All Articles Tagged "foreclosure"
Troubled songstress Fantasia Barrino has weathered her share of storms since her 2004 American Idol win. But with her fourth studio album Side Effects of You slated to hit shelves tomorrow, the North Carolina native has no issues letting it be known that although she’s encountered quite a few obstacles and experienced a series of valley days, she’s learned from each individual experience and they have all helped to make her a better person. During a recent interview with OMG Insider, the “Lose to Win” singer opened up about dealing with foreclosure and her suicide attempt.
“I lost a lot of things. I lost a lot of friends, a lot of family. I lost a lot of money. I’m not sad about any of that and I wouldn’t change any of it because it made me the woman that I am today. It made me smarter and wiser,” Barrino boldly proclaimed.
“Now I can share it with somebody else and say, ‘Hey listen, no matter what you go through, there’s always that point where you’ll win again,’” she continued.
The mom of two went on to say that “Lose to Win” absolutely had to be the first single released off of her new album because it held so much significance in her life.
“It had to be the first song coming back so that people will go ‘Oh, okay. I get it now.’”
She also expressed that it felt wonderful to return to the American Idol stage after almost ten years to perform her new single last week.
“I felt good. It’s always good going back to the Idol because it just reminds you of where you come from.”
After revealing that getting lost in money and fame played somewhat of a role in her suicide attempt, Barrino says she’s learned that her life is more important than what she had allowed herself to become consumed with.
“I almost lost my life getting all wrapped up in all of this stuff and my life is more important than any of this stuff right here. . It’s not about a dollar to me, it’s not about a position to me. I just want to bless people with my music and my story. Other than that, they can have it. It’s for the birds.”
Check the next page for footage from her interview. Are you feeling the new and improved, stronger, wiser, smarter Tasia?
Minority and low-income families were hit the hardest by Hurricane Sandy, found an analysis of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) data. And the research shows that they continue to face the toughest challenges in recovering from the massive storm.
Of the more than 500,000 households who have registered for FEMA assistance, 43 percent have household incomes of less than $30,000 a year. In New York City, 52 percent of renters affected are people of color and in New Jersey – 56 percent, according to a press release.
The study was done by Enterprise Community Partners and NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.
“These data show that Hurricane Sandy was devastating to many low-income families and that many of them are likely to be still struggling to recover,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which has joined together with other civil rights organizations to express concern over the findings. ”Given that low-income families in the NY-NJ region, who are more likely to be people of color, were already facing severe affordable housing shortages, FEMA and other federal aid for Sandy recovery must prioritize aid to these families and help them find housing that they can afford.”
“When a natural disaster strikes these communities, the results are often even more devastating for the residents who have fewer resources and fewer housing options, this comes as a direct result of past housing policy,” notes the Poverty & Race Research Action Council.
According to the data, among FEMA registrants in New York City owners are 62 percent white, 20 percent African-American, seven percent Asian-American, and eight percent Hispanic. Most renters are racial and ethnic minorities: a quarter African-American, 19 percent Hispanic, and eight percent Asian-American.
Many of those affected homeowners are facing the threat of foreclosure. The foreclosures are on hold right now. Since the storm, the Federal Housing Administration and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac placed moratoria on foreclosure filings and foreclosure sales on damaged homes until April 30, 2013. After this, more people–mostly homeowners of color–may lose their homes.
This past summer, Georgia ranked number one in the country for foreclosures. In May 2012, Georgia had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation with 300 housing units, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Things may have improved slightly, but a high number of foreclosures still continue in the Peach State, and big-name celebrities were not immune. Access Atlanta reports on all the housing problems of the stars.
On top of her other money troubles, Toni Braxton’s Duluth home was foreclosed on November 12. The home, according to TMZ, had been up for sale for $1.1 million. Nas still owed $507,000 on the $584,000, two-bedroom, three-bathroom Georgia home he bought in 2004. Needless to say, he lost it to foreclosure.
He made millions as the heavyweight boxing champion but even Evander Holyfield couldn’t avoid foreclosure on his $14 million dollar Georgia mansion. And, he will be auctioning off his possessions on November 30.
TLC’s Tionne Watkins-Rolison, aka T-Boz, has brushed close to foreclosure not once but twice. In 2009, she almost last her five-bedroom, 10,000-square foot Georgia home. And again last year she was threatened with foreclosure.
Even if they haven’t faced foreclosure, other stars are having major real estate woes. Usher is trying to get rid of his Roswell mansion, reports TMZ. He wants $3.2 million for the 12,544-square-foot home he purchased in March 2007 for $3 million while married to Tameka Raymond.
In another part of Georgia, Academy Award-winning Precious actress Mo’Nique is trying to get out of her $22,000-a-month lease on her Georgia rental. She is complaining the house smells like dog feces. Yuck. Good luck with that Mo´Nique.
But the million-dollar question is why celebs have so many real estate problems. Is it a case of just having too much property to keep track of? Maybe celebs are real estate novices just like the rest of us and need better advice about how to handle their business? Anyone out there with expertise that can shed a little light on this issue?
Celebrities make a lot of money, and with that money comes an expensive wardrobe, nice cars, vacations all over the world, and of course, multiple homes. Though the Hollywood elite make more money than many of us will ever have in a lifetime, sometimes some of them aren’t so money-wise. Here are 14 celebs who foreclosed on their homes, but thankfully, most of them have plenty of other places to call home.
A group of Los Angeles pastors are protesting the foreclosure proceedings on a number churches, to be executed by a black-owned bank that was created to serve a once-segregated black population.
Broadway Federal Bank started in the 1940s to provide financial services to the black community. Today, according to the Los Angeles Times, “the bank had over 12% of its loans and other assets in delinquency or foreclosure, and seven repossessed churches on its books.” The bank can no longer take on additional church clients. The church pastors have promised to stand up to the bank.
Christianity Today reports that more churches have been foreclosed on in the past couple of years, showing the toll that the economic recession is having. It’s a topic that Reuters also covered earlier this year, saying that all denominations, and both black and white churches have been impacted. The foreclosures are happening as banks, the outlet says, “increasingly lose patience” with religious organizations that have defaulted on their loans and the financial institutions want to get their balance sheets in better shape. Churches told Reuters, at the time, that they just want to negotiate.
The pastors now protesting against Broadway Federal say the bank has foreclosed on 60 churches.
By Marie Day, Residential Mortgage Default Servicing and Community Outreach Executive, Wells Fargo
The economy has had a detrimental effect on homeownership. Unemployment and underemployment have made it tough for many homeowners to maintain current mortgage payments. In attempts to get assistance and avoid foreclosure, vulnerable homeowners become prime targets for scam artists who are taking advantage of people through a wide array of mortgage scams. For homeowners in need of assistance, now is the time to be more vigilant than ever.
Through December 31, 2011, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had more than 2,500 pending investigations into mortgage fraud around the country. Although the scope of losses for homeowners, legitimate businesses and to the economy caused by mortgage fraud are difficult to calculate, CoreLogic, a research and analytics company, has estimated that losses due to mortgage fraud in 2011 were $7.4 billion.
Scams from all sides
There are many variations of mortgage scams, but the goal is the same: take money and even property from unaware homeowners. Some scammers guarantee that they can negotiate a loan modification with your lender for an upfront fee. Others claim they are affiliated with government agencies and the new loan modification programs. Some fraudsters say they can conduct forensic loan audits to determine whether loans were made in accordance with federal and state mortgage lending laws. Other schemers convince homeowners to surrender the title or deed of their homes in exchange for a new “rescue” loan, or as part of a deal that would let the homeowners rent the home for a few years and then have the ability to repurchase the home in the future. Still others may claim that they could help expedite short sales.
Some swindlers have even used direct mail with prominent use of the lender’s name to gain the trust of customers and trick them into believing an offer for assistance is from their lender. Since homeowner names, addresses, lender names and original mortgage loan amounts are available to anyone through public real estate records, con artists use this information to create direct mail pieces that confuse potential victims into thinking that they are dealing with their lender.
Protect yourself and get assistance
In order to protect yourself from scammers, always be on the look-out for key warning signs. Fraudsters might:
- Request payment or charge fees in advance.
- Guarantee results.
- Direct homeowners to stop making mortgage payments and instead make a payment to a third-party organization.
- Tell homeowners that they cannot deal with their lender directly.
- Request that a homeowner sign over the deed or other papers.
- Ask for personal information over the phone or email.
- Pressure the customer to perform a specific action.
If you are having financial difficulties in paying your mortgage, you should contact your lender and a housing counselor approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD-approved counselors can provide assistance free of charge, or for a nominal fee. A list of counseling agencies near you can be found at www.hud.gov. If you have doubts whether direct mail that claims to be from your lender is legitimate, call your lender directly and confirm it. And finally, if you think you have been scammed, you should file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission online or call them at 877-FTC-HELP.
Scammers are working hard to take advantage of people in distress. It’s imperative that you get informed and take precautions to not become their next victim.
Rodney P. Hunt made a name for himself by becoming one of the most successful black-owned government contractors in the country. And he wasn’t shy about it; he let everyone know about his success, talking up the lavish $23.1 million mansion that owned on the riverfront in McLean, VA. We say “owned” because the house is scheduled to be sold at auction on September 27, reports The Washington Post.
At one point, Hunt’s wealth was estimated at $265 million. The co-founder of RS Information Systems, a tech company launched in 1992, he sold that company in 2007. His son was featured on MTV’s Teen Cribs (you can watch a clip via that Washington Post link), his company employed 1,700 workers at one time and RSIS stayed on the Inc. 500 list for years.
But despite his actual success, Hunt felt the need to exaggerate, inventing college degrees, a partial ownership of the Washington Nationals baseball team and even a visit from President Obama when he was a candidate on the campaign trail four years ago. Now, he’s in default for $9.4 million on his lavish Potomac River mansion, owes $10 million for loans and bad investments and hasn’t responded to media inquiries. He has a music label, RPH Entertainment, that reps a number of little-known acts and one, Big Pokey, that WaPo says you might know.
In case you’re shopping for some property, the McLean mansion is equipped with a bowling alley, indoor basketball court and a 15-car garage. Hunt at one time said it covered a total of 53,000 square feet. (He also called his son Bradley, aka rapper Kid Named Breezy, “The Chosen One.” Yikes.) You would need a $100,000 certified check in-hand to purchase.
After the huge success of his tech business, it sounds like Hunt got a little too big-headed and is now paying the price. No one wants to hear a story about someone losing their home or livelihood, but it is a cautionary tale.
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University of Pennsylvania professor and author Marybeth Gasman has offered a few suggestions for how Morris Brown College can solve its financial problems in The Washington Post. It was announced last week that the HBCU would be selling pieces of its assets, including its administration building, on September 4. In a bid to prevent a full-on foreclosure and complete auction sale, the school filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week. The school is in debt for more than $30 million.
According to its Chapter 11 filing, the school also owes its staffers three months in back pay. In some cases, faculty members and professors are owed hundreds of thousands of dollars, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Many staffers and faculty members are still coming to work despite not being paid and not knowing when they will be.
Gasman highlights four issues that have contributed to the school’s hardships: the African Methodist Episcopal church, which founded and runs the school, needs to pledge fully to its financial and academic revival; revamp the board; rally alumni dollars; and they need to commit to educational innovation if they’re going to compete with the stellar HBCUs, like Morehouse and Spelman, that it’s currently competing with.
She makes some drastic recommendations, such as turning the school into a community college or a charter high school that will feed other universities with students. The schools currently only has a few dozen students enrolled. (Also, back in 2004, radio host Tom Joyner offered to buy the school! Gasman suggests they see if that offer is still on the table.)
We reached out to Morris Brown College for any information about how the school is handling its affairs but haven’t heard back. While it would be sad to see a 131-year-old school shut down, that’s exactly what Gasman also suggests if there isn’t full support for its turnaround. What do you think?
Morris Brown College, founded in 1881 by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, is facing foreclosure, and will be auctioning off its assets, including its administration building, on September 4.
Morris Brown has been in dire financial straits for about 10 years, with its student body dwindling from 3,000 to just 50. The latest step towards foreclosure was brought on by the investors’ move to call in $13 million in bonds tied to the school. The school pledged property, like the administration building, to secure the bonds.
“There is the need to raise millions of dollars to counteract that deficit,” Benjamin Harrison, a spokesperson for the Sixth District African Methodist Episcopal Church, which oversees the school, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Morris Brown isn’t accredited, so it’s not eligible for federal funds. In 2003, it lost its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools under a haze of fraud (the president of the school at the time, Dolores Cross, pleaded guilty to embezzlement) and high debts.
“This is heartbreaking and not only a sad day in the life of Morris Brown, but in black academia,” said former Atlanta City Councilman and alum Derrick Boazman.
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Well, this is bad timing isn’t it? Before Chad and Evelyn’s violent altercation last weekend, they were already facing a different domestic problem—owing a contractor money for work he did on the couple’s home.
According to TMZ, Jacinth Preston worked on Chad’s Florida home and claims the ex-NFL star owes him $130,000; hence, he’s filed a lien against Ocho to get his money.
“According to docs filed in Broward County, FL on August 7, Jacinth Preston claims Chad owes him the chunk of change for work done on Johnson’s home … the same home where the alleged domestic violence incident with Evelyn Lozada occurred.
“Preston claims the money stems from providing ‘salary, car insurance, cleaners, landscaping, decorating.’
“According to the lien, if Johnson doesn’t pay off the debt soon, his house could be foreclosed on.”
From the sounds of things, the house was solely in Chad’s name which means he’s the only one responsible for paying Preston. This also means he continues to be the one to bear the bulk of the consequences in the couple’s domestic altercation last week.
As Complex put it:
“It seems Johnson just missed an $863 maintenance fee and also currently owes more than $28,000 in back pay on the property.
“In addition to that news, it was also just reported that Johnson took out a private $150,000 loan from a pair of investors recently that required him to put up a $350,000 home currently occupied by one of his baby mothers as collateral. He has until 2015 to pay back that loan, but…yeah. He’s currently unemployed—and about to go through a divorce—so his ability to pay that back might be in serious doubt.”
Looks like the space Chad was occupying between that rock and a hard place just got even tighter.
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