Foreclosure forum scheduled for Oakland Co. homeowners - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Foreclosure forum scheduled for Oakland Co. homeowners

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For foreclosure help, you can visit www.fightmortgageforeclosure.com/oakland

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Oakland County homeowners facing foreclosure will get the chance to meet with representatives from major mortgage lenders to negotiate loan modifications, qualify for relief programs, or achieve a "dignified exit" from their current mortgage with minimized damage to their credit score at a foreclosure prevention forum sponsored by Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner's Oakland County Foreclosure Prevention Initiative.

The event happens on Tuesday, July 31, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Oakland Community College's Auburn Hills campus, 2900 Featherstone Dr., Student Center, Building G.

"Mortgage foreclosure is the leading cause for dropping property values that Oakland County has experienced since the housing meltdown," said Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner.  "Every foreclosure we prevent keeps a family in their home, and prevents people paying their bills on time from becoming innocent victims of foreclosures in their neighborhood."

Participants in the forum will have the chance to meet one-on-one with housing counselors and actual negotiators from mortgage lending institutions.  Some homeowners will be able to renegotiate the terms of their mortgage with lower interest rates or principal being spread out over a longer period of time, determine their eligibility for the Hardest Hit-Step Forward mortgage subsidy program, or will achieve "dignified exits" from their debt, including short sales and deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure arrangements.

Housing counseling agencies participating include Oakland County Community and Home Improvement, Lighthouse of Oakland County, New Hope, Southwest Solutions, Mission of Peace and MSU Extension. Mortgage lenders participating include Chase, Bank of America, GMAC, Flagstar, Fifth Third, Wells Fargo and PNC.

Meisner launched the Oakland County Foreclosure Prevention Initiative (OCFPI), a partnership between the United Way and the housing counseling agencies listed above.  People facing foreclosure can reach the Initiative at its website, www.fightmortgageforeclosure.com/oakland, or by calling Lauren Borson at 248.858.0627.  The OCFPI website has had 1,752 visitors to the website to date.

Foreclosure causes property values within 300 feet to drop by 1.3 percent, according to the Brennan Center for Justice.  The cost to lenders, homeowners, neighbors, and government can add up to about $80,000 per foreclosed home, according to the U.S. Joint Economic Committee.

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