Posted on Wednesday, October 27, 2010
By: Carrie Bay 10/26/2010
The Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) says calls coming into its hotline from distressed homeowners looking for help to stave off foreclosure increased 7.4 percent in the third quarter of this year compared to the previous quarter.
HPF administers the Homeowner’s HOPE Hotline (1-888-995-HOPE) to provide consumers with foreclosure prevention counseling. The nonprofit organization received 412,353 calls during the third quarter timeframe and 145,993 calls in September alone, a three percent increase from the previous month.
The states with the largest call volumes in September, as well as the three-month quarterly period, were California, Florida, New York, Texas, and Georgia.
The number of calls placed to the hotline from homeowners in North Dakota surged a staggering 76 percent from August to September, the largest month-to-month increase of any state. Call volume from Vermont jumped 45 percent. South Dakota, Idaho, and Kentucky also saw large double-digit increases.
“Homeowners who are dealing with foreclosure or the potential of foreclosure need an independent, neutral resource who can help them navigate their financial challenges,” said Colleen Hernandez, CEO of the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, which is based out of Washington, D.C. but has a nationwide reach.
Hernandez says HPF’s dedicated hotline team of more than 600 HUD-approved housing counselors has already helped more than four million homeowners with the myriad of issues surrounding foreclosure, including exploring options to avoid foreclosure, reporting foreclosure rescue scams, and general education to improve borrowers’ financial situations.
“In the past two quarters, we’ve seen an increase in call volume possibly due to the actions servicers have taken through letter campaigns to suggest that homeowners call our hotline,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez also notes that new Public Service Announcements designed by the U.S. Treasury and Fannie Mae featuring real homeowners who have benefited from the Making Home Affordable program likely also contributed to the hotline’s increased call volume.