A group in Bergen County is offering a seminar on how to work with a lender and find a certified counselor to prevent foreclosure and evaluate the options. There was just a meeting and only about a dozen people, yes only about 12 people, showed up. Hopefully the March 21st seminar will bring out more people to help them. From this article in The Record titled Tips to avoid foreclosure offered it sounds like a good place to get some answers and solutions. Lets take a look at the article -
Government programs and increased flexibly among lenders are making it easier for troubled borrowers to keep their homes, fair housing advocates told a small crowd that gathered today for tips about how to avoid foreclosure.
...Borrowers also can take advantage of a state program created last month to connect them with mediators who will work on their behalf, [David Whritenour, a representative with the Fair Housing Council of Northern New Jersey] said.
But despite the help that’s available, a fear of foreclosure and bankruptcy is deterring many from seeking assistance, he said.
Homeowners who need help should first seek the assistance of a counselor who is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Whritenour said.
Solicitations received in the mail or seen on television should be viewed skeptically, he said. While some offers are legitimate, others are scams designed by predatory lenders only interested in making a quick buck for themselves, he said.
Counselors working in a homeowner’s best interest can persuade lenders to reduce interest rates, fix variable rates, extend repayment terms or, in rare cases, reduce the amount owed, he said.
For those that need such a seminar, which is free, the March one will be held from 9 a.m. to noon. Make sure to register, call the Bergen County Homeownership Center at (201) 336-7200.
The program sounds like a good primer for those who are calling or working with the foreclosure mediation program. If the group is small enough people problems can be discussed directly. The next meeting is well after the March 4th details of Obama's plan is released so the various speakers should be able to provide answers in context to the current state and national programs.
According to RealyTrac there were 5,005 homes in New Jersey in some state of the foreclosure process and yet only 12 people showed up??? The foreclosure prevention hotline gets thousands of calls and yet only 12 people showed up??? Maybe they should offer the course in Passaic where the foreclosure rate is 1 in 428 or Essex with a rate of 1 in 460. Those two counties combined would have a potential pool of 1,075 homeowners who may need such a program. But word needs to get out to have more than 12 people show up. This seems like something that would have a standing room only crowd - there must be a breakdown in getting the word out...