Thursday, August 12, 2010

On NPR, NeighborWorks' Marietta Rodriguez Discusses Unemployment's Impact on Foreclosures

Realty Trac reported today that foreclosure filings in July were up nearly 4 percent from the previous month. But when compared to this time last year, foreclosure activity has actually dipped 10 percent.

While the drop in default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions over the last year is a good sign, Marietta Rodriguez, NeighborWorks America’s director of homeownership and lending, cautions against "breathing a sigh of relief."

In an interview with NPR this morning, Rodriguez said that lack of employment is a major problem driving many homeowners over the edge to foreclosure.

“On the ground, our counselors are telling us they're seeing more and more consumers, more and more borrowers seeking help — that their numbers are not decreasing," Rodriguez said in the NPR interview.

Indeed today, NeighborWorks America announced that more than one million homeowners facing foreclosure have been counseled through the Congressionally-funded National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NMFC) program. And 58 percent of those being counseled report that job loss is the reason they are facing foreclosure.

NFMC has found that foreclosure counseling works. Homeowners served through the program are finding a solution to foreclosure and receiving indispensable information and guidance. A recent independent NFMC report found that the program’s clients were 60 percent more likely to avoid losing their homes to foreclosure than those who went without counseling. In addition, NFMC clients were more likely to receive a loan modification, and on average, saved $454 more on their monthly mortgage payments per month, than homeowners who received modifications but did not work with a counselor.

More Than One Million Homeowners Counseled by National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling Program

Today NeighborWorks America announced that more than 1,000,000 homeowners facing foreclosure have received much-needed counseling thanks to the Congressionally-funded National Foreclosure Mitigation Counseling (NFMC) Program.

At a time when foreclosures continue to significantly affect the housing market and the national unemployment rate hovers around 9 percent, foreclosure intervention counseling provided by NFMC Program-funded nonprofit housing counseling organizations is helping homeowners across the country find a solution to foreclosure and receive indispensable information and guidance.

“While more than 1,000,000 homeowners have received foreclosure intervention counseling thanks to the foresight of Congress (especially the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations subcommittees) and the hard work of more than 1,700 NFMC-funded counseling organizations, an additional 4 million homeowners are expected to face foreclosure in 2010. We continue to reach out to all homeowners who may face foreclosure to make them aware that foreclosure intervention counseling is available and offered for free at NFMC-funded counseling organizations across the country,” said Ken Wade, CEO of NeighborWorks America.

Much more on this important announcement can be found in the NeighborWorks newsroom.