Re: Mortgage lenders and cohousing
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2012 10:32:07 -0700 (PDT)
On Aug 27, 2012, at 11:00 AM, Lyle Scheer <wonko [at]> wrote:

> I did some investigation and the lawyer who helped us remove the clause
> told me that recently a bunch of "reforms" were put in place for the
> mortgage industry in order to prevent a duplicate of the crisis that
> were very poorly thought out. 

I just did a quick search online. Articles in the NYTimes and the Washington 
Post, and blogs on housing are all reporting serious reforms in requirements 
for _banks_. They detail what banks have to do to prove they aren't deceiving 
borrowers or giving mortgages that can't possibly be repaid. 

I didn't see anything that would affect cohousing or condominiums as such but 
it sounds like banks are wary of any loans that anyone would say they shouldn't 
have made, and thus get fines or the mortgages cancelled without payment 
because they were unfairly awarded.

I think it may be time for the national organization to get legal counsel to 
sort this out. Or a task force of lawyers living in cohousing.

The seriousness in some areas and lack of problems in others indicates that the 
problem is not federal regulations but local interpretations of them. The task 
may not be to go after them for discrimination but provide information that 
assures them that they would be acting in accordance with federal regulations 
when they loan to cohousing groups that are legally constituted as required by 
law in their jurisdictions. 

No one even has a litmus test for cohousing. And Chase thinks it knows what it 
is? They should tell us their definition so we know who we are.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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