In Washington, the state's two U.S. senators issued statements in response to the Sun-Star series.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, said that she and her staff are working hard to provide as much assistance as possible to Californians facing foreclosure. "We have connected constituents with housing counseling agencies, and forwarded complaints to state and federal regulators. We have helped struggling homeowners get in touch with unresponsive lenders. And we have sent hundreds of letters to bank CEOs and state regulatory agencies requesting help for constituents facing foreclosure...
"It is clear that the Central Valley has been especially hit hard by this crisis. We will continue to do all we can to assist Californians through these very difficult times," Feinstein said in her statement.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, said in a statement that she knows the foreclosure crisis is taking a very heavy toll on families in California, especially in Merced County.
"When you lose your home, you lose your dreams," Boxer said. "That's why I have focused very hard on trying to change the bankruptcy laws so that bankruptcy judges can keep people in their homes. We tried repeatedly, but failed each time because of a filibuster."
Californians are frustrated that banks aren't helping them avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes, she said. In the Senate, she added, she's worked on efforts to help homeowners -- through expanding refinancing options, promoting efforts to help homeowners modify their loans and providing additional funding for housing counseling to help at-risk borrowers avoid foreclosure. But too often, the banks are dragging their feet and California's families aren't getting relief, Boxer said.
-- Deborah Schoch