Widows, divorcees struggle with foreclosure rules, consumer group finds

Widows, as well as other surviving family members, and the recently divorced, continue to struggle to stay in their homes, according to a new report from the National Consumer Law Center.
News Story (Massachusetts)

Deirdre Fernandes
Boston Globe
March 23, 2016

Tags: Consumer Protection, Housing: Foreclosure

Organizations mentioned/involved: National Consumer Law Center (NCLC)


The center’s network of lawyers and housing counselors reports that while other foreclosure-related problems have declined, this remains an area of growing concern. It can still take years, reams of paperwork, and thousands in additional costs for spouses facing death, divorce, or domestic violence, who are seeking a loan modification to stay in the house, said Alys Cohen, a staff attorney at the consumer law center and author of the report.

“Every month of delay increases the interest that a homeowner owes, increases the fees on the loan amount, and decreases the chances of a loan modification,” Cohen said.

The law center is urging the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to adopt new rules that would expand protections to others who may have homeownership interest in a property, aside from just the primary borrower. The federal agency is considering the new rules.