Posted on Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2.5 million people were foreclosed last year.
Even more are expected to be foreclosed this year – 3 million. The pattern is expected to continue in 2011.

These numbers do not include another 7 million loans currently delinquent but not yet in foreclosure, 28 million expected to be underwater (owe the bank more on their property than it is worth), or virtually every other American who has been impacted by and have unanswered questions about decreases in their property values, investment and retirement funds, unemployment amd under-employment, and broader concerns about Wall Street, government’s role, our national deficit and where their country is headed.

Washington is launching programs that extend 5 to 12 years into our collective future, meaning they know our situation will continue for some time; commercial real estate – our shopping centers, hotels, offices – will worsen over the next 2 years, 100s of more banks will fail, home loan rules will change, the headlines will continue, often times in forms even experts cannot yet fully predict or even imagine. Along the way, folks who suffered losses will want to rebuild; repair their credit, have the opportunity to own a new home again (hopefully this time the “right” way).

The point is, the average American want and need for information is not a short-term matter. A longer term solution for providing accurate, timely, engaging content is more appropriate and necessary than we may have at first thought.
While the initial approach of piecing together current resources to cover a temporary subject may have been an appropriate “first response,” in the long term it is leading to otherwise avoidable incomplete or inaccurate information being provided by folks who are excellent “experts” in related areas, but do not have the breadth and scope of expertise, hands-on professional experience and big picture background to jump in on a moment’s notice as news in this areas develops and appropriately inform and advise viewers and convey the longer lead time information.

One of the biggest problems we had with HAMP is that the fact that it was a program designed to help subprime borrowers with big interesta rate resets on teaser rate loans be able to afford their mortgage again was not effectively communicated. As a result, everyone jumped in line for a HAMP modification only to find, after much time, huge costs and a fair share of disappointment, that HAMP was not a solution that would work for them - they were not eligible or could not qualify.

The same thing is already beginning to happen with the HAFA program. As the media rushes to report on this "latest" news, inaccurate and incomplete information about the program is again being spread. The point? Make sure you really understand HAFA before getting in line.

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