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New York Metro Foreclosure Prevention Summit Draws over 200 Nonprofit Housing Counselors and Industry Leaders

HUD's Vicki Bott, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Single-Family Homes

Over 200 housing counselors and industry leaders gathered in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday, November 10, 2009, to learn about new initiatives being undertaken by private industry and the Obama Administration to improve foreclosure prevention efforts and discuss how these remedies will impact homeowners in the New York metropolitan area.

"The Administration recognizes the ever-changing nature of this housing crisis, and, as such, we continue to create and expand programs that meet the needs of millions of struggling homeowners across this country," said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Single-Family Programs, Vicki Bott, in her first official visit to New York City. "Now, more than ever, we are committed to stabilizing the housing market by helping homeowners to stay current on their mortgages and remain in their homes."

The Northeast Region of the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS), a unit of Treasury, took the lead in organizing the Foreclosure Prevention Summit, which included co-sponsors HUD, NeighborWorks America and the Center for New York City neighborhoods. At the Summit, Ms. Bott announced that under the Administration's Making Home Affordable (www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/) program, more than 650,000 borrowers have begun trial modifications since the program was launched in February. The program provides financial incentives to mortgage companies and investors to reduce loan payments to affordable levels. The Administration believes that it is on track to meet its goal of offering help to between 3 million and 4 million borrowers over the next several years.

Michael Hickey, Executive Director, Center for NYC Neighborhoods

Speaker Deborah VanAmerongen, Commissioner, NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal

Industry representatives from the Hope Now Alliance and GMAC Rescap discussed developments within the mortgage industry designed to improve the loss mitigation process, such as efforts to streamline documentation and new models for outreach events that bring borrowers, lenders and counselors together.

Effective outreach to homeowners by lenders and legitimate service providers was a particular concern to all participants given the proliferation of foreclosure rescue scams in the New York City metropolitan area. This discussion focused on the effective reporting and prosecution of rescue scam operators, including a far-reaching new campaign from NeighborWorks America aimed at educating homeowners to avoid scams - a central component of a new website (www.loanscamalert.org/).

(l to r) Marietta Rodriguez, National Director, Homeownership Programs, NeighborWorks America; Josh Zinner, Co-Director, Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project and Ricardo Velez, Director, Criminal Investigations Bureau, NYS Banking Department.

(l to r) Jacqueline Cosgrove, Consumer Lead Outreach Specialist, Freddie Mac; Larry Gilmore, Director, Hope New Alliance and Dana Dillard, Senior Vice President, GMAC Mortgage Operations.

"All across the country, housing counselors have been frustrated by long delays and inconsistencies in the application of Making Home Affordable and other programs as they work with homeowners," said Marietta Rodriguez, Director of Homeownership Programs at NeighborWorks America. "Forums like this improve communications on all sides, and help build the partnerships we need to effectively assist struggling homeowners."


Content Archived: December 3, 2013

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