Homeownership

Protesters Rail Against Prince George’s High Foreclosure Rate

Angel Reid has fought to keep her Oxon Hill, Maryland, house from being foreclosed for the past 10 years — a nightmare that will likely only worsen now that her home has been placed on the auction block.

Reid and several others rallied Wednesday across the street from the Prince George’s County Courthouse in Upper Marlboro to protest foreclosures in the jurisdiction, which has one of the state’s top five highest foreclosure rates.

According to www.realtytrac.com, the foreclosure rate for Prince George’s in August ranked number one in the state at one in every 335 units. Up to the second quarter of this year, the state Department of Housing said the county had nearly 2,200 foreclosure events that included auctions, notices of default and real estate owned (REO).

Reid said the home she purchased in 2002 was put up for auction Wednesday by Ocwen Financial Corp. of West Palm Beach, Florida. The original owner, New Century Mortgage Co. of Irvine, California, sold the home in 2006 to Ocwen and that’s when she said she noticed her financial documents had been forged.

Despite the fraud claim, however, Reid said she hasn’t gotten to present her case in county court.

“Every time I file my papers in court, I get dismissed out of it,” she said Wednesday outside the courthouse. “I’m one of the fortunate ones still in my home, but I’m still fighting and won’t stop.”

Paul Randall, a housing advocate with an office in northwest D.C. and clients nationwide, said his research estimates the county averages 600 foreclosure cases a month.

One of the problems stem from some attorneys not understanding the foreclosure process that include mediation and court hearings, he said.

“There needs to be a moratorium on foreclosures,” said Randall, CEO and founder of Foreclosure Survival Today who has worked in the mortgage and financial industries. “We call [foreclosures] the silent killer because people get stressed. One of my clients had a heart attack. This atrocity has to stop.”

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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