""Freddie Mac"":http://www.freddiemac.com and 13 national and local nonprofit organizations have launched a pilot effort aimed at convincing discouraged delinquent borrowers to pursue mortgage workouts to save their homes from foreclosure.[IMAGE]
Freddie Mac has set up new Borrower Help Centers in four key markets Ã¢â‚¬" Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; San Bernardino, California; and Washington, D.C. Ã¢â‚¬" which are designed to provide free, one-on-one ""holistic"" mortgage counseling to delinquent Freddie Mac borrowers. The company is also launching a separate Borrower Help Network offering similar counseling over the phone to targeted Freddie Mac borrowers across the nation.
Both efforts rely on nonprofit organizations to contact and work with Freddie Mac borrowers who may be eligible for a modification but never called their lender or became frustrated or uncertain of the process and gave up the fight, the GSE explained.
""We know that fear and frustration are keeping thousands of borrowers from getting the help they're eligible to receive,"" said Ed Haldeman, Freddie Mac's CEO. ""So we're going to address the problem head-on by working together with nonprofit partners. These organizations are trusted and valued sources in their communities, and we believe they can make the difference in keeping families in their homes and out of foreclosure.""
Freddie Mac says ""holistic"" financial counseling goes beyond mortgage issues and also includes an assessment of borrower debt and credit issues that could affect a borrower's ability to stay current on their mortgage after a modification.[COLUMN_BREAK]
Groups participating in the Borrower Help Center and Borrower Help Network include the ""National Urban League"":http://www.nul.org, ""National Council of La Raza"":http://www.nclr.org (NCLR), ""HomeFree-USA"":http://www.homefreeusa.org, local Neighborhood Housing Services in ""Chicago"":http://www.nhschicago.org, ""Phoenix"":http://www.nhsphoenix.org, and ""Ontario, California"":http://www.nphousingservices.org, as well as other local community organizations.
""The National Urban League looks forward to working with Freddie Mac on this important project as we collectively seek to test enhancements to the home retention continuum that prioritize client counseling and best utilize trusted community groups in order to help more minority borrowers avoid unnecessary foreclosure,"" said Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League. ""The Borrower Help Network is a critical response to the housing crisis and its design is clearly linked to comprehensive and sustainable neighborhood stabilization, which remains the ultimate objective.""
The free Borrower Help Centers in Chicago, Phoenix, Washington, DC and California's Inland Empire have already started contacting delinquent borrowers identified by Freddie Mac for appointments, and are accepting appointments from other delinquent borrowers who know Freddie Mac owns their mortgage.
Freddie Mac says counselors at each center are trained to review Freddie Mac and Making Home Affordable workout requirements with their clients. Counselors will also provide one-on-one guidance to help borrowers apply for modifications, supply missing information or documents needed to move an application forward, and work with Home Retention Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of ""Stewart Lender Services, Inc."":http://www.stewartlenderservices.com, to help borrowers effectively connect with their servicers.
In a parallel effort to reach distressed borrowers located outside of the initial target areas, Freddie Mac's Borrower Help Network consists of eight national and local non-profit organizations who have launched a national phone campaign to make contact with delinquent Freddie Mac borrowers who have stopped responding to their lenders. The Borrower Help Network also will work with Stewart's Home Retention Services to connect borrowers with their servicers for a mortgage modification or other foreclosure alternative.