Foreclosure Hotline Calls for Help Double
MINNEAPOLIS – August 7, 2007 – Counselors for the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) fielded a record 30,078 calls from troubled homeowners in the second quarter of 2007 – more than doubling the call volume of the first three months of 2007 and a more than six fold increase from the same quarter in 2006.
A nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Americans avoid foreclosure, HPF operates a national 24/7 helpline – 888-995-HOPE – that offers homeowners personalized assistance to help manage mortgage payment concerns. According to HPF, more than 15,000 homeowners received mortgage counseling during the second quarter – up from nearly 7,000 completed counseling sessions in the first quarter.
“The recent increase in news about troubled mortgage holders certainly has contributed to a spike in calls for help,” said Colleen Hernandez, president and executive director of the Homeownership Preservation Foundation. “But the larger issue we face is the increase in home foreclosures. Homeowners are entering delinquency at record pace, putting them at serious risk for losing their homes.”
Nearly 165,000 foreclosure filings were reported during June 2007, an 87 percent increase over the same month last year, according to reports by RealtyTrac, a company that tracks home foreclosures. This increase equates to one foreclosure filing for every 704 U.S. households. The number of homes entering foreclosure in 2007 is expected to exceed 1 million households.
Fortunately, worried homeowners are reaching out earlier, HPF call center statistics show, increasing the likelihood of effectively managing their mortgage payments and staying in their homes. Among homeowners who called 888-995-HOPE, 21 percent were less than one month behind in mortgage payments, up from 14 percent during first quarter 2007.
“We can’t stress enough how important it is for homeowners to ask for help sooner rather than later,” said Hernandez. “The earlier we hear from homeowners, the more options we can offer to address their individual financial situations.”
Key Statistics – Second Quarter 2007
Foreclosure can affect anyone, regardless of income, demographic or type of mortgage. These call center statistics highlight current trends observed by helpline counselors:
- Problems with fixed-rate mortgages were as likely as concerns with adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) to trigger calls. Homeowners with ARMs represented 40 percent of calls, while those paying fixed rate accounted for 39 percent of calls.
- Ohio posted the highest number of homeowners receiving counseling (3,288); California ranked second (2,357 calls); and Georgia ranked third (2,206 calls).
- Fifty percent of callers were more than two months behind on mortgage payments, a decrease from 62 percent of callers last quarter.
- Forty-seven percent of callers reported annual household incomes of less than $36,000; 11 percent of callers’ annual household incomes exceeded $72,000.
About the Homeownership Preservation Foundation.
Founded in 2003, The Homeownership Preservation Foundation is a Minneapolis-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to reducing foreclosures and preserving homeownership for American homeowners. The Foundation partners with city, county and state governments; federal government agencies; community-based nonprofit organizations; and mortgage companies to offer creative solutions to preserve homeownership. HPF’s cornerstone service is the Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline, a foreclosure prevention counseling service available free to American homeowners by calling 888-995-HOPE. For more information about the Homeownership Preservation Foundation or the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline, visit www.995hope.org .