Homeowners all over the country are stuggling with foreclosures and short sales. Even San Francisco real estate is not immune from the drastic mortgage market conditions that have forced homeowners to lose their homes. So SF homeowners should take advantage of every resource available, even if it’s not local, and even if it’s not perfect. Here’s the scoop:
Courtesy of the San Francisco Association of REALTORS
HOPE NOW Provides Support and Guidance for Homeowners
A group consisting of banks and major lenders has been formed under the name HOPE NOW to head off what is expected to be a tsunami of foreclosures by expanding and improving assistance to troubled mortgagors.
The new group was announced by the federal government and participating lenders last month. HOPE NOW participants include Bank of America, Citigroup Inc., Countrywide Financial Corp., Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, First Horizon National Corp., GMAC ResCap, HSBC North America Holdings Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co, National City, Option One Mortgage, SunTrust Mortgage Inc., Washington Mutual Inc., and Wells Fargo & Co.
The group has established a website (www.hopenow.com) which, at present, is not particularly helpful. Among other things, it provides links to helpful information and recommends several approved credit counselors. However, according to Secretary Paulson, participating lenders soon will be sending out direct mail to borrowers to help them understand the available services and the companies have been asked to establish a model which includes a toll-free phone number, email address, and fax number.
In addition, The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) has established a Foreclosure Prevention Resource Center on its consumer education site (www.homeloanlearningcenter.com).
The site is part of MBA’s effort to advise those who may face trouble making their loan payment to contact their loan servicer as soon as possible to determine if an alternative to foreclosure may be possible based on the borrower’s financial and employment status.
The site is bi-lingual and includes a listing of major loan servicers and their contact information as well as a guide to the “Things to Know When You Contact Your Lender” so that borrowers having difficulty making mortgage payments can begin an informed dialogue with their servicer about potential solutions.