February 5th, 2013
In addition to assisting homeowners with their mortgage needs, HPF’s counselors often refer homeowners to other community resources such as job training, food assistance, and utility aid. HPF accesses information on these additional resources through a company called MortgageKeeper Referral Services, which was created by President and Co-Founder Rochelle Nawrocki Gorey to link consumers who are struggling financially with local community services that they might not be able to find on their own. Here is a recent Q&A with Ms. Gorey:
February 1st, 2013
California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris recently announced arrests related to six fraudulent websites that allegedly targeted struggling homeowners with claims of reducing mortgage debt for an upfront fee. Not only is charging an upfront fee illegal, but the individuals behind the websites then did nothing to satisfy the debt with the lender, instead allegedly creating fraudulent legal documents that made homeowners believe they were getting the help they needed. HPF compliments Attorney General Harris for taking action to shut down these sites before more homeowners fall victim. Continue Reading…
January 31st, 2013
The people at HPF spend a considerable amount of time talking. While the professional, compassionate counselors at our Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline (888-995-HOPE) are talking every day with distressed homeowners eager to find solutions to their mortgage challenges, the people behind the scenes here are out talking with leaders in the housing sector and within government agencies who are eager to help bring this national foreclosure crisis to an end. Continue Reading…
January 24th, 2013
For many reasons, including those both practical and sentimental, the possibility of having to give up your home is a very difficult one to face. Foreclosure can be one of the most stressful events imaginable, and most homeowners will understandably do whatever they can to avoid it. Our counselors recognize what distressed homeowners are going through and we take great pride in being able to offer them not just much-needed accurate information and unbiased counsel, but also perspective and compassion at a time it is most needed. Continue Reading…
January 23rd, 2013
Many people who call our HUD- and Treasury-endorsed Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline for help with their immediate mortgage needs are pleasantly surprised to learn that our counselors have the training, expertise, and financial insights to help do more than provide information to avoid foreclosure. At the caller’s request, they can also help them address other financial challenges that might be compounding the problem, such as maxed out credit cards, dwindled savings, high interest rate store credit card debt, unpaid utility bills, and past-due car loan obligations. Continue Reading…
January 17th, 2013
It’s awards season! And no, we don’t mean the Golden Globes or the Academy Awards. We’re talking about paying tribute to the people who make a difference in the lives of homeowners everyday – housing counselors.
We take great pride that HPF counselor Betsy Carvajal was recently the recipient of the Excellence in Counseling Award from NeighborWorks America as part of its first ever National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) Counselor Awards. Continue Reading…
January 14th, 2013
***For an update on the IFR program, please read our more recent post from April 3, 2013.
The latest $8.5 billion foreclosure settlement with 10 mortgage servicers has been heavily criticized since it was announced last week. Many consumer groups believe that the settlement does not go far enough to rectify the damage that the banks caused, which is true – $8.5 billion does not cover the trillions of dollars in home equity that were lost throughout the crisis. Meanwhile, banking industry supporters point to the lack in qualified Independent Foreclosure Review candidates as vindication that banks really did nothing wrong, as noted in this Forbes article. Continue Reading…
January 9th, 2013
The New York Times published an insightful article on Sunday that takes homeowners step-by-step through the process of writing an effective “hardship letter” to their lenders.
Borrowers – including those applying for a loan modification under the Making Home Affordable program – are often required to submit “hardship letters” that explain to their lender why they have missed their payments or are struggling with their mortgage. In the article, New York Times contributor Lisa Prevost lays out extremely helpful advice on what and what not to include in the letter, including that homeowners should stick to the facts and avoid being overly emotional. Continue Reading…
January 4th, 2013
In a recent victory in the battle against loan modification scams, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that they have shut down the operations of two alleged scam organizations that may have bilked as much as $10 million from thousands of struggling homeowners. These scam artists, like so many others that continue to lure in homeowners each day, charged large amounts of money for “guaranteed” foreclosure prevention services that were never rendered. Continue Reading…