Monday, April 6, 2009

Foreclosure Prevention Seminar

Back in February there was a foreclosure prevention class and only about a dozen people came. Last week there was another foreclosure prevention seminar and over 700 people showed up. Great turnout. We did not attend the seminar but hopefully there was some good information on what to do and who to see. The Star Ledger has an article about last weeks seminar titled N.J. homeowners flood foreclosure prevention session in Newark. Let's take a look at some key points -

The 50-year-old Paterson resident [Gustavo Ojas] braved an afternoon rainstorm today in Newark to attend a foreclosure-prevention workshop where he and more than 400 other homeowners met with representatives from 18 mortgage lenders.


The problem is intensifying because thousands of adjustable rate mortgages that were issued at the height of the housing boom are beginning to tick over to higher loan repayment rates. The adjustable rates are a hallmark of subprime lenders, who used them to get people into homes they might not otherwise have been able to afford.


One out of every 43 Newark homeowners received a foreclosure notice last year, according to RealtyTrac. That compares with one of every 56 homeowners in the state and one of every 54 nationwide.


Donald Baldyga, a real estate expert with the Episcopal Diocese of Newark, said the housing crisis is being exacerbated by outdated collection practices. Instead of allowing homeowners to remain in their homes, paying lenders what they can afford, collection agencies have been forcing people out. The obsolete strategy is based on the idea that a vacant home is easier to sell, which is no longer true, he said.

"Lenders are better off having someone in there, even if they're paying nothing, than having a place sit empty and get vandalized," Baldyga said.


Organizers had expected to see 500 homeowners from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. By 6 p.m., they estimated that more than 720 had registered.

The good of the article - that people are showing up on a workday during a rainstorm to Newark! And that 18 lenders also came is great. Since different lenders have different requirements and different programs, this is a great idea. Hopefully we will learn more about how the program was run.

The bad of the article - that in Newark 1 out of 43 properties received a foreclosure notice and in N.J. it is 1 out of 56. Here is the RealtyTrac info illustrating how bad things are.

Hopefully between these seminars and the Foreclosure Mediation hopefully those numbers will go down for 2009.

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