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Tag Archives: Housing Counseling

Illinois Introduces Two Initiatives to Tackle Foreclosure Issues

To alleviate issues of foreclosure in one of the hardest hit areas, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn launched two initiatives. One effort will connect homeowners to resources to keep them in their homes, and another will help revitalize areas affected by foreclosed and vacant properties. Illinois is consistently ranked among the top 10 states with the highest number of foreclosures.

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New York Housing Counselor Charged with Defrauding Homeowners

A New York housing counselor has been sentenced to 72 months in jail and three years supervision by a U.S. District Court judge after defrauding 136 homeowners who reached out for help as they attempted to avoid foreclosure. The judge also ordered Lori J. Macakanja to pay $298,639 in restitution to the homeowners affected. Macakanja reportedly required upfront fees from homeowners and promised in return to help them achieve mortgage modifications in order to stave off foreclosure.

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HUD Approves IndiSoft Module for Direct Reporting by Counselors

IndiSoft announced Tuesday that the company has enhanced its RxOffice Premium Counselor Edition. The updated module has been approved by HUD to meet the reporting requirements of agencies participating in its Housing Counseling Program. It was created to address the surge in the number of homeowners needing counseling to make informed housing decisions, and gives counseling agencies a scalable and flexible web-based case management tool to manage their internal business operations.

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Justice Department Issues Report in Support of Foreclosure Mediation

The U.S. Department of Justice released a 69-page report Tuesday on a foreclosure intervention method that is becoming increasingly popular across the country - mediation. The paper draws from an earlier workshop which was attended by dozens of mediation program stakeholders and researchers. A key finding that emerged, according to DOJ officials, is that the federal government should take an active role, both in helping to develop program and evaluation guidelines and in providing resources for mediation programs and research.

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Counseling Lowers Redefault Rate: Study

Homeowners who receive foreclosure prevention counseling are at least 67 percent more likely to be current on their loans nine months after a loan modification than those who do not, according to NeighborWorks America. Additionally, among homeowners who receive mortgage modifications, those who participate in counseling decrease their monthly payments by $176 more than those who do not. However, NeighborWorks says the reduced redefault rate is more a result of the counseling than the lower monthly payment.

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BofA Gets Up Close and Personal with Distressed Homeowners

Bank of America organized 45 dedicated outreach events this year in local markets across the country where the lender is seeing high levels of mortgage delinquencies among its customer base. Ron Sturzenegger, BofA's legacy asset servicing executive, says the goal is to get in front of the consumer. The company undertakes an aggressive marketing campaign ahead of each event and provides a loss mitigation decision on-site to 60 percent of those who come with all the necessary paperwork. BofA expects to host the same number of outreach events in 2012.

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NuView Financial Strengthens Partnerships to Sustain Communities

NuView Financial Services provides services related to borrower outreach, loss mitigation, and short sale liquidation to mortgage servicers, insurers, and investors across the country. The company announced last week that it has retained Gilmore Consulting Group, LLC to manage partnership initiatives that include community and government relations. The collaboration aims to expand the role of counseling agencies, real estate professionals, and other critical stakeholders devoted to preserving communities.

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Holistic Financial Counseling Reduces Re-default Rate: Study

Holistic financial counseling -- that which focuses on a borrower's entire financial situation -- can prevent both foreclosures and re-defaults, according to a recent study sponsored by special servicer Outreach Financial Services. Holistic financial counseling can save servicers up to $71.5 million in losses on a portfolio of 10,000 loans, according to the study. When holistic counselors review a borrower's entire financial status, they are generally able to diminish monthly spending by $200 to $300.

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Industry Completes 5M Loan Mods Since 2007

HOPE NOW announced a major milestone Tuesday -- the completion of 5 million loan modifications since the group began tracking such loss mitigation efforts in 2007. More than 80 percent of these modifications were completed through servicers' own proprietary programs, with the rest coming from the government's Home Affordable Modification Program. Officials called the 5 million mark a halfway point, adding that much more work needs to be done to help distressed homeowners.

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NeighborWorks America Names New Fundraising Director

NeighborWorks America announced Tuesday that Sarah McGraw Greenberg has been appointed director of its development division. Greenberg is NeighborWorks' front-line official for fundraising to support the nonprofit organization's work to prevent foreclosure and foster long-term homeownership. As director, Greenberg provides strategic leadership to the corporation's partnership and resource development efforts.

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