Mike McGinn, Mayor
12/1/2009 1:20:00 PM
Todd Burley (206) 684-5081
Free mortgage help available at foreclosure prevention event
Mortgage counselors, lenders to work one-on-one with homeowners to modify loans
SEATTLE – Are you struggling to pay your mortgage because of a subprime loan, a job loss or a one-time financial crisis like an illness or divorce? If so, you may find the help you need at a free foreclosure prevention event on Dec. 5 at Cleveland High School sponsored by the City of Seattle Office of Housing and the Human Services Department, in partnership with federal, state and local nonprofit agencies.
“Often, homeowners don’t know where to start or they wait too long to seek help when they have trouble making their mortgage payments,” said Adrienne Quinn, Director of the City’s Office of Housing. “We’ve learned that simply connecting homeowners with either their lender or a mortgage counselor can often result in a solution that keeps people in their homes for the long term.”
More than 300 local residents met with bank officers or mortgage counselors during a similar workshop held in July. Over 200 of those homeowners were approved for trial loan modifications under the Obama administration’s Making Homes Affordable program.
At the Dec. 5 event, homeowners who are worried about paying their mortgage will be able to meet one-on-one with HUD-certified mortgage counselors and learn about loan modification and refinancing options to lower their monthly payments. Participating lenders include Bank of America/Countrywide, Chase/WaMu, Wells Fargo, American Home Mortgage, BECU and HSBC; foreclosure prevention counseling will be provided by Solid Ground, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, Credit Counseling North West, Family Finance Resource Center and Parkview Services. Legal services will also be available.
"Loan foreclosures have a negative impact not only on homeowners and their families, but businesses and communities alike," said James Kelly, president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle. "If we can keep individuals and families in their homes, the entire community benefits."
To facilitate the process, homeowners should bring copies of the following documents:
- a photo ID
- social security card
- closing documents
- 2007-2008 W-2s and tax returns
- last two months' pay stubs
- last two bank statements
- monthly mortgage statements or notices
- and if applicable, a medical letter from a doctor or a layoff notice from employer
Aside from loan modifications, the event also will offer workshops on the foreclosure process, avoiding foreclosure scams, repairing credit scores and budgeting.
The event will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Cleveland High School in Beacon Hill, 5511 15th Ave S. Congressman Jim McDermott will provide opening remarks at 9:30 a.m.
Those planning to attend can call the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle at 1-800-368-1455 to register for the events. Walk-ins are also welcome. More information is available at www.seattle.gov/housing/buying/ForeclosurePrevention.htm, including flyers in English, Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.
A broad coalition of partners came together to make the event possible, including the City of Seattle Office of Housing, United Way of King County, Solid Ground, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, Seattle King County Asset Building Collaborative, HomeSight, the Building Resilience Fund, Washington State Department of Financial Services, Columbia Legal Services and the Washington State Bar Association. The Northwest Justice Project and Columbia Legal Services will provide onsite legal services. Representatives from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Private Mortgage Insurance Co. will also be attending.