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"Marinstock" to Help Families Facing Foreclosure

  |   Oct. 2, 2009 at 9:44 AM
A day of music, children's entertainment, food and a healing sanctuary begin at 10 AM tomorrow in Novato, California's Hamilton Amphitheater to raise money to help nearly 80 families from Marin and Sonoma counties who are facing losing their homes to foreclosure

In recent months the families banded together to form a non-profit organization, Marin Family Action. According to Manny Fernandez, the group's executive director, the families were stymied by banks in their attempts to modify loans to save their homes. Within the past month, members of the support group started filing lawsuits in Marin against their mortgage companies, banks and loan modification firms. Proceeds from the event, known locally at "Marinstock," will go toward legal fees, moving costs and other financial needs. Attendees will be asked for a $10 donation; children under 17 will be free with a food donation.

"This event is for all the families who can't afford attorney fees (and) who can't afford to fight mortgage companies," Fernandez told the Marin Independent Journal. "The only option is to sue the mortgage companies, period."

Lagunitas resident Mwanza Furaha, a longtime R&B performer fighting her own foreclosure battle, helped bring together Saturday's musical lineup.

San Anselmo resident Stephenie Hendricks, singer for the five-piece jazz band, Take Five Again, said "even though we live in one of the most affluent communities around, there are people suffering and facing the loss of their homes.

"I feel it's an obligation to my community to support efforts at keeping people in their homes and to be a good Marin citizen and raise awareness," Hendricks said. "People don't consider Marin as vulnerable, but (foreclosure) could happen to anyone. We need to pull together as a community and help those that have the least amount of support and resources. "That's what I'm hoping Marinstock represents."

Marin ranked 55th among California's 58 counties for foreclosure filings in August, according to ForeclosureRadar. Marin homeowners received 158 notices of default and there were 83 notices of trustee sales. Foreclosure filings actually declined 28 percent decline in August compared to a year ago. Statewide, August filings fell 19 percent but California still led the nation.

From Real Estate Economy Watch

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