In Woodbridge, Foreclosures Hit Hard | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

In Woodbridge, Foreclosures Hit Hard

Va. Residents Demand More Support From Banks

Play associated audio
Hundreds of people came out to voice their frustration over the foreclosure crisis in Woodbridge, Va. this weekend.
Matt Laslo
Hundreds of people came out to voice their frustration over the foreclosure crisis in Woodbridge, Va. this weekend.

The foreclosure crisis is striking Prince William County, Va. particularly hard and homeowners there are demanding banks work with the community to stem the tide. 

Homeowners in Woodbridge are furious with big banks. Many families report that banks have lost their payment information or their mortgage papers, yet the financial institutions still proceed with foreclosures anyway. On top of that, 6,000 families are behind on their mortgage payments, even though interest rates are at historic lows.

"It's a shame. People losing their homes," says Roosevelt Bowman, a deacon at the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Woodbridge. "And basically what the banks are doing, they seem to be getting richer and the people are getting poorer." 

President Obama has ordered federal mortgage agencies to help underwater homeowners refinance their homes. But there are problems with that plan, according to Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.). The federal bureaucracy is slowing down that process, and it won't reach all homeowners, he says.

The foreclosure crisis is so widespread that Warners believes Congress may actually be able to set aside partisan bickering to allow more homeowners to refinance their mortgages.

"We're going to need to look both individually, at sorting through individual cases, but we're going to have to look at policy choices," Warner says. "You know, I think this could actually be an area where there could be agreement." 

Community members in Prince William County want more money for housing counselors who can often help homeowners that have fallen behind on their mortgages get out of a bind. They also want banks to view foreclosures as a last resort, instead of leaving communities littered with vacant properties.

NPR

Out Of Ukraine, This 'Suitcase' Packs An Immigrant's Story With Humor

Ari Shapiro talks with first-time novelist Yelena Akhtiorskaya about her book, Panic in a Suitcase.
NPR

McDonald's Responsible For Treatment Of Workers, Agency Says

The National Labor Relations Board has found that McDonald's shares responsibility for working conditions at its franchised restaurants. The company will fight the ruling.
NPR

Senate's Highway Trust Fund Bill Sets Up Conflict With The House

A short-term fix for the nearly empty Highway Trust Fund is a step closer to President Obama's desk. Congress has been talking about the long-term problems with the construction account, but the two chambers have not agreed on a long-term solution.
NPR

OkCupid Sometimes Messes A Bit With Love, In The Name Of Science

OkCupid, the online dating site, disclosed Monday that they sometimes manipulate their users' profiles for experiments.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.