Thursday, February 24, 2011

New NeighborWorks Video Features Three Organizations Stabilizing Communities in Northern New Jersey

NeighborWorks America’s Stable Communities Initiative, in partnership with the Northeast District Office, is pleased to share a new video that features three NeighborWorks organizations in Northern New Jersey that are stabilizing communities impacted by the foreclosure crisis.

These organizations are using a $20 million award from Round 2 of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed properties, build new units on vacant lots, and place new homebuyers into homes in Newark and Essex County. The NSP2 consortium is led by the City of Newark and supported by data and research capabilities provided by Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

The three NeighborWorks organization – HANDS, Inc., Brand New Day, and La Casa de Don Pedro – came together as part of the Newark Foreclosure Partners Council when the foreclosure crisis hit in 2008, and as a result were well positioned to take advantage of this competitive funding opportunity to continue and enhance their foreclosure response efforts.

The release of this video —Building Stable Communities: Joining Forces to Fight Foreclosure in Essex County, NJ — is timely, with Round 2 of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program having been released one year ago in February of 2010. NSP2 programs are in full swing in local communities, and we anticipate many communities beginning to see the positive results of these activities as grantees work towards tight expenditure deadlines.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the new video and hear about stabilization efforts in your community. Feel free to share your thoughts using the comment button below.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Two Kentucky NeighborWorks Groups Approved for FHLBank Membership

Two Kentucky NeighborWorks organizations, which operate as community development financial institutions (CDFIs), were recently approved for membership at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Cincinnati (FHLBank). Only a handful of CDFIs have joined the FHLBank system nationally, according to FHLBank. Membership in the FHLBank will provide the organizations with a source of low-cost funding to support their community development initiatives, as well as access to funds from the FHLBank’s Affordable Housing Program.

Community Ventures Corporation (CVC) of Lexington was approved in November for membership by the bank. The Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises (FAHE) of Berea, Kentucky, was approved for membership at FHLBank this month.

“Achieving FHLBank membership is a significant milestone for FAHE, because it will help us reach more people in Appalachian communities with superior financial products,” said Jim King, chief executive officer and president of FAHE. View news release.

In January 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency implemented provisions of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) that permitted qualifying CDFIs to become members of a Federal Home Loan Bank.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Reporting Scams: One Important Thing Victimized Homeowners Should Do

By Marietta Rodriguez,
Director, National Homeownership Programs and Lending, NeighborWorks America

"Where do I report a loan modification scam? How do I file a complaint against a foreclosure rescue company?" Unfortunately, many homeowners have asked these questions when they realize the company that was supposed to help them actually scammed them instead.

Knowing the signs of a scam is critical, but reporting a scam is just as important for homeowners who believe they have been victimized. Whether they have been scammed or just approached by a scammer, homeowners should fight back and report these scam artists to authorities.

But many homeowners decide not to report. Why? They have used words like embarrassed, humiliated, and ashamed to explain why they didn't come forward. But remember, reporting scams to authorities is one of the best ways to get more scammers off the street and protect others. The higher the number of reports filed against a scam company, the better the chances that scammer can be out of business. Just last month, the North Carolina Attorney General announced that another foreclosure rescue company has been shut down.

The Loan Scam Alert website has four easy ways to report a scam:

  • By calling the Homeowner’s Hope Hotline: 1-888-995-HOPE (4673)
  • By filing a complaint online through the Loan Scam Prevention Network.
  • By calling the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or submitting the complaint online.
  • By contacting the state Attorney General or another local.

Homeowners can report the scams in multiple languages, too. Please visit and report these scams!