Free Workshop Provides Homeowners Options To Save Home From Foreclosure
(LADERA RANCH, Calif.) On February 26, homeowners facing foreclosure can receive help thanks to a free Home Preservation Workshop, hosted by Congressman Ken Calvert, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco (FHLB) and the Orange County Home Ownership Preservation Collaborative, at the Ladera Ranch Middle School in Mission Viejo at 9:00 a.m.
Foreclosures aren’t just happening to people who made bad financial decisions and agreed to a risky loan. In fact, they include homeowners who are getting divorced, facing health issues, needing to relocate for a job, and numerous other reasons.
The workshop provides free one-on-one meetings with housing counselors and lenders giving homeowners an opportunity to either initiate a loan modification or clarify where they are in the process. The goal is to give anyone facing foreclosure the opportunity to learn which options are best for his or her family.
“Due to difficult financial times, many people are forced to deal with the foreclosure process,” said Lawrence H. Parks, Senior Vice President of External Affairs for Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco. “Regardless of the reason why you are falling behind on your mortgage, knowing what to do next is very important.”
So what are the things homeowners should do when facing foreclosure? The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (also known as Freddie Mac) encourages homeowners to do the following:
DON’T fall victim to a scheme. Unfortunately, some people want to profit by your misfortune by offering to contact and conduct all work-outs and negotiations with your lender on your behalf – for a fee.
DO call your lender immediately. If you have already missed a mortgage payment or predict you will in the near future, call your lender right away. Your lender is your biggest ally and the sooner you reach out for assistance, the more help they can provide.
DO answer the phone and read your mail. Avoiding your lender won’t make the problem go away. In fact, it will only make the problem worse. Your lender may be able to help you, so be sure to answer the phone and read any mail they may have sent you.
DO realistically assess your situation. Are your financial problems temporary? If so, call your lender and let them know the situation. Lenders may be able to offer a forbearance or repayment plan.
DO call a housing counselor for assistance. Housing counselors can help you contact and work with your lender to get help with your mortgage and provide advice to avoid foreclosure – free of charge. For a list of approved counselors call the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) at (800) 569-4287 or visit Hud.gov.
DON’T move out of your home. In order to qualify for assistance, homeowners are often required to be living in their home.
DO protect your wealth. Recognize that you may have significant equity in your property that must be preserved.
DO be aware of certain financial responsibilities. Even if your lender sells your property, you may still be responsible for the difference in the sale price and what you owe, as well as certain taxes when a lender forecloses on your property.
DON’T ignore the problem. It may be possible to keep your home, but if you wait to take action, fewer options will be available. You have certain rights and can take certain actions to help you keep your home; however, you only have a limited amount of time to assert those rights or take those actions.
DO talk to a lawyer or legal aid organization. Your rights vary from state to state. Most states and large cities have legal aid organizations; to find one near you, go to the Legal Services Corporation, a government-sponsored organization that provides high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans.
“We are here to help you,” continued Parks. “For many of the people that are facing foreclosure, there are solutions that might help save your home. The key is to communicate with your lender to discover what can be done in your situation. That is really what the workshop is all about, communication.”
Financial institutions participating in the free Home Preservation Workshop include: the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, the Orange County Home Ownership Preservation Collaborative, US Bank, GMAC, American Home Mortgage, Wells Fargo Bank, Chase Bank, HSBC Bank, PNC Bank, Bank of America and Fannie Mae.
Homeowners who wish to attend should bring:
· Copies of your recent mortgage statement
· Copies of your two most current pay stubs
· Copies of your most recent 2 years’ W2s
· Copies of your most recent 2 years’ tax returns
· A list of your monthly expenses
To get more information or to register for the workshop, call (714) 490-1250 or visit OC.MyHousingForAll.org/
The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco
The Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco delivers low-cost funding and other services that help member financial institutions make home mortgages to people of all income levels and provide credit that supports neighborhoods and communities. The Bank also funds community investment programs that help members create affordable housing and promote community economic development. The Bank’s members – its shareholders and customers – are commercial banks, credit unions, savings institutions, thrift and loans, and insurance companies headquartered in Arizona, California, and Nevada.
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