The current mortgage crisis has affected homeowners in Plainfield in much the same way it has affected homeowners in every other part of the country. A significant number of homeowners in Plainfield are in crisis, struggling to keep up with their mortgages, utility bills, and other household expenses. As many as 1,200 homeowners in Plainfield are in a pre-foreclosure state. Our community residents need help and they need it now.
Recently, Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs held a community forum during which she announced that her administration will be organizing bus tours for local realtors and interested outside investors to preview Plainfield’s foreclosed properties. Although this might seem like a good idea to some, it is not the answer to the crisis homeowners are facing. Families are interested in finding ways to protect their biggest investment; they want to stay in their homes and remain a part of our diverse community.
Instead of conducting bus tours for realtors to look at foreclosed properties, thus compunding misery with indignity, the mayor and council need to organize homeownership retention seminars to provide struggling homeowners with every available resource that could help them to survive the mortgage crisis.
These seminars must be run by thoroughly vetted organizations approved by the government so that desperate homeowners do not fall victim to predatory lending scams. I call upon Mayor Robinson-Briggs and the city council to reach out to local banks as well as our local real estate brokers for sponsorship of such seminars. These seminars can occur over the next six months, providing information and opportunities for struggling homeowners who are in danger of losing their homes to find solutions before it becomes too late.
So, to the mayor, I say: hold off on those bus tours of foreclosed properties! Let’s work together to bring homeownership retention seminars to struggling Plainfield homeowners. This is the kind of assistance homeowners need in these very harsh economic times.