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Volume 9, Issue 1, 2009   Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Addressing Mortgage Delinquencies and Foreclosures

Numerous programs, partnerships and other efforts—led by public, private and nonprofit organizations—are under way to reduce the number of delinquencies and foreclosures. Following are examples.

Public Service Announcements

In April 2009, 28 theaters in 14 cities across the U.S. broadcast a public service announcement (PSA) on how to avoid rescue scams.

The PSA, launched by the Federal Reserve Board, was run in municipalities with high foreclosure rates, such as Atlanta, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami and Phoenix. It was shown on theater screens and small screens near concession stands. The 30-second segment opens with "Having trouble with your mortgage? Are you facing foreclosure?" and ends with "It shouldn't hurt to get help" and a recommendation to visit the Federal Reserve's webpage for 5 Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure Scamsoff-site.

PSA image5 Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure Scams

  • Work only with a nonprofit, HUD-approved counselor.
  • Don't pay an arm and a leg.
  • Be wary of "guarantees."
  • Know what you are signing and be sure you sign it.
  • Understand that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Foreclosure Prevention Workshops

A number of entities throughout Texas host foreclosure prevention workshops. One of them is the DFW Home Ownership Preservation Task Force, formerly known as the Dallas HOPE partnership. Over the past five years, DFW HOPE has been helping homeowners facing foreclosure, with initiatives such as publicizing the toll-free HOPE hotline, 888-995-HOPE (4673), and hosting workshops.

In 2008, 680 households were assisted at workshops sponsored by the DFW Home Ownership Preservation Task Force. In addition, DFW HOPE members welcomed another 460 households attending the national HOPE NOW Alliance workshop in Arlington, Texas, in June 2008.

The 2009 workshops are proving to be even more popular. By the end of April, almost 600 households attended workshops sponsored by the DFW HOPE partnership. DFW HOPE plans to host additional workshops throughout 2009 in cities across North Texas. Announcements of DFW HOPE and other foreclosure prevention events across Texas can be found at the Texas Foreclosure Prevention Task Force website, www.texasforeclosurehelp.orgoff-site.

Workshop Exit Surveys

The Community Affairs staff at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas has begun to analyze hundreds of consumer surveys taken at foreclosure prevention workshops in the Dallas–Fort Worth area since 2008. Listed below is a snapshot of consumer responses from the August 2008 Dallas workshop. A total of 360 households attended the event, and 152 of them participated in the survey.

Survey Responses

  • Most respondents heard about the workshop on TV or by letter.
  • All but four of the respondents felt that their servicer/counselor was knowledgeable and helpful about their mortgage options.
  • When asked to identify the best features of the workshop, most respondents cited the workshop's organization and flow, its helpful information, and/or the positive attitude of its staff and volunteers.
  • When asked to identify the worst features of the workshop, only about 40 percent responded. Most cited concerns with their lender and the venue. For example, their lender was not present at the event; they took too much or too little time; they had difficulty locating free parking; and/or they lacked privacy when meeting with a counselor/servicer.
  • 99 percent of respondents rated their overall experience as good to excellent.

The Dallas Fed Community Affairs staff plans to interview some borrowers six to 12 months after they attended a workshop in order to assess the workshops' effectiveness.

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e-Perspectives, Volume 9, Issue 1, 2009

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Off-site page
Community Development Office Send an e-mail
P.O. Box 655906, Dallas, Texas 75265-5906
214-922-5377
Gloria Vasquez Brown Send an e-mail
Vice President
    Alfreda B. Norman Send an e-mail
Assistant Vice President and Community Development Officer
Jackie Hoyer Send an e-mail
Houston Branch
Senior Community Development Advisor
    Julie Gunter Send an e-mail
Senior Community Development Advisor
Wenhua Di Send an e-mail
Community Development Economist
    Elizabeth Sobel Blum  Send an e-mail
Community Development Research Associate
Roy Lopez Send an e-mail
Community Development Specialist
     
The views expressed are the authors' and should not be attributed to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas or the Federal Reserve System. Articles may be reprinted on the condition that the source is credited and a copy is provided to the Community Development Office.
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