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Facing foreclosure? Mayor wants to help

Liss offering to write letters to lenders
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Are financial institutions working with homeowners to help modify loans and save their homes from foreclosure? Loomis mayor Gary Liss is banking on the idea that lenders will want to help Loomis residents stay in their homes for as long as possible. He has drafted a letter asking just that, which he will send to mortgage lenders and other housing partners at a Loomis homeowner’s request. Liss said he hopes to help distressed Loomis homeowners. “It’s a difficult situation, but homeowners shouldn’t be ashamed. It’s not about individuals being irresponsible. It’s about financial institutions being out of control,” Liss said. The letter of support, as Liss calls it, states that a resident “would like to modify the terms of their mortgage loan or otherwise enter into a financial arrangement which will allow them to remain in their home.” Liss stated in an e-mail, “The Town letter is to encourage mortgage lenders to assist Loomis residents to remain in their homes whenever possible with loan modification or other options short of foreclosure.” Loomis resident Larry DuBois said he would ask the town for the letter if he was in foreclosure. “It’s beneficial to the town to have people in houses. It would behoove the bank to let the people stay in their home instead of foreclosing and letting the home value go down,” DuBois said. Barbara Mooney lives in Loomis in a rental home and sees the value of a letter from the mayor. “The people I’m renting the home from are in foreclosure. I’m going to tell them about the letter,” Mooney said. Liss said, residents “would be spared the upheaval and distress from being uprooted from their homes.” “Homeowners who got caught in this downward economic spiral need help. Financial institutions need to be accountable for their past inappropriate practices,” Liss said in an interview. Vic Markey is a local realtor and chairman of the town’s parks, recreation and open space committee. He said he feels Liss’ heart is in the right place, but the letter may not help. “Gary is a very caring and compassionate man, but it’s out of everyone’s hands, except the banks. They do things in their own time,” he said. Of his real estate business, Markey said, “Just about all I’m doing right now are short sales.” According to the National Association of Realtors, a short sale is a sales transaction in which the seller's mortgage lender agrees to accept a payoff of less than the balance due on the loan. “People are desperate to stay in their homes. I don’t know how effective the letter will be, but it won’t hurt,” he said. Liss said he and the other town council members are “trying to stand up for our residents.” “They’re a part of our Loomis family,” he said. Town of Loomis residents may request a letter to be sent to their lender by calling town clerk Crickett Strock at 652-1840 or by e-mailing Liss at gary@garyliss.com. To read the contents of the Liss letter of support, go to