Unemployment Leads to More Foreclosures Across the Country

June 23, 2009

A new wave of foreclosures is affecting areas of the country not previously hard-hit by the mortgage crisis.  USA Today reports that these foreclosures are different from the foreclosures at the beginning of the mortgage crisis in 2007.  Instead of being caused by risky subprime lending, the recent increase in foreclosures is due to rising unemployment.  In the ongoing economic recession, more and more people are losing their jobs and are unable to keep up with their mortgage payments.

To learn more about how unemployment is affecting the housing market, you can read the entire article HERE.  If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure, contact a HUD-certified counselor.  To find one, call United Way’s 2-1-1 referral service at (800) 427-4626.  2-1-1 can also connect you with resources and information about employment, food, health care, counseling, and other services.


Problems with the Making Home Affordable Program

June 11, 2009

NPR’s All Things Considered recently reported on the Making Home Affordable initiative signed into law by President Obama in March.  Though the plan promises to help 4-5 million homeowners, so far it has successfully modified only 17,000 mortgages.  For many Americans, applying for help through the initiative has turned out to be a confusing and complicated process.

You can listen as NPR’s Planet Money team follows the struggle of one young couple applying to the program HERE.  To see if you qualify for the Making Home Affordable plan, CLICK HERE.

If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure, contact a HUD-certified housing counseling agency to seek help.  To find one, call United Way’s 2-1-1 referral service at (800) 427-4626.

Foreclosures Increase for Prime Borrowers

June 9, 2009

Since the beginning of the mortgage crisis, many experts have blamed the explosion in foreclosures on risky sub-prime loans.  But USA Today reported recently that the rate of foreclosure for prime borrowers has been increasing, mainly because of rising unemployment rates.  To read the rest of the article, CLICK HERE.

If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure, contact a HUD-certified housing counseling agency to seek help.  To find one, call United Way’s 2-1-1 Referral Service at (800) 427-4626.

Five Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure Scams

April 1, 2009

The Federal Reserve just came out with an ad for a section of their website, “Five Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure Scams.”  The ad urges people who may be facing foreclosure to check out this section of FederalReserve.gov to get trusted information on how to avoid foreclosure scams.

If you or someone you know is facing foreclosure, be sure to take a look at the Fed’s site–you should only work with HUD-certified counselors, and you shouldn’t have to pay a lot of money to get help. 

Making Home Affordable

March 19, 2009

The Treasury Department and HUD have partnered to launch a new website www.makinghomeaffordable.gov for individuals to find out if they are eligible for the President’s new foreclosure mitigation plan. To find out more about the plan visit the website and watch the video below of Chris Krehmeyer of Beyond Housing who is one of our community partners in this work.

To read the press release of the launch of this new site see below.

Read the rest of this entry »

HUD Bailout Scam, Updated

March 17, 2009

 The Buffalo News reports that,

An Internet Web site that looks like a federal Housing and Urban Development operation providing financial help for homeowners facing foreclosure actually is a “phishing scam” seeking personal information, HUD officials said Friday.

Also, see below for the official HUD statement referencing the scam:

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today warned that Missouri homeowners are increasingly becoming the target of “scammers” and con artists trying to take advantage of homeowners in despair and it’s despicable.  The website address “bailout.hud-gov.us” is not a HUD nor Federal Government approved website.  Homeowners should not be paying for counseling services that are available for free.  Counseling assistance can be found at www.financialstability.gov, www.hud.gov, or www.fha.gov.  Homeowners can find out information about mortgage modifications and the Administration’s Making Homes Affordable Plan by visiting www.financialstability.gov.  HUD’s official website address is www.hud.gov.  If an individual wants to talk to someone about his or her particular situation, the person can call HUD’s St. Louis Field Office at 314-539-6564.  HUD’s Office of Investigation and Office of General Counsel is working with the Federal Trade Commission to take the “bailout.hud-gov.us” site down and catch those involved with posting the site.          


60 Minutes Feature: The Mortgage Meltdown

December 16, 2008

This 60 Minutes feature is a testament to the fact that the mortgage crisis is not over. When these Alt-A and ARM products readjust thousands of people will find themselves in foreclosure. As we’ve seen over the last six months foreclosures impact individuals, communities, and the entire economy.  Therefore, it is of critical importance that we make sure that these individuals are able to get connected to resources so that they can either save their homes or experience – what Linda Ingram describes as – “a soft landing.”

So, if you did get an ARM or an Alt-A loan, or you know that tough times are ahead, do not wait to get help. Call a local HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agency. If you’re in the St. Louis region call the United Way’s 2-1-1 referral service to get a list of housing counseling agencies in your are 1-800-427-4626.

Below is the 60 Minutes segment from the weekend.