Not from our area, but I couldn’t help but stop to read this article this morning.
From the St. Petersburg Times:
Thousands of lenders are filing foreclosure lawsuits all over the country, but this one is a little bit different: Habitat for Humanity.
The Habitat organization for East and Central Pasco had never filed a foreclosure lawsuit against a client, but this month filed two.
“It hurts inside if you have to serve them with these types of papers,” said president and chief executive John Finnerty. “We’re in the business of putting people into houses, not taking them out.”
The Habitat organization in Hillsborough County filed three foreclosure lawsuits in July. The Pinellas organization filed one last month.
The “great recession” is hurting homeowners all over the country, so perhaps it’s not surprising that even people who receive Habitat’s relatively low-cost houses would feel the pinch.
Habitat uses volunteer workers and donated materials to build and refurbish homes for needy people, so it’s not your average lender.
The clients who receive Habitat homes work on the houses themselves, putting “sweat equity” into their shelter. They receive financial and budgeting instruction before moving in. And although the program is aimed at helping needy people, clients must have enough income to pay off the home loans, often stretched over a 30-year period.
Habitat charges no interest for the loans and makes no profit. But it does expect to be paid back, because it uses the monthly proceeds to build more houses.