CFO Alex Sink photo

Volume 4 Number 10
March 9, 2007

HOTLINE PROVIDES HELP TO PREVENT FORECLOSURES

Statistics indicate that half of all consumers who lose their homes to foreclosure have never contacted their lenders, according to a recent Freddie Mac study.  Also 60% were unaware that lenders might have been able to offer workout options.  The HomeOwnership Preservation Foundation, Neighborworks ģ America, Fannie Mae Foundation, the United Way and the nonprofit Consumer Credit Counseling Service have joined together to help homeowners in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure.  The service provides options for the homeowner to consider. 

The special foreclosure prevention hotline is 1-888-995-4673.  It links homeowners with free counseling 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, both in English and Spanish.  The nonprofit housing counselor offers consumers free advice based on a discussion of the consumerís overall delinquency situation and a review of debts that is provided over the telephone by the consumer.  The process takes about half an hour and no identification information is requested from the consumer such as their date of birth or social security number.  This helps alleviate concerns about identity theft, and there is no adverse impact to the consumerís credit score since no additional inquiries are made on the consumerís credit report.  Appointments can be made in person if desired. CONTINUED

Nearly $500,000 in funding has been provided for this program so far.  Additional government agencies and a number of mortgage lenders have also partnered to promote the campaign.  The goal for the hotline is to reach homeowners who are behind in their mortgages and fear they will lose their homes.  The campaign encourages residents to seek help early when they fall behind on mortgage payments and learn about lender options and counseling resources. 

The foreclosure prevention hotline 1-888-995-HOPE ô is available  free to homeowners nationwide.  At this time it is being promoted through advertising in the hard hit communities of Georgia including Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton counties.  Georgia had one of the nationís highest foreclosure rates in 2006 and metro-Atlanta ranked second among top 100 metropolitan areas for home foreclosures.  Outreach through community organizations, churches, local businesses and media is providing education and information to homeowners.  The Florida Department of Financial Services will provide speakers for your group or organization about many financial literacy topics and may be scheduled by calling 1-800-342-2762.