Oakland aims to prevent foreclosures

Like other homeowners in his East Oakland neighborhood, Manuel De Paz is underwater on his house and behind on his payments. His attempts to get a loan modification from his bank were frustrating and fruitless, he said.

De Paz, 45, who provides social services to immigrants and refugees at a Berkeley church, hopes that a new Oakland initiative to prevent foreclosures will help him persuade the bank to make his mortgage more affordable. “I think we needed this a long time ago and very badly,” he said.

Oakland, one of the Bay Area cities hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis, plans to roll out details Tuesday of its “Comprehensive Foreclosure Prevention and Mitigation Plan,” which takes a multipronged approach to assist struggling homeowners and tenants in foreclosed homes.

“This is to help people stay in their homes,” said city Councilwoman Jane Brunner. “Outreaching to them is helpful (so) they can learn what their options are. This will do that and help with counseling and legal advocacy as part of a continuous working with banks to get them to modify these loans.”

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