Sadly, there are a growing number of homeowners on the brink who have resorted to suicide and violence. This trend illustrates the need for a multi-level solution to the foreclosure crisis: one that not only provides financial and legal support, but also contains the emotional fallout of payment shock and foreclosure syndrome.
Homeowners suffering from payment shock and foreclosure syndrome are not getting the psychological help they need to survive escalating vicious attacks by their lenders. Even worse, not only have the media and the government turned their backs on homeowners with securitized adjustable rate mortgages, they have characterized payment shock sufferers as deadbeats who eagerly lined up for liar loans.
Be warned: If payment shock and foreclosure syndrome is not treated as the national epidemic that it is, affecting over sixteen million homeowners, homeowner violence will increase, as will homeowner suicide.
Why? Because the triple impact of losing their jobs, life savings and homes is so devastating, that many people cannot imagine building a whole new life again. Rather than rebuilding, they fall prey to destruction or self destruction.
Just as we are deeply bonded to our family, pets and friends, we are equally rooted in our homes. Our homes represent the womb from which we came, as well as the cave we retreat back into to lick our wounds. This intense attachment gives us the psychological strength to wake up, tank up and slay the dragons each day.
As we move through our lives, there are two forces that drive us. The first is the force to progress further and higher into our life dreams. This force motivates us to work hard, get an education, apply for a promotion, start a business, run a marathon and lead a charge. One of the most progressive acts we undertake is buying and caring for our homes.
The second force that drives us is regression back to the womb. Regression comes on the heels of progression. The higher we progress, the deeper we regress. We regress by playing sports, traveling for fun, hanging with friends and making love, to name a few popular methods. And the tougher the world out there, the greater the longing to go home. Just ask Martha Stewart.
In fact, the key dynamic in developing and protecting ourselves, is this cyclical interplay between progression and regression. We can't have one without the other. Shrinks have a fancy word for this process, called "progressive abreactive regression." Any time this balance is disrupted, all hell can break loose.
Patricia Spadaro, author of Honor Yourself: The Inner Art of Giving and Receiving
says this: "The delicate dance between giving and receiving is essential to be able to live our lives with renewed purpose and passion. We have to learn to live with paradox."
Essentially, progressing requires strategic regression in which a person can ventilate their fears and anxieties. When this balance is disturbed, a person will feel disoriented, anxious, moody, fearful, depressed and hopeless. These feelings of despair must be ventilated within the context of a supportive relationship followed by a renewed commitment to action.
Homeowners suffering from payment shock and foreclosure syndrome need first to identify their symptoms and be assured that their reaction to potentially losing their homes is normal. They must be given a road map to survive the wild journey that awaits them. They must be given an emotional compass to monitor their oscillating feelings. Finally, they must be treated with compassion and empathy.
Payment shock and foreclosure syndrome occurs in five distinct emotional stages. Each stage must be managed for maximum healing and minimum self flagellation. Homeowners must reach out to family and friends for support, and to attorneys to attack their toxic lenders.
Here is a summary of the emotional stages of payment shock and foreclosure syndrome and what to do to avoid an impulse for violence:
Stage One: Onset of Payment Shock. This initial stage occurs when a homeowner receives notice of an escalated payment or a financial hardship. The homeowner's immediate reaction is panic. This panic attack includes anxiety, disbelief and impulsive action.
The proper response is to take a deep breath, calm down and investigate the source of the problem. The worst response is to do nothing. If you deny or avoid notices from your lender, you will surely lose your home. The only action that will stop a foreclosure is an order signed by a judge.
On a practical level, it's a good time to dust off those closing documents, review them and get a mortgage audit. You can go to www.yourmortgagewar.com and order one for just $399.00. Our evidentiary audits give our attorneys the data they need to file a winning lawsuit.
Stage Two: Confusion. Most payment shock sufferers begin the introspective journey to understand how this predicament has happened to them. This stage involves research, googling, reading and seeking out experts.
The proper response to this stage is to educate yourself. How you got into this mess, how our nation got into this mess and how the world got into it is a fascinating, upsetting and horrifying examination. A good way to start this investigation is to read my book, "MORTGAGE WARS: HOW TO FIGHT FRAUD AND REVERSE FORECLOSURE." It gives homeowners a step by step analysis of the cause and effect of the global financial crisis as well as their own mortgage meltdown.
The wrong response is to fall prey to charlatans and predators trying to get blood from a stone. Be extremely wary of "homeowner helpers" who claim they can modify your loan and stop your foreclosure. The only resource who can stop your foreclosure is an attorney. Remember the old joke, "What do you call a bunch of attorneys chained together at the bottom of the ocean?"
The correct answer is "a damn shame." Because there are not enough good attorneys trained in foreclosure offense and defense at a reasonable price available. Toward that end, I've asked my lawyer friends to create a new law firm exclusively to help homeowners. You can go to www.yourmortgagewar.com to find one at Mortgage Wars, LLC.
Stage Three: Lock and Load. Armed with your new understanding and an attorney to save your home, it is time take all that pent up anger and rage and channel into your mortgage war plan. Your evidentiary audit will be the basis for your legal claim. Your attorney will have to file a lawsuit, serve your evil banksters and get a trial date. You must stay optimistic and focused.
What not to do? Don't bother blaming yourself or your spouse/partner. Don't self medicate and bloat yourself with drugs, food or alcohol. This can increase your impulse to self destruct or hurt others. Don't go nuts every time you get a vicious letter from your lender. Just fax it to your attorney and relax. The law is on your side.
Stage Four: Fight the Good Fight. This stage begins when your mortgage war heats up. It is characterized by waves of sadness and terror. What if your attorney is wrong? What if your lender won't restructure your loan? What if the judge rules against you? What if, God forbid, you actually lose your home? The What Ifs are endless.
Rather than awfulize and ruminate, work with the universal energy to create a positive outcome. Learn to meditate. Imagine yourself living in your home in the next two years, five years, even ten years. Buy some flowers, make a great meal, hang some pictures, have a barbecue. Your law suit will take years to resolve.
And, have some faith in the legal system. Read all the judicial opinions and orders in my book. There are laws against predatory lending and fraud. Judges all over America are ruling in favor of homeowners. And if your lender is not a current note holder because it has sold your loan, your lender cannot legally foreclose!
Whatever you do, don't act on impulse. Don't give up your home. Don't move out. Don't divorce your spouse. Yes, this is an extremely challenging time in your life. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. You may already own your home free and clear and just don't know it yet.
Stage Five: Victory. In this stage, you have reached the light. Your attorney has saved your home. Your mortgage debt is either deeply reduced or eliminated completely due to your lender's violations of law. You are truly shocked and awed.
An appropriate response at this stage is to have gratitude and pay if forward. Help other homeowners join the mortgage war. Volunteer at one of our Mortgage War Camps this summer. I will be touring the nation, giving workshops to homeowners fighting their mortgage wars. We even have our own high energy war song.
What not to do is to brag to homeowners not as fortunate as you. There are millions of homeowners who have already lost their homes. I encourage them to file lawsuits against the lenders and lender attorneys. There are winning legal strategies to help them. But they are deeply traumatized from losing their homes. They need a hug, a helping hand and a kick in the you know what to get them going.
Be aware, we all have the potential for violence when we are pushed up against a wall of foreclosure. Some people who experienced violence at the hand of a parent or spouse are particularly vulnerable. But rage can be channeled. Anger and terror can be transformed.
These toxic lenders and their cohorts, government cronies, co-conspirators and attorneys need to be punished. But let's do it in a court of law, not on the front lawn. The rewards to homeowners will be greater.
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