The Advertising Council, in partnership with NeighborWorksAmerica, has announced the launch of new national public service advertisements (PSAs) designed to educate homeowners about where they can turn for help if they are at risk of foreclosure. The campaign encourages distressed homeowners to call the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline, a free resource that helps homeowners facing foreclosure move closer to finding a resolution.
When the campaign was originally launched in 2007, an estimated one million homes were at risk of foreclosure. Since then, this number has continued to rise over the years. According to RealtyTrac data, foreclosure filings in the first quarter of 2010 were at almost one million properties, a seven percent increase from the fourth quarter of 2009. Furthermore, this trend is expected to continue throughout this year, with an estimated four million homes at imminent risk of foreclosure, affecting homeowners in all communities, of all ethnicities and income levels.
“With an estimated four million homeowners at imminent risk of foreclosure this year, there is an urgent need to reach those homeowners and provide them with the information and counseling they need to move forward and make the right decisions,” said Ken Wade, chief executive officer of NeighborWorks America. “It is an increasingly cluttered and confusing marketplace and even though homeowners want to take action, they are unsure of the steps they can take to prevent foreclosure. We are pleased to partner with the Ad Council and Cossette New York on this campaign to provide homeowners with a clear next step-- call the HOPE hotline.”
Created pro bono by ad agency Cossette Communications, the new television and radio PSAs, available in English and Spanish use attention-grabbing humor and hyperbole to urge homeowners in financial trouble to call the HOPE Hotline at (888) 995-HOPE as a first step to a resolution. The HOPE hotline is the cornerstone of a foreclosure prevention effort involving many of the country’s largest mortgage market companies. It provides homeowners with information about real options to move forward to a resolution as well as an opportunity to work with U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)-approved housing counselors, free of charge, who understand the situation and have the information and counsel needed.
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with NeighborWorks America on this very critical issue of home foreclosures that affects so many Americans,” said Peggy Conlon, president and chief executive officer of the Ad Council. “We are confident that these new PSAs will provide homeowners struggling with their mortgages the information they need to make the best decisions for their future.”
Since the campaign initially launched in 2007, 2.6 million calls have been made to the HOPE hotline. Additionally, in the first two years of the campaign, from the June 2007 campaign launch through June 2009, more than 620,000 counseling sessions occurred.
“Partnering with the Ad Council is critical to being socially responsible in the marketing community and the country as a whole. Foreclosure is the number one by-product of the late 2008 Financial Crisis, and Americans need a reliable source of concise and unbiased information when faced with mortgage payment problems, “ said Bill Oberlander, Cossette New York. “A well balanced message of entertainment and education was used to debunk scammers and well un-intentioned, misinformed family members. To get straight talk, go to the Hope Hotline first.”
The Ad Council is distributing the new PSAs to more than 33,000 media outlets nationwide this week. Print and outdoor advertising will be available later this month. Per the Ad Council model, the PSAs will run and air in advertising time and space that is donated by the media.
For more information, visit www.foreclosurehelpandhope.org.