Once, Countrywide Financial was the biggest U.S. mortgage lender, and the bloated appraisals it gave on homes were a root cause of the housing bubble. Here's why we're all still paying for Countrywide's bad behavior.
Janet's a lawyer who's losing her home, and she knows: When it comes to foreclosure, bureaucracy and paperwork can be your friends. Her foreclosure process has lasted for nearly 900 days, and counting. For homeowners in dire financial straits, her story is a lesson in how to keep a roof over your head as long as possible.
In the last few years, outreach events by banks and nonprofits have been held all over the country, offering help to distressed homeowners. But even when they get personal invitations to these events, the vast majority of people who need mortgage modifications or short sales aren't showing up.
Financial advice columnist Laura Rowley recently received an email from a homeowner who had negotiated a successful mortgage modification, but may end up as a short-sale candidate anyway -- because she can't finance home repairs. Her options are limited, but possible solutions do exist.