Faith and the housing crisis: Religious groups battle foreclosures

If you are facing foreclosure, sometimes you may just have to have a little faith. Literally, it would seem.

Much has been written and blogged about government's increased role in trying to stave off the still expanding foreclosure epidemic in this country. But what many may not know is that religious groups are taking it upon themselves to try and do something about the problem, too.

Last month, for example, a group of religious leaders made an effort to convince one major bank to do more to modify home loans.

Some faith-based groups say they are motivated by religious themes "such as forgiveness (for homeowners unable to keep up with the mortgage payments) and the sin of usury (lending money at exorbitant interest rates), " says a news release from the California based group People Improving Communities through Organizing (PICO), which is waging a nationwide campaign to change mortgage lending practices and is working hand in hand with many religious groups.

Some religious groups have already met with government leaders in an effort to come up with creative solutions to the foreclosure crisis.

Recently, a group of churches in New York City pooled their resources to offer workshops on how to avert foreclosure -- making the courses available to church and non-church goers alike.

The thing about organized religion is --- well -- it's organized. And that is apparently proving helpful when dealing with financial institutions that are, of course, organized very well themselves.

Charles Feldman is a journalist,media consultant and co-author of the book, "No Time To Think-The Menace of Media Speed and the 24-hour News Cycle." He has written about real estate related issues for several years.
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