Two MFI-Miami Clients Make Front Page of the Boston Globe
In a jam, more skip mortgage payments
Jenifer McKim, Boston Globe
Tens of thousands of Massachusetts property owners are living in their homes without making mortgage payments as they fight foreclosure, plead with lenders for loan modifications, or simply take advantage of free housing while awaiting eviction.
About 36,000 borrowers statewide have not written a mortgage check in at least three months, and one-third of those borrowers are a year or more in arrears, according to the most recent data from Lender Processing Services Inc., a Florida company that collects mortgage data nationwide.
Most homeowners fail to pay their mortgages because they are out of work, have had their wages cut, or are saddled with ballooning interest rates on subprime loans, housing advocates say. Some abandon hope of ever catching up, staying put for months — sometimes years — while lenders slog through the increasingly long process that leads to foreclosure.
“We have bank tenants that have been in their foreclosures after a number of years,’’ said Melonie Griffiths, a community organizer with City Life/ Vida Urbana, a Jamaica Plain nonprofit that works with tenants and homeowners in foreclosure. “Some people slip through the cracks.’’
Housing advocates say the extended time it takes to foreclose upon a property and evict someone gives homeowners an opportunity to save their homes or put away money to rent an apartment, and prevents neighborhood blight by reducing the number of abandoned properties. But economists worry the unresolved ownership of so many properties will imperil an already fragile real estate market.