More than a dozen HOPE NOW servicers, including Bank of America, Chase, Citi, GMAC, Suntrust, Wells Fargo and others, assisted more than 1,300 homeowners from across the Pacific Northwest, during three homeownership preservation events held recently in the area. On March 23, 532 at-risk families were in attendance at the Doubletree Hotel in Portland, Oregon to meet with mortgage servicers and U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)-approved housing counselors. A two-day event in Bellevue, Wash. (Seattle area) on March 25-26 saw an additional 796 homeowners. The second day of the Bellevue event was specifically held for the purpose of collecting missing documents needed for Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) applications.
“HOPE NOW has now held 69 total events since 2008, assisting over 59,000 families in a safe, confidential and free environment," said Faith Schwartz, executive director of HOPE NOW. "In 2010 alone, we have already hosted 10 events across the country. The industry has reached out aggressively and collaborated with the government and the non-profit communities to make these events successful. We are pleased that at-risk homeowners in the Portland and Seattle areas made the effort to come out and work towards solutions to their mortgage issues. Our servicers are committed to face to face outreach as one of their many tools for keeping as many borrowers as possible in their homes."
At the Bellevue, Wash. event, Tim and Rae Engebretson from Tacoma, Wash. were among several homeowners who received results on-site.
“When I first got the letter from GMAC, I was sure it was a scam, but my husband convinced me to come to the event. We are facing an unemployment situation and are determined to keep our home. Showing up today was well worth the effort as our lender was able to reduce our monthly payments by almost half for the next six months. This will help us greatly as we try to get ourselves back into the workforce,” said Mrs. Engebretson.
“GMAC supports the goal of preserving homeownership, and was pleased to work with HOPE NOW and its partners at these events in order to help at-risk homeowners find solutions. We made our skilled loss mitigators available so that we could reach a decision on-site wherever possible. In all cases, we will continue to work with the borrower to reach a resolution,” said Dana Dillard, senior vice president of mortgage initiatives at GMAC,” said Dana Dillard, vice president at GMAC.
These homeownership preservation events will continue throughout 2010, with events already lined up for Reno, Nevada on April 6 and Las Vegas, Nevada April 8-9. Events in Richmond, Va. and the New York City area are also tentatively scheduled for April. The workshops are co-sponsored by the Obama Administration’s Making Home Affordable Program and NeighborWorks America.
For more information, visit www.HOPENOW.com.