This week the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral New York, under the leadership of Rev. Floyd Flake, a former (D) U.S. Congressman, and Hope Now partners—counselors, mortgage companies lenders, investors, regulators and other mortgage market participants—held a workshop for home owners at risk of losing their homes.
It appears to be getting more and more difficult for people to pay for their homes from the huge response at this week’s Hope Now event. All mortgagers who are participants in the Hope Now partnership were there to discuss options available to individual homeowners. At the opening of the session the Greater Allen’s café was already crowded with homeowners and still 6 hours to go.
In 2007, Hope Now, a support and guidance alliance, was formed by the Department of the Treasury and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to bring stakeholders together under one roof to solve the mortgage issues facing communities around the nation and to work in conjunction with home owners to find acceptable solutions for all including mortgagers. Since then over two million solutions have been reached up to the period 2014. In the 3Q of 2015, 337K homeowners around the country received solutions for their distressed property through Hope Now programs. They received help from the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), bank modifications, short sale, while others settled for repayment, deed in lieu, retention liquidation plans.
Just a few months ago York College held a forum for homeowners in distress, particularly those from the South Jamaica neighborhoods which are still suffering from colossal destruction attributed to subprime lending during the housing boom. These hard working people are desperately trying to stay in their homes and live the American dream of home ownership. As reported by the Times Ledger, one in every 1626 homes ends up in foreclosure in the neighborhoods of St Albans, Springfield Gardens, Cambria Heights, South Ozone Park, and Arverne.
Taking it a step further, in late September, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and U.S. Rep. Mike Capuano (D-Mass.), along with homeowners from across the nation, converged in Washington D.C. to rally against foreclosures and the big companies that still benefit from the 2008 mortgage crisis.
Warren and Capuano are pushing for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to do more to keep ownership of homes within communities – and not sell them off to Wall Street speculators.
They were joined by Council members I. Daneek Miller (D-St.Albans) and Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton), both on the Council Committee on Economic Development, who are continuously working to halt foreclosures, which seriously affect both of their districts.
The turnout makes one ponder: should all these homes go belly-up communities would become dead towns and create great economic disaster for Queens and New York City because of the loss of taxes. Homelessness would be staggering, and the ensuing desperation could bring more crime.
According to Pat R. Chief Executive Director of Allen’s Neighborhood Preservation and Development (NP&D), “The event’s success wasn’t only determined by the number of homeowners participation but from feedback."
“People were happy with the response they achieved from their mortgagers," she said.
Several people who were interviewed as they exited the event said it went well for them. Others were not so decisive but were hopeful while they await resolution, a decision delayed due to outdated information or because they did not all bring all of the required documents.
Pat R. said, “There is a plan in progress to have another event of this kind in six months. Anyone who is falling behind in mortgage payments should call Hope Now at 888-995-HOPE, their Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) or go to knowyouroptions.com.