A Congresswoman, who reminds you of a beloved high school teacher, is giving hope to Ohio residents fighting off homelessness.
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-9) urged residents facing foreclosure to demand the loan note and if necessary exercise squatter's rights before leaving their homes.
No, Rep. Kaptur is not encouraging her constituents to break the law. In fact the opposite is true. She is encouraging individuals who are attempting to pay their mortgages and who have made every attempt to renegotiate their loans to exercise their legal right to fight eviction.
During an interview on Lou Dobbs Tonight, which aired on Thursday Jan 29th, CNN Correspondent Drew Griffin reported:
"Elected officials are saying Toledo is not in a recession, it is a depression. It is this bleak backdrop that inspired Toledo Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur to take the floor of the House earlier this month to tell her constituents to stay put.
Kaptur says she has had it with government bailouts for Wall Street banks, but nothing for homeowners. She is advocating for a legal revolution, a demand that not one of her constituents leaves their home without an attorney and a fight."
The following video clip shows Rep. Kaptur explaining how Wall Street and the banks have manipulated the system during a Jan. 7th address on the House floor.
The following is an excerpt from the Lou Dobbs Tonight broadcast transcript:
" GRIFFIN (voice over): Kaptur is behind a strategy called produced the note. Mortgages have been so divvied up on Wall Street that banks are having a hard time finding that original paperwork, adding a delay to foreclosures.
She is also pushing banks to rework loans, especially those banks getting bailouts and holding mortgages of folks getting tossed out.
KAPTUR: They are vultures. 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 home owner. And I believe that 99.9 percent of our people have not had good legal representation in this.
GRIFFIN: Without a lawyer, Andrea Guice bought a $147,000 home with nearly $40,000 down.
GUICE: I should have had an attorney. I really should have had the attorney. I did not know.
GRIFFIN: She admits she didn't read the paperwork, didn't learn, until it was too late, she had a sub-prime loan. Her payments of $883 a month jumped in a year to more than $1,500. When it did, she stopped paying.
(on camera) So they foreclosed on you?
GUICE: They have foreclosed on me, yes.
GRIFFIN (voice over): The law firm representing the bank in Guice's foreclosure declined comment to CNN. Another one of the banks Guice believes holds her notes, Wells Fargo, said it wouldn't comment on individual cases, but tries to work with homeowners.
Backed by her Congresswoman, Guice simply is not budging.
GRIFFIN: Lou, no one's saying, "don't pay your mortgage." What the Congresswoman is saying if you're being foreclosed on, don't just leave. Don't assume you have to leave your house. And you're going to have a run, I know."
In the following video Rep. Kaptur explains how, given the "loan pooling" process, in many instances the institution initiating foreclosure proceedings has now idea where to locate the original loan note.
During the same broadcast, Congresswoman Kaptur further clarifies her position with the show's host, Lou Dobbs:
DOBBS: -- ... At what point does telling a person, as you have, to just exercise squatter's rights -- at what point are you bumping up against the issue of breaking the law?
KAPTUR: Well, you know, Lou, the problem is that these families haven't had proper legal representation. Most of these companies on Wall Street can't even find the loan, and they have not properly noticed the homeowner under the Truth and Lending Act and the Real Estate Practices Act.
KAPTUR: If you really look at the fine print, these Wall Street firms can't find the loan. They've divided it up into so many pieces, so there's a legitimate question in the law as to where that deed, where that loan actually is.
DOBBS: In point of fact, it's not -- to be clear, if there's no note, there is no debt?
KAPTUR: That's right.
And if you don't have proper legal representation -- and I mean good legal representation -- what happens to the homeowner in places like our region is, they're law abiding people. They're afraid and they leave the property.
I say your biggest right is to hold on to your property. The law is on your side.
DOBBS: Marcy Kaptur, I'm sure that millions of Americans and the folks in Ohio appreciate you being on their side
Yes, Rep. Kaptur, I'm sure that millions of Americans are grateful that the people of Ohio elected someone who really cares about them. Thank You
If you are facing foreclosure and need legal advice contact your local Bar Association and investigate your state's "squatter's rights" laws. You can also inquire about law firms that specialize in real estate and/or offer pro-bono services.
If you are a senior citizen check with your local AARP branch or similar group which might offer low cost legal services.
And finally, everyone should contact their elected State and Federal representatives and encourage them to pass legislation that will help consumers and not just Wall Street and the banks.