calls from her lender.

“The past few months have been extremely stressful for me and my family,” Baldovinos said.

Foreclosures negatively impact not only families, but entire neighborhoods that become more vulnerable to crime, according to Jacobs Gibson.

ACORN members released a report today that claimed in addition to increases in violent crime and decreases in property values in neighborhoods beset by foreclosures, cities with high foreclosure rates lose property taxes that go to fund public schools, law enforcement and road repairs.

The report estimated that foreclosures from high-cost loans made in 2006 could cost San Francisco and San Mateo counties more than $210 million.

In addition to calling for a voluntary three-month moratorium on foreclosures from subprime lenders and agencies that service the loans, the resolution also asks lenders to help their customers avoid foreclosure during the moratorium period through interest rate or loan principal reductions.

The resolution also calls on lenders and loan servicers to make efforts during the three-month period to contact their customers and help them avoid foreclosure.

“We kind of have to get past the blame issue now,” Supervisor Mark Church said. “We need to encourage lenders to reach out and work with these people who are affected.”

Though supervisors plan to distribute copies of the resolution to various lenders throughout the county in the hope that they will comply, Jacobs Gibson acknowledged that the Board of Supervisors has “no real authority over lending institutions.”

Further, she said, the resolution “sends a message to the community that we are aware of the situation … and that we care about their situation.”

— Bay CIty News

Bay Area NewsLocal

Just Posted

A felled tree in Sydney G. Walton Square blocks part of a lane on Front Street following Sunday’s storm on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
After the rain: What San Francisco learned from a monster storm

Widespread damage underscored The City’s susceptibility to heavy wind and rain

Plan Bay Area 2050 is an expansive plan guiding the region’s growth and development over the next three decades. The regional plan addresses progressive policy priorities like a universal basic income and a region-wide rent cap, alongside massive new spending on affordable housing and transportation infrastructure. (Shutterstock)
$1.4 trillion ‘blueprint’ would address Bay Area’s housing, transit woes

Analyzing the big ticket proposals in ‘Plan Bay Area 2050’

A felled tree in San Francisco is pictured on Fillmore Street following a major storm that produced high winds and heavy rains on Oct. 24, 2021. (Photo courtesy of Philip Ford)
Storm updates: Rainiest October day in San Francisco history

Rainfall exceeded 10 inches in parts of the Bay Area

On Sunday, California bore the brunt of what meteorologists referred to as a bomb cyclone and an atmospheric river, a convergence of storms that brought more than half a foot of rain to parts of the Bay Area, along with high winds, concerns about flash floods and the potential for heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada. Much of the Bay Area was under a flash flood watch on Sunday, with the National Weather Service warning of the potential for mudslides across the region. (NOAA via The New York Times)
Bomb cyclone, atmospheric river combine to pummel California with rain and wind

What you need to know about this historic weather event

The Department of Building Inspection, at 49 South Van Ness Ave., has been mired in scandal since since its creation by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. (Courtesy SF.gov)
The Department of Building Inspection, at 49 South Van Ness Ave., has been mired in scandal since its creation by voter referendum under Proposition G in 1994. (Courtesy SF.gov)
Whistleblowing hasn’t worked at the SF Dept. of Building Inspection

DBI inspectors say their boss kept them off connected builders’ projects

Most Read