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Economic Justice for Struggling Homeowners – And The Rest Of Us?

Is it just to bail out homeowners?

Making Sense

Mortgage modifications help homeowners stay put. But is that fair to those of us who bought when the market was high, and yet continue to meet our contractual obligations?

Paul Solman asks just that in Thursday’s piece when he revisits Antoninette Coffi-Ahibo, a LensCrafters optician and homeowner in Jamaica, New York.

In October 2009, Paul and Antoinette talked about her then-mortgage on her $679,000 home: she found out she actually had two mortgages, one at 6 percent, another at 11 percent (her loan broker is now being sued).

Here’s the original piece:

Since then, Antoinette has been able to modify her mortgages.

“Now I can afford to pay my mortgage,” Coffi-Ahibo said. “I am paying my mortgage every two weeks to be able to…have a good credit.”

But, as Paul says in Thursday’s broadcast, the modification came at a $119,000 loss that someone has to absorb.

In that original piece we also talked with journalist and author Alyssa Katz, who at the time had just finished a book on the history of America’s housing market entitled “Our Lot.” (She also answered viewer’s questions about the housing market and foreclosure crisis.)

We’ll be chatting with Katz again to get her take on how things have progressed or digressed since we last spoke. We’ll post her thoughts on the Business Desk next week.