Boston Globe Features BCC in “Housing recovery? Not for all.”

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Boston Community Capital’s SUN Initiative was recently featured in The Boston Globe opinion piece, “Housing recovery? Not for all.”  The article, written by Globe Columnist Paul McMorrow, describes how the housing recovery is only helping those whose homes were not greatly affected by the housing crash, unlike Ramon Suero of Dorchester who bought his home for $283,000 in 2005 and is only worth $80,000 today.  McMorrow writes:

“Suero’s mortgage file reads like a tour of the worst abuses of the housing boom. He bought his condo with a no-money-down mortgage from Option One, a notorious subprime lender. Option One allegedly targeted non-native English speakers and poor communities of color with high-risk loans. The lender gave Suero a mortgage with a low, interest-only teaser rate; this mortgage was designed to blow up after two years, when the teaser rate expired and the loan’s interest rate shot up.”
“Suero first fell behind on his mortgage, he and his union say, because his labor organizing cost him his job. When he got back on his feet, his mother-in-law fell ill, and his wife missed months of work while tending to her back in the Dominican. The couple asked Freddie Mac for a loan modification. The government-owned company declined, and instead took their home.”
“Suero’s condominium isn’t worth much, on paper, to anyone. The two other units in his building sold last year for $80,000 each. But the condo is worth something to Suero, his wife, teenage son, and two young daughters. So the family has refused to leave the home Freddie Mac foreclosed on more than two years ago. “We’re fighting for everybody around Dorchester,” Suero said after court last week. “If we move, the bank will just continue to throw families out.”’
“Suero has been making rent payments on the property. He lined up a buyer, Boston Community Capital, to take the unit off Freddie Mac’s hands, at a price above its $80,000 market value. So far, Freddie has refused, because it won’t work with firms, like Boston Community Capital, that sell foreclosed properties back to their former owners. Freddie would take Boston Community Capital’s cash offer from anyone but a lender connected to Suero, but that buyer doesn’t exist.”