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CFO Sink’s Leadership Creates Dramatic Progress in Foreclosure Prevention for Volunteer Program

7/22/2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 22, 2009
CONTACT: Kyra Jennings or Kevin Cate (850) 413-2842
 
CFO SINK’S LEADERSHIP CREATES DRAMATIC PROGRESS IN FORECLOSURE PREVENTION FOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
 
*Progress Report Attached*
 
TALLAHASSEE – Florida CFO Alex Sink today announced that the Florida Attorneys Saving Homes program, which pairs volunteer lawyers with Florida homeowners facing foreclosure, has produced almost triple the amount of successful outcomes since changes initiated with CFO Sink’s leadership this spring.  CFO Sink cheered lawyers and Florida lenders after publication of a progress report showing a 168% increase in foreclosure preventions since the April 20, 2009 roundtable discussion between the two groups focused on finding solutions to keep more Floridians in their homes. 
 
Since the April roundtable, lawyers with the Florida Attorneys Saving Homes program have helped 59 Florida homeowners prevent foreclosure by successfully negotiating outcomes such as lower interest rates, decreased payments, and even reductions in the principal of the loan.
 
“Our state has been especially affected by the housing crisis, which is why I continue to work hard to find avenues to provide real, tangible help to Floridians facing the threat of foreclosure,” said CFO Sink. “I want to thank the thousands of lawyers and top Florida lenders that have stepped up to the plate.  I am optimistic that the progress we’ve seen so far will continue and encourage even more success and more cooperation.”
 
At April’s Protecting Florida’s Homeowner’s Roundtable, moderated by CFO Sink, top lenders and volunteer lawyers developed solutions for better communication and negotiation when working to ease the struggle of Florida’s homeowners.  The roundtable gave lenders and pro bono lawyers with the Florida Attorneys Saving Homes program the chance to discuss how to improve their communication and interaction, as they work together to help Floridians facing the threat of foreclosure.   They also discussed how the new homeowner assistance plan from the Obama Administration affects their work moving forward.
 
  • The progress report includes updates from the roundtable discussion on the following action items for each lender:
  • Appointing Lender Ombudsmen to facilitate and improve Florida Attorneys Saving Homes interactions with lenders.  
  • Identifying the Key Documents sought by lenders from homeowners to fast-track Florida Attorneys Saving Homes assistance.
  • Setting Time-Lines for resolutions, helping both lender and lawyers better manage time and expectations.
  • Increasing lawyer and lender understanding of federal homeowner assistance programs.
  • Stalling foreclosures during the negotiation process for Florida Attorneys Saving Homes clients committed to keeping their homes.
In 2007, CFO Sink reached out to the Florida Bar and asked that they provide assistance to struggling homeowners in the state, creating the Florida Attorneys Saving Homes program.  The program pairs pro bono attorneys with Florida homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments, to help these homeowners try and find solutions with their lenders.  Over 1,000 lawyers across the state have volunteered their time in response to CFO Sink’s call to launch this program.
 
In addition to the Florida Attorneys Saving Homes Program, CFO Sink has also launched the Florida Housing Help Initiative to assist homeowners facing foreclosure. The initiative partners with community organizations and elected officials to hold foreclosure workshops around the state, and over 5,000 families have already attended these events.  For more information on CFO Sink’s Florida Housing Help Initiative or the Florida Attorneys Saving Homes program, visit www.MyFloridaCFO.com.
 
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