Petula Dvorak has a terrific column in The Post today about homeowners in Prince William County, which has one of the highest rates in the nation of houses being “underwater” [worth less than their mortgages]. Here’s one highlight:
Edgar Lemus lived in Dale City for 10 years, never missing a payment on his home. When he asked for a loan modification from Chase Bank, it was approved, and he continued to make payments.
Suddenly, Chase sent him a letter announcing foreclosure. Chase apparently had no record of his year of modified payments; the two-track systems of foreclosure and loan modification never talked. It’s exactly the problem that federal officials thumped the banks for last month, and the thing they promised will end.
“I’m tired of this,” Lemus said, his voice quivering. Wiping his eyes, he explained, “I’m in pain.”
This is the story that many church leaders in Northern Virginia are hearing. Families caught up in job losses and unsympathetic lenders who don’t show the heart that small banks used to.
“There is no morality, no humanity, no caring for the community with these banks,” said the Rev. Clyde Ellis, the senior pastor at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Woodbridge, where large swaths of the congregation are in trouble.