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City of Seattle
Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Free workshop to help homeowners avoid foreclosure

7/20/2009  3:30:00 PM

Free workshop to help homeowners avoid foreclosure
Mortgage counselors, lenders to work one-on-one
with homeowners to modify loans

SEATTLE - Mayor Greg Nickels invites homeowners who may be having trouble paying their mortgages to attend a free workshop where they can get assistance from lenders and counselors to help avoid foreclosure.

On Friday, July 24, the city's Office of Housing and Human Services Department, in partnership with federal, state and local non-profit agencies, will hold the free workshop at Cleveland High School, 5511 15th Ave. S. on Beacon Hill. The workshop will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

"We're extending a helping hand and making sure people who are struggling can get their questions answered and make it through these difficult times," said Nickels. "Too often, homeowners don't know where to start or they wait too long to seek help when they have trouble making their mortgage payments."

Homeowners 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. The following lenders will be on hand to work directly with their borrowers: Bank of America, Wells Fargo, GMAC, Chase/WaMu, Ocwen, Freddie Mac and American Home Mortgage. Translators will also be available.

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 it is 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.

"While Seattle has not been hit with foreclosures like some areas of the country, there has been an increase with the downturn in the economy. Unfortunately, the increased awareness of foreclosures has provided an opportunity for scam artists to prey upon vulnerable people who don't know what their real options are," said Linda Taylor, housing director for the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, a nonprofit agency that has been offering mortgage counseling services for 40 years.

Those planning to attend can register by calling the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle at 1-800-368-1455. Walk-ins are also welcome. More information is available at, including flyers in English, Chinese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese.

The workshop is co-sponsored by the city of Seattle, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (Seattle branch), U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Washington State Department of Financial Institutions, the Seattle-King County Asset-Building Collaborative, the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle, and Comcast.

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