Nation’s Foreclosure Prevention Hotline Shatters Previous Call Records
President Bush’s announcement encourages more than 140,000 concerned homeowners to reach out for help
MINNEAPOLIS – January 15, 2008 – More than 143,000 calls from distressed homeowners were fielded by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation’s Homeowner’s HOPE™ Hotline in the fourth quarter of 2007, twice the number of calls received during the third quarter and nearly 10 times that of the first quarter of the year.
The Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) is a nonprofit organization that operates a national 24/7 hotline – 888-995-HOPE. The hotline provides free, bilingual, personalized assistance to help at-risk homeowners avoid foreclosure.
In December 2007, the HOPE hotline became the primary contact point for homeowners with delinquent mortgages, as part of the HOPE NOW Alliance, the Administration’s initiative to stem America’s foreclosure crisis. HPF is a member of the HOPE NOW Alliance of mortgage servicers, mortgage market participants and counselors. According to HPF, more than 37,000 homeowners received counseling during the fourth quarter alone – more than three times the 10,000 completed sessions in all of 2006.
“We’re encouraged because more homeowners are being proactive in reaching out for help,” says Colleen Hernandez, president and executive director of HPF. “Mindful of the significant call volume following the President’s announcement, HPF established a triage response system that offers resources to those who need information and directs callers who need foreclosure prevention counseling right to counselors, allowing us to operate more effectively.”
Among homeowners who called 888-995-HOPE, 31 percent were less than one month behind in mortgage payments up from 24 percent during third quarter 2007.
“It’s reassuring that homeowners are addressing their mortgage issues earlier, however we need to continue to reach out to troubled homeowners to let them know there is help available,” said Hernandez. “No matter the situation, HPF can provide options and information to keep more Americans out of foreclosure.”
Key Statistics – Fourth Quarter 2007
Foreclosure can happen to anyone, regardless of socioeconomic status, demographic or type of mortgage. The following are current trends observed by hotline counselors:
- California continues to be the top counseled state, accounting for 18 percent of the total call volume; Ohio ranked second (9 percent) and Illinois rounded out the top three with (5 percent).
- Adjustable-rate mortgages, in aggregate, made up 48 percent of calls; fixed-rate mortgages accounted for 28 percent.
- 61 percent of callers reported annual household incomes of less than $42,000; 15 percent of callers reported annual incomes of more than $60,000.
About the Homeownership Preservation Foundation
Founded in 2003, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation is a Minneapolis-based 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.