Rally targets home lenders

More than two dozen members of the Assn. of Community Organizations for Reform Now, better known as ACORN, gathered outside the home of a Los Angeles truck driver and his family Wednesday afternoon in an effort to keep the home from being sold.

The small rally was a part of the activist group's "Home Wreckers" campaign targeting mortgage lenders that aren't adjusting loans under the Obama administration's $75-billion Making Home Affordable program and other home-saving efforts from the federal government, said Anthony Panarese, an ACORN organizer.

The protest took place in front of the foreclosed residence of Jose Rodriguez, who lives in the Huntington Park home with his wife and sons.

Rodriguez has tried unsuccessfully over the last two years to modify his mortgage with lender Litton Loan Servicing, owned by Goldman Sachs & Co., Panarese said. Calls to Litton, based in Houston, requesting comment weren't returned Wednesday.

The ACORN campaign also targets other lenders, including American Home Mortgage Investment Corp., OneWest Bank Group, formerly known as IndyMac, and HomEq Servicing, owned by Barclays.

In July, the Treasury Department criticized lenders, including banks JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp., for failing to do enough for homeowners with mortgages they could no longer afford.

The Obama administration asked lenders to modify 500,000 mortgages by Nov. 1 using the government's Making Home Affordable plan, which subsidizes lender's costs when lowering loan payments for those in need.

About two months ago, Rodriguez and Litton agreed to a loan modification, but then the lender backed out of the agreement and decided to foreclose on the home, Panarese said. The company tried to sell Rodriguez's home in a foreclosure auction July 15, but because it didn't sell, ownership of the property reverted to Litton, he said.

Rodriguez, whose income has taken a hit in the recession, bought the home in 1994 with an adjustable rate mortgage from Litton, Panarese said.



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