Sunday, May 31, 2009

Losing your job, keeping your house.

Forecasters are bracing for unemployment rates to hit a 15-year high 9-percent-plus when the numbers come out Friday. And real estate watchers are nervously looking to see how many previously solid home mortgages might hit the fan as a result.

It's scary stuff. Authorities have sensed for years that many of us really don't know much about the mechanics of those loans that put roofs over our heads. Now we may need to use some of those same loan mechanisms to fight to keep them there.

But what else can we do? The best defense is a good offense. The cheapest, least time consuming and most successful defense is to not get into that particular jam in the first place. Mortgage payments should be among the very last you cut when you go onto your emergency budget.

There are still things you can do of avoiding foreclosure isn't a choice anymore. I recently found a new blog with the unfortunate name of Living Lies that includes a pretty good pared-down-for-consumers version of what lawyers study when they fight foreclosures.

Seek out other foreclosure fighters too. The 37-year-old People Improving Communities through Organizing, or PICO, is just one of many groups marshaling strength in numbers to fight on behalf of homeowners, including those in Kansas City.

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