According to the San Jose Mercury News, 60% of the 1,429 homes taken back by lenders from January 1 to November 15 in Santa Clara county were owned by people with Hispanic surnames. Looking at just San Jose, this figure jumps to 69%. The Hispanic population comprises 26% of Santa Clara county, and 32% of San Jose—making these figures especially telling.
Many Hispanics with poor English skills didn’t really understand that their ARM-based loans would adjust upwards, and not stay at the low “teaser” rates offered by lenders as an enticement to buy. Many are afraid to contact lenders for help, or find that no one there speaks Spanish to be able to help them.
Adding to the irony of this situation is that most of the realtors who sold them their homes, and loans, were also Hispanic.
Many families are pooling resources to try to hang on to their homes, while others desperately try to sell—but East Side homes are not moving in today’s market. And given the government’s stipulation that borrowers must be current on their loans to qualify for the bailout program—most East Siders do not qualify.