Chicago, IL (PRWEB) May 17, 2013
The Federal Savings Bank echos news that veterans are finding themselves in difficult financial situations and facing mortgage foreclosure. However, in at least one state, they are even being targeted by banks looking to profit off foreclosures.
According to Atlanta ABC affiliate WSB-TV, lawyers in Atlanta, Georgia, are receiving hundreds of cases in which veterans are being victimized by big banks and ultimately end up in foreclosure. In one instance, a man was not in foreclosure and had no mortgage loan issues, but his bank suggested he apply for a loan modification. As reported by the source, during the two-year-long process that ensued, the veteran was instructed by the bank not to pay the mortgage. However, soon after, lenders were sending astronomical bills he couldn't pay.
Similarly, Air Force veteran Richard Leder's bank told him not to pay his lenders, and his home was foreclosed five months later even though he had the money to pay back what was owed.
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The attraction of targeting veterans is likely because VA home loans are insured, WSB-TV reported. After foreclosure, a bank can sell the home loan to another mortgage company and still keep the insurance money - thus earning double profits. The problem is that the misguided instructions given to veterans are usually over the phone or in person, so there is no written record of them. This makes it much harder for homeowners to prove that the banks were acting in bad faith.
Fortunately, many states are implementing strong initiatives to help veterans who are at risk of foreclosure. For example, Michigan recently introduced a $5 million veteran homeowners' assistance program. Through this new system, both active military members and veterans will have the opportunity to get financial aid from the state.
Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH), from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is also a great resource for homeless veterans to get assistance with finding permanent homes.
Atlanta lawyers are working hard to bring justice for the veterans who were victimized by big banks. Some of the offenders are offering settlements, but for many defendants, that isn't sufficient.
"There's not enough money to compensate me both emotionally and physically for what I went through," Lydia Smith, one homeowner who was targeted, told WSB-TV.