'World News' Broadcasts Playbook for Cheating on Your Mortgage
Missed a few payments on your mortgage? About to be kicked out of that house you probably couldn't have afforded in the first place?
Don't worry - ABC's "World News with Charles Gibson" has advice for you.
The April 3 "World News" featured a Staten Island family that managed to purchase a $335,000 home, but with only an annual income of $30,000.
"Karen and David Shearon, working people who made less than $30,000 a year at the time, refused to be intimidated and fought foreclosure - claiming the mortgage broker promised them a fixed-rate, low-interest loan on their $335,000 house, despite their income," ABC correspondent Jim Avila said.
As one might expect, the home ended up being more than the Shearons could afford and they were looking at foreclosure. Even though there is a notification process in New York City, where a homeowner is given warning before a process server arrives, ABC's Avila likened the event to the unexpected arrival of the grim reaper.
"It was a workday afternoon on Staten Island, when suddenly, the quiet of this blue-collar enclave was shattered by the frightening sounds of the dreaded process server," Avila said.
But rather than warning homeowners to see this story and not to get in over their heads, "World News" championed the Shearons as underdogs for managing to keep their home - through the legal system and used them as an example of how the public should handle this situation.
"[T]hey did know enough to take the first step to saving their home from foreclosure. Get outside help. Don't negotiate with the bank alone," Avila said. "Step two - the Shearons hired an attorney who looked at their loan documents and agreed that they had been victims of a bad loan."
"[T]he little guys won," Avila said. "A New York State Court judge denied immediate foreclosure."However, the bank, LaSalle Bank, a Chicago-based subsidiary of Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), is appealing the ruling.