December 17, 2010

HUD Continues to Combat Housing Discrimination

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There have been a number of articles in the news this week regarding segregation in America. While the numbers and faces may be different than at the advent of the Fair Housing Act in 1968, the law’s essential mandate to end housing segregation is as important as ever.

HUD is increasing systemic action against rental, sales and lending discrimination in housing and will be working with –and insisting that– cities across the nation that receive HUD funds reduce still prevalent barriers to educational and other life opportunities.
HUD’s Office of Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity and our state, local and private partners receive over 10,000 complaints of housing discrimination annually – a figure that fails to capture the full extent of discrimination by race, color, national origin, religion, gender, family status and disability. This year, HUD will conduct its decennial discrimination studies to assess the level of housing bias against African Americans, Hispanics and Asian Americans which worsens segregation. These studies will quantify the degree to which, for example, real estate agents steer customers of different races to different neighborhoods and apartment managers offer different incentives to applicants based on race or national origin. These actions deeply affect where individuals and families can reside. HUD and our state and local fair housing partners will use these studies and fair housing testing to direct our enforcement efforts and reduce discriminatory and illegal practices.

John Trasviña is the Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity.

4 Responses to HUD Continues to Combat Housing Discrimination

  1. Chyrle Duchaine
    8884 Inisheer Way
    Sacramento, CA 95828

    HUD
    RE: Home Modification

    July 6, 2011

    Dear HUD,

    My name is Chyrle Duchaine, widowed housewife of Vietnam Veteran Kenneth Dale Duchaine, Sr. My husband passed away on March 21, 2007. Since he was the sole provider in our family, I had to refinance by house loan for $250,000 to pay for his funeral expenses since I didn’t have enough money to pay for his funeral and my son co-signed since I was told my credit wasn’t quite high enough. When my husband died of sudden heart failure, he was up in Nevada staying with my eldest daughter and her husband. It was quite a shock needless to say. My children took care of all the details of the funeral. I was not there with him when he died. You see, we wanted to move back to Nevada, his home place, so I was packing up the house while he was there with my children who needed to enroll in school. We would commute back and forth and take turns to be with the children. When he died, a good friend helped us out with a private loan for the expenses. I owed outstanding bills and had to pay back the expenses for my husband’s funeral, so I had to refinance my V.A. loan. I did it online with AIG who advised me to apply for a no interest loan since I was moving and putting the house up for sale, and being under duress over the stacking bills and taxes that were owed, I listened to their advice. It was the worst thing that I had done and I feel like I was taken advantage of due to my untimely situation, the state of confusion and extreme distress. Then the market crashed and I was stuck with this loan that I was basically paying rent to. AIG sold the loan to Country Wide and the rest is history. I was now paying mortgage to Bank of America and doing okay with my Survivors Benefits for my 16 year old daughter and me, until she turned 16 in September of 2008 and Social Security discontinued my portion of the Survivors Benefits which cut my income in half. I was now getting $1200. From then on I was trying to find employment to supplement my income to no avail. I went back to school to be marketable and learn the new ways of business working on an Accounting degree. My house went in arrears and I filed for a loan modification in 2009 listing household expenses, bank statements, letter of hardship, tax forms releasing tax information for past taxes, and my son’s information as well. I went to a Making Homes Affordable event where Bank of America and Freddie Mack said I was eligible due to being a displaced homemaker and hardship case because of my husband’s death. They verbally told me how I was an ideal candidate for a hardship modification plan, which would not only put me into a traditional loan, but would possibly lower my payments with a lower interest rate. I have been in contact with them once a month and have been told I was in “review” for the making homes affordable program. I was told that my package had been mailed and should be there in a matter of a couple of weeks or even months since the modification process sometimes takes six months to a year. They had lost my paperwork only to tell me I had to send in the IRS form for hardship, my income statements and a hardship letter again. I was told by several Bank of America representatives not to send any payments yet because if I wasn’t accepted, the payment would just go to the interest. I was told time and time again that my “package” would be sent out and my application would be accelerated. I went to yet another event of “Making Homes Affordable” through NID, who were hosting the event at Cal Expo in Sacramento. I received a ticket with a number on it and was told to go home and wait for a telephone call and a text message directing me to come down to have a meeting with my mortgage company and an NID representative. I received no text and no call. I attempted to contact NID via e-mail, but received a message saying that I would have to contact my mortgage company. I have been given the HUD number, which I received no response, but I was really hoping to change my loan to a standard mortgage loan and to have my payments possibly cut in half as was described by my Freddie Mack representative who said I was such an ideal hardship candidate. This went on for two years until finally, after my paperwork had been lost for the fourth time, and repeatedly having to process a phone application as to the same income information in order to push back the sales dates of my house, I finally received papers to fill out in March 2009. It was the same information I had sent several times over! I filled out the papers, sent them by FedEx with the envelopes provided by Bank of America. I received a letter claiming I did not meet the criteria for a home modification because the 31% ratio wasn’t enough to finance the house in the time allotted for the loan. Just a month before I received a letter stating Bank of America was tacking on $55,000 to the end of my mortgage for payments not made. Of course, this raised the mortgage to an amount they couldn’t manipulate to work towards modification, I called asking to push back the sales date as I was going to receive more income through my son Ryan’s job, and my other son had moved in to help me also. I have had several notices of Intent to Sell, worrying about when someone would be knocking at my door and tell me to vacate my home. I have had part-time work thanks to the help of AARP for the past year and am in the process of applying for Widow’s Benefits in lieu of Survivors Benefits which were discontinued when my daughter turned 18 on September of 2010. I was told to fax over yet another package of the same information to the Traditional Mortgage Dept. to a Mr. Grayson Crumble per his conversation with me on May 11TH, which was my sale date! I received a notice that my house had been sold at auction on May 11th, and that Freddie Mac had bought the note back, yet my papers said I had until the 28th of May to dispute, and I was still waiting to hear from Bank of America! I called the CEO office and talked to Holly, who contacted Mr. Neese about the situation, and when he called me back he could not even find my paperwork or any other reports of me making contact about my modification! I told him that it was time to call an attorney to step in and he told me he was going to try to rescind my sale even after explaining to me that California is a non-rescind state. He was going to have a negotiator call and everything that happened in the past would be null and void. I said no, I am not going to start from this date as it shows a delinquent date. I received a letter from the negotiator, saying I had 48 hours to FAX the same information package on Friday, tried to fax but by then the banks were closed, and my receipt said “no answer”. Monday I called and talked to the representative from the Advocacy department—the same department I spoke to from the start of this mess. So I was back to square one. I was told I was missing some documents, but I told her I mailed a copy of the list she told me to send and she asked what number did I sent the fax to . I gave her the number and she told me it was a generic number and she couldn’t find who it belonged to! I told her this is the same thing that keeps happening and it happened yet again. I told her that I called the CEO office and talked to Holly who said I could fax an extra copy to her office, just in case. The negotiator told me she was going to try to see who got the papers. Haven’t heard anything since May 23rd .So here I was still awaiting news from Bank of America after faxing yet another 41 pages of documents in which we added another $900 to our income through my son’s job, which he applied to in order to make more money for the loan. Even with close to $7000.00 worth of income, I was given an option for Cash for Keys of $3500 and be out in 30 days (July 15th) or stand to be evicted since I didn’t “qualify” for the making homes affordable or the HAMP program, and on top of that I am to clean and upkeep the yard and make it inspection worthy—and they’re kicking me out! I feel that this was a ridiculous, outlandish and unfair act on both Bank of America and Freddie Mac’s part. I don’t think President Obama expected this kind of incompetence concerning his program to save homes. I am trying to get my life back in order and am still hopeful to finding a job. I am still awaiting news from Bank of America even now because they claim they might be able to do “something”. I haven’t even been mailed a package for trial payments; I never even got the chance to try! Could someone please help me? I would like to get a lawyer involved but I simply can’t afford it and I still haven’t found a place to rent. I feel I have been a victim of this modification process, discriminated against and plain treated unfairly and incompetently. My health has suffered making it necessary to up my medications including being put on insulin. This program is called HOPE but for me and others like me, who have not asked for this modification to forgive their second mortgage like so many other people I have met at these “special” events that actually got help and had their mortgages cut in half, but just to save their homes and their life. We gave lost to a “state” in chaos. I have talked with mortgage counselors like I was required to do who try to educate me on how not to squander my monies on frivolous things like credit cards. I do not have any, am living on food stamps and the basic necessities and am in the same situation as I was when I first started, no closer to “HOPE “than in the beginning of this nightmare. I hope this letter helps other families in my same predicament. By the time you get this letter, I probably will be evicted as I was forced to sign the Keys for Cash in order to find a new place to live. Thank you for your time and attention.

    Sincerely,

    Chyrle Duchaine

  2. I have being trying for years to be heard..i even had fax letters, witnesses to how my FHA insured Mortgage.Fixed rate loan was allowed to be taken from us..but HUD does not help..i could put together a book on all the contacts..lies allowed to deprive us..Laws haha

  3. Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the internet the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get annoyed while people think about worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

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