Under a Los Angeles anti-predatory lending initiative unveiled last week, seniors, minorities and low-income homeowners who are in jeopardy of losing their homes because of unusually high-cost mortgages will get some assistance.
Fannie Mae, an initiative partner, will provide $5 million in home mortgages to help 25 families refinance. Outreach programs will be available for seniors and other potential victims of so-called predatory loans. They will learn how to avoid unscrupulous lenders who charge high interest rates and fees and require large balloon payments and frequent refinancing.
Predatory loans cost Los Angeles homeowners more than $74 million in prepayment penalties, $76 million in inflated interest rates and $162 million in lost equity annually, according to a 2000 study by the Assn. of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.
Free educational seminars for seniors will be held at the following locations: Estelle Van Meter Senior Center, 606 E. 76th St., Los Angeles, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 12, (323) 778-9733; Delta Sigma Theta Life Development Senior Center, 2528 West Blvd., Los Angeles, 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 23, (323) 735-5799; People Coordinated Services for Seniors, 5133 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. March 10, (323) 735-1231.