Right now, thousands of people here in California are going through the foreclosure process. A new law put in place today is supposed to help many save their homes, but the bill may not be so helpful.
Mark Goldman is a mortgage broker in San Diego County and says the 90-day moratorium law does little to help people keep their home.
"It puts the homeowners in the same place they were yesterday," he said.
The reason he says is that it targets a narrow group of people. For example, only those with a mortgage issued after January 1, 2003 can apply. It must be your first mortgage, an owner occupied property and the moratorium does not apply to investment properties.
"It's more to motivate banks to install modification programs for borrowers if they don't already have one," Goldman said.
The problem is, he says, that the majority of the banks holding mortgages in default already have a loan modification plan in place. What does that mean for you? Unfortunately if your bank has a modification program and you're in default, the new law won't keep a roof over your head.
"This new moratorium will not prevent somebody from losing their home in a foreclosure if they can't afford to pay for it," Goldman said.
He adds the number of foreclosures in California will also soon rise. Last month alone, according to the website Realtytrac.com San Diego had over 2,000 foreclosures, and Chula Vista and Oceanside round out the top three areas in the county.
"Real estate agents who deal primarily with bank-owned properties are expecting a huge influx of properties to sell, which means there are going to be a lot more foreclosures this summer," Goldman said.
For the narrow group who does qualify for the moratorium, it will give you 90 days to try to work out a modification to your current loan with your bank. Ultimately, if you can't afford to make the payment, you won't be able to save your home.
For those of you not facing foreclosure, don't think you're not in trouble. Goldman says if your neighbor forecloses, you stand to lose $50,000 to $60,000 off the value of your home as a result.