Congressional staffers fight banks, City Hall over home seizures

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Congressional staffers fight banks, City Hall over home seizures

Congressional staffers fight banks, City Hall over home seizures

The Baltimore Sun-

Inside a small cubical in Timonium, Jessica Gatton Facini is saving homes.

The 26-year-old sorts through foreclosure and lien documents from Baltimore homeowners, identifies a problem, and then navigates the bureaucracy of big banks and government agencies in search of a solution.

It’s a challenging task —some homeowners say impossible— but Facini wields a weapon most Marylanders do not.

When she contacts a bank, her caller I.D. says “U.S. Congress.”

As part of a little-known effort, congressional staffers across the country have been calling banks relentlessly to bargain for help for homeowners. In response, some of the country’s biggest financial entities, such as Wells Fargo and Bank of America, have even set up special lines to field the congressional staffers’ calls.

Often, Facini says, she can negotiate a way for a homeowner to stay in his or her home. But sometimes there’s nothing that can be done.

“I essentially serve as the middle man,” she says. “A lot of foreclosures happen because someone lost a job or have debts as part of a medical condition. There are some we can’t help and it’s heartbreaking.”

[THE BALTIMORE SUN]

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