Press Conference Announcing Borrower Outreach Day
PREPARED REMARKS FOR
ALPHONSO JACKSON, SECRETARY OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30, 2008
Thank you, Mayor (Richard) Daley. In a few hours, there will be an outreach workshop to help people threatened with foreclosure. The workshop will be right here at this location. It is free and open to the public.
This workshop is important. There are thousands of people in Chicago who could lose their homes in the next year. If you are one of those people, this workshop is for you. You need to be here. This workshop may be one of the most important events you ever attend. Simply put: it may make the difference between keeping your home and losing it. However you do it - by car, mass transportation, or arranging a ride with a friend - you need to come here.
You don't have to suffer in silence. You don't have to lose your home.
There are new means of assistance.
For example, I have instructed my department to reach out to as many people as the law will allow. We have been able to expand the number of people who qualify for an FHA loan. Through an effort called FHASecure we have been able to assist more than 75,000 Americans to refinance their homes, including more than more than 3,400 families in families in Illinois.
We should be able to help up to 300,000 people across America by the end of the year.
If Congress would complete their work on a bill to modernize the FHA, then we could reach even more people. For two years, the President and I have urged Congress to let FHA reach more hard-working Americans. Despite passage by both Houses of Congress, a bill has not been sent to the President. Every day of delay puts hundreds of thousands of homeowners at unnecessary risk of foreclosure. We need Congress to accelerate their efforts and submit the final legislation.
In addition, Treasury Secretary (Henry) Paulson and I have worked with the mortgage industry to address the housing crisis from another direction. The industry has responded with a program called the HOPE NOW Alliance to help homeowners at risk of foreclosure. The Alliance has implemented a plan that could help up to 1.2 million homeowners avoid foreclosure by providing systematic relief that includes refinancing existing loans, moving borrowers into FHASecure loans, and implementing a five-year freeze on reset interest rates for subprime loans. The industry has already assisted 370,000 homeowners and contacted more than half a million borrowers in the second half of 2007.
There are many options; many sources of assistance. But, surprisingly, many people still treat foreclosure as inevitable. I am troubled by the fact that there is so much denial...that many homeowners facing foreclosure will not call their mortgage lenders for help...that some won't seek any help at all.
If anyone listening to my voice is in trouble with their mortgage, then you need to come to this workshop. Here is where you can explore the range of options available. Here you can find housing counselors to advise you. Here you will find mortgage lenders who are working to assist you to keep your home.
Here you will find hope...and help.
Again, thank you Mr. Mayor.
NOTE: To read the Press Release, visit http://archives.hud.gov/news/2008/pr08-011.cfm