CFO Sink Talks about Solutions for Homeowners at Housing Help Roundtable
CONTACT: Kyra Jennings or Kevin Cate, (850) 413-2842
TALLAHASSEE—Florida CFO Alex Sink today highlighted two initiatives she started to bring real, tangible help to Florida homeowners facing foreclosure, and heard from community groups and homeowners who are on the frontlines of tackling the state’s housing crisis.
At her Florida Housing Help roundtable today in Orlando, CFO Sink brought together representatives from the City of Orlando, the Florida Attorneys Saving Homes program, Orlando-area housing counselors and other concerned groups to discuss how they are working to help Florida citizens stay in their homes. CFO Sink also met local area homeowners who were able to avoid foreclosure through help from her initiatives.
“I want to do everything I can to ensure that struggling homeowners can get real help and keep a roof over their heads, as our state continues to have the fourth highest foreclosure rate in the nation,” said CFO Sink. “Florida’s homeowners are facing huge challenges and today we were able to highlight multiple ways they can get help -- either at one of my Housing Help workshops or with a volunteer attorney through the Florida Attorneys Saving Homes program.”
The Orange County metro area currently has more than 7,600 homes in foreclosure, up 24 percent from this time one year ago. To help combat these statistics, CFO Sink’s Department of Financial Services, in partnership with the City of Orlando and Mayor Buddy Dyer, is providing a Florida Housing Help Workshop on Saturday, November 7, 2009, at the Englewood Neighborhood Center in Orlando from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The workshop is one of more than 50 that have been held around the state so far this year as part of CFO Sink’s Florida Housing Help initiative.
Joining CFO Sink at the table today were Orlando City Commissioner Tony Ortiz, Jill McReynolds and other HUD counselors from HANDS, Frank Rubino of Chase Bank, Dawn Steward from Healthy Kids, Lena Smith and other representatives from Legal Community Services of Mid-Florida, and Ann Wilson a volunteer attorney with the Florida Attorneys Saving Homes program.
Also on hand were two homeowners to tell their success stories. Karen McGann, an Ocala homeowner attended a Florida Housing Help Workshop in Marion County on October 10, 2009. As a result of meeting with her lender at the Ocala workshop, her mortgage was reduced from $1,700 a month to $800. Mireille Souffrant is an Orlando homeowner who was able to work with a volunteer attorney to modify her mortgage to a lower fixed rate.
“I will tell anyone to go to one of CFO Sink’s workshops,” said McGann. “Don’t let your pride keep you from coming. These people are here to help you.”
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, CFO Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services. A successful businesswoman with nearly three decades of experience in the private sector, Sink is serving her first term as Florida's CFO. As CFO, Sink's priorities include using her business experience to cut wasteful government spending, cracking down on financial and insurance fraud and reforming the state government's contracting practices.