HOPE NOW adopts new guidelines to speed help to foreclosure victimsMortgagePress.comHOPE NOW Alliance, foreclosures, MBA, Financial Services Roundtable, Steve Bartlett, Housing Policy Council
HOPE NOW, the industry alliance of mortgage lenders, servicers,
investors, and counselors, has announced that its servicer members
have agreed to a uniform set of procedures and guidelines that will
greatly enhance the ability of homeowners to quickly receive the
help they need and ensure that the assistance process is
respectful, understandable, and transparent.
The agreement also includes the mortgage lending industry's
first-ever guidance for dealing with second mortgages and short
"These new guidelines will greatly expedite the process of
preventing foreclosures," said Faith Schwartz, executive director
of HOPE NOW. "The industry is committed to helping distressed
borrowers stay in their homes whenever possible and these
guidelines will help in that effort."
For the first time, the new guidelines establish a common,
streamlined timetable that will be used by each HOPE NOW mortgage
servicer when working with a homeowner to prevent a
The guidelines establish a common set of principles on the
possible foreclosure prevention alternatives including loan
modifications, repayment plans, partial claims, and temporarily
suspending the need to make monthly payments.
The agreement also includes procedures to keep homeowners
informed about the status of their request to their servicer for
help. Additionally, it encourages servicers to provide access to
objective, independent, and free counseling for homeowners while
putting in place detailed procedures that will allow servicers to
reach out to homeowners who may be in danger of losing their
"The guidelines also include an agreement relating to second
mortgages which is important to help clear the path for increased
modifications and re-financing," said Schwartz.
"It's critical to remember that nobody benefits when a homeowner
faces foreclosure," said Jonathan L. Kempner, president and CEO of
the Mortgage Bankers Association. "Creating these servicing
procedures was the right thing to do, both for consumers and for
the industry, and it's something that the HOPE NOW Alliance is
entirely united on as it continues to fulfill its mission of
helping as many homeowners as possible stay in their homes each and
"This is another clear sign of the industry's commitment to
helping more homeowners avoid foreclosure," said Steve Bartlett,
president and CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable. "We are
bringing more transparency and clarity to the process and that is a
positive for the homeowner."
"These new guidelines will bolster some of the existing policies
that servicers have already had in place, while creating important
new ones," said John Dalton, president of the Housing Policy
Council. "We are seeing more coordination within in the industry
with the hope of preventing more foreclosures."
The new agreement was developed between April and June 2008.
"Although many of the HOPE NOW mortgage servicers have been
implementing some procedures similar to many of these for some
time, they are now agreeing to fully implement this uniform plan in
60 days or less."
here for the summary of the Servicer Guidelines.
here for the full Servicer Guidelines.
For more information, visit visit www.HOPENOW.com.