NAHB: New home sales turn upward in February
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NAHB: New home sales turn upward in February

March 25, 2009

HOPE NOW launches “Reach Out” campaign to encourage at-risk homeowners to work with counselorsMortgagePress.comHOPE NOW, foreclosures, HUD, Reach Out campaign, Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority
HOPE NOW, the private sector alliance of mortgage servicers,
non-profit counselors and investors that has been working
aggressively to prevent foreclosures and keep homeowners in their
homes, has announced that it had begun a new initiative to
encourage homeowners at serious risk of losing their homes to work
with counseling agencies certified by the U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development to determine options that will best
serve their needs.
The "Reach Out" campaign is a targeted state-by-state
initiative. The first initial phase of the campaign is an intensive
effort targeted at Wisconsin homeowners who are 90-plus days
delinquent. In collaboration with the Wisconsin Housing and
Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), HOPE NOW and 11 of its
member servicers have begun to mail letters to homeowners about the
HUD-certified, free, legitimate counseling agencies in their area
and to urge them to take advantage of the services these agencies
provide to get help.
HOPE NOW plans to expand Reach Out to other states with the
highest percentage of extremely delinquent borrowers, including New
Jersey, Texas, South Carolina and Florida.
Faith Schwartz, HOPE NOW's executive director, said that working
with a HUD-certified counseling agency is the best way a homeowner
can be certain that they will actually get help. "HOPE NOW wants to
make sure that homeowners are aware of the legitimate housing
counseling services available to them in their community," she
said. "Qualified, professional assistance is available at no cost
to the homeowner and we want to be sure everyone who needs it
actually gets it."
"We know that hundreds of homeowners are struggling with their
mortgage but don't know where to turn. We hope that by lending our
name to this campaign, people will see the importance of contacting
their servicer. So far, more than 900 struggling homeowners have
received letters from HOPE NOW and WHEDA, and hundreds more will be
receiving letters," said Antonio Riley, executive director of
WHEDA. "As the Executive Director of the state's housing authority,
I strongly urge every Wisconsin resident who has received one of
these letters to pick up the phone and call for help now."
Reach Out is an extension of HOPE NOWs ongoing efforts to
contact at-risk homeowners. Since it began in October 2007, HOPE
NOW has sent more than 4.1 million letters to borrowers 60+ days
delinquent urging them to make contact with their servicer. A
significantly higher percentage of homeowners typically respond to
the HOPE NOW mailings than similar mailings from individual
mortgage servicers.
EMC Mortgage executive director Dana Dillard, who helped design
the "Reach Out" campaign for HOPE NOW, said, "The 'Reach Out'
Campaign is one more way that HOPE NOW and its members are being
proactive with the ultimate goal of keeping as many homeowners in
their homes as we can."
The "Reach Out" campaign is just one part of HOPE NOW's
aggressive five-prong homeowner outreach effort for 2009. In
addition to "Reach Out" and the traditional mailing campaign, HOPE
NOW is also in the midst of a "Bringing Hope Home" celebrity
campaign headlined by Queen Latifah, is planning a phone-a-thon
campaign for later this year, and plan to hold more than 30
homeowner outreach events across the country.
The 11 HOPE NOW servicer members participating in the "Reach
Out" campaign include: American Home Mortgage, Bank of America,
Carrington Financial, Countrywide Financial, HomEq Servicing, HSBC,
Litton Loan Servicing, Ocwen Financial Corporation, Saxon Mortgage
Service, Select Portfolio Servicing, SunTrust, Wells Fargo, and
Wilshire.
For more information, visit www.hopenow.com.

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