I am submitting this post on behalf of Dan Smith, who I met through working with Brave New Foundation to address the housing crisis. Dan lost his home and is eager to fight back.
My name is Dan Smith, and I'm an electrician with IBEW Local 952 in Ventura, California. I lost my home because my mortgage broker lied to me about my interest rate. I'm working with Progressive Future to take on the Mortgage Bankers Association and urge Congress to save millions of homes. You can help by clicking here.
My wife and I sold the comfortable condo for which we had saved for years. We had figured out that we could afford to pay $2700 per month to share a bigger home with our one-year old daughter, with plans to have another child. Our third month, we got a bill for $3600--33% more than we signed up for. I called my broker and he said "didn't I tell you that you had a 'teaser rate' that would go up?" No, he hadn't told me. I was angry, but stuck -- whatever they'd buried in the fine print was threatening everything I'd worked for.
After selling my truck and camper, working 80-hour weeks, and struggling to pay the increased rate for 16 months, I lost my home, I was left with a mountain of debt, and I ended up declaring bankruptcy. I went in with a great credit score and a shot at the American dream. I ended up deep in debt, bankrupt, with my credit shot. You can view my full story here.
But, I'm not just sitting back. I'm working with Progressive Future to confront the Mortgage Bankers Association and help make sure other families like mine don't end up out on the street.
The House recently passed a bill -- at President Obama's request -- to allow bankruptcy judges to adjust the terms of troubled mortgages. Experts estimate this common-sense solution could save nearly 2 million homes -- and I know it could have saved mine.
The Senate will vote on the same provision soon, but the Mortgage Bankers -- the same people who got us into this mess -- are fighting it. They've spent nearly $20 million lobbying in Washington in the past decade, so they've got plenty of clout. Progressive Future is collecting petitions telling the Mortgage Bankers to "back off" and I'd like as many people to sign as possible.
Thanks for helping out...and I hope you never have to go through what my family has over this past year.