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The federal government is increasing efforts to help distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure with new public service announcements about programs that could lower their monthly mortgage payments.
The departments of Treasury, and Housing and Urban Development, have joined with the nonprofit Ad Council in a series of new television, radio, print, and online spots to inform homeowners of options to guide them through the foreclosure process and — in many cases — save their homes.
More than a million Americans have already taken advantage of the federal Making Homes Affordable Program, according to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. He said the new “Foreclosure Prevention Assistance” campaign is designed to help more people find “specific solutions for their mortgage problems.”
“Struggling homeowners do not need to work through their concerns alone,” Donovan said in a joint statement with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. “The key is encouraging homeowners to pick up the phone now to explore their options.”
“We are continuing to do everything we can to help stabilize the market and to ease the burden on struggling homeowners,” Geithner said. “And that includes working to make sure families and individuals know about the resources available to them.”
One in 11 homeowners nationwide has missed two or more mortgage payments. Many struggling homeowners delay conversations about their mortgage concerns and enter foreclosure without ever reaching out for assistance. The new PSAs notify homeowners facing mortgage trouble that options other than foreclosure are available, and the sooner they act, the more options they have for the best possible outcome.
The Foreclosure Prevention Assistance campaign encourages homeowners to call 888-995-HOPE (4673) to speak one-on-one with a HUD-approved housing expert to discuss the solutions that are available based on their individual circumstances. In addition, the program website, MakingHomeAffordable.gov, serves as an online resource for struggling homeowners to learn about options other than foreclosure.
In the second quarter of this year, for example, 31 percent of the homes sold nationwide were foreclosures.
Third quarter figures are due out this month, but foreclosures nationwide could hit 1.6 million homeowners this year, according to private and government forecasts.
SOURCE: Market Watch
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