Can you get help you trust? Yes you can – Here is how

June 29, 2008

Below is an excellent article in the Beacon that will give you the picture on how you can get help that you can trust. The article is full of useful advice. Here is the core information on how to get help you can trust:

Homeowners in the St. Louis area seeking foreclosure help can contact the United Way, which will put them in touch with the St. Louis Alliance for Homeownership Preservation, a coalition of nonprofits pooling their expertise. The alliance includes: ACORN, Better Family Life, Beyond Housing, Catholic Charities and the Urban League. The numbers to call are: 2-1-1 from a Missouri home phone or 1-800-427-4626 from Missouri or Illinois.

Homeowners who call the national hotline may be referred to the local agencies for more specialized help or, possibly, financial assistance. The national hotline has no money available, Hernandez emphasized.

Hernandez said efforts to convince people to call for help sooner rather than later are paying off. About one-third of the hotline’s callers aren’t yet 30 days delinquent on their mortgages, which means more options. She points to an industry statistic that half of the people who lose their homes to foreclosure don’t talk to their lenders.

“It’s stunning that the trust is so little that they just feel like there is no point,” Hernandez said. “When the research was done to ask people why they hadn’t talked to their lender, most of them said, ‘There’s no point. They have no flexibility in dealing with me. If I don’t come up with the money, they’re going to take my house. If I call, they’ll just know more about my situation and just take my house faster.’ That is not accurate, but people really believe it.”

The foundation’s partners include community-based nonprofits, local and federal governments, government agencies and mortgage companies.

The foundation also works with the HOPE NOW Alliance, an effort backed by the U.S. Department of Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that attempts to get lenders and nonprofit housing counselors to work together. The alliance was put together by the Bush administration after the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market.

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