NYC housing advocates skeptical of mortgage settlement promises

February 21, 2012 12:00PM

Some American housing advocates doubt that new standards established by government officials to protect homeowners against wrongful foreclosure will do enough to help borrowers, the New York Times reported.

One of the advocates’ main issues is the problems borrowers face in establishing a relationship with an individual representative at the bank, which they say may not improve despite the inclusion of the issue in the $26 million settlement made with banks by state attorneys general earlier this month. Often borrowers are passed off from person to person and are regularly asked for the same documents again and again, making the process of modifying a loan much more difficult than it needs to be.

“It doesn’t seem like much has changed,” said Josh Zinner, co-director of New York-based Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project, speaking about previous efforts to establish one point of contact at banks. “We’re still seeing the same systematic problems.”

One California homeowner that’s been trying to change the terms of her loan since October 2009 told the Times: “I just keep getting passed from one person to another… Nobody is willing to talk to me.” [NYT]