In Connecticut, we simply haven’t recovered, and we have the fifth highest foreclosure rate in the country. The crisis is further exacerbated by the belief that foreclosure is typically the fault of the homeowner. However, the Center sees time and time again that the limited oversight of the mortgage industry (the largest consumer finance market) results in many foreclosures being significantly more complex than simple nonpayment. Furthermore, predatory lending schemes from the housing crash continue to affect neighborhoods of color, as the State’s housing market has not rebuilt equity in these neighborhoods.
In 2013, Mr. Stephen Kulzyck became disabled, and he was unable to work. At 70 years old Mr. Kulzyck was threatened with losing his home to foreclosure. As a result of his inability to work, Mr. Kulzyck took out a reverse mortgage that allows older homeowners to convert the equity in their home to a cash payment without having to move out or make monthly loan payments.
In 2018, he received notice that his reverse mortgage servicer had begun foreclosure proceedings against him because he had not paid his 2018 real estate taxes. As a result, the company paid the taxes on his behalf and then began foreclosure proceedings. In fact, at the time foreclosure proceedings began, Mr. Kulzyck had fully paid his property taxes on July 17, 2018. While the foreclosure was going on, the servicer, RMS/Ditech, declared bankruptcy.
The Center is representing Mr. Kulczyk to preserve his right to compensation. The Center hopes that by representing Mr. Kulzyck in this action, it will obtain relief for him and the other 88,000 homeowners with reverse mortgages through RMS/Ditech. Without our intervention Mr. Kulzyck would have lost his home, and as a disabled elderly individual would have been at a heightened risk of homelessness.
Fair Lending Attorneys Sarah White and Loraine Martinez Bellamy host a Know Your Rights fair lending workshop for 60 attendees at Building One Community.