Areas of the country that have been slow to recover from the recession will be the focus of HOPE NOW's outreach efforts to offer loss mitigation options to struggling homeowners in 2015, according to an announcement from HOPE NOW.
HOPE NOW is an alliance between counselors, mortgage companies, investors, and other mortgage market participants, formed in 2007. The alliance's outreach events put homeowners face to face with servicers and counselors to work out a loss mitigation solution and avoid foreclosure. These outreach events are also an opportunity to learn more about local housing task force efforts and state programs that offer assistance. The next HOPE NOW outreach event will be May 27 in Chicago.
"Our industry members comprehensively review all at-risk families for multiple options, when going through the loss mitigation process, and attempt to apply the most viable solution for each situation," said Eric Selk, Executive Director of HOPE NOW. "Although the housing market has made a recovery on a national level, there are still pockets of the country experiencing a slower recovery and that has been the focus of HOPE NOW’s efforts in 2015."
Selk said they have seen a great deal of repair in many of the markets HOPE NOW has visited in the past, such as San Bernardino in Southern California. A HOPE NOW outreach event in San Bernardino in 2010 brought out about 700 families; by comparison, an outreach event in San Bernardino in March 2015 drew only about 300.
"The reason for lower attendance is twofold – lower delinquency numbers across the board and more homeowners already in some stage of the loss mitigation process," Selk said. "Despite the shifting dynamic of outreach events, our members are still committed to the face to face component as part of their overall outreach strategy."
HOPE NOW is also planning an outreach event in June in St. Louis, though no date is set yet.
"There are plans to bring servicers together with non-profit partners in several other cities in 2015 as well," Selk said. "HOPE NOW also continues to work with members on initiatives related to mortgage originations, abandoned properties and neighborhood stabilization."
HOPE NOW reported 147,000 non-foreclosure solutions offered by the industry to struggling homeowners in February 2015, including permanent loan modifications, short sales, and deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure. February's total of non-foreclosure solutions was more than five times the number of completed foreclosures for the month (28,000). Since HOPE NOW began reporting the data in 2007, the number of non-foreclosure solutions offered by the industry total approximately 23.5 million.