Avoiding Foreclosure

October 9, 2008 6:32:42 PM PDT
A new federal program designed to provide relief for struggling homeowners was supposed to begin October first.-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you're looking for help to avoid foreclosure, you can call the Community Housing Council at (559) 221-6919.

There's also ByDesign Financial at (800) 750-2227.
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Unfortunately foreclosed homes have become part of the neighborhood landscape.

This home represents just one of the thousands of red dots indicating bank-owned properties and defaults in Fresno.

Sonia Neal counsels homeowners facing foreclosure. She's frustrated the "Hope for Homeowners Program" isn't ready to help those who are struggling.

Sonia Neal said, "Lenders, which should be FHA approved, or whoever holds the mortgage are not prepared to implement the program yet. There's software issues, there's logistics issues."

The program would re-finance home loans to a 30-year fixed rate, provided the homeowner has kept up payments and met other requirements. But Neal says the list of lenders taking part hasn't been determined.

"They suggested I call back in two weeks to see where they're because we do tell them that our clients are the perfect candidates for this program."

Martha Lucey of ByDesign Financial says her office has been bombarded with calls about "hope for homeowners" as well as a foreclosure relief program resulting from a countrywide settlement this week.

Martha Lucey said, "If they have a Countrywide mortgage there's gonna be more information coming out in the coming weeks. They're gonna start this program in earnest on December 1st."

"If you are having trouble making your payments and you have a sub-prime rate mortgage or you've got an adjustable rate mortgage you may qualify for this program."

Countrywide says its program will help about 400-thousand people across the U.S. keep their homes.

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