Mortgage Squatting

February 4, 2009 5:57:08 AM PST
Bank foreclosures are at an all-time high, with families being tossed out of their homes in the heart of an economic crisis. There were more than three million foreclosure filings last year. Now, a new trend is growing - mortgage squatting. For some homeowners, it's an action of last resort

At least one lawmaker is calling for a homeowner rebellion. If the bank forecloses, refuse to leave.

"Be squatters in your own home," Ohio Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur said.

She says she's had it with federal bailouts for Wall Street, while homeowners are literally left out in the cold. She says no one should leave without a legal fight.

"I tell them, 'Stay in their homes,'" she said.

Congresswoman Kaptur is behind a strategy called "Produce the Note." Mortgages have been so split up on Wall Street that banks are having a hard time finding the original paperwork, adding a delay to foreclosures. She's also pushing banks to re-work loans, especially banks getting bailouts, yet still threatening to foreclose on families.

"They are vultures," she said. "They prey on our property assets, and I guess the reason I'm so adamant on this is because I know property law and its power to protect the individual homeowner."

In the meantime, many banks have decided on their own not to foreclose on homeowners, with no end in sight to the economic crisis. ----
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