Pathways to resettlement : tools for household recovery from foreclosure in the Eastside neighborhood of Riverside, California

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Southern New Hampshire University
Pathways to Resettlement' is a local collaborative effort to bring information and resources about foreclosure to the residents of the Eastside neighborhood of Riverside, California. The problem this research project will address is the lack of awareness of the impact of foreclosure and the tools available to recover from it. The long-term effect of the problem is that many homes are likely to fall into foreclosure needlessly, displacing the occupants in the process. Still others will be foreclosed on without the owners being properly prepared to face the consequences. This project is about arming those that will not escape it with information about what foreclosure is, how the process works, and the identification of strategies available to help them through it. The cause of the problem is that residents have not believed that their neighborhood was being hard hit by foreclosure. At a deeper economic level, the cause of the problem is rampant mortgage defaults resulting from house price deceleration; a burst in the bubble of a decade of soaring home values. Combined with changes in life situations such as divorce, bankruptcy, illness and injury, the foreclosure crisis is one of the very worst in the state and across the nation. When house prices began to decelerate and the economy slowed, many riskier non-traditional adjustable rate loans became unaffordable and went into default contributing to the current foreclosure crisis. In Riverside the problem was exaggerated by rapid home development and homeowners tapping their equity to the point of being over-leveraged. Through a series of neighborhood workshops four non-profit organizations have come together to answer three questions; what do people need to recover from foreclosure? Is financial education the most important tool for household recovery, and if so, what is the most effective way to educate them about the tools for recovery? (Author abstract)