National Community Organizations' Foreclosure Prevention Initiatives
National Training and Information Center
In Chicago, the National Training and Information Center (NTIC) formed a partnership with CitiFinancial, Inc., Ocwen Financial Corporation, and Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. to send the three companies' delinquent borrowers to 12 local NTIC affiliates for assistance. Borrowers can also contact one of the local affiliates themselves to seek assistance when they are having difficulty meeting their mortgage obligations.
The foreclosure process is put on hold while the NTIC affiliates, the borrower and the mortgage servicer explore loss mitigation alternatives. In some cases, the terms of the loan are modified. If the borrower's troubles occurred because they were improperly placed in a high-cost or predatory loan product, they may be eligible for a reduced interest rate or a refund of some payments.
Since the program began in 2003, homeowners have received $2.6 million in modifications and payments from three servicers.
For additional information, contact NTIC at (312) 243-3035 or at www.ntic-us.org.
Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago's Home Ownership Preservation Initiative (HOPI) has helped about 1,000 delinquent borrowers sort through their options, including loss mitigation tools offered by mortgage lenders, such as extended loan terms, adding payments to the end of a note or even reducing interest rates.
Started in 2003, HOPI brings together the resources of community groups, the City of Chicago, housing agencies and mortgage lenders to fight foreclosures. One key component was a marketing program to publicize the fact that homeowners facing financial difficulties can call the city's 311 non-emergency information phone number and be directly transferred to community group financial counselors. Callers don't have to be in foreclosure to qualify for help, and are urged to call the line at the first sign of trouble. This program is being extended to other cities through NeighborWorks® America's Center for Foreclosure Solutions.
For additional information, contact NWA at (773) 329-4010 or at www.nhschicago.org
National Community Reinvestment Coalition
The National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC), has a Consumer Rescue Fund (CRF) made possible by a multi-million dollar funding and underwriting commitment from Household Finance Corporation, Select Portfolio, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae funding was also received from the JP Morgan Chase, Heron, and Ford foundations.
CRF educates and assists consumers who think they have been victimized by a mortgage lender. Its staff evaluates the terms and circumstances of consumers' loans and determines if the mortgage was predatory in nature or not. As part of the process, NCRC encourages consumers to seek default counseling and ongoing financial education from one of the group's 600 local member community and housing groups. Those member groups can help the borrower complete the forms and documents needed to evaluate the loan and assist in follow-up if documents and information are missing.
For additional information, contact NCRC at (202) 628-8866 or at www.ncrc.org.
Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America
Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America's (NACA) program reaches low and moderate-income working people in communities that traditional lenders have avoided or been unable to penetrate. By working with churches, community organizations and employers, NACA targets its outreach to specific neighborhoods. Once NACA has established itself in a community, its satisfied members spread the word about the dream of homeownership. People who might never have considered traditional lenders frequently approach NACA to inquire about purchasing a home.
All NACA homeowners participate in the Neighborhood Stabilization Fund (NSF). The NSF helps members negotiate forbearance agreements and resolve issues they have with their mortgage payments. If members are unable to make payments they must work with a Housing Consultant to identify the problem and work out a solution. A peer committee of fellow homeowners can approve the member for financial assistance.
For additional information, contact NACA at (888) 302-6222 or at www.naca.com.
Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now
National non-profit Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) Housing has attacked loss mitigation by establishing a relationship with 13 large mortgage servicers. The group created best practices to improve communication between housing counselors and the lenders' loss mitigation staff.
One of its goals in working with the servicers is to help loss mitigation staff differentiate between housing counselors who do a great deal of work with the borrower—reviewing income and expenses, working out a budget and problem-solving—and quick credit repair shops that charge clients and don't offer as many useful services.
For additional information, contact Bruce Dorpalen at (215) 765-0048 or firstname.lastname@example.org.