Homeowners fight foreclosure through crowdfunding

Photo Courtesy of Public Domain

Photo Courtesy of Public Domain

(MoneyWatch) Can a crowd save a house?

Homeowners facing foreclosure certainly hope so. Struggling borrowers are turning to new crowdfunding sites to raise money from friends, family and even strangers to keep up with their mortgage payments.

Ruth Caspary, 45, has launched a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe after losing her job in 2009 as a visual effects artist. Finding a new job was tough, so instead she joined her husband’s dance instruction business, “Salsa with Juan,” as a marketing manager and dance instructor.

Although her new career reduced her income, the two made ends meet for a while through the business and various side jobs. But late last year they started falling behind on the mortgage payments for their three-bedroom Oakland home.

This spring, Caspary received a letter that her home would fall into foreclosure on August 3 unless she could catch up on her mortgage payments, totaling $15,000. The couple tried working with their lender, but to little avail. So last month, Caspary and her husband, Juan Gil, decided to ask for help.

“I just figured we’d reach out to our community and sort of bare our souls,” Caspary said.

She’s not alone. Listings asking donors to “Help save my children’s home” and “Help avoid foreclosure” are popping up across dozens of fundraising websites like GoFundMe, Indiegogo, FundRazr and GiveForward. Unlike Kickstarter, the popular crowdfunding site known mostly as a place where artists, inventors and entrepreneurs can raise funds for creative projects, these sites allow people to request funds for any purpose. The site then take a cut of the donations ranging from 4 to 10 percent.

Most of these crowdfunding sites were established for people who needed a platform to help them organize fundraising for a specific cause, whether for an athlete raising money to compete in a national competition or a family asking for help paying off medical bills after an emergency.

“Some of the earliest campaigns were split in half,” GoFundMe CEO Brad Damphousse said. “On one side you had life’s most exciting chapters: weddings and honeymoons and youth sports and education and travel — the fun stuff. On the other you had the really challenging times: an accident or an illness and associated medical expenses. It really was split from the get-go, and we’ve seen that trend continue.”

In contrast to a health crisis, and fairly or not, foreclosures are often regarded as an avoidable crisis. That may explain why homeowners so far are struggling to raise money. In the 100 or so campaigns on GoFundMe, less than 1 percent have been successful. On other sites like Indiegogo and FundRazr, not a single home has been saved.

Caspary said she has detected some skepticism regarding her fundraising campaign, with one friend calling it “trust fund” and others pointedly refusing to donate. Yet her campaign is one of the most successful, having raised more than $7,500 and passing the halfway mark of the couple’s fundraising goal.

Indeed, Caspary is far from discouraged, even as the time ticks down for her to send the money to the bank. The community has rallied around them, offering emotional support and help with promoting the business and finding them more work, she said.

“It’s just nice to me that people acknowledging what we’re going through, and also that they’re willing to help us grow,” Caspary said. “If you’ve been good to your community, they will be good to you.”

[Source: Ilyce R. Glink @ CBS Interactive, Money Watch]



This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news [...]

NPRAfter Outcry, Crowdfunding Site Patreon Backs Off Plan To Raise FeesNPRThe popular crowdfunding service Patreon has backed off plans to change its payment structure, after widespread, vocal and passionate opposition from creators and their fans. Last week, the site announced it wou [...]

CoinDeskKickstarter ICO? Don't Count On It Says Crowdfunding Leader ...CoinDeskThe company most widely associated with crowdfunding, Brooklyn-based Kickstarter, has no plans to get into the initial coin offering (ICO) business. Coming in response to the news yesterday that compet [...]

TechCrunchHow hate speech crowdfunding outfit Hatreon crept back online ...TechCrunchIf you want to make a living creating white supremacist content, you're probably not going to do it via sites like Kickstarter and Patreon, which prohibit hate speech. Fortunately there's Ha [...]

Bitcoin News (press release)Crowdfunding Giant Indiegogo Joins the ICO BandwagonBitcoin News (press release)Crowdfunding Giant Indiegogo Joins the ICO Bandwagon Indiegogo is a popular crowdfunding platform headquartered in San Francisco that was founded in 2008 by Eric Schell, Slava R [...]

HuffPostIs Crowdfunding Really a Good Idea for Innovation?HuffPostHere's a head-scratcher for you: according to new research, if you refer to your product or idea as both “novel” and “useful” in your crowdfunding campaign, your funding will be lower than it would if you just decl [...]

Coindesk (press release) (blog)Crowdfunding Giant Indiegogo Opens to ICOs - CoinDeskCoindesk (press release) (blog)The startup revealed today that, through an existing partnership with MicroVentures, it will begin offering services to projects seek to use the blockchain funding model. [...]

FortuneWant to Hold Your Own ICO? Indiegogo Can Help You With ThatFortuneCrowdfunding sites like Kickstarter (kickstarter, +0.00%) and Indiegogo raised start-up cash for a generation of online entrepreneurs, but one increasingly visible method of internet-sourced financing seemed to h [...]

ForbesCrowdfunding Do's And Dont's From iFundWomen's Karen CahnForbesDuring our conversation, she was transparent in sharing that her first software company, VProud, failed because she “did everything backwards” and spent too much time trying to perfect the product. “Pe [...]

TechCrunchFormer Gawker employees are crowdfunding an effort to buy Gawker.comTechCrunchWhile Univision acquired most of Gawker Media's sites last year (and renamed them as the Gizmodo Media Group), the deal didn't include Gawker itself. In fact, BuzzFeed reported last month [...]

CFB Finance


  • Crowdfunding
  • Crowdfund
  • Peer to Peer Lending
  • FinTech
  • Reg A+
  • Reg CF
  • Crowdfunding USA

Press Release

Live Crowdfunding .tv

What's Next Step in Regulation A+ JOBS ACTS Title IIII :L Interview : Steve Cinelli with Brian Korn Securities and Crowdfunding/Peer-to-Peer Lending Lawyer, Watch more video library | Conference | Interview | Campaign Showcase | Research | Education |