Videos

Florida: it’s time for a Homeowner Bill of Rights

For most Americans, our homes are our largest investments and what we hope to pass on to our kids. So, it is important that banks and mortgage servicers play by a fair and honest set of rules when marketing and dealing with financial consumers. Just as we expect the food and drug industry to sell safe, clean, and healthy products in the marketplace, we also need the mortgage and banking industry to abide by common sense rules to safeguard our homes from fraud, theft, and wrongful foreclosures. These are more than our houses — these are our dreams. Florida lawmakers are at work now on a Homeowners Bill of Rights that will provide much-needed safeguards for homeowners.

Maria’s Story: “Not Treated Like a Human Being”

We used to think of banks as the pillars of our communities… where you could walk in and be treated like a human being. Those days are over, as Maria discovered. Maria’s family was a victim of “dual tracking,” an illegal practice that their servicer, Nationstar, agreed to stop.

Press Conference Outside the Home of Ms. Ana Rodriguez

Attorney Bruce Jacobs and homeowner Ana Lazara Rodriguez give an update on her case, one day after Ms. Rodriguez received a notice that she would be evicted in 24 hours.

Ana Lazara Rodriguez is an 82-year-old Cuban resident of Miami-Dade County who is venerated in the Cuban-American community here for her 19 years of defiance against Fidel Castro’s government as a political prisoner. While she is elderly and currently caring for another former political prisoner suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, she is in danger of ending up evicted from the place she’s called home for two decades.

Keith’s Story: the impact of illegal foreclosures in Florida

After the 2008 housing crisis devastated Keith’s construction business, Keith and his wife decided to restructure their finances and in 2011, they applied to obtain a mortgage modification. This modification was the beginning of a hellish odyssey which eventually left them without their home, and victims of one of the most widespread forms of mortgage fraud in the country. Their foreclosure documents were part of the “Robo-Signing” scandal, an illegal practice that banks continue to use in their foreclosure proceedings in Florida.

No Accountability in the Mortgage Industry

You might think that foreclosures are only filed against homeowners who fail to pay their mortgages. But in many cases, it’s exactly the opposite, including in this story. Maria Williams-James is a retired schoolteacher in Miami-Dade County who has spent the last ten years of her life defending her home from 3 fraudulent foreclosures. Throughout this process, she has always paid her mortgage on time.