HOPE LoanPort, the proprietary, Web-based tool used by non-profit housing counselors, housing finance agencies, investors and major mortgage servicers, has announced that it will partner with the state of Maryland and mortgage servicer GMAC Mortgage (GMACM) on a direct-to-consumer foreclosure mediation portal. GMACM is funding development of the portal and will be the first mortgage servicer to use it. The portal, scheduled to go live in October 2011, will be the first statewide program in the nation to allow homeowners and servicers to exchange documents electronically prior to foreclosure mediation. Maryland state law provides homeowners who receive a notice of foreclosure the opportunity to meet with their servicer and a mediator to discuss alternatives to foreclosure. A homeowner has 25 days after receiving a notice of foreclosure to “opt-in” to foreclosure mediation.
HOPE LoanPort has also partnered with the state of Maryland to provide a Web-based portal for Maryland homeowners working with housing counselors to apply for unemployment assistance through Maryland’s Emergency Mortgage Assistance (EMA) program.
“We are thrilled that both GMAC Mortgage and the state of Maryland are going to use HOPE LoanPort for this important initiative,” said Larry Gilmore, president and chief executive officer of HOPE LoanPort. “For the first time, at-risk homeowners will be able to upload all of the documents necessary for foreclosure mediation without lost paperwork and with improved communication."
By developing a Web-based mediation solution for both the state of Maryland and mortgage servicers such as GMACM, HOPE LoanPort will offer the following benefits to homeowners:
►Easier document exchange with mortgage servicers.
►Electronic submission of all necessary documents for mediation.
►Faster access to assistance from housing counselors and/or pro-bono attorneys.
►Sends reminders about mediation date and location.
►Allows servicer to obtain all the information it needs to fully evaluate and make decisions on foreclosure alternatives.
“Foreclosure mediation is an important tool for homeowners who want to ensure the best possible outcome from dealing with their lenders,” said Raymond A. Skinner, Maryland Secretary of Housing and Community Development. “The HOPE LoanPort, direct-to-consumer foreclosure mediation portal will make it easier for us to track the progress of those in mediation. It is a way for us to provide more efficient service for our customers.”
“GMAC Mortgage is committed to preserving home ownership whenever possible and in that spirit, we have been an early-adopter of programs that aim to assist borrowers in financial distress,” said Steve Abreu, president of GMAC Mortgage. “Preparing for the mediation process can sometimes be overwhelming and HOPE LoanPort offers borrowers a convenient option to assist with the process. We’re proud to be the first mortgage servicer to use this Web-based tool.”